The month of March and early April was very good for Miami Hurricanes recruiting. What's happened since then? Joe Garcia, Lt. Philip Nolan, and Cameron Underwood take a look:
Who We Got
- Everybody knows that Defensive Tackle is a position of GREAT need for the future. The Canes started to address this area by gaining a commitment from Pearl River (MS) CC/Defuniak Springs (Fla) Walton DT Dalvon Stuckey. The 6'3" 300lb Stuckey is doubly valuable: he's a much needed addition to the Canes class for 2013, and he's now removed from the class for the school to which he had signed in 2012: Florida State. Miami hasn't been too successful in the past couple of classes recruiting head to head against FSU, but Stuckey's commitment may be the beginning of a positive trend in this area.
- Early on Monday morning, Brennan Carroll dropped a tweet that has become a favorite of Canes fans.
#WelcomeToTheU !!!!!— Brennan Carroll (@brennanpcarroll) May 13, 2013
Affectionately known as "The Bat Signal" this tweet does 2 things: lets the Twitterverse know that Miami has gained a commit, and starts the speculation as to which recruit has given his pledge to Miami.
After much speculation as to when it would happen, we quickly received word from multiple outlets that the player is in fact priority target Brad Kaaya, a QB from West Hills (CA) Chaminade . Kaaya himself seemed pleased with his decision
Officially a Miami Hurricane and have no intent on going anywhere else.— Brad Kaaya (@TrinidadBrad) May 13, 2013
Feels great to be a Hurricane. Fan base second to none, coaching staff is very experienced, best athletes in the U.S., and I ❤ THE CITY 🌴🌞🌇— Brad Kaaya (@TrinidadBrad) May 13, 2013
Kaaya is a very talented player, standing 6'4" 214lbs, with a plus arm and advanced coverage reading ability. He was identified early on by James Coley as a priority target, and Miami was his first offer back in early March. Along with Hialeah's Alin Edouard, Kaaya gives the Hurricanes 2 QB commits in this class. He is a 3 star player now, but his stock figures to rise throughout the spring evaluation period and his senior season. This is a HUGE, MAJOR GET by the staff. You can read Lt. Nolan's take on Kaaya's commitment here
- With the addition of Stuckey and Kaaya, the Canes are now up to 8 commits for the class of 2014. There is a lot of positive momentum, and Al Golden and Co. are looking to maintain or elevate that momentum through the summer and a (hopefully) successful season.
Who We Lost
- Obviously, the big name that got away was Plantation (Fla) American Heritage 5 star RB Sony Michel. Michel, one of the top players in the country and a long time Canes target, elected to give his verbal commit to the University of Georgia on April 26th. This was a development that wasn't a surprise, but that doesn't make it any less painful. To many fans and pundits, Michel was a "can't miss/must get" player for a variety of reasons. As it stands now, the Canes missed and didn't get him. There have been rumors and conjecture as to exactly WHY Michel chose Georgia, but I'll let that stay on twitter and message boards.
- Even with Kaaya and Edouard on board, the staff stays hot on the trail of a few more QB prospects. At the top of this list is Mobile (AL) Faith Academy QB Malik Rosier. Rosier went on record and stated that Miami was his leader BEFORE he even received an offer. Once he did, it was pretty clear that Miami stood a great chance to land his services. Behind Rosier stands Charlotte (NC) West Mecklenburg QB Jalan McClendon, who has said that his top two schools by far are Miami and NC State. McClendon is a bit more of a project than Kaaya or Rosier, but is still a good talent.
- Another player who is high on Miami is San Antonio (TX) Roosevelt CB Arrion Springs. A 5'11" speedster with good coverage skills, Springs is an admitted Canes fan, and had been anxiously awaiting an offer from his favorite school. He has recently said in interviews that Miami and Oregon are in front, in that order. Springs has plans to visit both Coral Gables and Eugene this summer. If he likes what he sees, he could commit to either school. But, Miami is the clear front runner as of this moment.
- Speaking of Edouard, even though he still remains committed to Miami, there has been speculation for a while that his commitment was a bit shaky. He has stated multiple times that he is looking around, although he claims that its more or less just due diligence. With today's pickup of Kaaya, however, the talk of Alin bolting became more prevalent, with Louisville the likely landing spot if he does ultimately leave. However, it was updated a bit after the Kaaya dust settled that James Coley had called Alin's coach, informed him that his offer still stood, and the reports back were than Alin was ready to compete. Whether that remains the case moving forward remains to be seen.
- Over the last few weeks, Miami coaches have seemingly made a more aggressive push to get former commitment Travis Rudolph back in the fold. Rudolph had previously de-commited and has strong interest in Florida but has seemingly settled in and changed his perspective towards Miami. From Miami's stance, it doesn't seem much has changed they still badly want him as a defensive back and that ultimately might send him elsewhere as he wants to play WR but this is shaping up as a solid Miami/Florida battle at the moment now that things most of the issues leading to his de-commitment seem to have been smoothed over.
- On the WR board, Miami is likely looking at taking 2 or 3 this cycle with Ermon Lane being the big prize that Miami will wait on until the end. Lane has Miami and Bama out in front with Florida looming as the main darkhorse option. After Lane the options are plenty, JoJo Robinson is looking like a matter of time before he flips to the Canes at this point and Johnnie Dixon might be the next highest priority after Lane and is a player the coaches would desperately like to land. His will be an interesting case study as Dwyer has historically been a big UF pipeline and they look to be shaping up as Miami's main competition at the moment. This is Miami's 1st real push for a player from Dwyer since Jacoby Brissett in 2011 and rumors are abound that Dwyer coach might not be too happy with Florida coaches are the way they handled him. It's something to keep an eye on to see if Miami can get their foot in the door and pull out a star player like Dixon.
- Last month, we said Miami (Fla) Northwestern DE/LB Michael Smith was leaning toward a commitment, even going so far as saying the chances of him ending up a Cane were "90%". The waiting game with Smith continues, but there has been nothing to indicate that his stance on Miami has changed. Smith has said that he wants to announce after his spring football session, so it could be any day now.
- While there aren't names associated with them yet, there has been talk of a few big name DT's (Yes, dear readers, DEFENSIVE TACKLES) that will be committing to Miami in the coming weeks. I tried digging a bit into this to see if I could get a read on who they might be, but so far have come up empty handed. There is quite a list of players that could fit this bill, names like Trevonte Valentine, Anthony Moten, Khairi Clark, Julio Derosier (JUCO), Thomas Holley, and Lamont Gaillard. Landing any of these two would be great for Miami, but getting more than two is definitely something the Canes would like. If I had to put my absolute best guess on who the likely culprits are, I would put my money on Valentine and Derosier. Valentine has said recently that he very well could commit, and that Miami was more or less in the lead for him. While his commitment would certainly be labelled by many to be one not to bank on until the ink is dry, he would be a huge get. Derosier is a JUCO kid who has been on Miami's radar recently. There has even been talk of him taking a few classes and being able to enroll as part of the 2013 class, which would be fantastic.
- Campers! Miami's has their annual camps coming up in the next few weeks and without a doubt we can expect some new names to pop up, some familiar names to receive offers, and a new commit or two will emerge from the process.