Miami Hurricanes Recruiting Radar Pt 2: Rants and Rumors

Braxton Berrios' work at The Opening earned him his coveted scholarship offer from The U - USA TODAY Sports

In part 2 of the monthly Recruiting Radar, Lt. Philip Nolan and Cameron Underwood address some of their least favorite recruiting narratives, and look at the chatter around other prospects on Miami's recruiting board

You guys already know what's coming, so there's no need to give you lots of prose. Let's just jump right in.

Rant 1: This is Cam's Last Stand

There have been a few other developments on the recruiting trail. Before we got to the majority of those, I would like to take a moment and answer a question (really THE QUESTION) for the ABSOLUTE LAST TIME regarding a certain recruit:

If you follow me on twitter (@MiramarSports) you may have seen the many, many times I have addressed this. Let me take a moment in this space to answer this question for the 937th, and final, time:

The disconnect between Wilson and Miami is simple: Wilson sees himself as a Cornerback, while Golden and Co. see him exclusively as a Safety/Fringe OLB prospect. This has been discussed between the Wilson and Golden, and both sides are vehement in their stances. I have also had this information independently confirmed from numerous sources with knowledge of the situation.

So, in short: Quincy Wilson wants to play Corner and ONLY Corner. Golden sees him at Safety or maybe OLB if he puts on enough weigh, but NOT AT ALL as a Corner. Both sides have made it clear that they are firm in their stances, and will not budge. As such, there is not, and will not, be a place for Quincy Wilson in this class.

*Interesting note from a recruiting analyst* Tom Loy, writer for the Notre Dame 24/7 site recently posted this article where he talks about Quincy Wilson...THE SAFETY. So, basically, it's a problem when Miami classifies him as a Safety, but it's all good for other teams to do the same. Got it.

I am not saying Quincy Wilson is a bad player. He's a good player. I have gone on record MANY TIMES saying I would like to see him in this class. I believe that at his true position, Safety, he can be a high level contributor and central player for any team. He has that kind of talent. However, due to the facts that I have already stated, that is not going to happen.

Both sides in this situation have accepted this reality and moved on. I suggest that Canes fans follow their lead and do the same.

Rant 2: More about Positions

While the previous rant was my last stand on one particular player, there is another issue that I feel needs appropriate discussion: Position preference and "fits".

In football, as in life, every individual is entitled to their own preferences and opinions. Some players want to play offense. Others, defense. While those preferences are perfectly fine, there is no guarantee that they will be met by the coaches/team/organizations they play for.

Since I know there will be plenty of people citing me for "undue assault on a teenager" for my previous rant, let me give some other examples in this current class as it pertains to positions and "fits". Miami Booker T. Washington ATH Treon Harris plays QB for his high school team. Harris, the son of legendary Booker T . coach Tim "Ice" Harris, and brother of former UM CB Brandon Harris, is a very good athlete who has many positive traits. Unfortunately for Treon, height is not one of them. Al Golden and Co. have told him they will not bring him in to play QB, but would love to have him as an ATH, presumably ending up at DB. The younger Harris was wholly opposed to that at first, but has seemed to come to terms with that reality.

Another player who has long been linked with "position preference" talk is West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman WR Travis Rudolph. Early in the recruiting process (and even as recently as Nike's The Opening) people have speculated that Rudolph's best position is probably Cornerback. However, Rudolph is wholly committed to playing on offense. It seems that teams, including Miami (to whom he was once committed), have given in to this request. This happens for one reason and one reason only: the player is good enough to dictate where he should play.

Another big component to any recruiting class is "fit". This can mean different things: does the player fit the system? Does the player have the skills that the coaches are looking for at a given position? Is there space in the class for a particular player?

I'll give you 2 examples of "fit", one good, one bad. Miami Jackson QB Quinton Flowers is a bad fit for Miami. He is a VERY GOOD High School QB, but he is undersized and lacks elite arm strength, something that James Coley has been keen on recruiting, as evidenced by the QBs Miami has committed to this class. Flowers is a very good player. He will play well in someone's system at the next level. However, he doesn't fit what Miami is looking for or wants from their QBs.

Santaluches WR Darrell Langham is a good fit for Miami. He is a tall receiver with good speed, and fits a role in the passing game. He was not widely recruited, and doesn't fit the bill as a "Must Get Player" in the eyes of many, but in the estimation of the UM coaches, this was a perfect player to bring in.

Lastly, a player's fit may be relative to scholarship numbers. I'll keep this point short: Miami can't take every single college level athlete from South Florida. There are simply too many. And, just like there are kids who want to be Hurricanes, there are plenty who have no interest in playing for Miami. It happens. So, please save your outrage that [insert player here] "got away". Or that Miami recruited player X and discounted player Y.

