Last year, I did this a little differently. I did the standard "offensive targets" and "defensive targets" breakdown. But, we're gonna switch it up. Let's look at the prospects from Florida first (where the foundation of every recruiting class and our team should come from), then later, the national recruits.
Earlier this spring, I wrote this article on how to keep the momentum going for the #Swag16 class. Here's the TL;DR version for you:
- Reconnect with top SoFLA HS programs
- Don't wait until the last minute of offer talented SoFLA players
- Embrace a new recruiting paradigm
(Note, this is a dynamic list, and will change over time. So, if you're reading this months after the publish date, and the list has changed, PLEASE don't email me about it.)
After settling for a developmental prospect in 2015 (Evan Shirreffs, whose frame and skillset I really like), Miami is in the market for a top flight QB prospect. This player will hit campus for Brad Kaaya's junior year, and will presumably be in line to challenge for the starting job as early as 2017. Luckily, Miami seems to have already found this player.
Jack Allison (6'5" 200lbs), Palmetto HS, Palmetto, FL - Miami Commit
Allison is one of the top QB prospects in this class. He's got the height that OC James Coley loves at the position, and very good skills. Allison has been committed to Miami since June 2014, and seems to be all Canes. He is recruiting other players into this class, and hasn't taken any visits elsewhere since committing. Allison seems set as the heir apparent, and that's a good thing. Here are some highlights to illustrate why:
Matt Dame (6'2" 175lbs), Suncoast HS, West Palm Beach, FL
Dame received an early offer in the spring of his Freshman year, but as time has gone on, he seems to have fallen off of Miami's radar. He could be an option as the 2nd QB in this class, were we to take one. But, more likely, he'll find a home elsewhere.
Another position where the Canes only took 1 player in the 2015 class, running back will probably be a spot where there are multiple takes in this class. After the high caliber recruits at this position over the last 2 years, 2015 is a relatively down year for this position in Florida. Getting Joseph Yearby in 2014 and Mark Walton in 2015 were great gets, but there needs to be a replenishing of talent at this spot. This may be a position where depth players are taken in 2016, with future stars coming in the 2017 class.
Amir Rasul (5'10" 200lbs), Coral Gables Senior HS, Coral Gables, FL - Miami commit
Rasul was the first RB to commit in this class. He's an intriguing prospect who may profile better as a track athlete than a football player. He's been rumored to be considering other schools for his final collegiate destination. He's talented, sure, but Rasul won't be the make or break player in this class.
McArthur Burnett (5'11" 175lbs), Pahokee HS, Pahokee, FL - Miami commit
The second RB commit in this class, Burnett is a talented playmaker from the football hotbed known as "The Muck". Burnett is a talented runner, and a dangerous weapon in the passing game as well. He's a 3-star recruit, but don't let that affect your view of him. Burnett is definitely the kind of player who can be a valuable contributor for the Hurricanes. He just won't be the star of the team. Still, a good get for this class.
Zack Moss (5'11" 220lbs), Mater Academy, Hialeah Gardens, FL
A late edit to this section of the article, Moss is the latest player to commit to Miami, having done so just yesterday.He has had a swift recruitment to the Canes, earning his offer a mere 8 days ago. Moss is a big back who runs hard. He lacks wiggle, but makes up for it with strength. He probably won't be an immediate impact player, but he could develop into a nice rotation player in time. Moss' only other offer currently is Appalachian State, but I think he's poised to earn several P5 caliber offers in the near future.
Carlin Fils-Aime (5'11" 180lbs), Naples HS, Naples, FL
Fils-Aime is an interesting prospect. He was once thought to be close to committing, but that chatter died down when Burnett committed to the Canes. Fils-Aime is a tough runner, and plays bigger than his size would indicate. He could be a top option should a spot at this position open down the line.
Deon McIntosh (5'11" 175lbs), Cardinal Gibbons HS, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
If this name and hometown seem familiar, it should; Deon is the younger brother of 2015 DL signee Richard McIntosh. Deon is another talented skill position player who will probably continue to receive recruiting attention throughout this cycle. If he puts up a strong senior season, he may move to the top of the list for this position.
Travis Homer (5'11" 195lbs), Oxbridge Academy, West Palm Beach, FL
Homer was largely an unknown until he went to The Opening's Miami regional. At that event, Homer recorded the highest SPARQ score to date (as of the publishing of this article): a 126.51 composite score. That SPARQ score is a testament to Homer's athleticism, which he uses with great success on the field. He's bigger than the other players at this position, and that could play in his favor in his recruitment, which will undoubtedly pick up as we progress through this cycle. Expect Homer to be a player who gets offers from many P5 programs before all is said and done.
WIDE RECEIVER/TIGHT END
You've probably seen me say that the skill positions in South Florida are loaded this year. What I really meant was wide receiver is loaded. And, I mean L-O-A-D-E-D. This is how loaded WR is down here this year: I pushed 4-star caliber players to the "other available players" list, and omitted several 4 and 5 star kids who are committed elsewhere. And it doesn't even make a difference, because there are still 13 players on this list.
