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Manny Diaz not seeking to make Miami ‘Portal U’

The first-year Hurricanes coach said he added several transfers out of necessity.
Miami head coach Manny Diaz speaks during the Atlantic Coast Conference NCAA college football media days in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, July 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Miami head coach Manny Diaz speaks during the Atlantic Coast Conference NCAA college football media days in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, July 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Published Jul. 18

CHARLOTTE, N.C. ― Considering the method he used to fortify his mildly decimated roster, new Miami coach Manny Diaz has come to be regarded as a transfer portal pooh-bah of sorts.

That’s a title he’d prefer to shed.

“We’re still gonna be a player-development team,” he said Thursday.

Arguably no coach in America maximized the NCAA portal this offeason more effectively than Diaz, who added no fewer than a half-dozen of the nation’s top 22 transfers. Among them: Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell and UCLA linebacker Jaelan Phillips, the nation’s top recruit in 2017.

Related: MORE MIAMI: Mark Richt joins the ACC Network

But Diaz said his portal rummaging was borne of necessity. The ’Canes lost 17 verbal commitments last winter following a late-season slide and Diaz’s brief departure for the coaching job at Temple. As a result, UM signed only 13 players in December’s early period.

“We had a team with only seven returning seniors, and we were very young, and the recruiting store had kind of been picked clean,” Diaz explained at the ACC Kickoff at The Westin Charlotte.

“The sale already happened. You walk into the store and there’s not much left; there’s like a broken toy there. So we had to go find something that we felt like could help improve our football team.”

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

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