Here's a partial list of players from South Florida who are good or VERY GOOD who don't have, and in all likelihood won't get scholarship offers: Quincy Wilson. Richard Yeargin III. Sean White. Andre Godfrey. Quinton Flowers. Steve Ishmael. Trumaine Washington. Michael Johnson. Deion Hallmon. Those guys are all going to big time BCS level schools. But, for whatever reason, Miami either doesn't need them, doesn't want them, or doesn't have room for them. That's just the way things work.

There's an old saying that goes: "You can please all of the people some of the time, and you can please some of the people all the time, but you can't please all the people all the time." When it comes to recruiting, that couldn't be more true.

Rant 3: Camps/evaluations/offers

Lt. Philip Nolan here. I'm sure, since most of you follow the blog's Twitter account, that my rant on this subject last month was seen. This is something that came to a head with questions thrown my way recently about why Miami coaches and fans were getting so worked up about a bunch of 3 star recruits. These questions were from no one in particular, but rather a large group of people that seem to have completely lost touch with what recruiting actually is. So, to that end, let me break things down for you.

To start with, recruiting isn't about you, your friends, your family, or that guy your cousin knows who goes to the same high school as that one recruit. Recruiting, at its core, is about coaches evaluating players they like, and deciding whether or not to offer them the chance to play football for their school. Coaches don't give two shits about star rankings. Sure, they know whether or not a kid is 5 star or a 2 star, because that ranking system is everywhere, but all they care about is whether or not the kid can play.

The star ranking is a mostly arbitrary system put in place by a bunch of scouts to try and determine how good a kid is. A 5 star kid usually is a guy who can come in to basically any system and play right away, without a ton of work. The lower you get on the star system, the more work a recruit may need before being field ready. Of course, there are kids who get low rankings because they aren't to the talent level of a major university, but that isn't the only thing that a low star ranking means.

If you, as a fan, base your opinion of how your school is doing on the recruiting trail solely upon how many 4 and 5 star kids have signed on, you are wasting your damn time. 5 star kids don't always pan out. Just like not every 2 star kid amounts to nothing. Both of these things have been proven time and again. Is the ratio of 5 star kids that end up as good players higher than that of 2 star kids? Absolutely. But a coaching staff would drive their careers into the ground if they only tried to get 4 and 5 star kids, and ignored the rest of the talent pool.

The reason you should be excited about Miami landing 5 commits that are mostly 3 stars is two-fold. For one, these are local kids (which all of you seem to care about) for the most part, but not only that, they can play. They are really good athletes. The second part of the reason is that it's freaking JULY. These kids have their entire senior years to play football and increase their image with the scouts. A 3 star in July may very well wind up a 4 or even a 5 star by February. On the same token, a 5 star kid in July may wind up losing a star or two with an uninspired senior year.

The bottom line is, Miami landed 5 very important recruits. Be happy about the fact that this program is back to a place where we can land 5 recruits in the span of two days. Forget all that crap about stars, and most of all, quit whining like a bunch of spoiled brats about these recruits not being as highly ranked as you would like. It isn't your decision to make. I don't care how many high school games you have been to, or whether or not you actually played the game of football. I would put money on the fact that Miami's coaches know more about this game than you do. They are paid to do this, they are literally handed money to go out and not only find kids that can play, but to coach them up, develop them, and win games. So far, that's what this staff has been doing.

On the subject of DT recruiting

It's July. Complaining about recruiting now is like eating a bunch of grapes and bitching about why it isn't wine. You have to wait.

Also, to all of those Miami fans who spend all day pointing fingers at schools like Alabama, and saying things like "they played for the title because they recruit 4/5 star DT's", I have a couple of things to say to you. First of all, according to Rivals, Alabama hasn't brought in a 5 star DT since 2009, you know, when the national title players would have started to be recruited. They brought in 3 and 4 star DT's, and about a 50/50 split, at that. They did what Miami is aiming to do, bring in talented guys that fit their scheme, and coach them up.

You want to spend your time pointing at all those other schools and making un-researched and unfounded claims about their recruiting, and why Miami's doing a terrible job? I'm fairly sure that those school's apparel and logos are easy to find. Go buy some.

Other blips on the Radar

  • Homestead WR Ermon Lane is the top receiver in this class nationally. He's a 5 star talent who holds offers from nearly every major BCS level school. And, much like Brad Kaaya is recruiting on behalf of Miami, it would appear that Sony Michel is recruiting on behalf of Georgia.

The fact that Sony is trying to convince Lane to join him in Athens is sure to draw the ire of Canes fans, and rightfully so. That being said, the main point to take away from Lane's tweet is that there is a LONG TIME before he makes his decision.

