Welcome to the seventh edition of the column I like to call “The Freshman 15”. If you’re a first time reader, this will be a focus on the rankings and the order of the top 15 recruits the coaching staff are pursuing. At this time, players without offers will not be considered for the board. How do we rank the players, you ask?
Well, the order will be based mainly on:
- How likely a recruit is to commit to Miami at the time
- Skill level
- Miami's need at their position
This column will be updated throughout the cycle each month and will show movement up or down for each recruit as the list is updated, ie. who is starting to become more/less important and prioritized by the staff.
A slow end of summer in recruiting has extended into early fall so far. There has not been a commitment in 3 months and nobody on this board seems close to pulling the trigger. However, the good news is that there hasn’t been any decommitments either and the staff has largely kept this class together, positioning Storm18 for a top 5 finish nationally.
Let’s get into the board for the month of October.
1. Tyson Campbell, CB, Fort Lauderdale, FL (American Heritage) (Last Month: 1)
Ht 6-2 | Wt 180 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #23 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Campbell is a corner that plays just down the road at American Heritage, where his former head coach was current Canes CB coach Mike Rumph. He sports outstanding speed and length, along with incredible ball skills. Miami has been loading up on DB’s in this class, but is still making Campbell a priority. His status as a national top 25 player, high interest in Miami, and relationship with coach Rumph land him as the #1 player on this board.
In The Mix: Campbell lists his favorites as Miami, Ohio State, Alabama, and Georgia. Clemson, LSU, Florida, and Florida State are on the outside looking in.
Latest: Campbell was seen on campus yesterday with a few other recruits taking in a Miami practice. Campbell is chopping down his list to a top 5 sometime soon and has already said the Hurricanes will make that cut, along with Alabama, Ohio State, and Georgia. Campbell’s top 5 will all get official visits, which will be taken after the season to focus on his senior year. He says his decision will come down to whether he wants to play at home in front of his family, or if he feels it will be better to get away from South Florida for college. So, really, it seems to be between Miami and his preferred out of state school. That decision would likely be made during December or at a January all-star game.
2. Dennis Briggs, DE/DT, Kissimmee, FL (Gateway) (Last Month: 2)
Ht 6-4 | Wt 255 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #445 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Briggs is another talented prospect who has seen his recruiting stock soar as of late and it is still on the rise. He offers a great motor and his speed and athleticism will likely be amplified when he is inevitably moved inside to play tackle in college. After missing out on Rick Sandidge and Keondre Coburn, Briggs becomes much more important to the class.
In The Mix: Briggs’ has a top 6 of Miami, FSU, UF, Tennessee, Oregon, and Georgia.
Latest: Briggs says he will official to Miami, FSU, Tennessee, Oregon, and Georgia. Despite that, Florida remains still involved as he’s taken multiple unofficial visits to Gainesville and the Gators cannot be counted out. Being from the area, Briggs came out to watch Miami’s practices in Orlando when they were displaced from Hurricane Irma, a very good sign. Briggs took an unofficial visit to FSU for their loss against NC State last month, while he set his official to Tennessee for the weekend of December 8th. He is also thinking of taking his Miami official in October for the UNC game.
3. Trevor Trout, DT, Saint Louis, MO (Chaminade) (Last Month: 3)
Ht 6-3 | Wt 315 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #186 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Trout is a stalwart in the middle of the defense who is at his best when he is taking on double teams and funneling runs to the linebackers. With a pretty quick first step for a big man, once Trout establishes a gap, he can be almost impossible to move. He is proficient at collapsing a pocket from the inside and opening up pass rushing lanes for his teammates.
In The Mix: Trout has a top 6 of Miami, Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, USC, and UCLA.
Latest: Trout recently narrowed his list to a final 6 on Aug. 30th and he included Miami in that group. Additionally, along with UM, Alabama, Georgia, USC, and UCLA will get official visits. Missouri has been one of Trout’s longtime favorites and, as the hometown school that Trout has seen multiple times on unofficials, will be a serious threat to land his commitment. Trout took his first official visit to UCLA last weekend, taking in the Bruins’ win over Colorado, and loved it.
