Not-So-Scientific Class Study: 2012 Version

Tracy Howard was the Canes most hyped signing - Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

It’s no secret that the 2012 signing class was full of top level talents and some calculated risks as Miami looked to load up on its big 33 man class before the looming NCAA sanctions. With the NCAA news on our heels and 2012 signee’s like Danny Dillard leaving the program recently, we take a look at whether some of those risks and takes paid for off the class as a whole.

No, this isn’t a scientific study, nor is it going to get everyone to agree. This is one man’s opinion of how the class looks so far and what direction it is heading in. The burden here is simple. Contribute a solid amount early on and set yourself up for a big role and you look like a “hit”. Fail to move up the weak depth chart, transfer, or never contribute here and you are a “miss”.

In a study this soon into the process, there’s going to be a fair share of liberties taken and projection involved but that’s the nature of the beast. So sit back and enjoy. I think you’ll be surprised at the results.

Jawand Blue

Linebacker
6'0" 215
Composite Rating: 85 - ***
Boca Raton (FL) West Boca Raton

Breakdown: Blue was a last minute take for Miami on National Signing Day after losing Reggie Northrup to Florida State. While thus far Northrup looks like the safer bet to have a better career, Blue has reportedly been a good clubhouse influence and hard worker. Those traits where at a premium to the staff given the locker room issues in 2012, Blue has yet to contribute much on the field and I’m not sure he will ever be a candidate to start here.

Trending: Too soon to tell

Jacoby Briscoe

Defensive Tackle             
Lafayette (LA) Carencro
6'4" 290
Composite Rating: 87 - ***

Breakdown: Briscoe was a late take based on his play down the stretch of his teams High School Playoff run and the lack of any good defensive tackle options for the Canes. He never really took to Miami and rumors of homesickness hit almost immediately. He spent a year on the scout team, moved to offensive line, and eventually left the program without ever contributing.

Trending: Miss

Deon Bush

Safety
6'1" 185
Composite Rating: 94 - ****
Miami (FL) Columbus

Breakdown: Bush was one of Miami’s biggest local targets for the 2012 class and threw Cane fans into a frenzy when he picked Miami over Alabama and Auburn during the Army All American game. Bush started 6 games as a true freshman last year racking up 34 tackles, 3 pass breakups, and 3 forced fumbles which was good for 2nd in the ACC. He was in the running for ACC defensive rookie of the year and is in line to start at safety heading into this season. If things continue on this track, he should finish as a 3 year starter and NFL draft pick.

Trending: Hit

Jontavious Carter

Wide Receiver
Composite Rating: 85 - ***

6'4" 202

Cordele (GA) Crisp County

Breakdown: Carter committed to Miami after one of their summer camps during the 2012 cycle. He took a redshirt last season but has reportedly shown signs of life and is expected to contribute to the team as a big target in the future. He’s still raw and behinds a few guys so we likely won’t see much of him this coming year but buzz is that he’s got a future on the field for the Hurricanes.

Trending: Too soon to tell

Antonio Crawford

Cornerback
Composite Rating: 84 - ***

5'11" 180

Tampa (FL) Plant

Breakdown: Crawford was a late flip from Georgia Tech that coaches were desperate to land after re-evaluating him during his High School playoff performance. He played in every game for the Canes last season mostly as a 4th corner and special teams gunner. His stat line wasn’t massive but he has reportedly taken a huge step this past offseason and is currently listed as a 1st team Corner heading into the 2012 season. He’s a safe bet to get a bulk of starts this year and his future looks bright.

Trending: Hit

Gray Crow

Quarterback      
Clearwater (FL) Countryside
6'3" 220
Composite Rating: 86 - ***

Breakdown: Crow was one of Miami’s earlier commitments during the cycle. 1 of 3 quarterback’s in the 2012 class. He redshirted last year and is currently sitting 3rd on the depth chart heading into the 2013 season. The Canes were in a position to only have 2 quarterbacks on the roster last year if not for this big quarterback class so the depth was needed and at a minimum he’s been a solid team 1st guy and valuable depth. In that sense, he’ll likely never be a flat out miss but I don't forsee much coming from the quarterbacks in the 2012 class.

