clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Recruiting Breakdown Bonanza! Tale Of The Tape For The Newest Canes!

SOTU's player by player opinions of the 6 most recent commits for the Canes class of 2014 as provided by Joe Garcia Jr, Cameron Underwood, and Lt Phillip Nolan.

Trayone Gray is one of 6 class of 2014 recruits Miami landed over 5 days.
Trayone Gray is one of 6 class of 2014 recruits Miami landed over 5 days.
Student Sports

After a whirlwind weekend that saw Miami pick up a player for either the current team, the 2014 team, or the 2015 team every day from June 21st-25th, We have finally been able to settle down, study some tape, and evaluate the 2014 kids that we landed. Getting 6 recruits for one class in the span of 5 days is just silly, and shows how hard this staff will work. Below, you will find highlight tape, strengths, weaknesses, and our own analysts' grades on the 6 2014 recruits we landed.

Trayone Gray (611", 190 LBs)

Opa Locka, FL – Carol City HS

Strengths: Plus size for pretty much any position you project him too, whether it be CB, S, or WR. Elite lateral agility allows him to get in and out of cuts quickly. Smooth and fluid in his movements with loose hips. Good balance and strong on contact. Can make defenders miss and is capable of generating YAC with the ball in his hands. Has a good amount of upside and room to growth as a player. Generally sees the field well and has a knack for finding space to work on offense. Offers good overall playing speed.

Weaknesses: Doesn't have a set position and might take some trial and error to see where he fits best. His footwork can get choppy and lead him to slow down and dance too much. Lacks that extra gear to run away from defenders. Limited tape of him in coverage lead to questions about his ability when having to read and react and get in and out of his backpedal. Raw in pretty much every aspect across the board and will likely need some coaching up.

Bottom Line: Strong athlete that offers some versatility and instincts. Can project to any of WR, CB, or Safety. Offers good bit of upside and ability to bring playmaking ability to the table.

Joe’s Grade: 5.7, 3*

Nolan’s Grade: 5.7, 3*

Cam’s Grade: 5.8, 4*

Darrion Owens (6'4", 230 LBs)
Jacksonville, FL - Oakleaf HS


Strengths: Tremendous athlete for the position. Lots of untapped potential. Instinctive and heady with a nose for the ball. Good burst and elite size/speed combo. Works well in pursuit and shows plus natural ability both rushing the passer and dropping back in coverage. Offers some versatility to potentially play both outside and inside spots. Does a good job wrapping up ball carriers. Plays violently and hits with bad intentions. Does a good job shooting gaps.

Weaknesses: Footwork can be a little choppy. Not a natural sideline to sideline player and better working downhill. Needs to get bigger and stronger to fill out his ideal frame. Needs to learn to use his hands better and to disengage from blockers. Can use overall refinement of his entire game as he relies mostly of pure physical ability at this point.

Bottom Line: Has ideal NFL level talent from a physical standpoint and just needs to be coached up properly. Good scheme fit for Miami as he profiles similar to 2013 recruit Alex Figueroa. Looks like the next in line for the title of underrated Golden LB recruit following in the footsteps of Eddie Johnson and the aforementioned Figueroa.

Joe’s Grade: 5.8, 4*

Nolan’s Grade: 5.8, 4*

Cam’s Grade: 5.8, 4*

Chris Herndon (6'4", 220 LBs)
Norcross, GA - Norcross HS
Tight End


Strengths: Watching what little video there currently is on Herndon, a few things jump out at me. First of all, he has great size, and good speed to match it. What he lacks in speed he makes up for with the ability to apparently shut off that voice in his head that says "don't get hit". He doesn't shy away from contact at all, at times barreling into defenders rather than trying to go around them. Plays with a bit of a nasty streak that you have to have as a pass catching tight end.

Weaknesses: Of course, if you are going to play the way Herndon does, you need to have the strength and size to be able to not only go head first into contact, but come out of it on top more often than not. Herndon currently does not have either, at least not to a D1 football standard. His frame gives him more than enough room to fill out, and as he gets stronger, it will be easier for him to keep trucking, rather than going down with the first contact.

Bottom Line: Herndon has a ton of upside as a tight end prospect. He has good hands and a willingness to get every single inch of field that he can after the catch. He could use to add some strength and size, but that will come with his senior year and college work. This is a great pickup for Miami, and he will bolster the tight end ranks of the future.

