National Signing Day brought Canes fans a lot of ups and downs, but mostly ups. There were no huge, ground breaking surprises over all (yes, even Tracy Howard.), yet there were plenty of reasons to rejoice about the job that Golden did. Now that it has almost been 24 hours, we here at T7F have sat down and taken a look at all of the brand new Canes to evaluate what exactly we got, and where they will fit in with the current players. In this post, we will take a look at the positions of quarterback and wide receiver, and give you a short breakdown of each player that has begun the next phase of his football life in Coral Gables.
This is one of the positions that even with the combo of the current players and the guys we picked up yesterday, will need to be addressed heavily with the 2013 class. The incumbent players, Stephen Morris and Ryan Williams, will be hard to beat out when it comes to the QB competition. This rings especially true since 2 of the guys signed are 3 star recruits and considered projects, and the third is a dual sport athlete who may stick to baseball. With that being said, lets takes a look.
GRAY CROW - Standing 6'3" and weighing 230 pounds, Crow certainly looks the part of a QB. He has a strong arm, and reportedly has incredible leadership skills. His weak points would be his mechanics and his accuracy, which he admits need to be worked on. Out of the 3 guys that were signed, he would have to be considered the most raw, although his potential upside could be pretty substantial. Looking at his size, one would also have to think that if he does not pan out at QB, there's an outside chance they may try him at TE, since that is a pretty glaring need. Crow was rated by Rivals as the 28th overall QB prospect.
PRESTON DEWEY - Easily the most heralded of the three newbies, Dewey shows the most promise out of this years QB class. He has a big advantage in that his HS coach was Ty Detmer, who has really helped Dewey nail down his mechanics. He has a decent arm, great accuracy, and basically defines "pro-style quarterback". He can run, but normally only does it enough to create throwing opportunities for himself. He is slightly smaller than Crow, standing 6'2" and weighing in at 210. Rivals rated him as the 24th pro-style QB. Out of the three, if there is to be one guy who challenges Morris/Williams for the starting job, Dewey would be the guy.
DAVID THOMPSON - Thompson is a bit of a wild card here, as he has the opportunity to play professional baseball. He is a confirmed signee, but the Canes are waiting for his decision on what he wants to do. Word on the street has him leaning towards staying, which means he would be a dual sport athlete. His HS coach refers to him as a "right handed Tim Tebow", which is both a great compliment and a frightening load to carry all at once. He seems to have a more accurate arm than Tebow, and runs about the same 40 time. With his athletic ability, he would easily be able to fill a hole elsewhere on the offensive side of the ball, if QB doesn't pan out for him.
This is an area of the team that was severely lacking, but Golden filled quite nicely on NSD. To illustrate exactly how thin the Canes were at wide-out, here is a list of the established guys on the roster pre-NSD:
Out of that list, I would bet that the majority of you only recognize 4 of those names. Either way, 7 wide receivers to last a full season is a daunting prospect, but thankfully one that we no longer have to be as concerned about. Here's the guys that will be filling out the outside this year.
JONTAVIOUS CARTER - The big boy of the class, Carter stand 6'4" and weighs in over 200 pounds. His size is something that Canes fans should love to see, as the last two names who have shared that kind of body type would be Streeter and Hankerson. He is not the fastest guy on the field, but catches everything withhis hands, using great body control. His HS coach listed his specialty as the deep ball, but with his size you would have to think he would be more suited to the Streeter/Hankerson role with the occasional deep ball thrown in.
D'MAURI JONES - Another 6'4" guy, Jones weighs in sub-200, but definitely has room to add weight. He is another skill guy, great at the fundamentals of being a WR, with decent speed. He has spent some time at cornerbackas well, which speaks to the ability to get his hips in the right position. He is kind of raw right now, but has the up-side you would want from a kid his size. He may be able to see early playing time considering the lack of depth we have, but will have to make it through a couple of the other guys signed yesterday to do so.
MALCOLM LEWIS - While Lewis doesn't boast the height and weight (5'10", 170 lbs) that you would normally see out of a big time WR, his athletic ability and speed more than make up for that. Watching him on tape, you can see that he plays extremely hard, is adept at running after the catch, and has a penchant for the big play. He is the top wide receiver signed yesterday, and should make an immediate impact for the Canes once the season begins.
ROBERT LOCKHART - Lockhartis a 4 star kid that was committed to Virginia Tech, but decided to stay closer to home and switch to Miami. Fans should have no problem with that, as he provides the big play ability that was lost when Travis Benjamin left. While he is not nearly as fast as Benjamin (then again, who is), he shares the same type of lanky body and speed combination that provides the highlights. Lockhart should see the field early on, although perhaps not on every single play.
HERB WATERS - Waters seems like an all around skill guy, posessing average height/weight (6'2", 170) and boasting decent stats in high school. If this holds up, he could be an excellent addition to the receiving corps, and would help balance out the guys at the ends of the spectrum of speed, big play ability. He looks to be a possession wideout, that will mainly show up when first downs are on the line, or in goalline sets. However, once he gets into the weight room he may blossom into something else entirely, given that some scouts say that he reminds them of a young Andre Johnson (I hope I hope I hope).
ANGELO JEAN-LOUIS - Most people will tell you that Jean-Louis looks to be an impact on the defensive side of the ball for the Canes, but that mentality formed before we landed Bush and Howard. In his press conference yesterday, Golden said he sees Jean-Louis at wide-out, where he has excelled for most of his career. His punt/kick return numbers are impressive, as well as his big play ability. He is a threat to score anytime he touches the ball, which should allow him to see the field immediately. The downside here is that he apparently has some work to do on grades before he can officially be on the team, but he sounds determined to get that taken care of.
There you go, folks. To summarize what you'relooking at withthese groups, QB was not addressed as heavily as you would expect, because depth was the only real need at the position. WRwas heavily addressed, and the guys that were brought it could potentially be one of the best groups in the country if they are developed the way they should be. 2013 will bring the reverse of this year, with QB being the heavy focus and WR most likely being secondary. I cant wait to see these guys step on the field, as they will all give Morris/Williams/Surprise some great targets to throw to. Any questions, comments, or discussion? Put em down there in the comments, and as always...