So, in case you missed it, the #Swag16 class is no longer the top rated recruiting class for 2016. That distinction belongs to Florida State, who recently picked up a commitment from 5-star CB Levonta Taylor.
Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post had his take on what the Canes can do to reclaim the top spot, and I started to tweet mine out as well.
What does Miami have to do to get back to the top class? 1. Win 2. Get more commits 3. Current commits get their ratings bumps. SEVERAL will— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) April 6, 2015
Looking at this class, I know people will trumpet @SBNRecruiting's "blue chip ratio" stat, but when commits get bumps, we'll be fine— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) April 6, 2015
So, here is my take.
1. Win games.
Recruits get bumps for being committed to top schools who win on the field. Don't believe me? Look at Jordan Scarlett last year. He was committed to FAU (a joke, and everybody knew it), and he was a low 4-star kid, a ranking which was WELL below his actual talent level. When he flipped to Miami, he got a boost.
Don't like that example? Look at Jamel Cook from this recruiting class. When he had Miami as his top school (as he stated in multiple interviews), he was a low 3-star kid. He committed to FSU and what happened? HUGE jump. mid-high 4-star ranking now. And what changed? The school he is linked to in recruiting.
Now, some may say "Cook was due for a jump", but when I (and others) brought that up when he was a Miami lean, it fell on deaf ears. Now, all the things we said then are the things that have earned him a jump. Is that merely a coincidence? I think not.
My point, when Miami wins, the committed recruits will get bumps. And that will help the ranking of this class.
2. Get more commits
In recruiting, there is strength in numbers. If we have more players committed, that will help the ranking.
3. Committed players get their bumps
This kind of links back to point #1, but there are several players who should get bumps to their rankings which would result in Miami potentially having the #1 ranked class again.
Which players? I'm glad you asked
- WR Sam Bruce - already the highest ranked player in this class, the only thing holding Bruce back from being a 5-star is his height (5'8"). But, with a strong showing at The Opening, he could get that 5th star.
- LB Shaq Quarterman - another highly rated player, Quarterman is a beast of an ILB and a 5-star talent, just not that 5-star ranking. He could get it over the summer.
- QB Jack Allison - All Allison has done over the 7on7 and camp season is prove that he's as good as, if not better than, current 5-star rated QBs. If he has a strong showing at The Opening's Columbus Regional, he could easily get an invite to the Elite 11 QB camp and a 5th star.
- CB Deion Jackson - The steal of the year and the most underrated player in this class relative to his ability. Jackson is lowly rated because he missed most of his junior season due to injury. This is a mid-high 4-star kid with size, length, and a very high ceiling for development. He won't be a low 3-star much longer.
- CB Tyler Byrd - Byrd is a very good athlete, but his ranking is lower than I would expect. Having seen his film, as well as in person on several occasions, I'm confident that he will get a bump in the near future.
4. Trim the fat
Some people aren't going to like me saying this, but whatever.
There are players who are committed who can't play at this level. It happens every year. It's on the coaching staff to separate themselves from those players and have them seek shelter elsewhere.
"That never happens. You're just a hater." Wrong.
Larry Hope (how he made it here as long as he did is beyond me).
Ray Lewis III.
There are always guys who don't belong here, for whatever reason. When we separate from them, it opens spots for players who are ranked higher (if you're into that) or who fit here better (and would help the team win more).
Who do I think we should drop or move away from in this class?
Nah. I'm not going there.
Those are my thoughts. What are yours? Leave them in the comments below.