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1/4/12 All America Game Recruiting Q&A

I answer all of today's burning recruiting questions heading into this weekend's All American games.

Stacey Coley
Stacey Coley
SBNation Recruiting

Q: Who do you think the most important get of the weekend will be along with the most likely get? –Jimmy Miller

A: Most likely, if he decides to announce this weekend, is LB Jermaine Grace. Most important has to be DE Alquadin Muhammed. While both would be a huge boost to this class, Muhammed brings immediate pass rush help to the fold that the Canes desperately need while being a good fit as a guy that could provide a little help in a stand up role early on, before beefing up into a true every down end in the future. He also would be Miami’s third pickup from New Jersey this cycle and the single clearest sign that Golden is making the kind of inroads up north that he was hoping to make when he took this job. Muhammed is set to announce at the Army game Saturday at 1pm and his choice should have Canes fans on pins and needles.

Q: Which player might be a Jadaveon Clowney type, i.e. not his attributes per se, but just head and shoulder above the competition. – Jerry Steinberg

A: I’m not sure there is one complete freak of a talent like Clowney in this class. Heck, it might be years before we see another one like him. He was NFL ready as a prepster. But to answer your question, Robert Nkemdiche is clearly the one guy that I think even has a case here.

Q: Some recruits like Reuben Foster and Dee Liner are said to have interest in Miami, how sincere do you think that interest is and how likely is the chance that we will land them? –odfsm

A: Both are planning trips to Miami, likely for the big visit weekend on January 18th weekend. That said, this looks more of just passing interest than in any real legitimate chance to actually sway either them. It’s hard to see either one of them playing college ball outside the state of Alabama.

Q: Foster is coming on the big visiting weekend, heard there is a good chance Ray Lewis shows up with his son that week as well; any chance of us signing him at all and if so will the Ray Lewis connection help push him our way?

A: I already answered the Foster portion of this but I felt the Ray Lewis part of it needed to be addressed as well. There’s generally been two parts of the Ray Lewis angle that fans ask 1.) Will he ever be part of the staff here? 2.) How will having him around play with recruits?

The answer to the 1st question is rather easy in my mind. College coaches have to grind like you wouldn’t believe. They are constantly on the road evaluating, recruiting, preparing. The game day stuff itself is the easy part of the job. While Ray has the passion and work ethic to do it, the reasons he cites for wanting to retire would (with the exception of wanting to see his son more) all still exist in a coaching position at Miami. He seems to be much more ready for a cushy desk analyst job on Sundays that will allow him to spend time with his family during the week.

The 2nd part of the question is a little different. While having Lewis around the program more often and getting to see him and interact with him will certainly leave recruits a little awe struck,I don’t think anyone is putting aside their main reasons for choosing a school (Relationship with staff, location, education, etc) simply because they want to hang around with Ray Lewis a little bit. I’d also argue that any kid picking Miami simply based on that reason isn’t someone you want in your program. Having Lewis around will likely do more to help energize the kids that are already at or going to Miami than to help reel in any kids that are being recruited by them.

Q: Is a close of thomas, kirkland, bryant, AQM, Coley, Collins out of the question? If it happens, how highly ranked would we be? – Popa’s Shoes

A: A close with those 6 specific guys is out of the question in my mind. 1st of all, that would mean we beat out Florida State in every head to head battle for a recruit. While that would be nice, it’s just not realistic. They are too good a recruiting staff for us to sweep them on 6 recruits. On top of that, those 6 would essentially be all we would have room for and I can’t see a situation where at least one of Jermaine Grace or Jaynard Bostwick isn’t in this class. In fact, chances look extremely good that we are going to sign both to those guys.

Add in the fact that Keith Bryant seems to be strongly leaning to Florida State at the moment and you can see why this situation just doesn’t look feasible in my mind.

Q: What is the final class size in your opinion? – Chino

A: All process long I was focused on the 15 number that Golden seemed pretty adamant about. However, as the year as gone on, we’ve seen issues arise with Luther Robinson, Eddie Johnson, Thomas Finnie, amongst others. Chances are that some of those guys won’t be asked back which leaves me thinking this class is going to end up in the 17-18 range. I don’t think it’s completely out of the question that could try to squeeze an extra spot in there somewhere for the right guy if need be, but I don’t find it likely.

Q: What’s happening with Alex Collins? – Everyone

A: I got this question from a few people so I figure it’s worth addressing. To my knowledge, Collins himself loves Miami and left on his own, would likely end up here. Despite some reports out there, his HS school is apparently pushing him in different directions. That much should be clear. The Wisconsin recruitment, the “deal” that got John Franklin offered at Florida State, the new interest and visit to Arkansas. All that is being driven by his coach and thus, it’s got Miami in a battle. The Arkansas trip scares me as it will be his final official visit but the coaches are quietly hopeful that it’ll be too little too late after he visits us on the 18th. We should know more after that visit as there seems to be some thought that he’ll be ready to join the fold again once he takes that trip.

Q: How do you see this class finishing? – Everyone

A: Easily the most asked question I got so I’ll appease everyone and address it. Right now, I don’t forsee any decommitments although I think Kerr isn’t 100 locked up yet. Assuming everyone sticks like I have pegged, I’m looking at roughly 6 more spots open. I said earlier that I had a really strong feeling on Bostwick and Grace so feel free to pencil them in this class. I also feel pretty good about Miami landing Alquadin Muhammed at Saturday’s Army game. That leaves us with 3 open spots at the moment. That basically leaves us with 3 open spots. Of those 3 spots, we are looking at Matthew Thomas, Denver Kirkland, Alex Collins, Stacey Coley, Keith Bryant, Tim Williams, and Rashard Robinson.

I think from there it could go any number of ways, and certainly missing on one of the 3 I have pegged above will alter this a little as well. But for the sake of this exercise we will try to narrow it down. Robinson is going to end up sticking with LSU so we can cross him off. I’ve been pretty vocal about Tim Williams likely end up elsewhere and unless we miss on a few guys or he gets passed on by LSU and FSU, then I don’t see any reason to alter my thinking on him. As mentioned above, it looks like Keith Bryant is leaning more and more to FSU by the minute.

That leaves us with Thomas, Kirkland, Collins and Coley. I have a hard time seeing Thomas go elsewhere when push comes to shove although it is possible. I’d pencil him into my mock class. Kirkland would likely come with Thomas but as I mentioned in my tidbits piece, I could see him getting squeezed out if Miami where to pull off landing both Collins and Coley assuming they cannot find room to fit them all. However, playing the law of averages, I’d think that they are banking on only one of Collins and Coley and you’re really splitting hairs as to which one is more likely at the moment.

As of 1/4/2012, I have a project class of:

QB Kevin Olsen

RB Ray Lewis III

TE Beau Sandland

TE Standish Dobard

TE Jeremy Kerr

OL Hunter Knighton

OL Alex Gall

OL Sonny Odogwu

OL Denver Kirkland

DE Devante Bond

DE Alquadin Muhammed

DT Jaynard Bostwick

LB Jermaine Grace

LB Mathew Thomas

LB Alex Figueroa

DB Artie Burns

DB Jamal Carter

1 of Alex Collins/Stacey Coley