Denver Kirkland is one of the most important recruits in this year's class - SB Nation Recruiting
As National Signing Day approaches, SOTU takes a look at the current state of the team, and how the incoming recruits and targets fit in.
Things are going to get mighty crazy around here come Wednesday of next week, but until then, what about the guys that we already have? There seems to be this weird notion that this class is full of must get prospects, and if we don't get them all, then this year's team will be a failure, as will the teams of the future. While that notion may fit the bill for 1 or 2 of the targets that the Canes have remaining, it certainly does not apply to every remaining recruit.
This crop of recruits will go a long way in impacting the 2013 team, but the major contributions will be felt mainly in only a few positions. The rest will provide depth for a year or two before blossoming into what they are projected to be. So, to hopefully help everyone calm down a bit, let's break down where each position stands, and just how close to doomsday they are.
|13||Gray Crow||QB||6-3||222||RFr.||Clearwater, Fla. (Countryside HS)|
|12||Preston Dewey||QB||6-2||208||RFr.||Austin, Texas (St. Andrew's Episcopal)|
|17||Stephen Morris||QB||6-2||214||Sr.||Miami, Fla. (Monsignor Pace HS)|
|19||David Thompson||QB||6-2||207||RFr.||Miami, Fla. (Westminster Christian)|
|11||Ryan Williams||QB||6-6||223||Jr.||Pembroke Pines, Fla. (Memphis) (Miramar HS)|
This is easily the most "shut up, we're fine" position on the field. Morris had a fantastic junior campaign, and looks to improve heavily on that in his final year. Behind him are a litany of more than capable backups, any of which could step in and do the job if Morris were to go down. There are some who think that, even without spring practice, David Thompson is the second best QB on the team, so it will be interesting to see how things shake out between him, Williams, and Dewey.
The Canes' QB of the future, and younger brother of Greg Olsen. It's no secret that Olsen plans to red shirt his freshman year while learning the play book and getting bigger and stronger. He is already an extremely capable and talented pocket style quarterback, and his willingness to sit back a year and learn is fantastic. He should be more than ready to assume leadership of the team after 2013, barring any sort of weird emergence of one of the other guys or a can't-miss prospect in 2014.
|23||Eduardo Clements||RB||5-9||192||Sr.||Miami, Fla. (Booker T. Washington HS)|
|25||Dallas Crawford||RB||5-10||190||So.||Fort Myers, Fla. (South Fort Myers HS)|
|32||Danny Dillard||RB||6-2||225||RFr.||Bradenton, Fla. (Venice)|
|26||Darris Hughes||RB||5-10||195||Sr.||Clewiston, Fla. (Clewiston HS)|
|8||Duke Johnson||RB||5-9||188||So.||Miami, Fla. (Miami Norland HS)|
|27||Jameson Labady||RB||5-11||215||Sr.||North Miami, Fla. (North Miami)|
|48||Brandon Yosha||RB||6-0||183||So.||Carmel, Ind. (Cathedral)|
Obviously, Duke Johnson is the man on this roster. He will undoubtedly be the feature back in the 2013 offense with the departure of Mike James. The major question at this position, though, is where is the power back to play behind him? While it isn't 100% necessary to have that power/speed combo, it has become highly sought after in today's game. Not to mention that the backfield behind Duke is, shall we say, slightly unproven. Clements and Crawford could be nice backups, and Dillard has the size to be the power back the team needs, but we have yet to really see what he can do after red shirting his freshman year. The other guys, well, to be honest, I don't know much about them. This is one of the few HOLY CRAP positions on the team, because if the staff fails to land a feature back to compliment Duke, then things get a bit more dicey in 2013. Quick Note: FB won't be covered here, because Maurice Hagen's is the lone FB on the roster, and if Miami lands Edwards, he or Dillard could fill the backup role.
While Ray is listed as a running back on most commitment lists, he is being recruited more as an athlete than anything else. It is not yet clear what position he will play, and probably won't be until spring practice gets underway. If it comes down to it, though, and he shows enough skill, he could very well be utilized in this spot. It is way more likely that he finds a home somewhere on defense, though.
Collins is a one-time Miami commit who took his name off of the Canes' list for a while, flirted with FSU, Florida, and most recently, Arkansas, all while keeping the Canes in his picture. He is set to announce Monday night, and has narrowed it down to Arkansas and Miami, and the pundits are more or less torn between where he will go. It is imperative that the staff lands this kid, although some will tell you that all is not lost if they don't, because of the second guy listed above. Gus Edwards has been on Miami's radar for a while, but they have shared that distinction with FSU. James Coley way his number one recruiter before taking the job at Miami, and Edwards is scheduled to visit Coral Gables this weekend for his final OV. These two factors bode well for Miami, although they have a lot of ground to make up to catch FSU. If Collins chooses the SEC, and Miami pulls of Edwards, it won't be the perfect scenario for UM, but it should be enough to get them through the year until the loaded 2014 class becomes available.