4. Patrick Joyner, DE/LB, Homestead, FL (South Dade) (Last Month: 4)
Ht 6-2 | Wt 205 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #887 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Joyner takes sharp, direct angles to the ball-carrier, and he throws his body around against bigger opponents with little fear. Joyner is comfortable with his hand on the ground at the line or standing up and blitzing from a linebacker spot. He has the timing, quick feet and tight hips to make the turn and get into the backfield coming off the edge. While some schools are looking at Joyner as a DE, the defensive staff at Miami sees him as a linebacker, and he’s probably now the only LB on their board.
In The Mix: Joyner is committed to FSU, but still has Miami, Florida, and USF in his picture.
Latest: Joyner committed to the Seminoles back in April but since then he has racked up offers from all over, including Miami, giving him a lot to think about. He claims he’s solid to FSU but don’t be fooled: Joyner is still very much looking around and Miami is one of the schools that has caught his eye. Manny Diaz has been hard after this local product and has convinced Joyner to use one of his official visits on UM. He was already at Miami’s season opener against Bethune-Cookman unofficially and was seen on campus yesterday taking in a UM practice with other recruits. Joyner will also be officially visiting Tallahassee for the FSU-Louisville game, Gainesville for an unspecified Gator game, and USF as well. A pitch detailing how Joyner will be the only LB in UM’s class could win him over.
5. Davoan Hawkins, DE/DT, Hollywood, FL (Chaminade-Madonna Prep) (Last Month: 6)
Ht 6-4 | Wt 260 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #783 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Hawkins can overwhelm blockers with pure strength and explosiveness when his feet are right. He is strong enough in his lower half to play through contact and cause stress in the pocket. Hawkins shows quick, strong hands in pass rush situations and is able to attack the edge with technique. Like Briggs, Hawkins is a jumbo defensive end prospect that Miami would likely move inside to tackle.
In The Mix: The Kentucky commit is only considering two other programs: Miami and USF.
Latest: Hawkins has been committed to the Wildcats since February, but after popping up at Paradise Camp and impressing the Miami staff, he earned an offer from the Canes and has been wavering on his UK pledge ever since. Hawkins is in the midst of setting up a date for his Miami official visit, but visited USF last weekend and plans to visit Kentucky in December. He also says the gap between Kentucky and the other 2 schools is “close”. We wouldn’t be shocked if he made the flip to the Canes eventually.
6. Marcus “Tank” Jenkins, OG, Montgomery, AL (Park Crossing) (Last Month: NR)
Ht 6-4 | Wt 325 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #289 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Jenkins is a classic power guard sporting a large, compact frame. His strength comes from a low center of gravity with adequate hip bend. Jenkins shows a little bit of get-up for his size and pulls across a formation with authority. Jenkins has set an official with Miami and looks to be the new priority on the O-Line with William Barnes out of the picture.
In The Mix: Auburn, Louisville, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Miami make up Jenkins’ top 5.
Latest: Jenkins could really end up anywhere in his top 5 and it wouldn’t be a shock. He just went to Louisville on an official last month and loved the campus. Jenkins has visited Auburn unofficially about 10 times and the Tigers are the local favorite. He’s also unofficially visited Missouri, back in the summer, and one of his teammates recently committed there. That leaves Miami and Oklahoma as the two favorites that Jenkins has never seen. He’ll change that the weekend of November 4th when he plans to be on campus in Coral Gables for an official.
7. Jared Goldwire, DT, Fort Scott, KS (Fort Scott C.C.) (Last Month: NR)
Ht 6-5 | Wt 295 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, N/A Overall
Behind The Ranking: Goldwire is a Washington native that signed with UTEP out of high school and has developed his game in JUCO to the point where he is thought of as an instant impact player in the middle of a defense. He has a powerful, college-ready frame with thick lower half and evenly displaced weight throughout. Goldwire pops opponents with a good initial punch that can push back linemen, and also shows surprising quickness at times for his size.
In The Mix: Goldwire is a Louisville commit but is still considering Miami.
Latest: Goldwire committed to Louisville back in June, but has still kept in contact with Canes coaches and there is mutual interest abound. He is planning an official visit to Coral Gables for a game weekend in the near future and is looking for a great business school and coaching that can get him to the NFL. Fortunately for UM, they have one of the top business schools in the country and coach Kool is one of the best in the game at developing his defensive linemen for the NFL.