After only taking 1 WR in 2015 (Lawrence Cager) and 3 in 2014 (Braxton Berrios, Tyre Brady, and Darrell Langham), this is a position that figures to be one of the featured positions in this class. So, expect to see 3-6 players taken at this position this year. Yeah. That many.
Sam Bruce (5'8" 160lbs), St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Miami commit
Bruce is the highest ranked commit in the #Swag16 class. He's an electric player who can impact the game as a receiver, runner, or returner. Bruce is an invitee to Nike's The Opening, and a top 60 national recruit. Bruce is an elite talent, who is pretty much uncoverable in 1-on-1 situations. Here's a tweet from one of the top 7on7 teams int he country after Bruce shredded them in the IMG regional tournament:
That boy @_QUICK6 is a major problem on that field! You cant stop him only hope to contain him. Ah nevermind he was pretty much unstoppable!— Pro Impact Sports (@ProImpactJax7v7) March 30, 2015
Bruce is being recruited by many top teams, including Florida and Florida State. Having recently said in an interview that he's "about 60% committed right now", Miami will be in a fight to keep Bruce's commitment until National Signing Day. After seeing Bruce's close friend and former teammate Jordan Scarlett flip at the last minute, this is something that is worth watching. This recruitment will be a dogfight, but it's one that Miami needs to win.
Words not doing it for you? Here is a Maxpreps.com video of Bruce's highlights.
Dionte Mullins (5'10" 179lbs), Gulliver Prep, Miami, FL - Miami commit
Mullins has come full circle where Miami is concerned. A couple years ago, he attended an Al Golden Football Camp, didn't receive the attention he felt he deserved, and was vocal about his displeasure. Since then, he's been a man on a mission, playing at a high level in all available settings. Once his former OC Jorge Baez was hired at Miami and extended an offer, the 4-star rated Mullins was quick to commit. Now that he's committed, I don't see him wavering in the slightest. He'll be a Cane.
Ahmmon Richards (6'2" 172lbs), Wellington HS, Wellington, FL - Miami commit
When Richards committed back in the fall, not many had heard of him. After a 1200 yard, 23 touchdown junior season, he's well known in recruiting circles. Around the time of Richards' commitment, there was debate whether he is a WR or DB. That debate has been settled: he's a WR, and we're recruiting him/accepted his commitment as a WR. Since this was clarified early on in the process, it's my hope that there won't be a repeat of what happened with Travis Rudolph's recruitment. Even still, that won't stop top programs from recruiting Richards. Alabama and others have already offered the star WR.
Evan Hinson (6'5" 220lbs), Deltona HS, Deltona, FL - Miami commit
Hinson could be listed at multiple slots, but I'll leave him at TE for now. He's a multitalented athlete who could end up being a factor at WR, TE, or DE. Not only that, but Hinson is also an outstanding basketball player, and plans to play both sports at Miami. He averaged 23ppg as a junior, and has received numerous accolades for his work on the hardwood and the gridiron. He's a solid player and should aid both the football and basketball programs in the future.
Binjimen Victor (6'4" 171lbs), Coconut Creek HS, Coconut Creek, FL
The first uncommitted prospect at this position, Victor could be the best player at this position in South Florida. He's tall, he's fast, and he's incredibly skilled. Victor started his HS career at Northeast HS, the same school the produced WR Stacy Coley. Victor is unquestionably a national recruit, and has the offer to prove it. Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU, and many others have joined Miami in offering this talented player.
Keyshawn "Pie" Young (5'11" 175lbs), Miami Senior HS, Miami, FL
Much like the aforementioned Richards, Young is a player who caused a divide in recruiting circles. And, like with Richards, that uncertainty has become clear: Young wants to play WR, not DB. Personally, I like Young better at DB, but that's not what he wants to be recruited to play. Young is a talented player with good skills. I would take him in this class, but there are others that I would personally prefer at this position. In any event, he's a viable option, and will be a P5 recruit when all is said and done.
Freddie Pinder (6'5" 195lbs), Southridge Senior HS, Miami, FL
Pinder is the kind of receiver that Miami has been missing over the past few years: big, strong, tall, fast, and great hands. He's a 4-star player who has been on Miami's radar for quite a while. At current, Miami leads Tennessee for Pinder's services. Many think that Pinder will end up at Miami in the end. Personally, having seen Pinder on a couple different occasions, he's definitely at the top of my wishlist for WR in this class.
This is the first of many American Heritage players you'll see in this series. Snelson, who was committed to Miami for about 2 months previously in his junior year, is a very talented player with a very high ceiling. His athleticism allows him to play bigger than his height, and his speed makes him a threat to score every time that he touches the ball. Snelson could look to re-commit to Miami, but that's probably unlikely at this point. In any event, he's a top talent from the South Florida area, and Miami coaches should reach out to him and get the temperature of his recruitment, at the least.
