Juniors: Ladarius Gunter
Sophomores: Antonio Crawford, Tracy Howard
Freshmen: Corn Elder, Artie Burns, Nate Dortch (RS), Larry Hope (RS)
The top 3-4 guys at this spot seem locked in for the near future with Gunter having locked down one starting job for the next couple seasons. Tracy Howard and Antonio Crawford are locked into a heated battle for the other starting job but given the nature of offenses in today’s game, all 3 will be given a full complement of snaps with true freshman Artie Burns appearing to be next in line to see the field. Nate Dortch has shown signs of life as a developmental player and should be a contributor down the line some.
This team however is a little thin on numbers given that Elder could easily make the move to offense and there’s precious little depth should injuries arrive.
Numbers:Miami current has 7 CB’s on the roster with only 4 truly ready to play right now and that is definitely a little light for the position. Ideally Miami would like to add 3-4 more bodies to this spot in the 2014 cycle to give the team the added depth for the ’14 season as well as bonafide talent to groom as the next in line once Howard, Crawford, and Gunter start to get older.
Current Commitments: Ryan Mayes (3*), Dennis Turner (NR)
Current Targets: Chris Lammons (4*), Nigel Bethel II (4*), Kyle Gibson (4*) Miami has already done a good job of landing a couple pieces to this class and getting it close to wrapped up early. Mayes was an unknown when he committed at one of the Golden Camps a few weeks ago but his tape shows a solid build with talent to mold and elite length to match the ideal CB that the staff covets. He’s since been bumped in to the high 3* range on every service and looks like a good building block for this class.
Turner is another commit fresh from the Golden Camps but is a total unknown to most fans and recruitniks because of his lack of public film. He appears to bring a decent size/speed combo as a developmental prospect but it’s impossible to gauge how he can impact this team until we are able to see some film.
Miami is looking to finish with 1-2 of the uncommitted guys listed above to top off this class. Nigel Bethel II seems like the most likely to end up at Miami presently. He’s a shad undersized but comes with great quickness, a nose for the ball, and some polish that might let him see the field early on. He was scheduled to announce this past Monday but decided to delay this announce until he reached a point in his decision making where he could wrap up his recruiting process for good. That type of level headed approach is always a plus to see.
Chris Lammons might be the best pure talent on Miami’s board but the high school QB is also very raw to the position. He appears to be coming down to a mostly Miami/UF battle but will likely take a while before deciding. He was considered a Cane lean early but momentum has seemed to swing in favor of the Gators a little of late.
Gibson is a relatively new offer for the Canes at the position and recently put Miami into his top 5. The Canes have ground to make up but have seemingly given themselves a shot to get in the mix for the Tampa star.
It’s worth noting, that at this moment, with the exception of Gibson, all the main targets hail from South Florida.
How do they fit?:
As I do with each installment of this series, I will take a look at how this cycle could impact the 2015 team which is a couple of years down the road. We’ll go ahead and add Bethel to the projected class as he looks like the most likely piece to top off the 2014 CB cycle for Miami although they would surely make room for Lammons as well if he decides he wants in too. That brings the updated depth chart for the 2015 season to this (Keep in mind that doesn’t include any 2015 signees):
This brings our depth chart to a nice round projection of 9 for the 2015 season with plenty of top tier upperclassmen talent and nice mix of young projectable players as well. There’s likely to be a little attrition at this spot over the next couple years as is normal for any position but when factoring in the future addition of recruits from the 2015 cycle, this should keep Miami right around the double digit range which is where they would like to stay.
Previous Positions Profiled in This Series: