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Recruiting Radar: Mailbag 9/27

We dive back into the wonderful world of recruiting with your questions about some of the targets and topics on your minds.

Can Miami make a run at 5-star LB Dylan Moses?

Hey guys. Been focused on the Canes season mostly with my pieces, but recruiting never stops. So, I’m back with another mailbag to reignite your recruiting reading.

Let’s get to your questions.

Yes. Absolutely. Chris Henderson was close to decommitting from Miami in the summer, but his teammates (commits Josh Jobe and Trajan Bandy) and the staff talked him out of it. And Henderson was solid to Miami....for a time.

Now, things seem to be trending toward Henderson decommitting and flipping to Florida in the (near?) future. While Miami is hosting easily the biggest recruiting weekend of the year next weekend when the Canes hot Florida State, Henderson may not attend that game, instead going to LSU-Florida. If that happens, it’s a wrap.

According to several reports, Miami is okay with Henderson dropping because even with his immense physical abilities, he’s still a project at CB. He doesn’t play CB on his HS team, and would need time before becoming game-ready. Miami could instead look at a ready-to-play player at DB (we’ll get to that in a minute) to replace Henderson, and there are several available options. But, that transaction wouldn’t happen until Henderson drops, as many — myself included — believe will happen in the not-too-distant future.

Man, a coach firing related recruiting question and IT’S ONLY SEPTEMBER!! I can’t believe LSU 1. didn’t fire Miles last year and 2. fired him already this year. But hey, do what needs to be done, I guess.

Getting to the question: Yes. How many is debatable, but there are definitely implications from this for Miami.

First among them, WR Devonta Smith (Amite, LA) has one of his top schools now in uncertain waters. I know LSU promoted a staffer to “General Manager” to try to keep their recruiting going, but Smith has to see the horrible, terrible, no good, very bad offense LSU runs and be taken aback. Miami is contending with several schools for this 5-star player, and this move could help them.

Another 5-star that could have his recruitment impacted Miles’ firing is LB Dylan Moses (Bradenton IMG Academy). He’s originally from LA, so LSU is very much in play for him. But, the 5-star will officially visit Miami next week for the FSU game, and the door is open for the Cane to make a move. That opening may only be a crack, and may only be open for 3 seconds, but it’s there and it’s open now. It remains to be seen if Miami can capitalize on this.

Moses’ HS teammate now at the mercenary IMG Academy is 4-star S Grant Delpit. Originally from TX, Delpit is committed to LSU, but had sincere interest in Miami earlier in the process. With Miles’ firing and the probable decommitment from Chris Henderson forthcoming, Miami could be in a place to try and make a move to flip this talented 6’3” DB.

Although he’s not in this class, 2018 CB Patrick Surtain Jr. is an ELITE prospect. He had LSU high on his list, presumably his favorites. Now, the American Heritage star could (should) be in play for Miami in the 2018 cycle. Surtain is a top 10 player in his class, so this is a big one. Might take some time for Miami to make moves here, but this is undoubtedly one of the top players on this list. No doubt.

Those are my top 4 guys connected to LSU that Miami could potentially try to make moves on now that Miles has been fired.

Alluded to this in the above LSU question, but yes, it’s possible. Might take the perfect visit, and maybe a minor miracle, but it’s POSSIBLE.

2018 4-star QB Arthur Sitkowski recently said Miami is in his top 4 school, along with Florida, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. Rutgers and Maryland may also be in the running for this New Jersey native. As of now, Florida is the school with the highest % of predictions for Sitkowski, but Miami is firmly entrenched in his recruitment.

As far as 2017 4-star QB commit N’Kosi Perry (who was compared to Usain Bolt by an opposing HSFB coach this week), Miami is in a good place. Perry is solid to Miami, and that’s big for this class. He’s good. So good. Damn good. I mean, he’s breaking 20 year old records set at his HS by Daunte Culpepper. Yeah.

