Plenty of questions this time around, so let's get right to it.
Q: What kind of year are you expecting out of Joe Yearby? There is a lot of talk of how comparable he is to duke and as I look on twitter there is so much talk (including myself) of "the future rbs). Are we under estimating his importance and performance? - Anonymous (Email)
I have been trying to remind people that Joseph Yearby was one of the 3 elite back in Florida last year for the longest time. And, regardless of "situations" or "circumstances" the fact of the matter is this: he started in front of Dalvin Cook. Yearby's commitment to Miami would have been so much more celebrated had it come closer to National Signing Day and not 7 months prior.
As for what to expect from him this year, I believe he'll be in the rotation plenty. Conservatively speaking, averaging 8 carries per game and 6ypc for a 13 game season would give Yearby a statline around 104 carries for 624 yards. That kind of production is roughly 65% of what Duke Johnson did running the ball his freshman year. Add in a few catches, and you're around 800 total yards.
Anything above that (especially with all of the returning weapons we have on offense who figure to get plenty of touches) is a bonus. And, he could exceed those mild touch numbers if he sees extended time against lower quality competition or if there are injuries to other players at his position.
The main point of comparison is size. Let's look at all 5 players in a chart:
|First Name||Last Name||Height||Weight|
So, as you can see, Patrick is the biggest player of the group by a pretty good margin. He could easily grow past his already 220lb frame. Due to his size, he has the least amount of "wiggle" of the player listed, but has impressive speed (reportedly timed at 4.51 in the 40) and good power due to his size. Here is SBNation National Recruiting analyst Bud Elliot's scouting report on Patrick.
As far as why Miami doesn't have a chance: he's just not that into us.
We recruited him pretty heavily during the 2014 cycle (building a foundation) and were mildly involved with his brother (2014 Western Michigan signee Javonte Seabury). But, as time has gone on, he's been trending more towards a couple schools who use big backs on a more frequent basis than Miami: Alabama and Florida State. He's long been thought of as an FSU lock, and 100% of his Crystal Ball predictions have him signing there. So, yeah. That's about the size of it.
Unless there's an infusion of 4 and 5 star players to this class, I doubt it. Currently, we have 18 players committed, and only 4 of them (Williams, Walton, Cronkrite, and Lawson) are 4 star players. The rest are 3 stars or lower.
Now, could a player like Galitz (rated 2 stars, but ranked as a top 3 kicker nationally by all services) have a bigger impact than his rating? Sure. Could lower rated players earn higher esteem through the rest of this summer and their senior seasons? Of course. But, without adding other highly rated players to this class, I don't see our ranking staying as lofty as it currently is.
Now, are there players out there that we could potentially add whose ranking would enable us to stay in the top 10 at the end of this cycle? Yes. We'll get to them in a moment. But, again, without adding top talents and increasing our "Blue Chip ratio", a top 10 finished will be nearly impossible.
And so, we come to the question that FLOODED my mentions when I said I was doing this mailbag. The Jordan Cronkrite-Jaquan Johnson-Tim Irvin package deal question.
For foundation, Cronkrite told Safid Deen of the Miami Herald that if Jordan Scarlett committed (and brought the count of RBs in this class to 4) that he "doubts he would still be with UM" and "would probably look somewhere else". Keeping 3 RBs of the quality that we have currently committed would be amazing. Adding Scarlett and keeping all 4? Impossible.
Now, spinning this back to the question at hand: how would Cronkrite's situation impact Miami's recruitment of close friends Jaquan Johnson and Tim Irvin?
Those 3 have long been rumored as a package deal, with Cronkrite and Irvin being HS teammates and Johnson a close friend. Johnson, the best/most wanted player of the group, is one who many thought would have committed to Miami already. Images like the one below (taken for the Miami Herald's All-Dade county special edition) are why:
However, he's made many statements over recent months that have led to a sense that he may not be as much of a Cane lock as previously thought.
Tim Irvin, nephew of Cane legend Michael Irvin, has seen a similar arc to his recruitment as Johnson has. Once a Cane lock, now, not so much.
Could those developments have something to do with Cronkrite's situation (which, might I add, is still one of the highest commits in this Miami class)? Yeah. But, with players who aren't related, I find it hard to believe that EVERYTHING would change for Johnson and Irvin just because Miami might end up with better players at RB than Cronkrite (which is very hard to do, since Cronkrite is a nationally elite player).
In the end, I still see Johnson and Irvin both being Canes. Maybe that's a bit of hope on my end, but so be it. That's how I feel.
Q: With the excellent coaching and improved recruiting of Larranaga and his staff, the team's bright future, and the fact that the arena is on campus, do you think Miami's basketball program will ever reach or surpass the football program's popularity and interest amongst Canes fans? - Kevin (email)
In a word: No.
Miami is a football city. Has been, and will be. Yes, the Miami Heat have been great with 3 championships and 5 finals appearances over the past decade. And, the ACC regular season and tournament championships won by Canes Hoops in 2012-13 were fantastic to see.
But, even with the recent success, and other factors you listed, Hurricanes Basketball won't reach the level of Canes Football. It's easy to get bogged down in the "500yds allowed" and "Fire D'Onofrio" stuff, but look at the things have have built the football program to where it is: 5 National Championships. 58 game home winning streak. Record number of 1st round picks. THE BEST COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAM EVER (2001 Hurricanes). NFL Pro Bowlers every year since the 1985 season. Record number of consecutive weeks with a Miami alum scoring a TD in an NFL game (something like 13+ years in a row). And. And. And.
And all that's off the top of my head.
I love Canes Hoops. I agree that Larrañaga and the staff have done and will continue to do a phenomenal job. But, bringing the basketball program to the level of the football program means multiple national championships, hall of famers, rules changed because of their performances, and legends of the game.
I love them. I really do. But reaching/exceeding the interest/popularity of the football team? I don't see that happening.
This class is really more about the sum of all the parts than individual stars. Not the available talent in this class, but the group that is being assembled by Miami.
Obviously, getting Jaquan Johnson and Tim Irvin and Jordan Scarlett (and Devonaire Clarington, and flipping Shawn Burgess-Becker and Calvin Ridley) among others would be a great thing. It would increase the depth on our team and give us the recruiting ranking that most Canes fans believe we should have every year. But, will this class fail specifically for not getting any one of those individuals?
WAY TOO EARLY TO KNOW FOR SURE, but I'll play.
|Stacy Coley||Philip Dorsett||Ereck Flowers||Jonathan Feliciano||Shane McDermott||Daniel Isidora||Taylor Gadbois||Clive Walford||Rashawn Scott|
|Brad Kaaya||Duke Johnson|
And now, for the fun one:
|Ufomba Kamalu||Michael Wyche||Al-Quaddin Muhammad|
|Tyriq McCord||Alex Figueroa||Denzel Perryman||Raphael Kirby|
|Tracy Howard||Deon Bush||Jamal Carter||Artie Burns|
That's it for this edition of the mailbag. Thanks to everyone who submitted a question.