Joe’s Grade: 5.6, 3*

Nolan’s Grade: 5.5, 3*

Cam’s Grade: 5.5, 3*

Mike Smith (6'3", 235 LBs)
Miami, FL - Northwestern HS
Defensive End/Linebacker

Strengths: The first thing you see is Smith's impressive quickness off the edge. His first step gives him an advantage over nearly every blocker he goes up against. More than anything else, Smith's ability to rush the passer is what makes him a valued recruit. Smith also has a high motor, and will chase the ball down all over the field. Smith does a decent job setting the edge in the running game, and is physical in taking on blocks. Smith versatile enough to play multiple positions well, and moves between DE and LB depending on the situation.

Weaknesses: Smith is the epitome of a "tweener": a bit too big to be a full time LB, not big enough to be a 3 down DE. Smith can be overpowered by large Offensive Linemen from time to time. I would also like to see his hand fighting and block shedding technique improve as he continues to develop.

Bottom Line: Smith is an impact edge rusher and fills a void on the roster. He will continue to gain size and improve his technique, and should be a valuable asset early on in his college career. He was long rumored to be a heavy Miami lean, and was the first player to commit this weekend. With another 5 players following his lead, it's easy to see that Smith has already had a positive impact for the Canes.

Joe’s Grade: 5.8, 4*

Nolan’s Grade: 5.9, 4*

Cam’s Grade: 5.9, 4*

Ryan Mayes (6'2", 180 LBs)
Miami, FL - Northwestern HS
Corner Back

Strengths: Some sites have him listed as an athlete, other as a corner back. He can easily play both at the next level. At corner back, his length helps him match wide receiver's in the air, and his long arms allow him to reach in and deflect passes. He shows decent timing and instincts. At receiver, he shows good hands, speed, and open field presence. His height and wingspan would make him a good deep ball and corner route asset.

Weaknesses: He has good hands, but not great, at both positions. At wide receiver, he catches more with his body than he does with his hands. At corner, he deflects a lot more passes than he catches, unless he can use his chest. His reaction speed and hips aren't the best, but his length allows him to mask this a bit. As far as tackling is concerned, he seems content going for the arm or ankle tackle, rather than using his body to try and take down an opponent. That type of strategy will get him beat at the D1 level more often than not.

Bottom Line: Mayes, while currently off the radar, looks primed to blow up this season. He very well could end up being a fantastic early pick up by Miami. Former Miami WR's coach George McDonald really wanted him at Syracuse, enough for him to make a few snarky comments on twitter about the fact he picked Miami. Whether he comes in at WR or CB, he looks like he will definitely make an impact.

Joe’s Grade: 5.6, 3*

Nolan’s Grade: 5.7, 3*

Cam’s Grade: 5.6, 3*

Malik Rosier (6'2", 205 LBs)
Mobile, AL - Faith Academy
Dual-Threat Quarterback

Strengths: Rosier has a very live arm. He can fit throws into very small windows due to his impressive arm strength. Rosier is very comfortable throwing on the run, or in the face of a heavy pass rush. Rosier has quick feet and can elude incoming defenders with ease. Rosier is also a dangerous runner. He rushed for over 1,000 yards as a Junior, and that number was split evenly between designed runs and scrambles when passing plays broke down. He also has above average speed, and can pull away from defenders. Could be a weapon in a read-option scheme. He has good size at 6'2" and a nice, lithe, athletically built frame. Rosier moonlights at Safety for his team, and is also a standout baseball player, both of which are testaments to his overall athleticism.

Weaknesses: While Rosier has a strong arm, his overall accuracy and ball placement need work. He can tend to trust his arm a bit too much, eschewing proper technique and footwork in the process. Not always on balance when he throws, and throws across his body far too often. Rosier can be a bit cavalier with the football, throwing into windows he really shouldn't. While he only saw this hurt him on occasion as a Junior, this will need to be rectified at the collegiate level. Rosier can tend to abandon passing plays quickly if his first or second read isn't available in favor of running.

Bottom Line: Rosier is a nice prospect, and another good pull for this class. This commitment came on the same evening that we learned that David Thompson was leaving Football to focus on Baseball full-time, a circumstance that can't be purely coincidental. Rosier is a bit more of a project than Brad Kaaya and Alin Edouard, but has the potential to be a very nice player down the line. His inclusion in this class gives Miami depth at the Quarterback position, and will no doubt lead to an intense Quarterback competition in 2014, and into the future.

Joe’s Grade: 5.6, 3*

Nolan’s Grade: 5.8, 4*

Cam’s Grade: 5.6, 3*