8. Nigel Bethel, CB, Miami, FL (Northwestern) (Last Month: 5)
Ht 6-0 | Wt 165 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #1330 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Originally a track standout, Bethel’s 4.3 speed has translated nicely to the football field. He shows necessary hip flip and foot quickness to recover from mistakes in press coverage. Bethel features closing burst and takes playmaking angles to the throw. While he’s still learning the finer points of the corner position, it’s clear Bethel has incredible upside if coached up right.
In The Mix: Bethel named a final 3 of Miami, Georgia, and UF.
Latest: Bethel is another guy who has racked up offers and seen his recruitment soar in the past few months. With all the new players identified, he has narrowed his options to Miami, UF, and Georgia, and will make his decision midway through fall after he has taken all 3 of his officials. While Miami and Georgia are looking at him as a corner, UF wants him at WR; for his part, Bethel says he wants to play corner in college. Miami is home for Bethel and the Canes were his first big offer after a strong showing at Mark Richt’s summer camp in June. We think Miami leads here.
9. Jordan Davis, DT, Charlotte, NC (Mallard Creek) (Last Month: 11)
Ht 6-6 | Wt 320 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #309 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Davis has massive size with long arms. He initiates well at the point of attack and drives offensive lineman back consistently. Davis has shown the ability to beat double teams, while still playing with disciplined gap integrity.
In The Mix: Davis has an open list at this point, naming North Carolina, N.C. State, Michigan, Georgia, Miami, South Carolina, and Florida State as those pursuing him the hardest.
Latest: Davis has kept a pretty low profile as far as recruits go, and hasn’t given many updates on his recruitment. However, he is close to narrowing down his options to 5 official visits. And, of those visits, Davis claims to want to see Miami and Michigan the most. So, as of now, we feel pretty comfortable saying Miami will get an official, but there is still a long way to go to get Davis’ signature.
10. Tyler Friday, DE/DT, Ramsey, NJ (Don Bosco Prep) (Last Month: 13)
Ht 6-3 | Wt 265 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #64 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Friday is well built, with a thick college-ready frame from head to toe. Friday has a natural bend about his style of play that lends itself to an ease of movement and agility for a man of his size. He has experience playing both inside and outside and is able to generate a powerful bull-rush with speed/power drives into tackles.
In The Mix: Friday lists his favorites as Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Georgia, Penn State, UCLA, Michigan State, and Rutgers.
Latest: Friday finally gave his first interview in months after he went ghost over the summer and he seems to be closer to solving his recruiting puzzle. He claims Michigan and Ohio State will definitely be getting official visits, while the six of Miami, Georgia, Penn State, UCLA, Michigan State, and Rutgers vie for the last three visits. The Buckeyes and Wolverines are obviously in the lead for Friday’s services right now, but this news has to be seen as a move in the right direction for Miami after the mishmash top 15 schools we got from Friday in the spring.
11. Ronnie Perkins, DE, Saint Louis, MO (Lutheran North) (Last Month: 12)
Ht 6-4 | Wt 260 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #114 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Perkins is developed as a pass rusher, with devastating quick swim moves paired with jump-steps. He is a very active and forceful tackler that takes on blocks, then stack-and-sheds well. Perkins also plays with textbook pad level.
In The Mix: Perkins has a loose top group naming Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, Miami, Florida, USC, Illinois, Missouri, and Georgia, among others, as those he’s been in constant contact with.
Latest: Perkins had a great official visit to Texas last month. It now seems like Oklahoma is not a sure bet to get an official visit like previously believed. That leaves 4 officials unoccupied, and Miami will battle it out for one of those spots. Perkins is another Mid-West prospect that Coach Kul has a prior relationship with from his time in Missouri, and it is that relationship that has kept Miami in the conversation.
12. Devonta Jason, WR, New Orleans, LA (Landry-Walker) (Last Month: 15)
Ht 6-3 | Wt 190 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #111 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Jason has great body control in mid-air to be able contort for difficult catches. He has the prototypical frame of a #1 receiver with great hands that don’t drop much. Elite straight-line speed allows Jason to blow the top off a defense.
