NSD Grades: How did the Canes do?

Jermaine Grace - ESPNU

My goal was not so much to break down the hits and misses but instead to look at Miami’s key needs and what they would ideally be looking for at each spot. If they did a good job of meeting those needs with some of the better talents they could realistically land, they grade went up. If they didn't address those needs or landed kids that probably weren’t the best on the market for them, the grade went down. Take a peek at the breakdown, I think you’ll be surprised at the result.

The scale

A = Met their needs with the best talent available to them.

B= Met their needs with good talent, but not the best they could’ve done.

C= Generally filled the need but missed out on better talents.

D= Did not meet the need but got some help.

F= Did not meet the need or get any substantial help.

INC= There was no need.

Quarterback:

Kevin Olsen, Wayne Hills (NJ) Wayne Hills HS

After bringing in a slew of backup and developmental types in the 2013 and having one of the better starters in the NCAA in Stephen Morris, the Canes were really looking for just one guy that they felt could be the long term answer at the position for them. In securing Kevin Olsen, Miami got the best option available to them and that is always a win.

Grade: A+

Runningback:

Gus Edwards, Staten Island (NY) Totenville HS

While (as of this writing) the Canes did miss out the real prize of their class in Alex Collins, they did good to secure the guy they felt was their next best option. Goes to show what happens with good planning as the coaches felt there was a significant drop off from Edwards to other options on the board for them. It’s not a homerun, but it serves its purpose of providing a viable backup to Duke in order to limit carries while also giving Miami a unique option in the long term as far as his versatility is concerned.

Grade: B

Wide Receiver:

Stacy Coley, Oakland Park (FL) Northeast

Miami really didn’t have a glaring need at this position unless they could get a bonafide game changing talent. And they did exactly that. In Stacy Coley, Miami got recruit that was widely regarded the best WR in the state and a player that is a playmaker in every sense of the word. They couldn’t have done any better.

Grade: A+

Tight End:

Beau Sandland, Woodland Hills (CA) Pierce C.C.

Standish Dobard, New Orleans (LA) Edna Karr HS

Miami was looking to aggressively add to this position after not signing a single player in last year’s class. Miami ideally was looking for 2-3 guys if they were the right mix of people. Miami essentially let two other TE commitments (Jeremy Kerr and Travis Johnson) walk because of how they felt with the talent they had. In Sandland they have an NFL ready talent today. He should immediately provide a level to the passing game at TE that was simply not there before and be the next in line of Miami Hurricanes TE’s in the NFL. With Dobard they got a well rounded talent to groom and one of the better options on the board for them at the position. All in all, this is about as good as class as you can hope for at this spot. Really strong job overall.

Grade: A

Offensive Line:

Alex Gall, Cincinnati (OH) Moeller HS

Sonny Odogwu, Fork Union (VA) Fork Union Military Academy

Hunter Knighton, Princeton (NJ) The Hun School

Given the dearth of great in state OL talent this cycle, the Canes made out ok here. They didn’t land any headliners or difference makers but they did get a good mix of solid contributors and long term potential to develop which is a step in the right direction, given that the needs along the OL aren’t immediate. Gall is the best of the bunch and likely a Tyler Horn type that can be a solid, if unspectacular starter for a couple years here. Knighton is a kid that camped and really impressed and it’s hard to fault the staff for that. Odogwu is the least impressive on film but comes with massive upside and looks like a boom or bust type. Next year’s OL class will need to really add to the mix but this one should serve its needs just fine. They Kirkland situation was obviously the big mistake here but outside of that one player, I’m not sure who else was a real option for that to make this class that much better.

Grade: B-

Defensive End:

Aquadin Muhammed, Ramsey (NJ) Don Bosco Prep

Devante Bond, Roseville (CA) Sierra C.C.

Miami really loaded up on ends in last year’s cycle so this year wasn’t a must for the post. If they could get a guy they really liked then great, if not then no big deal. They are really expecting the growth at this spot to come from some of the talent on the roster. Nonetheless, Miami did really well here. By stealing Muhammed from Notre Dame, Miami got probably the single best DE target on their entire board and a kid that should pay dividends immediately. Add the that the signing of JUCO Devante Bond who should add immediately pass rush help from both the stand up and down positions and Miami pretty much addressed exactly what it needed to. Immediate pass rush help and a top 50 overall talent at a spot that wasn’t really a major focus for Miami this cycle is something to hang your hat on.

Grade: A

Defensive Tackle:

Ufomba Kamalu, El Dorado (KS) Butler C.C.

This was arguably Miami’s biggest need in the 2013 class and the one area they struggled with the most. Missing on Bostwick and Bryant might have been the single biggest issue with this signing class. As it stands, they did get a tiny bit of help in the former of JUCO Ufomba Kamalu but he’s raw for a kid that only has 3 years of eligibility left and isn’t ready to see the field for major snaps yet. Pairing him wih the 3 DT’s signed in 2012 should help cover up any depth issues in the future but there is a dearth of impact pocket pushing talent that Miami simple has failed to address. Even with Kamalu, it’s hard not to see this position as a total failure this cycle.

Grade: F

Linebacker:

Jermaine Grace, Miramar (FL) Miramar

Alex Figueroa, Fork Union (VA) Fork Union Military Academy

Miami’s big fish in this class, Matthew Thomas, got away from them and that is the one big sting that hurts but overall, they did a solid job. Figueroa is a big ranging LB that looks like exactly the type of kid that Golden can develop into one of those “where did he come from?” types and Grace is arguably the best local linebacker in the after Thomas. Miami put together a solid LB class last year but was still looking at add another 2-3 to that. They should’ve done a little better at this spot that they did, but I’s not a failure by any means. The fact that Bond can help this area out immediately as well does factor in some.

Grade: C+

Cornerback:

Artie Burns, Miami (FL) Northwestern

Burns might be the single best pure talent of any position in this class. He’ll likely get some looks at safety too but CB seems to be the place for him to start after the Finnie ordeal. Prior to that ordeal, Miami felt fine at CB and didn’t need to bring in anyone else for this class. They tried to land Robinson late after determining early in the cycle that Hargreaves and Alexander were simply not feasible for them. They really only needed one body to get some sub-package snaps and develop long term and Burns is a really good one. Robinson would’ve put this class over the top, but as is, this is a strong showing.

Grade: A

Safety:

Ray Lewis III, Lakeland (FL) Lake Mary Prep

Jamal Carter, Miami (FL) Southridge

Safety was one of Miami’s bigger needs this class mostly for depth and backup purposes. Getting another CB and allowing Burns to play safety would’ve put this class over the top and long term he still might end up there so that gets taken into account. But as it stands, Carter is regarded as the best talent at that spot that Miami could land and they secured him. Lewis is a depth add that should help in a small role over time. I felt that passing on talents like Ahmad Thomas early in the cycle was a mistake and it’s showed now, He would’ve been the type to put this class over the top. They did a good job here, but not a great job.

Grade: B+

Overall:

Outside of the glaring miss at DT, Miami generally did a good job of filling their needs with some of the better talents that were there for them. Some of the bigger NSD guys like Thomas, Robinson, and Collins would’ve put this class over the top but still, Miami did a solid job of address key areas of the roster and putting a solid overall class together. It’s not the star packed class that 2012 was or that 2014 hopes to be, but it’s a solid step in the right direction.

Final Grade: 3.22 GPA (B/B+)

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