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Recruiting Radar 5/2: quick updates and mailbag

A quick look around the recruiting world for the Canes

Could 4-star QB Cameron Rising, a 2018 recruit, be the next great Canes QB from California?
Could 4-star QB Cameron Rising, a 2018 recruit, be the next great Canes QB from California?

Hey guys. Your weekly recruiting update starts now:

South Carolina picks up 2 Canes targets

Within an hour on Saturday, South Carolina picked up commitments from two players the Canes are after: 3-star WR Shawn Smith (Brunswick, GA), and 3-star RB Kyshaun Bryan (Ft. Lauderdale, FL).

Both Smith and Bryan have on attribute that Miami covets greatly in this class: speed. Odd, to me, that speedy skill players would choose to play for a Will Muschamp offense, but I guess that's beside the point.

Smith has said he will still visit Miami in the future, but his connection with South Carolina WR coach Bryan McClendon, who would be his position coach and was his primary recruiter previously at Georgia, was the key to his commitment to the Gamecocks.

Bryan is one of many RBs Miami is looking at, and has said he has a good connection with Thomas Brown. But, he chose to commit to South Carolina instead, which makes me wonder just where on the Canes' RB board Bryan happens to be. Possibly not as high as some think.

In any event, these are recruiting losses for Miami, but not debilitating ones. There are other players of similar attributes and skill that the Canes are connected to, so this won't be a back breaker. We'll get to this more in the questions later.

Swift looking elsewhere

One of the top players at his position in this class, 5-star RB D'Andre Swift (Philadelphia, PA) told 247Sports that his highest interest right now is with the 5 team group of Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, and Penn State.

A week ago, Swift released a top 10, which included Miami. But, combining that tweet with the above note from the 247 interview, and the picture is clear: Swift is tangentially interested in Miami (at best), and is focused on other options at current.

Again, with a fairly deep and talented RB class this year, and with 2 players committed at this position already (4-star Robert Burns and 3-star Bentavious Thompson for the uninitiated), Miami is still in good shape at Running Back. The Canes would be in better shape with Swift added to the roster in any capacity, but alas. It's like that sometimes.

Onward we go.

2018 QB Rising: "Who wouldn't want to play for 'The U'?"

Already a highly touted prospect, 2018 4-star QB Cameron Rising (Newbury Park, CA) received a scholarship offer from Miami last week. On top of having a great name (yes, I'm biased, shut up), Rising had some pleasing comments for Canes fans in a recent interview.

Rising said "who wouldn't want to play for The U?" and "There's no better place in the Nation" in an interview with 247sports, and those are obviously good statements for Miami. With Mark Richt's track record recruiting and developing QBs, and the Canes' connection to California with Brad Kaaya and previous signal callers Gino Torretta, Scott Covington, Kyle Wright and Ken Dorsey hailing from Cali, Miami could be in to make a move with Rising.

Rising is thin, but he's a high school sophomore. And yes, there's still plenty of development he has to do to maintain that 4-star rating as a prospect, but he seems to be well on his way toward doing that. Miami is not the only school to offer Rising in recent days; among his claimed 16 offers, Alabama, North Carolina, Southern Cal and Oklahoma have all offered Rising since National Signing Day. Predictions for Rising's commitment on 247's Crystal Ball are currently 50/50 between Washington State and Miami.

Rising's sophomore stats were: 191/319 passing (59.8%) for 3213 yards, 40 touchdowns and 1 interception. He also ran the ball 79 times for 756 yards and 11 touchdowns. Yeah, that's pretty damn good, if you ask me.

Listed as a pocket passer, Rising has very good mobility, an above average arm, and good accuracy. You can see all those attributes in his HUDL highlights below.


Time for your questions.

Top 3 for me: OL. DB. WR.

Don't have an "official" number since Miami doesn't release scholarship information, but I took a pretty good guess at this already in the weeks after National Signing Day. But, if you missed my early look at scholarship numbers in this class, here's the link. One tweak, though...

A LB recruit said Miami is only looking to take 2 in this class. I listed more than that in the linked article. Take those 2 scholly's off of LB and put them on another position, or under the "best player available" area and the math still works.

Easy: ATH Deejay Dallas. He tweets almost exclusively about Miami. It's remarkable. He should just go ahead and commit already, in my humble opinion.

(watch me be totally wrong about this one now that I said this)

To be clear, this question references 4-star QB N'Kosi Perry and 3-star QB Cade Weldon.

And, yes, I think they'll both stick, for the following reasons:
  1. Perry is Miami's #1 overall player on the recruiting board. Mark Richt wants him here badly.
  2. Miami was open with both players about taking 2 QBs this year (transparency matters here)
  3. Weldon's previous and longstanding relationship with Mark Richt (Richt coached Cade's dad Casey Weldon at FSU)
  4. Miami was one of the first big schools to offer Weldon, who missed nearly all of his junior year with a torn ACL. That early relationship in recruiting matters.
  5. Mark Richt is one of the best QB coaches in America. His track record shows that players who learn under him, even if they don't start right away, can and will make it in the NFL
Miami hasn't had a 2 QB class since 2014 when Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier were both in the same class. With Rosier battling for the backup spot (a battle I believe he'll lose) and Kaaya potentially being a high NFL draft pick after the season, the Canes would be in good shape at the QB position moving forward by keeping both Perry and Weldon in the fold for this class.

