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Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Golden gains another standout prospect

By Mitch Sherman

The addition of Beau Sandland to Miami’s recruiting class on Wednesday shines light again on the solid work of coach Al Golden and his staff under tough circumstances.

With the specter of NCAA sanctions looming as soon as next year after the Hurricanes’ self-imposed postseason ban this season and last, recruiting figured to take a hit.

And Sandland, an athletic tight end whose maturity and perspective belies the academic trouble that forced his path through junior college, was weary of walking into a program that would limit his opportunity to succeed. In other words, his eyes were wide open to the trouble that Miami could face for the involvement of previous coaching staffs with a rogue booster.

Still, Sandland picked Miami over finalists Nebraska and Arizona State in addition to an attractive list of other programs to offer scholarships.

The work of Miami to go cross-country to Pierce (Calif.) College for a prospect like Sandland, No. 12 in the ESPN Junior College 100, illustrates Golden’s ability to connect with prospects. His class already includes Kevin Olsen, the No. 5-rated pocket passer nationally, and 10th-rated cornerback Artie Burns.

When the NCAA finishes with Miami and the program can move out of this holding pattern, Golden’s power with recruits will likely grow.

Meanwhile, Sandland’s decision brings disappointment for Arizona State, easily the closest to home of his finalists, and for Nebraska, which was hurt by the late departure of graduate assistant and tight ends coach Vince Marrow to Kentucky.