Recruiting 2014: State of the Wide Receivers

Johnnie Dixon - InsideTheU/247sports

After having Miami's prize 2013 recruit enrolled in classes and finally make it campus, we take a look the next class of recruits at the position and how it stacks up against the roster.

Current Team:

Seniors: Allen Hurns

Juniors: Phillip Dorsett, Rashawn Scott

Sophomores: Herb Waters, Malcolm Lewis

Freshmen: Jontavious Carter, D’Mauri Jones, Stacy Coley, Derrick Griffin (assuming he qualifies)

Miami actually doesn’t have much issue after this season. Allen Hurns is a nice WR and a dependable option but he’s the only one leaving and thus should be replaceable from within simply by having guys get more experience and grow into bigger roles.

Long term things get a little more hairy. Within two years the Canes will be losing at least 3 of their top 4 WRs. Couple that with the fact that D’Mauri Jones has reportedly not shown much to this point and that Derrick Griffin could easily outgrow the WR position if he qualifies and that leaves Miami in a tricky spot. I think it’s safe to assume that Lewis, Waters, and Coley will all be safely established as a top 3 core heading into the 2015 season and Carter (who has reportedly shown some flashes) would hopefully have grown enough to be another solid option. But that’s only 4 guys and not much in the way of depth. That makes the next couple of WR classes pretty important to Miami moving forward.

Numbers:

Miami currently has 9 WR’s which is a solid enough number. Anything around that 10 range is fine. Given that Miami is losing 3 WRs within the next couple seasons and that attrition is part of the norm these days, the coaches are likely looking at bringing in 3 or 4 bodies at the position this year in order to get ahead of the losses going forward and make it easier to reload from year to year instead of constantly having to throw kids to the wolves when they should be redshirting.

2014 Recruits:

Current Commitments: Darrell Langham (3*) Trayon Gray (3* ATH)

Current Targets: Ermon Lane (5*), Travis Rudolph (4*), Johnnie Dixon (4*), JoJo Robinson (3*), Ryeshene Bronson (4*), Braxton Barrios (4*)

As I did last installment, I tried to keep the options to a minimum and give just the main targets.

Starting at the top is the number 1 WR in the country, Ermon Lane out of Homestead. Potentially Miami’s number 1 overall target this class, he is the one truly blue chip player in this class and would step in the play from Day 1 for the Canes. Miami is battlng Bama (who has a slight lead) and UF (who is more of a darkhorse candidate) for his services.

Former Miami commitment Travis Rudolph was originally offered as a DB before decommmiting and naming Florida as his leader. He has since backed off that and now it seems that Miami is pushing pretty close to even with Florida for his services. Believe it or not, Rudolph is one of the more underrated players this class and luckily for Miami, he has ties to them through his star cousin, Former Cane great Devin Hester.

Johnnie Dixon would be the ultimate payoff for Miami after years of putting in work at Dwyer HS in West Palm. Dixon is undersized but explosive with the ball in his hands and would be a natural replacement to fill a role similar to Phillip Dorsett’s. It’s tough to see Miami turning down any of the above 3 talents no matter what and the hope is to be able to land a couple of them.

After the top 3 comes local favorite JoJo Robinson. He is currently committed to Florida State but with two other teammates committed to Miami and rumors swirling everywhere, it’s getting tougher and tougher to envision him not making the switch as well.

Braxton Barrios camped last week ad really pushed hard for an offer but unfortunately, it does not look like one is coming for the undersized slot WR. He is certainly an option that Miami will keep tabs on moving forward in case things don’t work out with their higher rated targets.

Ryeshene Bronson is further down the list but is an option to keep an eye on as Miami has recruited him throughout the cycle so far.

How do they fit?:

For the sake of this exercise, we’ll go ahead and pick a few targets at random just to help us get a sense of what Miami will be looking at for the future of the depth chart. Langham is already committed and Gray could possibly end up playing WR as well. We won’t know until he gets on campus. Let’s say that Miami hits a homerun and is able to add two of the top 3 guys (Dixon looking likely and one of Lane or Rudolph comes as well) in addition to taking JoJo Robinson who they seem to really covet. We’ll assume that Gray ends up on the defensive side of the ball just to keep the WR number at 4 and more or less in line with the total I am projecting for this class. That brings the updated depth chart for the 2015 season to this (Keep in mind that doesn’t include any 2015 signees):

 photo Untitled_zps583aee3b.png

Adding in another 1-2 bodies for the 2015 and this brings Miami in line with the numbers they want to maintain as well and gives good balance and talent throughout the position. 2014 isn’t going to be a massive WR haul. But it is going to be an important one for this team moving forward.

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