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Miami Hurricanes Recruiting Radar Pt 1: Hits and Misses

So much happened this month that it can't all fit in one article. So, in part 1 of this month's Recruiting Radar, we look at the Hits and Misses on the recruiting front.

That's right, Canes fans. That's a DT. And he's coming to The U!
That's right, Canes fans. That's a DT. And he's coming to The U!

It's been a about month since the last Recruiting Radar, and many new developments have happened since the last installment. Your SOTU recruiting crew (Joe Garcia Jr, Lt. Philip Nolan, and Cameron Underwood), take a look at any new commits, who may be coming next, and what to expect as the recruiting season heats up.


National Recruiting Coordinator/WR coach Brennan Carroll is a star in the recruiting scene. Carroll tweets out what has become known as "the Bat Signal" , a signal which tells Hurricane fans another player has chosen to "take his talents to South Beach".

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href=";src=hash">#WelcomeToTheU</a> !!!!!</p>&mdash; Brennan Carroll (@brennanpcarroll) <a href="">June 22, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Let's look at the recruits Carroll welcomed in the past month:

  • The first commit in this month came at the June 8th Al Golden Football camp, when Albany (GA) LB Juwon Young (6'2", 228lbs) committed to the Canes after a strong showing at camp. Throughout the day, the coaches were very impressed with his performance, which led to an offer and commitment. Young is a thickly build player who brings added size to a position that is rife with more lithe, athletic players. You can read our article about his commitment here, and you can read his interview with Jerry Steinberg here.
  • Just one day after Young's commitment at the June 9th Al Golden Football Camp, Santaluces WR Darrell Langham (6'5", 190lbs) earned an offer from the coaches, and committed on the spot. Langham is a tall prospect with good speed (rumored to run in the low 4.5s). He is the first receiver commit in this class which figures to have 3-4 players come in at this position. Langham isn't a message board favorite, but he is a very talented player who will open eyes with his play this year. This is a top notch recruit that fits Miami's scheme perfectly. Read our commitment post here.
  • After one of Brennan Carroll's "Bat Signal" tweets on June 21st, speculation was hot on the internet about who the new commit was. At first, it was thought to be another late addition tot he 2013 class: College of the Sequoias JUCO/Homestead DT Julio Derosier (6'6", 280lbs).Then, word came out that Derosier himself said he was not committed anywhere and still considering his options. Then, Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald posted a new blog which clarified any misunderstandings. The blog reads, in part: "UM's Sports Information staff said Derosier has signed a financial aid agreement/scholarship to attend the school". So, after all that, Derosier is in fact a Hurricane. Lt. Nolan posted about this while the "controversy" was ongoing.
  • After months of waiting and debating, Miami Northwestern LB/DE Michael Smith (6'2", 220lbs) finally pulled the trigger and committed at the June 22nd session of the Al Golden Football Camp.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Miami Northwestern LB Michael Smith has committed to Miami <a href=";src=hash">#Canes</a></p>&mdash; Peter Ariz (@P_Ariz3) <a href="">June 22, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Smith is a key prospect in this class, which is heavy on offensive players. His ability to rush the passer is something that is sorely needed, and should be put to great use in future years. Want another commitment post? We've got you covered

  • A couple hours after Smith's commitment, we not only got a "Bat Signal" from Carroll, we also got this gem:<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Welcome to The U Part Deux!</p>&mdash; Al Golden (@GoldenAl) <a href="">June 22, 2013</a></blockquote>

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It was shortly announced that the 2nd recruit was another defensive player, Jacksonville (FL) Oakleaf LB Darrion Owens (6'3", 220lbs). Owens is a top flight prospect who is another big defender at the LB position. It is obvious that the coaching staff is trying to bring in players who fit the 3-4 scheme Golden prefers to run. For more on Owens' commitment, see what Lt. Nolan had to say.