|18||Chad Barnes||WR||5-8||170||RSr.||Weston, Fla. (Cypress Bay HS)|
|81||Jontavious Carter||WR||6-2||203||RFr.||Cordele, Ga. (Crisp County)|
|4||Phillip Dorsett||WR||5-9||187||Jr.||Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas HS)|
|1||Allen Hurns||WR||6-3||195||Sr.||Miami, Fla. (Carol City HS)|
|37||Alex Irastorza||WR||6-3||190||Sr.||Miami, Fla. (Christopher Columbus HS)|
|15||D'Mauri Jones||WR||6-4||190||RFr.||Leesburg, Fla. (Leesburg HS)|
|87||Garrett Kidd||WR||6-2||186||So.||Midland, Mich. (Herbert Henry Dow HS)|
|9||Malcolm Lewis||WR||6-0||192||So.||Miramar, Fla. (Miramar HS)|
|6||Robert Lockhart Jr.||WR||6-1||188||So.||Delray Beach, Fla. (Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy)|
|24||Joey McNeill||WR||5-10||172||Jr.||Newton, Pa. (The Pennington School)|
|80||Rashawn Scott||WR||6-2||202||Jr.||Melbourne, Fla. (Melbourne Central HS)|
|24||Stephen Sweeney||WR||5-11||184||So.||Ridgewood, N.J. (New Hampshire) (Don Boscoe Prep)|
|86||Herb Waters||WR||6-2||185||So.||Homestead, Fla. (Homestead)|
Ah, the receivers. The group of kids that weren't supposed to even scratch the three deep on most teams, only to go out in 2012 and surpass almost every expectation that could have been had for them. Imagine what could have been accomplished if Malcolm Lewis hadn't gotten hurt? Regardless, this group is very deep, to the point where it is not 100% necessary that the Canes pick up a wide receiver in this year's class. This roster will likely be led by Dorsett, Hurns, and Lewis (who should be healthy by spring), although guys like Waters, Lockhart, and a few others are nipping at their heels.
Coley is the sole remaining WR target in this year's class, and he would be a very big pickup. As I stated before, the position is more of a luxury in this class, although Miami has come on very strong with Coley as the recruiting season has wound down. They know that he is likely a can't miss type of player, and to be able to add him into the current roster would only help future teams. This will be a down-to-the-wire Miami/FSU battle, and people are torn between where he will land.
|82||Asante Cleveland||TE||6-5||260||Sr.||Sacramento, Calif. (Christian Brothers HS)|
|49||Dyron Dye||TE||6-5||258||RSr.||Sanford, Fla. (Seminole HS)|
|43||Sean Harvey||TE||6-4||260||Jr.||Largo, Fla. (Indian Rocks HS)|
|85||David Perry||TE||6-7||265||Jr.||Pembroke Pines, Fla. (University School HS)|
|46||Clive Walford||TE||6-4||248||Jr.||Belle Glade, Fla. (Glades Central HS)|
These names are all very familiar by now. They haven't, however, really lived up to the expectations that were placed on them because of their obvious talent. The worst offender is Cleveland, who has the skill set to be a extremely good tight end, but for some reason can't get himself over the hump. Walford came on late last year, and put himself in prime position to be a starter in 2013. Dye is a blocking tight end, although it is possible for him to slip out a catch a pass or two if need be. This group should see a good amount of work in Coley's offense this year, and was a huge position of need coming into this year's NSD due to not taking ANY in the 2012 class.
What a class this turned out to be. Dobard is a long standing commit out of Louisiana that surprised everyone when he randomly chose Miami while on a visit. He has never backed down from that choice and has been one of the hardest workers when it comes to recruiting other players. Sandland is the big fish in this class, and Golden went all the way to the west coast to get him. He's a JUCO kid that plays like Jeremy Shockey, and will provide an immediate impact to the 2013 offense. There's almost zero question that he will be a starter alongside Walford. Golden and his staff have recovered from the tight endless (ha!) 2012 class by landing two kids who were high on a lot of boards, especially Sandland.
|79||Malcolm Bunche||OL||6-7||323||RJr.||Newark, Del. (Newark HS)|
|70||Jon Feliciano||OL||6-5||314||Jr.||Davie, Fla. (Western HS)|
|74||Ereck Flowers||OL||6-6||314||So.||Miami, Fla. (Miami Norland)|
|76||Taylor Gadbois||OL||6-8||310||RFr.||Dallas, Ga. (East Paulding)|
|77||Seantrel Henderson||OL||6-8||340||Sr.||St. Paul, Minn. (Cretin-Derham Hall HS)|
|63||Danny Isidora||OL||6-4||312||RFr.||Weston, Fla. (Cypress Bay)|
|65||Brandon Linder||OL||6-6||312||Sr.||Southwest Ranches, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas HS)|
|62||Shane McDermott||OL||6-4||296||Jr.||Lake Worth, Fla. (Palm Beach Central HS)|
|64||Hunter Wells||OL||6-4||300||So.||Canton, Ill. (Canton HS)|
|75||Jared Wheeler||OL||6-5||312||Sr.||Hollywood, Fla. (American Heritage HS)|
Offensive line is both a position of need and not one, all at the same time. Miami is returning every offensive line player from last year, and they were VERY good. It was a gigantic boost to have Linder and Henderson come back, and having the young guys like Flowers, Isidora, and Gadbois another year more experienced playing behind them, 2013 looks to be a very solid OL squad. However, it's the future that looks a bit murky. Off of this line alone, three players will graduate, and at least two are possible draftees (McDermott and Feliciano). That's a possible 5 guys off of the line, with 3 viable replacements. It's this fact that has made this position a must-get in the 2013 class.
These three alone would make up a pretty decent offensive line class. Gall and Knighton are very promising prospects that will benefit greatly from being able to red shirt and learn behind the rest. Odogwu was a surprise commit, and provides a very, VERY large presence for the offensive line. He is what we like to call a Kehoe Special, hand picked by the coach because he sees something the rest of us probably don't. He could use some refinement, but he could turn out to be a very good player.
Kirkland is an extremely talented offensive lineman, and will likely wind up playing at the same school as his friend (and current Miami target). He is one of the most important remaining targets in this class, and has been very tough to read throughout the process. He is a very high priority recruit for Miami, and will come down to the wire between Arkansas, FSU, and Miami.
That concludes the first part of this post. The second will drop tomorrow, and will cover the entirety of the defense. Do you have any thoughts, questions, comments, or other types of musings? Leave them below in the comments section!
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