Eventually, Mirabal became one of several new MU coaches, added during the recruiting stretch drive. He immediately worked his South Florida stomping grounds with head coach Doc Holliday, whom he didn't know as well beforehand.
"I had shaken Doc Holliday's hand one time in my life, and that was after the bowl game," Mirabal said. "Other than that, I didn't know who he was. I knew his reputation, because he's a legend down in South Florida, because of recruiting."
Working under offensive coordinator Legg once again, Mirabal is quickly establishing a reputation in the offensive line room, where his men dwarf him - he is 5-foot-6, if that tall. But that's plenty tall enough for Holliday, who rarely gets through a post-practice conference without mentioning his name.
"He's as good an offensive line coach I've been associated with, anywhere I've ever been," Holliday said. "He's a great motivator, he's a great recruiter and he goes to work every day. He just lives what he does. It rubs off on the kids. You can tell that offensive line has totally bought into what he's doing and how he's coaching, and they're playing extremely well."
Mirabal knew some names from the 2011 bowl game in St. Petersburg, Fla., in which Marshall's offensive line was a bit younger than it is now. He is without a few players - Jordan Jeffries had offseason surgery, Corey Tenney is still healing and backup center Cam Dees is being held out of contact.
Sophomore Sebastian Johansson is getting his opportunity at left guard, with veterans all around him.
"Garrett Scott at right tackle, he's got old eyes. He's seen a lot of things," Mirabal said. "He's playing excellent; he's lost of lot of weight, so he's quicker, moving his feet a lot better. [Right guard Alex] Schooler's having a great camp so far, had a great offseason.
"And then [center Chris] Jasperse, he's the 'intel.' He's sneaky athletic, he's tough and he puts us on the right page. A guy I think is tremendously underrated is Gage Niemeyer. He's a phenomenal player, and he gives us the nastiness on the offensive line, which is contagious to the other guys."
Apparently, Mirabal brings his own contagious qualities.
"He's brought a lot of intensity. He gets after it," Jasperse said. "He brought some new ideas and new beliefs we hadn't seen, so we're getting coached up and trying to figure out everything right now."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.