Trending: Too soon to tell

Vernon Davis

Cornerback
5'10" 160

Composite Rating: 84- ***

Miami (FL) Coral Reef

Breakdown: Davis was another early commitment for Miami. He left the program almost as soon as he got here. It’s impossible to know if he ever would have done anything here and tough to blame the staff for what appeared to be a  rushed, hasty, and misguided action by the player but nonetheless, he was a wasted marker for the class and that’s never good.

Trending: Miss

Preston Dewey

Quarter Back
Composite Rating: 86- ***

6'3" 205

Austin (TX) St. Andrew's Episcopal School

Breakdown: Dewey was mostly regarded as the best of the trio for the Canes 2012 QB class. He was injured most of his SR year and thus had to sit out most of his turn at the Under Armour All American game. He has been stuck behind fellow signee Gray Crow for his entire career so far and there were rumors about him potentially transferring earlier this offseason, a move that seems likely to happen at some point.

Trending: Miss

Danny Dillard

Running Back
6'2" 205
Composite Rating: 83 - ***

Venice (FL) Venice

Breakdown: Dillard was Miami’s fall back option down the stretch once it became clear that their efforts with Wes Brown and Mike Davis were not going to pay off. They saw him as a complimentary big back to Duke Johnson. Dillard never really took to the role. He redshirted last season and underwhelmed during the few glimpses I got of him. Generally labeled as “soft” by those that got to see him regularly, Dillard just left the Miami program earlier this week.

Trending: Miss

Nate Dortch

Cornerback
5'11" 168             
Composite Rating: 83 - ***

Fort Myers (FL) South Fort Myers

Breakdown: Dortch was a fan favorite because of was flipped from the Butch Davis lead Tar Heels and seemed like a typical Butch style underrated Corner. That has seemed true to form so far. He redshirted last season to put some weight on him, a process that will likely take another year to complete. He is pushing Artie Burns for the 4th cornerback job right now and flashed a few times during the spring game. It’s early, but he looks like a kid that will be a pretty good contributor here down the road.

Trending: Too soon to tell

Ereck Flowers

Offensive Tackle
6'6" 315
Composite Rating: 93 - ****

Miami (FL) Miami Norland

Breakdown: Flowers was mostly known for being the main cog in offensive line that plowed holes for Duke Johnson in High School. He continued that in college. Flowers started 4 games as a true freshman last year and played in all 12 mostly as a swing tackle. This year he has been so good that he forced incumbent left tackle Malcolm Bunche inside to guard and looks like he will be a fixture on the left side for the next 3 years.

Trending: Hit

Taylor Gadbois

Offensive Tackle
6'8" 300
Composite Rating: 85 - ***

Fork Union (VA) Fork Union Military Academy

Breakdown: Gadbois was originally signed and placed as part of the 2011 class before finally enrolling as for of the 2012 signing class. Loved by Cane fans for being the kid with the Orange and Green bedroom growing up, Gadbois reportedly struggled with focus during his initial adjustment to Miami. Lately he seems to have started to put it together and shown glimpses of the talent that had the staff recruiting him for 2 full cycles. He’s buried behind a slew of NFL caliber players on the offensive line right now but will be in the mix once some of those guys start to move on.

Trending: Too soon to tell

Ladarius Gunter       

Cornerback         
Fort Scott (KS) Fort Scott C.C.
6'2" 200
Composite Rating: 82 - ***

Breakdown: Gunter entered Miami as a Sophomore from JUCO after they evaluated a handful of JUCO options at that spot including local favorite Tony Grimes. A large Cornerback, Gunter played well last year, starting 5 games and really coming on down the stretch of ACC play. He recorded 8 tackles against UNC, 2 PBU’s against FSU, 3 PBU’s against UVA, and intercepted his 1st pass against VT. He’s locked and loaded as the #1 CB on the depth chart heading into this season.