  • As if those 2 defenders weren't enough for one recruiting day, Norcross (GA) TE Chris Herndon (6'4", 230lbs) committed to the Canes as well. He adds quality depth to the talent already at this position, and gives Miami a very bright future at Tight End for the foreseeable future. And, with his well known affinity for TEs, you know Lt. Nolan had to recap this one
  • Late in the afternoon, after Smith, Owens, and Herndon all committed, we all thought that the storm was over. And then, this happened:<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p><a href=";src=hash">#WelcomeToTheU</a> !!!! Yup...4x</p>&mdash; Brennan Carroll (@brennanpcarroll) <a href="">June 22, 2013</a></blockquote>

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The 4th, and final, commit of a heavy recruiting day was Ft. Lauderdale (FL) Dillard ATH Dennis Turner (5'11" 175lbs). There were conflicting reports as to whether Turner was offered to play offense or defense. As the day wore on, the chatter seemed to indicate that he is likely to end up playing in the secondary. Cam Underwood hopped in with the recap for this commit.

  • The recruiting magic of the weekend didn't stop after those 4 commits. At the June 23rd session of the Al Golden Football camp, we got this tweet signalling another new recruit:<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Breaking - Carol City&#39;s Trayon Gray offered and committed today to Miami. Big weekend for Canes!!</p>&mdash; SFHS Sports (@SFHSSports) <a href="">June 23, 2013</a></blockquote>

Pete Ariz of CanesInSight reported that during the camp Gray was seen working at QB, WR, and DB. Clearly, he's a multitalented player who could see his talents being used in many different ways. He is a very underrated prospect, and is a big get for the Canes. Al Golden and staff did well with early evaluation on this one. Read about his commitment here.

  • Late in the night on June 24th, Al Golden and company added yet another player to the 2014 class, as Miami (FL) Northwestern CB Ryan Mayes (6'2", 185lbs) secured his spot in this growing class. Mayes is a relatively new recruit on the scene, as he played his last few seasons at a school with a slightly lower profile for recruits (Dr. Krop in Ives Estates). However, don't let that fool you; Mayes is a very good talent who is sure to see his reputation grow as he moves to one of the most storied HS programs in South Florida as they play arguably the toughest schedule in the country. Read more about Mayes' commitment here. And, check out Daniel Tummeley's interview with Mayes here.
  • Just one night later on June 25th, Miami added yet another commitment for the 2014 class, with Mobile (AL) QB Malik Rosier (6'2", 205lbs) being the latest player to give his verbal to Al Golden and Company. Rosier is an athletic prospect who is still learning the QB position. But, his raw ability and impressive arm strength could make him a very productive player in James Coley's Pro Spread offense. Another commitment story? Thought you'd never ask.
  • A new prospect to football, Miami (FL) Booker T. Washington DE Demetrius Jackson (6'5", 220lbs) committed to the Canes on June 28th. Jackson is a very intriguing prospect: he was a top level optimist (little league) football player, but had eschewed the game for years to focus on another sport: basketball. Jackson is coming back to the gridiron this fall, and if his performance in Booker T's spring game (5 sacks) is any indication, he will be a force to be reckoned with. Lt. Nolan had this to say about Jackson's commitment.
  • There has been an ongoing narrative about Miami being unable to get Defensive Tackles to want to come to play at The U. That narrative took a big hit, and the Canes gained a big commit, when Hialeah (FL) Champagnat DT Travonte Valentine (6'4", 323lbs) gave his pledge to Al Golden and Company on July 3rd. In a word, this commitment is HUGE. In case you didn't know, we need DT's. Or, so the story goes. Lt. Nolan handles this in the 2nd part of this month's Recruiting Radar, so I won't steal his thunder.

    What I will say is this: UM is the 3rd school Valentine has committed to, and yes, I know that gives many of you pause. Reading Pete Ariz's story on Valentine's commitment over on CanesInSight will help to allay those concerns, as well as any you may have about Valentine's grades and qualifying. Want more coverage of Valentine's decision? Ok. Here are articles by Dieter Kurtenbach of the Sun-Sentinel, and your own
    fearless leader here at SOTU, Lt. Nolan

Who got away?

