As we reported last night, Florida State offensive coordinator James Coley had an offer on the table for the same role at Miami.
Today, Coley, who had strong ties to both Miami and Florida State (he’s from Miami and graduated from FSU), made the decision to become a member of Al Golden’s staff.
Contract details have not yet been released, but the offer was reportedly for $500,000/year. Florida State was apparently willing to match Miami’s financial package, but sources close to the situation indicate FSU couldn’t match the Canes on two other fronts. The first – and most important – of those being the ability to call plays. Coley was intimately involved in FSU’s game-planning, but on Saturdays, it was Jimbo Fisher’s show.
That same source says the second thing working in Miami’s favor was the ability for Coley to now try and “lock down” the prime south Florida recruiting region working for the hometown school. Coley was already a dominating recruiting force in the area, and he believes that will only be magnified when he’s entering schools wearing orange and green. South Florida kids love The U, and as good as he was before, odds are that he’ll be even better convincing them to head to Coral Gables.
Two good examples of hometown Miami recruits where the weight of Coley’s switch could be felt immediately are Booker T. Washington High standouts Matthew Thomas and offensive tackle Denver Kirkland. Thomas, a five-star linebacker, and Kirkland, a four-star offensive tackle, were both thought to be the Noles’ to lose before Coley’s move. (Coley already had a teammate, defensive back Michael Johnson, committed to FSU.) Both Thomas and Kirkland were strongly considering Miami before Coley’s switch, and his departure may be enough to push the pair the Hurricane’s way.
From Florida State’s perspective, Fisher has a history of hiring talented, hard-working recruiters, and there’s no way FSU will concede anything to Miami and there new offensive coordinator. But make no mistake, Coley is a huge get for Golden and the Hurricanes any way you slice it, and his flip will only add more fuel to an already intense rivalry in the halls of south Florida’s high schools and beyond.