Alright everyone, if you didn't catch part one check out the link HERE. In part one we went over the top 10 rated prospects per the ESPN Rankings for the 2009-2010 recruiting class. In this section we'll check in to see how numbers 11-20 are doing. Are they with the Canes? Did they even make it to campus after signing their letter of intent? Sit back and enjoy the adventure!
(RS Jr.) Keion Payne, #22 Cornerback (***)
The first guy on our list is a name most Canes fans probably don't know about, Keion Payne. The reason most Canes fans haven't heard of him is because post signing his letter of intent and coming to UM he redshirted his first year on campus. So far, so good.. Throughout his initial run through the "U Tough" program under Coach Golden he was listed as a second team corner and the coaches on the staff were looking forward to him eventually gaining quality minutes during the season. However, during the tail end of the offseason program, post the team spring scrimmages he and a few others were sighted for violating team rules and he was asked to leave the team. He transferred to Hutchinson Community College and eventually reentered Division 1 football playing for Troy. He was in their starting rotation last season as a Corner and registered 30 tackles, 27 of those were solo.
The numbers don't seem all that impressive and many of you may just go "oh well, whatever" but to lose this guy was a big deal. The Canes have played a lot of guys before they're ready in the secondary and one of the chief reasons... well, THE chief reason has just been a lack of depth. Was this guy the next Antrelle Rolle? Probably not but he could have contributed the last year or two and we could have redshirted a younger player who was not ready to step in and play (a la an Antonio Crawford). That's the thing about this class, the big picture was totally garbled once the drips like losing this guy turned into a waterfall of disaster as almost half the class has been lost due to transfers.
Man, never thought I'd write so much in regards to Keion Payne.. Let's get to the next guy!
(Jr) Jeremy Davis, #52 Athlete (***)
Davis was another player that academically could not get into UM so he decided to go the Prep route and attended the Milford Academy. Unlike Tavadis Glenn, Davis attended the school and after one year was able to sign his letter of intent and play college ball in Division 1. However, when the new coaching staff came on board after Coach Shannon was relinquished of his duties Davis didn't feel as comfortable with the direction the team was going and decided to transfer instead to UCF.
(RS Jr.) Shane McDermott, #5 Center (***)
What this class lacked in everything it seemed to at least make up along the offensive line (so there's that..). McDermott has started 22 games and played in 32 over the course of his career at UM. He has been recognized by the ACC for two awards over the last two seasons, the first was in his sophomore campaign he was named an All ACC Honorable Mention and during this last season he was distinguished as a 3rd team All ACC linemen. Assuming he doesn't leave for the pro's this upcoming season he'll be back to anchor the line at his natural position, center.
(RS Jr.) Darion Hall, #30 Running Back (***)
For all our high school "recruitniks" out there, you all should remember Darion Hall very distinctly due to meteoric rise up the rankings during his junior year in which he amassed 1,700 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns as well as his enigmatic senior year in which he barely broke the cusp of 1,000 yards and seemed to grow frustrated during his last few games in high school. The red flags were there, he had a poor attitude that even his high school coach readily admitted was on display many times. Even so, UM offered him a scholarship and he later signed the letter of intent.
Just like a few others, it didn't take Coach Golden long to weed out the players that were not willing to put the team first and unfortunately Hall was not one of them. Hall was suspended and later dismissed from the team.
Post leaving Miami he hooked on at Tennessee State and has been used sparingly. Last season he had two carries and I tried to do research on this past season and found no record of him playing in a game/recording a rush or catch.
(RS Jr.) Delmar Taylor, Defensive Lineman (***)
You know when David Perry has more of an impact at Miami you're in trouble. Delmar Taylor was in the same situation as Perry in the sense that he was from the Bahamas and started playing football late in his high school career in the United States. Shannon took a flier on him but it quickly backfired as Taylor was not academically eligible to join the team and had to attend Navarro Community College. When Golden took over the Head Coaching position he was not as enamored with Taylor's talents and decided to rescind the offer. Taylor was still able to go to a school in Florida, he ended up at FIU.