Trending: Hit

Jelani Hamilton

Defensive Line
6'5" 250
Composite Rating: 95- ****

Fort Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas

Breakdown: Coming off a knee injury he suffered in HS, Hamilton played sparingly last season. Word is that he’s just now finally getting back to full health and should be part of the defensive line rotation this year in a bigger capacity. Jury is still out on him but he’s got more than enough time and talent to put it all together.

Trending: Too soon to tell

Dwayne Hoilett

Defensive End  
Vero Beach (FL) Vero Beach
6'3" 214
Composite Rating: 87 - ***

Breakdown: Hoilett camped 3 times in order to earn his offer and finally won the staff over with his attitude and work ethic. Those traits have continued at Miami, which as previously noted, were in short supply heading into the 2012 signing class. He redshirted last year and has reportedly shown enough flashes in practice to have coaches hopeful that he will eventually turn into a solid rotational lineman.

Trending: Too soon to tell

Larry Hope

Cornerback
Miami (FL) American
5'11" 165             
Composite Rating: 83 - ***

Breakdown: Full disclosure here, Hope might have been my personal least favorite take of the 2012 signing class (save for TE Brandon Holifield who the staff wisely parted ways with). Thus far Hope is mostly in the same boat as his predecessor on this list, Dwyane Hoilett. He redshirted last year and looks significantly better from a physical standpoint. He has yet to contribute and likely won’t in the near future, but has reportedly flashed some in practices and might be able to help out down the road.

Trending: Too soon to tell

Tracy Howard

Cornerback        
Miramar (FL) Miramar
5'11" 175
Composite Rating: 98 - *****

Breakdown: Howard was the biggest National Signing Day pull of the Miami class and it’s most hyped recruit. While he hasn’t yet lived up to his massive 5 star billing, he has been a solid player thus far. Tracy played in every game last season earning his 1st start against Duke at the end of last season. He’s struggled some early in the year but really started to come on late in the season earning more and more playing time as the year went on. He finished the year with 4 PBU’s and is currently listed as a co-starter with Antonio Crawford at one cornerback spot. Whether he becomes the starter in name or not likely won’t matter as he’s locked in as a top 3 corner for the Canes and will end up seeing a starter’s compliment of snaps this year.

Trending: Hit

Daniel Isidora

Offensive Guard
Weston (FL) Cypress Bay
6'3" 330
Composite Rating: 88 - ***

Breakdown: Isidora was the one kid that I felt was likely the most underrated of the signing class during the 2012 cycle. I was really looking forward to seeing how he responded for his 1st playing time this year after redshirting last year to get his body college ready. Unfortunately, Isidora suffered a leg injury in camp and might now be out for the year. He was one of the 8 kids that Golden has previously mentioned as being ready to play now along the offensive line so hopefully he can come back stronger.

Trending: Too soon to tell

Dequan Ivery

Defensive Tackle
Lake City (FL) Columbia
6'1" 310
Composite Rating: 82 - ***

Breakdown: Ivery falls into a similar boat as Briscoe. He was a National Signing Day pledge flipped from Louisville, after the staff searched far and wide for good options at the position. Ivery was a wide body that they hoped would give them some potential to develop into a capable Nose Tackle for their odd fronts. He played sparingly late last season before leaving the program.

Trending: Miss

Angelo Jean-Louis

Wide Receiver
Wellington (FL) Beach Central
6'0" 185
Composite Rating: 95 - ****

Breakdown: Affectionately known as AJL by fans, he was signed and place by Miami and never got his grades together in Prep School thus enrolling with Marshall as part of the 2013 class. Coaches showed foresight in this same class by moving on from A.J. Leggett when it was clear his grades would not get him in to Miami. It’s a shame that they did not see the same situation brewing with AJL.