Perry was reportedly the #1 player on Miami’s recruiting board this cycle. Not #1 QB. #1 OVERALL PLAYER. Mark Richt holds Perry and his talents in the highest esteem. He’ll be a Cane.

So, you guys wanna talk RBs, I see. Let’s go.

Starting from the bottom, 4-star commit Robert Burns is a very talented player. He’s been a bit injury prone over the last 2 years, but the physicality, athleticism, and skillset are all there. Burns is currently battling a high ankle sprain, but he’s definitely a top talent. Miami is looking to pair another RB with Burns in this class. But, in whichever 2 person group you could have, Burns is the mainstay.

Now, for the other options, there are a few, including the listed Stephen Carr. The 5-star California native is committed to USC, but that’s a toxic situation if ever there was one right now. Carr has been in contact with Miami throughout the process, but it would still probably be a longshot at best to land him.

4-star Anthony McFarland is probably Miami’s top target at RB right now. The multi-talented back can impact games running the ball or catching it, either out of the backfield or in the slot. McFarland is out for the year with a broken leg he sustained in his team’s kickoff classic. McFarland won’t take visits until hsi leg is healed, so he wouldn’t make it to Miami until after the season. While his mother wants him to pick Miami, Maryland seems to be making a serious push for his commitment. McFarland’s recruitment is pretty much down to Miami, Maryland, and Alabama, and those are the schools that are going to contend for his commitment up until signing day.

3-star Darrian Felix (Fort Myers, FL) is an electric player with shifty moves and speed to burn. He’s been linked heavily with Oregon, a school he’ll visit in the coming weeks. Most believe Felix will pick the Ducks.

3-star Travis Etienne (Jennings, LA) is another player with size and speed. He, like Felix, will visit Oregon — the two will actually visit on the same weekend — but Miami has recently offered. Oregon is said to only be taking 1 RB in this cycle, so it’s first to commit out of Etienne and Felix. Whichever is left, likely Etienne from reports, is likely to be heavily pursued by Miami.

Outside of McFarland, Carr, Felix, or Etienne, if there’s another RB Miami is going to go after for the RB2 spot in this class, it would be a yet-to-be identified late riser with potential.

To the 2nd question, relative to the depth chart, I don’t think that will scare off potential recruits. Miami needs 2 RBs in this class for depth, and RB is one of the positions where playing time can come early.

And, looking forward, it’s not a stretch of the imagination to see 1. Gus Edwards transfer at the end of this year (especially with another year behind Mark Walton and Joe Yearby ahead of him as a senior) 2. Trayone Gray transferring, and 3. both Yearby and Walton moving on after the 2017 season, Walton as an early NFL draft entrant, and Yearby having exhausted his eligibility.

If all that happened — IF it happened — then the 2017 RB recruits (Burns and RB2) would only have Travis Homer in front of them as sophomores, if they weren’t able to overtake Homer themselves. So, is the RB depth a deterrent for 2017 RB recruits, or any year, really?

I doubt it.

I think so.

Hasn’t been much talk about them, but one of Owen Carney (Miami Central) or Jordan Wright (Dillard) would be a good addition to the group currently committed. Also potential for a late riser, but jut like I said in the Henderson section, Miami would prefer game-ready players over multi-year projects in this class.

I don’t think Alex Leatherwood, a 5-star prospect who’s committed to Alabama, is a realistic flip option. It’s Kadeem Telfort or nothing on this. Miami is pushing, but still has plenty of work to do to make that flip happen.

Answered this before, but somewhere in the range of 8-13 is reasonable for this class. That would need a couple more 4-star or 5-star players, like a Jeremiah Holloman, for example, and players who are committed to Miami getting ratings bumps. I wrote about that months ago, but there are several players who fit that bill.

If those things happen, a class in the 8-13 range is entirely reasonable. And for those wondering about the follow up, with a strong season and good recruiting finish in 2017, Miami could make a run at a top 5 class in the 2018 cycle.

That’s it for this installment of the Recruiting Radar Mailbag.

Stay classy, San Diego.