For whatever reason, Miami has seemed to fall behind in recent months. As of now, this is looking like a heads up battle between Florida and Alabama, with Miami on the outside looking in. That being said, it's still July, and Lane won't announce his decision until Signing Day in February. Not the best news for Canes fans, I know, but that's where we are right now.

  • *UPDATE* Saw these tweets late on Sunday night. Take them as you will:

For the record, the player Lane is referencing in his avatar picture is Quincy Wilson. Yes, THAT Quincy Wilson. Also, I know you noticed, as I did, the repeated use of the past tense in those tweets. While it's still A VERY LONG WAY UNTIL SIGNING DAY, Canes fans might want to prepare themselves for a 2014 recruiting class that doesn't include Ermon Lane.

  • There is beginning to be a bit more chatter that Miami Central RB Dalvin Cook may be warming to the idea of joining teammates Trevor Darling and Joseph Yearby in Coral Gables. While it appears Cook's commitment to UF is solid at this point, people close to his recruitment are starting to think that the continued recruiting efforts of Darling and Yearby are having a positive effect for Miami. Nothing is imminent, but this bears watching.
  • As an aside, Yearby recently said in an interview that he was told by the coaches that he is the only RB they're bringing in this year. So, unless he and Darling are able to flip their teammate Cook, don't expect to see another player at this position join the class of 2014.
  • Another top target in this year's class is close to a decision, as Miami Booker T. Washington CB Nigel Bethel II is set to announce his college choice in early/mid July. If the name doesn't look familiar, that's because Bethel II recently changed his last name from Patten. In either case, he is a very talented player who the staff is very high on. With Demetrius Jackson on board, adding Bethel II would give the Canes 2 in-house recruiters to work on top target DE Chad Thomas. I'm sure that added bonus would be a welcomed development for the Canes.
  • *UPDATE* Bethel II will not be announcing today. You can see why in the tweet below. That being said, all signs point to him committing to the Canes whenever his decision comes
  • Along those same lines of commits recruiting a teammate, it's clear that Miami Northwestern WR JoJo Robinson, an FSU Commit, is being worked on by Miami pledges Ryan Mayes and Mike Smith. Popular consensus is that Robinson is going to end up a Cane. Still, there's a ways to go in this particular story, and it will probably last through the season.
  • Also, in case you weren't paying attention, those last few points have the Canes in on at least 9 prospects from 3 top local Miami schools. But, Al Golden doesn't recruit the inner city. Alright then. Back to the recruiting rumors....
  • The search for impact defenders to join this class continues, and a new target has emerged. Seffner Armwood DB Kyle Gibson named Miami as one of his 5 finalists. Gibson is a very good player who plays for a top notch high school program. Many see Vanderbilt as the team to beat, but with the recruiting momentum that Miami has built recently, this is a situation that bears watching.
  • St. Thomas Aquinas DT Anthony Moten may not be as solid in his commitment to UF as he once was. Moten was recently quoted as saying he is "85% committed" right now, and is considering his options. Reports surfaced that Moten was in the process of de-committing from UF, but had a last second change of heart. Miami has stayed persistent in their recruitment of Moten, and figure to stay involved all the way until Signing Day.
  • Speaking of players being "less than fully committed to the school they're currently committed to" (that was a mouthful), indications are that Hialeah QB Alin Edouard is very close to de-committing from Miami. With the emergence of Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier, who both seem to have eclipsed Edouard as the favorite/most coveted recruits at the QB position, this news surely isn't shocking. Edouard has, to his credit, has played the part of the good recruit and repeatedly stated that he is 100% solid to Miami. However, that is little more than public grandstanding at this point. He's as good as gone.
  • One of the most interesting prospects on the board still for Miami is Raleigh (NC) Leesvile Road WR Braxton Berrios. A perfect slot receiver with outstanding athleticism, Berrios had an impressive performance at Nike's The Opening. This performance caught the attention of QB Commit Brad Kaaya, who has taken up the task of trying to get Berrios an offer from Miami. Berrios camped in Miami early in June, but left without an offer. It bears watching to see if his recent performance, and Kaaya's ringing endorsement, cause the Canes to reconsider.
  • *UPDATE* - the Kaaya endorsement and Berrios' performance at The Opening led to Al Golden extending the much awaited scholarship offer to Berrios. With his family ties to South Florida, and well chronicled love for the Canes, it's hard to think that Berrios will wait too long before committing.
That's it for the Recruiting Radar. We've looked at Hits and Misses, and Rants and Rumors. What's your take? Join the discussion and leave a comment below.

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