(Sr.) Kacy Rodgers, #32 Cornerback (***)
There isn't much to complain or get too excited about when bringing Kacy Rodgers up. He was rated a three star recruit which essentially translates to a solid depth player who can give you plays on t he special teams unit as well as spots starts on occasion. That's exactly what Rodgers did for the Canes during his time on Campus. He was a solid special team contributor and started 14 times over his last two seasons.
(N.A) Devont'a Davis, #33 Cornerback (***)
Davis, along with a host of other players were asked to transfer shortly after their redshirt freshman season during the spring for violation of team rules. Davis decided to transfer to play immediately at Youngstown State. However, when he got on campus he found that the sledding wasn't as free and easy as he assumed it would be and after one year on campus he decided to leave the program. Just one month later (yes, one month later) he asked the coaching staff if he could come back to the team and fight for a spot in the secondary rotation and they allowed him back. After coming back though it gets a little dicey on what exactly happened. I found his 2012's player bio on the YSU website but when looking through their depth chart and any other news related to Davis in 2013 there's nothing. It looks like he left the program at some point during the 2012 season.
(RS Jr.) Travis Williams, #44 Outside Linebacker (***)
Just like Tyrone Cornelius before him, Travis Williams was coming to Miami as an undersized linebacker at 205 lbs. As noted previously, playing at that weight as a linebacker in this day and age just doesn't happen in division 1A footall. Due to his size and being new to the program he was redshirted. Just like Devont'a Davis, he was asked to leave the program due to violating team rules during the spring of his redshirt freshman season. Just like Devont'a Davis he decided to transfer to Youngstown State in hopes of gaining early playing time. However, unlike Davis, Williams actually has done well for the Penguins. Two seasons ago he tallied 61 tackles and started in 9 of their 11 games and in 2013 he registered 51 tackles with 2 more sacks and 2 forced fumbles.
(N.A) Jeffrey Brown, #51 Defensive Tackle (***)
I was debating making Brown the last player in this article but it's so depressing the player progression in this class I'll go one more player..
Before we get to the last player in this series lets breakdown what happened during Brown's career at UM.. Not really much to say though.. He came in as a three star prospect and was redshirting at Miami when a serious allegation of sexual assault was leveled against him. When the coaching staff heard about the allegations and then he admitted to the incident to police he was quickly removed from the team. Later on Brown reached a deal with the prosecution where he didn't have to serve jail time in exchange for probation and other penalties. Based on some quick research it doesn't look like he plays football.
(RS Jr.) Jonathan Feliciano, #51 Offensive Tackle (***)
I have to not it again, Randy Shannon and his fellow assistants could recruit offensive linemen. Feliciano has started 32 of 34 games since his redshirt freshman season and picked up two ACC Honorable Mentions, one in 2012 and the other this last season. He has played center, guard and played a little right tackle at times this season while splitting time with Linder and Henderson. Yet another guy that doesn't get the acknowledgement he deserves but is a solid cog for the offensive line that will help protect whoever starts next year at QB.
Second Intermission Thoughts
What a mess, I don't even know where to start. I guess the most obvious discussion point is the amount of failures in this class. Just in this section alone, 1/3 of the recruiting class, there are 7 transfers/aren't on UM's roster currently. If you do a quick count we analyzed ten players and their current (or past in many instances) football careers. 3 of the ten are on the team currently. Let that sink in.
Coaches are made or broken by finding diamonds in the rough. Whether it be a walk-on that eventually earns his way onto the field or a three start, lightly recruited athlete who eventually breaks through and finds a niche on the team. This class just didn't have enough of those positive examples. There is always great talent in South Florida and it's plentiful. No one team can come in and swoop all the best players up, there's just too many of them. Coach Shannon and his staff decided to load up on out of state talent that wasn't highly rated and had known character issues and those players blew away their critics expectations with how poorly they translated (or lack thereof) to the college level.