In The Mix: While still being committed to Kansas, Jason has a named top 7 including Kansas, Miami, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee, and WVU.
Latest: Jason’s been committed to the Jayhawks since February, but many analysts think there’s no way he ends up signing with Kansas. Jason looks like he could be on his way to proving them right, as he recently named a top 7 of schools while still being committed to KU. Bizarre. There’s really not much known about Jason’s Miami recruitment, however, Jason has been to campus before, on an unofficial visit back in April. A lot of this is still developing, and Miami just dumped a Louisiana receiver because they felt his interest was not genuine, so we’ll likely find out sooner than later just how into UM Jason really is. Jason also recently took an unofficial to Kansas last month. Possibly a good sign for Miami? The Canes and West Virginia are the only two programs in his top 7 that are playing good football right now.
13. Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Tampa, FL (Berkeley Prep) (Last Month: 14)
Ht 6-5 | Wt 265 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #41 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Petit-Frere needs to put on some weight in a college strength program, but when he does, he has the potential to be an elite left tackle, possessing fantastic length, frame, and athleticism. His massive wingspan buys him time to recover against sudden changes of direction.
In The Mix: Petit-Frere has no favorites. Miami, Stanford, Michigan, USC, Notre Dame, and Clemson make up some of his offers.
Latest: If he’s not wide-open, Petit-Frere is doing a good job of making it seem that way. He refuses to name favorites in interviews, and does not want to rule any of his offers out, taking a pragmatic wait-and-see approach to his recruitment. Petit-Frere is going to really take his time feeling out the process to make sure he’s doing what’s best for him, so much so that his head coach believes he is going to take this thing to Signing Day. Petit-Frere took an unofficial to Miami last fall. His coach also says Petit-Frere will be releasing a top 10-15 soon.
14. Daniel Faalele, OT, Bradenton, FL (IMG Academy) (Last Month: 8)
Ht 6-9 | Wt 390 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #443 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Faalele is an Australian native that is a mountain of a man but is brand new to football, having never even seen a football game until a year ago. As such, you can imagine his offers and recruiting rankings are based mostly on potential and he still has a lot to work on. But you can’t teach a 6’9 390 pound frame with the feet of a tap dancer and, based on the IMG spring game, he’s really made some strides technique-wise.
In The Mix: Faalele boasts offers from Miami, Alabama, Michigan, Georgia, and FSU among others.
Latest: This is just a recruitment the media knows almost nothing about, and so as other prospects begin to clear up their recruiting pictures, it was time to move Faalele down the board. All the information on what is going on with Faalele has come from his coach and his teammates; we literally have no clue what is going on in his own head. We know he has a Miami offer, and we know OL coach Stacy Searels likes him, but Faalele’s true interest in UM is uncertain. His teammates say Michigan is his leader, but until Faalele starts showing up on campuses for official visits, his recruitment will remain a mystery.
15. Abraham Alce, RB/FB, Immokalee, FL (Immokalee) (Last Month: NR)
Ht 6-0 | Wt 230 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #1215 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Alce is a physical, downhill runner that also doubles at inside linebacker for Heritage. Alce shows aggression on tape and has experience as a jack-of-all-trades ball carrier, pass catcher, pass protector, and lead blocker.
In The Mix: Alce is high on Miami, USF, Kentucky, and Wisconsin at this stage.
Latest: Alce was in the recruiting section at Hard Rock Stadium last month for Miami’s win over Toledo on an unofficial visit. However, Wisconsin is currently Alce’s leader because they want him as an actual running back, not a fullback like UM is presently offering. That might be an advantage that is tough to overcome, unless Mark Richt comes to genuinely feel Alce can have an impact at running back at Miami. As of right now, we don’t see that happening, but it is a situation worth monitoring as we get closer to signing day.
7. OT/OG William Barnes - Was always going to be a long shot, then listed out a top 6 without Miami.
9. DE Micah Parsons - Parsons’ father came out and said his son had a top 4 of Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska, and Georgia, and that those would be the only schools getting visits.
10. WR Tyquan Thornton - The UF commit took a visit to Gainesville for the Tennessee game last month, then decided to stop flirting with Miami and shut down his recruitment.