Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
I've long maintained that Miami's biggest need on the roster are impact pass rusher's so it's no surprise that we are kicking off our positional breakdown series with the one spot that tends to generate the most of it: Defensive End.
#17 Tyriq McCord (SO)
#51 Shayon Green (SR)
#71 Anthony Chickillo (JR)
#90 Ricardo Williams (SO)
#94 Kelvin Cain (SR)
#95 Jake O'Donnell (RS FR)
#97 Dwayne Hoilett (RS FR)
#99 Jelani Hamilton (SO)
Miami is looking at adding some pass rushing help on the edge and they appear to be targeting one specific type: lanky, versatile athletes that can rush the passer from both the ground and stand up positions. Since the line seems to be blurred a little between which are really ends and which are more of the Outside Linebacker types, we’ll try to stick with their listings from the various recruiting sites out there. Ultimately, I think the goal is to try to get one of their bigger targets at this spot and call it a day.
Tim Williams (6’3”, 225) – Coming out of Baton Rouge, Williams is a high upside player that Miami has been chasing for pretty much the entire cycle. Williams goes to school on LSU’s campus and was thought to eventually land there until reports surfaced a few weeks back that LSU was no longer actively recruiting him. He’s maintained Miami as his leader for some time now but distance looks like it might be a factor. Florida State is the main competition at the current time but I would expect some new options to emerge as the process moves along. Despite his lofty rankings, Williams is not the immediate impact talent that most assume him to be and will likely need a good bit of time to mature and grow as a player before contributing. As it stands, Miami seems to be in the driver’s seat but I don’t believe the real race for Williams has truly begun.
Devante Bond (6’3”, 235) – Bond is slated to visit Miami officially this coming weekend. Bond is an immediate impact player as a pass rusher and fits what Miami wants to do on defense perfectly. He’s undersized and likely will never be a full time player but he brings something to the table that Miami is completely lacking from its roster right now: double digit sack potential. With all that said, finding room for a niche player in such a small class might be tough. Bond holds only a handful of offers with Miami being his best one. He also seems to be very high on Oklahoma and given how they have done out west lately, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them jump to the top if they decide to offer. Miami has to feel reasonably well at the moment given that they are his best offer but there seem to be a lot of moving parts with him at the moment. We should have more clarity after his visit this weekend as to just how likely a pairing between Bond and Miami actually is.
Carl Lawson (6’3”, 245) – Lawson is currently committed to Auburn but has taken multiple visits to Clemson of late and received an in-home visit from Miami earlier this week. Florida State is also hot on his trail. As a pure talent, Lawson is the single best recruit on Miami’s board at Defensive End. All that said, it’s tough to see Miami pulling this one out. All indications at the moment are pointing to Clemson if (and that’s a huge if) he does decide to leave the Auburn Tigers.
Tashawn Bower (6’5”, 241) – Yet another current Auburn commit, Bower is a name that a rarely mentioned around Miami circles anymore. Coaches seemed to have fairly serious interest in the New Jersey product early in the process but that has more or less died down ever since his commitment to Auburn. As it stands, I believe that Miami is currently just keeping tabs on Bower as a backup option of sorts while their bigger targets (as well as Auburn’s coaching situation) sorts itself out. As a player, his fit for Miami is not all that different from what Tim Williams would likely be asked to do as more of a rush end instead of a true stand up option in space. I don’t think Bower has the same type of long term potential as Williams, but I do believe he is more ready made to contribute early.
Alquadin Muhammad (6’4”, 230) – I won’t spend too much time here because he might be the single biggest long shot on the entire defensive board. Muhammad has been recruited throughout by Golden and his staff but the interest appears to be lukewarm at best and he’s expected to stay up north somewhere with Notre Dame being his rumored long time leader.
Looking to the Future:
Chad Thomas (6’4”, 230) – Thomas (Not related to Booker T’s other standout Thomas) might already be better than any of Miami’s 2013 targets at End. Early on, Miami has to feel good about its chances given the location and how well Miami has done at Booker T over the years. Landing Matthew Thomas would be a nice boost in Miami’s favor if they can pull it off as the two have repeatedly said they are very close. With 2014 recruiting not having fully taken shape yet, Chad looks like the early choice for sitting at the top of Miami’s board.
Keyon Brown (6’3”, 230) – Brown attended one of Miami’s summer camp sessions back in June and earned himself an offer immediately following. Much like Chad Thomas, Keyon Brown is starting to shape up as yet another kid that views Miami and Florida State has his two standout programs this early in the process. Brown is well put together and get good natural bend but he’s a total project at this moment as most of his HS work is done on the offensive side of the ball.
Lorenzo Carter (6’6”, 232) – I was turned on to Carter a few weeks ago and instantly fell in love with his film. Tremendous size, agility, plenty of raw ability, and a nasty mean streak are some of the various traits that have had schools like Clemson and Alabama hot on his trail. Miami coaches visited him at Norcross a week ago and are one of a slew of teams vying to get into the heat of thee mix for his services.