Darnell Salomon (6'3" 198lbs), Miami Central Senior HS, Miami, FL
Yet another talented receiver, Salomon will ply his trade for a new team in the fall. After having played at Champagnat Catholic for the past 3 years, Salomon has transferred to Miami Central, where he'll replace Da'Vante Phillips as the #1 receiving option. This is a powerhouse team and Salomon is a powerhouse player. He will benefit from the additional exposure of playing for Miami Central, and new teams will have to deal with covering the talented player. Salomon is said to be looking at the SEC for his collegiate destination, and with offers from Alabama, Florida and LSU, that makes sense. A top 100 player in this class, Salomon's recruitment will probably go all the way until National Signing Day, or close to it.
Cavin Ridley (6'1" 190lbs), Monarch HS, Coconut Creek, FL
If the last name and the school seems like a familiar conversation, it should. Cavin is the younger brother of 2015 5-star WR Calvin Ridley, who also attended Monarch. Much like his brother (and brother's best friend Shawn Burgess-Becker), the younger Ridley is heavily involved with Alabama in his recruiting. He's also said that he'll look to follow his own path, and named Florida and Florida State as other schools he's interested in. But, let's live in the real world: heavy odds are that Ridley will be joining his brother at Alabama.
Brandon Johnson (6'3" 172lbs), American Heritage HS, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Not only is Johnson the 2nd American Heritage player on this list, he's a Miami legacy; Johnson's father is University of Miami All-American and 12 year Major League Baseball veteran Charles Johnson. The younger Johnson is a good player, but not to the caliber of the other receivers on this list. He has improved as a technician over the past 2 years, and has very good size. I'd take him in this class, but there are others that I would like to see Miami pursue first.
Nick Eubanks (6'5" 215lbs), American Heritage HS, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Hey! Look! Another American Heritage player!! Eubanks is a talented Tight End who has very good athleticism and speed. He can be a mismatch for LBs and DBs and an effective receiver over the middle and up the seam. Like many players at this stage of development, Eubanks needs to refine his skills as a blocker. That being said, Eubanks is an athletic player with good size who can come in and be a spot player or RS for a year before coming in and being a top level contributor at the next level. Currently a 3-star recruit, Eubanks' top offers are Miami, Alabama, and LSU. I have a feeling he'll earn that 4th star very soon.
After taking 6 players here in 2015, and with 13 of the 17 scholarship players at this position being first or second year players, this OL class will probably be smaller in numbers this time around. Obviously, there's strength in numbers, especially on the Offensive and Defensive lines, but this isn't a premium priority it's been in years past.
And, that's a good thing. There are few high caliber in-state players in this class at this position. And, with the demonstrated penchant for going out of state in previous years, repeating that methodology for OL in 2016 wouldn't surprise me in the slightest.
Parker Boudreaux (6'4" 287lbs), Bishop Moore HS, Orlando, FL
Boudreaux has, arguably, the most offers of any player in the 2016 class. Currently claiming 71 offers, the talented OL has many options for his collegiate destination. Boudreaux has visited Miami in the past, as well as several SEC school over the past week, probably coinciding with his spring break. He's a 4-star talent and a very good prospect at Guard. Obviously, due to the number of offers he claims, getting Boudreaux to commit will be a battle.
Marcus Tatum (6'7" 260lbs), Mainland HS, Daytona Beach, FL
One of the best tackle prospects in-state, Tatum is a powerful player from a powerhouse high school program. Tatum has a good frame, and room to add weight to 290 or more. That will be needed weight once he hits the college level. Tatum has several high caliber offers in addition to Miami, including Auburn, Florida, and Stanford. Currently, his 67% of predictions have him going to Miami. But, as I'm sure you know, it's a LONG WAY until National Signing Day 2016.
Andrew Boselli (6'4" 290lbs), Episcopal HS, Jacksonville, FL
The son of former #2 overall pick and future NFL Hall of Fame OT Tony Boselli, Andrew is a polished player who has spent a lifetime around the game. The younger Boselli doesn't have his father's immense size, but he plays with great leverage and technique. He, like Boudreaux, is a very good prospect for the interior offensive line.
Stewart Reese (6'7" 340lbs), Ft. Pierce Central HS, Ft. Pierce, FL
One of my personal favorites after seeing him at a Nike recruiting event last year, Reese is a massive player. He has great height and size, and carries his weight well. Reese earned first team All-State recognition in 2015 in Florida's highest HSFB classification. So, he's got talent.
Reese would be a great get as a 2-3 year project. He won't be an immediate impact guy, but could grow into a solid player in time, kind of like what has happened with Danny Isidora.
Other available players: none of note at this time
That's it for the Offense. Tomorrow, we look at Defense. Have a guy you like or want to see Miami land? Discuss it in the comments below. And, vote in the poll.