While Miami has seen some very impressive momentum on the recruiting trail, the news wasn't all good. Let's look at the ones who got away:

  • Leading up to the June 2nd weekend and the first Al Golden Football Camp, chatter was high that Homestead (FL) South Dade WR Tyre Brady was close to a commitment to UM. After attending camp, Brady was "close to committing" according to many, himself included in multiple interviews. He did not commit, and kept his options open. That is, until he took at trip to attend camp at the University of Kentucky<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>I cried tears of joy today after telling my mom I committed to the university of Kentucky. <a href=";src=hash">#ProudCommit</a> <a href=";src=hash">#BBN</a> <a href=";src=hash">#StoopsTroops</a></p>&mdash; BuiltToLast (@Tyre_Brady) <a href="">June 14, 2013</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Heading to the hills</p>&mdash; BuiltToLast (@Tyre_Brady) <a href="">June 16, 2013</a></blockquote>

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And, just like that, one of the top talents in South Florida came off the board, joining new coach Mark Stoops in the hills of Kentucky. Missing out on Brady isn't a game changer for this class, and is softened by the already discussed commitment of Darrell Langham.

  • In the midst of the HUGE recruiting day on June 22nd that saw the Canes pick up 4 players, there was one highly regarded player who announced his commitment, and it wasn't to Miami<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Just committed to the University of Florida🐊🏈 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</p>&mdash; Khairi Clark (@KhairiClark) <a href="">June 22, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Coupled with Anthony Moten's prior commitment to UF, the news that Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna DT Khairi Clark is also taking his talents AWAY from South Florida is especially hurtful. It is no secret that Miami is in desperate need of talented players at Defensive Tackle, and Clark had long been viewed as a heavy Miami lean. Landing Travonte Valentine helped to soften the blow of losing Clark, but it still hurt quite a bit, if only in the court of public perception.

  • Miami is known to be looking at bringing in multiple RBs in this class. One of the top players on that list came off the board on June 24th as Ft. Worth (TX) All Saints Episcopal RB Daniel Gresham committed to Louisville. That is a big get for Charlie Strong's team and has a backstory that makes sense: Gresham's family is originally from Louisville, and he felt a connection to a city that he's visited many times and where he used to live. While the Canes Fam might not like his choice, it is certainly understandable.
  • After finishing 120th our of 124 FBS teams in Total Defense in 2012, the Canes have looked to bolster the talent on that side of the ball. One of their prime targets, Austell (GA) South Cobb DE Justin Jones committed to NCSU on June 24th. So, in a matter of hours, UM lost both Gresham and Jones. While not optimal, the myriad additions that Al Golden was able to reel in this same weekend makes these losses easier to accept.
  • Al Golden has well documented recruiting ties in the Northeast, and tried to use those ties to bring in another talented defender to this 2014 class. However, those efforts proved futile when Wayne (NJ) St. Joseph's S Kiy Hester committed to Rutgers on June 28th. Hester, a consensus 4 star recruit, has impressive physical skills would have been a very good addition to the Hurricanes. He was known to have cooled on the thought of playing far away from home, so his commitment to his home state's premier (only) football school isn't surprising.
  • Once thought to be a heavy UM lean, San Antonio (TX) Roosevelt CB Arrion Springs to committed to Oregon in what can only be called one of the worst kept secrets of this recruiting cycle. While Springs liked UM enough (the Canes were rumored to be his leader back in April), he waited and worked for an offer from his dream school: Oregon. Once that offer finally came through, most recruiting analysts figured Springs' commitment to the Ducks was a foregone conclusion. That became true on July 2nd at Nike's "The Opening" in Beaverton, Oregon. A fitting place for Springs to announce his commitment, if you ask me.
  • A close runner up for worst kept recruiting secret of the 2014 cycle was finally announced publicly, as Tampa (FL) Catholic OL Corey Martinez to committed to FSU. Miami was in Martinez's 5 finalists, but with the number of OL recruits the Hurricanes currently have, and their impressive skill level, Martinez looked elsewhere for his collegiate home. This was another case of a player finally making public the knowledge that many had either heard from "sources" or gleaned by careful attention to this player's recruitment.
    That's it for Part 1 of this month's Recruiting Radar. Be sure to check out Part 2: Rants and Rumors. It's going to be epic. And, as always, join the discussion by leaving a comment below.
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