This is a great question. When looking at what Miami can hope for as a best case scenario for both on-field performance and recruiting success in year one of the Mark Richt era, there's an easy comparison:


Maybe I'm more acutely aware of the comparison being that I'm a native Michigander, but let me list the ways that Harbaugh's Michigan turn-around and Canes fans' hoped-for Richt turn-around are similar:

  1. Traditional CFB powerhouse program
  2. Decade (or more) of mediocrity at best.
  3. Rival school changes coach, dominates rivalry, recruits circles around you, wins National Championship
  4. New coach coming back to Alma Mater
  5. New coach played QB at said Alma Mater
  6. New coach has molded 1st round draft picks at previous college job
  7. New coach revitalized, motivated to prove they can  still be "the guy" after the way things ended at their previous job.
  8. Great recruiting base/marketable brand to recruits
  9. Roster has good talent in key areas, allowing coach to win now
  10. Winning early turns recruiting in a good way
  11. Recruiting picks up because of new staff regardless of W/L record ("new coach smell")
I could go on, but you get the point. If Richt and company are able to guide the Canes to a 10-3 record like Harbaugh was at Michigan in 2015 (his first year back), then I expect Miami to reap similar rewards on the recruiting trail.

To end the 2016 recruiting cycle, Harbaugh's Michigan Wolverines had the 4th rated class according to Rivals, 5th rated class according to 247Sports and Scout, and 6th according to ESPN.  That's damn good.

Now, obviously the main component to making any positive strides in recruiting is going to be winning games. THat's the same thing everybody's been saying for years. We all know that.

But, to get to the heart of your question, how long until I think Miami can have the #1 recruiting class in America? I would say 3 years at the absolute earliest. The "new coach smell" has to wear off, and Richt's Canes have to prove themselves to be formidable every year. And, when a couple recruiting classes get to campus, develop, and start to play well, then future recruits will be able to see that, and hopefully decide to join this team.

Even if you look to the top of the article, Miami is recruiting a ton of 3-star players. They're 3-star/4-star borderline players more often than not, not the "4 years until they're game ready" projects that seemed to be all over the recruiting classes of the previous staff, but that still matters. More 5-star players have to come to Miami to realistically contend for the #1 class in America.

But, if all goes well, that could be in the conversation by the 2019 recruiting cycle.

Oh goodie. Rant time!!

You should all know Cam's Crootin Rule #1 by now: you have to have a QB in every recruiting class.

Now, the above question leads me to talk about one of my foundational beliefs in recruiting: There's no such thing as a "must get" recruit.

The reason for this is simple: there's too many players, too many good players, to be that devoted to any single player. Football is a team sport, with 11 players on the field on every play. Does it help to have the best players possible for those 11 spots? Sure. Of course. Nobody is trying to say otherwise. But will everything for that team turn based on 1 player? Probably not.

Take the first note in this article as the example: 2 Canes targets picked another school. What's Miami going to do? Get other guys to fill those spots. There are players of comparable size, speed, ability, skillset as those guys, and Miami can, and probably will, find them and get them to be a part of this class.

Where the "must get" thing comes from is 1. personal preference for a particular player, 2. perceived lack of alternatives. I can't do anything if you went to Miami Central and you want (insert player from Miami Central) to go to Miami at the exclusion of all others. I might not agree with you on that, but I can't change that. That's a strong want, not a "must get".

Conversely, the "perceived lack of alternatives" can be changed by reading more. ESPN, 247, Scout, Rivals, this site, and many other blogs incessantly post about recruiting. Some things come from professionals. Others, from knowledgeable fans. Others, from less than knowledgeable fans. Take from each post/blog/article what you will, but once you start to see the sheer volume of content, the incredibly long and diverse list of available players, then the thought that there's nobody other than (insert preferred player here) available in any given recruiting year will go out the window.

Now, I'm not saying ANY player can replace another player. Nobody is saying that a walk-on 5'6" RB is a peer level replacement for Dalvin Cook (5-star recruit who didn't come to Miami). I'm not saying that. That's stupid. I'm not stupid.

What I AM saying, however, is that regardless of the player, there's another player who can fill that spot. Might not be in that year, might be until the next year, might even take a couple players to come in and fill that spot, but a P5 team with 85 scholarships is more than any single recruit.

Now, I know people are going to hop in the comments and try to pick this argument apart. That's fine. I welcome and invite that.

But, with more than 1,200 FBS level recruits in a given year, you're not going to convince me that any player, I don't care what name you throw out, is a "must get". It's just simply not true. There's players on the roster, in the current recruiting class, or subsequent recruiting classes who can fill the void of any single recruit who chooses to go to another school.

To head off the reactions, let me say this: when Al Golden was Miami's coach, many 4-star/5-star players chose to go elsewhere, and were not replaced with similarly talented players. Golden plugged in 3-stars late in recruiting classes after the top guys flipped or decided to go to another school. When you're going year after year after year losing top tier talent and replacing it with 2nd tier (or lower) talent, THAT is when problems start to happen. Like the fact that Miami has, at this point, 1.5 playable cornerbacks.

But, that's not based on any one player. That came into the equation because of MANY missed players who were not replaced with peer-level talent.

So, to answer your question, I wholeheartedly disagree with the notion that any player is a "must get" or "can't miss" player. I just don't see that as being true or accurate. Sorry.


That's it for today's Recruiting Radar and mailbag. I'm SURE you have comments you want to share after those last 2 parts of the mailbag, so fire away and keep the conversation going.

Go Canes