Trending: Miss

Rayshawn Jenkins  

Safety
Tampa (FL) Admiral Farragut Academy
6'2" 185
Composite Rating: 85 - ***

Breakdown: Jenkins was flipped from USF during the 2012 cycle and was a huge pull for the staff who had fallen in love with his massive upside. Jenkins played in almost every game last season and even started 2 of them. With 27 tackles, 1 interception, and 3 PBU’s, he made him mark when he was on the field. Currently slated as a sub-package defender heading into the year, chances are strong that he will take over the starting spot opposite Deon Bush at some point and turn into a multi-year starter for the Canes.

Trending: Hit

Randy “Duke”  Johnson

Running Back
Miami (FL) Miami Norland
5'9" 180
Composite Rating: 98 - *****

Breakdown: Taken off of his Official team Profile Page:

2012 ALL-AMERICA, SECOND TEAM (Walter Camp)

2012 ALL-AMERICA, THIRD TEAM (CBSSports.com)

2012 ALL-AMERICA, HONORABLE MENTION (SI)

2012 FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICA (FWAA) - KR

2012 FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICA, FIRST TEAM (Phil Steele) - KR

2012 FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICA, SECOND TEAM (CFN, Phil Steele) - RB

2012 ALL-FRESHMAN (CBSSports.com)

2012 ALL-ACC, FIRST TEAM (Phil Steele, CBSSports.com)

2012 ALL-ACC, SECOND TEAM (ACSMA, coaches, Phil Steele)

2012 ACC OVERALL & OFFENSIVE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR (ACSMA, coaches)

2012 ACC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR (Sporting News)

2012 SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Need I say more?

Trending: Hit

D'Mauri Jones  

Wide Receiver
Leesburg (FL) Leesburg
6'4" 190
Composite Rating: 84 - ***

Breakdown: Jones was the 2nd of the jumbo WR’s Miami took in this class. While Carter has some buzz has flashed, the talk about Jones has been largely non-existent. That’s typically not a good thing for a WR. He redshirted last year and has yet to see the field so there’s still time for him to make an impact.

Trending: Too soon to tell

Raphael Kirby

Linebacker       
Stone Mountain (GA) Stephenson
6'0" 208
Composite Rating: 93 - ****

Breakdown: Kirby suffered a knee injury during camp and missed the 1st half of the season. He played in every game during the 2nd half as a backup linebacker and looked increasingly comfortable as the year went on. He’s currently battling with SR Jimmy Gaines for the starting MLB job but will likely see the field a ton this season, especially in 3-4 packages, and should take over that spot in the not too distant future.

Trending: Hit

Malcolm Lewis

Wide Receiver
Miramar (FL) Miramar
5'10" 170
Composite Rating: 90 - ****

Breakdown: Everyone will remember Lewis for his gruesome ankle injury against Georgia Tech last season. Before that game he had earned his 1st career start and looked like a potential go to guy in the slot for the Canes. His recovery from the injury has been a sight to behold so hopefully he can get back on track where he left off but only time will truly tell.

Trending: Too soon to tell

Robert Lockhart

Wide Receiver
Fork Union (VA) Fork Union Military Academy
6'2" 180
Composite Rating: 87 - ***

Breakdown: Lockhart has his redshirt pulled late last season and played sparingly towards the end before finally leaving the program this offseason in search of more playing time.

Trending: Miss

Tyriq McCord

Defensive End/ Linebacker
Tampa (FL) Jefferson
6'3" 222
Composite Rating: 94 - ****

Breakdown: McCord was a surprise and a steal for the Canes from South Carolina during the Army All American game and quickly became one of the marquee kids in the class. McCord played in every game last season and was Miami’s best pure pass rusher on the roster. In a backup role he recorded 3.5 sacks and 3.5 TFL. He played his best game against Florida State where he recorded a sack, TFL, and recovered a fumble. He moved to Linebacker in the spring and the transition hasn’t gone totally smooth but he will see the field plenty and be one of Miami’s main most important pieces this year in most of Miami’s pass rushing packages.

