Head Coach Al Golden was clearly very excited talking about this year's crop of recruits.. Once they had received their last fax of the day from recruit Trayone Grey, the class rounded out at 26. And while UM may not yet be finished, Golden seemed to take pride in his first normal, post NCAA drama recruiting class. I've never seen a coach speak negatively about the product that they put together so I'm just gonna focus on some of the key points.
They’ll make an impact. I’m really excited about them, from explosiveness, size and really maturity when you look at [Calvin] Heurtelou and [Michael] Wyche. If we start with the front, obviously Chad Thomas is an elite player, excellent explosiveness, pass rusher, brings speed on the edge, yet physical enough to take on the block of a tackle or tight end. So we’re excited about him. On the other side, the open side, defensive end spot, Demetrius Jackson, Trent Harris, guys like that to go along with Quad Muhammad and Tyriq McCord, I feel much better about our depth there now than I did at any point last year. Inside, that’s probably where we’ve made the most gains. [Anthony] Moten, again, a premier player in the country at defensive tackle. I saw A.J. last week and he was a shade under 300 pounds. He’ll come in ready-made. We’ve got to get him in condition, he’ll come down this summer to work with us, we’ll get him ready to go and we’ll add him to a position where Jelani [Hamilton] and Olsen Pierre play. Three nose tackles that we brought in, two are junior college players. Obviously more mature physically and mentally. Calvin Heurtelou is here now at 324 pounds. He’s going to give us the type of strength that we need and we’re excited about the impact he’ll have in the spring. Michael Wyche, obviously, a highly-coveted player and someone that we think will do an incredible job for us. Michael has a great perspective on life. He’ll give us the leadership and kind of be a guy that will make an impact both on and off the field. And Courtel Jenkins is a young man we’re excited about. Those are the guys up front. - Al Golden
If you wanna check out the entire press conference HERE it is. (It gets real sexy at the 24 second mark)
Golden said it was similar to the "feeling of thinking you forgot something at home" when describing the feeling of how it felt leaving recruits' houses without having to spend three quarters of the time talking about the NCAA. Golden also said that it was too late for it to really impact this class, but that moving forward with a clean slate will be a good thing and that the quality of their recent junior day was a direct result of that.
The overall quality of the players UM brought in seemed improve this year. Golden was pleased with the amount of players Miami held on to that were heavily recruited by other big name schools. He said that it was really the first year they had a lot of guys that everyone wanted.
Golden said it was the LB group that he was most excited about, emphasizing the "sheer size of them." Currently enrolled LB Juwon Young is listed at somewhere between 6'2 and 6'3 and Golden said he's weighing in at 240. He has Darrion Owens listed as 6-3 and somewhere around 230 and Terry McCray at 6-3 and 228 pounds. Even if a touched exaggerated, those numbers are pretty impressive.
While offensive line is the one position we may see another player signed. Golden is ecstatic with the quality at the position. With KC McDermott and Trevor Darling already on campus Golden was pleased to announce that they "are who we thought they were."
The team will not be going after another running back, big or small. Golden said that they liked a lot of backs that are in next year's class and plan on taking two from that group.
Golden also updated the statuses of Braxton Berrios, Joseph Yearby, and Duke Johnson. None will be participating in spring ball due to their injuries. While Duke missing spring isn't that big of a deal as long as he's healthy when he returns, it's always good to find a rhythm with a new QB. Hopefully there will be plenty of time for that in the summer. Berrios and Yearby being true freshman, will be in catch-up mode when healthy.
When Duke Johnson does return he should be playing a bit over 200lbs according to Golden. Right now he's at 202 but the goal is to be around 205 for the season. He bulked up last season and still seemed to be pretty damn explosive so let's just wait and see before we start judging. Miami is a medical school so I'll assume that they got a few opinions about his ankle bearing the few extra pounds.
A good bit of news was Golden reporting that Rashawn Scott was "having a good of an off season as anyone." Scott was the second leading receiver two seasons ago and while sidelined due to injury for the majority of last season something seemed to be a bit off when he did return. I personally have high hopes for him so this is encouraging, Hurns had a great off season last year and that seemed to work out well, anything near that for Scott would be huge.
So, with this class in place it seems like the time to turn the page. Spring is just around the corner so it will be fun to watch how this top 10 rated class fits in.