Trending: Hit

Earl Moore

Defensive Tackle
Tampa (FL) Hillsborough
6'1" 280
Composite Rating: 86 - ***

Breakdown: Moore started 2 games last season out of pure necessity but has been pushed back in the pack behind a slew of defensive tackles. Moore will likely never be more than an average placeholder type and thus far he hasn’t even proven to be that much but he has contributed and at the very least didn’t embarrass himself despite some struggles. He’s not great but he should be useful for the Canes moving forward.

Trending: Too soon to tell

Jake O'Donnell

Defensive End
Doylestown (PA) Central Bucks East
6'6" 233
Composite Rating: 82 - ***

Breakdown: O’Donnell was another of the Canes camp takes for the 2012 cycle based mostly off of his athletic upside. He redshirted last season and has put on most 20 pounds of clean weight over the last year plus. The athletic ability is still intact and he has since been moved to Tight End where the hope is he can create mismatches in the passing game. He’s still a raw project but the tools are worth continued development.

Trending: Too soon to tell

Gabriel Terry

Linebacker         
Wellington (FL) Palm Beach Central
6'3" 210
Composite Rating: 83 - ***

Breakdown: Terry was the famous no name recruit that Golden reference as a kid he truly believed in. And 1st impression was that his belief would be rewarded as he flashed tons of athletic potential playing in more than half the games, highlighted by his blocked punt against Virginia Tech. Unfortunately, Terry couldn’t get it together off the field and was excused from the team.

Trending: Miss

David Thompson

Quarterback      
Miami (FL) Westminster Christian
6'2" 195
Composite Rating: 80 - ***

Breakdown: Thompson came to Miami planning to play both football and baseball before injuring his shoulder and eventually deciding to shift his focus solely to baseball, where he appears to have a professional future.

Trending: Miss

Herb Waters

Wide Receiver
Homestead (FL) Homestead
6'1" 170
Composite Rating: 88 - ***

Breakdown: Waters played in all 12 games as a true freshman, mostly on special teams. He earned starts in the last 2 games of the season and ended the year with a bang as he caught two long TD’s passes in the final 2 games of the season and finished the year with 227 receiving yards. Waters has been noted by Golden as someone who has turned out to be more talented than they expected and is currently listed as the starting slot WR and one of the primary backups outside. He’s in line for major playing time and a potential starting role in his future.

Trending: Hit

Josh Witt

Linebacker
Weston (FL) Cypress Bay
6'2" 208
Composite Rating: 83 - ***

Breakdown: Witt enrolled but unfortunately never played for Miami as head injuries ended his career pre-maturely. While technically I guess you can call this a miss, I’m not one who assumes that coaching staff are full of doctors and can see events like these coming so I’m going to give them a pass on this one.

Trending: N/A

For those counting at home, that’s 10 guys whom have shown enough to get me think they are going to be hits here, 9 that are flat out not going to ever help out, and a slew of guys in the middle that will determine just how successful this class really is. Miami is currently sitting at around a 53% hit rate for those we’ve seen enough off to make early judgments and that’s a pretty respectable rate for any head coach.

Miami seems to have done exceptionally well with the top 3rd of its signing class which should be the case yearly for any Miami class. The other 2/3rds is a mixed bag at this point with some nice hits in Jenkins, Crawford, Gunter, and Waters but also some bad misses in Terry, Lockhart, Briscoe, and Dillard. There’s still a slew of kids in this category who could swing it one way or the other but It’s safe to say that this class looks like one that is providing a strong base of talent and contributors. How high up the ladder some of these “hits” can climb will be the difference between a solid class, and an exceptional one.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join State of The U

You must be a member of State of The U to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at State of The U. You should read them.

Join State of The U

You must be a member of State of The U to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at State of The U. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker