Welcome to the eighth 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.
Delving into the board, you can start to see the coaching staff honing in on a few key position groups: defensive end, defensive tackle, cornerback, and fullback. The Canes will look to add one player from each group, and maybe more when it comes to the D-Line.
Let’s get into the board for the month of November.
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. One of Clemson, LSU, Florida, and Florida State are on the outside looking to break into Campbell’s top 5.
Latest: Campbell was on campus back in October with a few other recruits taking in a Miami practice, while Rumph and coach Kool stopped in at Heritage to see Campbell a few weeks ago and keep the pressure on. 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 at the Army All-American game in January.
2. Dennis Briggs, DT, Kissimmee, FL (Gateway) (Last Month: 2)
Ht 6-4 | Wt 255 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #448 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. It will be interesting to see how the firing of Jim McElwain effects his recruitment. 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 for the Canes. Heading into his visits, Briggs says UM is in his top 2, but does not name the other program tied with Miami. Briggs took an unofficial visit to FSU for their loss against NC State in September, while he set his first official to Tennessee for the weekend of December 8th.
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 4 of Miami, Alabama, USC, and UCLA.
Latest: Trout is officially leaving home for college, as he surprisingly eliminated hometown favorite Missouri, as well as Georgia, from his list this past weekend. Trout now has a top 4 that includes UM, Bama, USC, and UCLA. Trout took his first official visit to UCLA in September, taking in the Bruins’ win over Colorado, and loved it. His second official will be to USC for the UCLA game on November 18th weekend. Trout’s final 2 official visits to Miami and Bama are still being planned and he anticipates making a decision on Signing Day. Coach Kool has done great work here to keep Miami around this long for an out-of-state kid who everyone in the country wants. If the official visit goes well and Miami keeps winning on the field, this could end up being one of the best pulls of the class.
4. Marcus “Tank” Jenkins, OG, Montgomery, AL (Park Crossing) (Last Month: 6)
Ht 6-4 | Wt 325 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #287 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 unofficial last month and loved the campus. Jenkins has visited Auburn unofficially about 10 times by his own estimation 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 this weekend, when he plans to be on campus in Coral Gables for an official to watch the Canes take on Virginia Tech. Obviously, this visit will make or break his UM recruitment, so stay tuned to see how that goes.
5. Patrick Joyner, LB, Homestead, FL (South Dade) (Last Month: 4)
Ht 6-2 | Wt 205 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #894 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, Auburn, and FIU in his picture.
Latest: Joyner took his official to FSU a few weeks ago for the Noles’ loss against Louisville and claimed it helped to solidify him, yet still continues to flirt with the Canes. He said in an interview that Miami’s win over the Noles moved UM up a bit in his mind and showed they were ready to make the next step. He’s been pretty impressed with the Canes’ undefeated season so far and plans to take his Hurricanes’ official visit in mid-December. The Canes really need to get him to flip, otherwise they’ll need to evaluate and send out an offer to a late bloomer at LB. I think it’d be a mistake to completely pass on the position this cycle.
6. Davoan Hawkins, DT, Hollywood, FL (Chaminade-Madonna Prep) (Last Month: 5)
Ht 6-4 | Wt 270 | 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 one other program: Miami.
Latest: Like Joyner, Hawkins is a prospect committed to another school that has taken notice of Miami’s undefeated season this year, and especially their win over FSU. The Wildcats aren’t going to give up Hawkins without a fight though, and sent offensive coordinator Eddie Gran to visit Hawkins’ high school last month. Hawkins says UM is slightly behind Kentucky as of now and his official visits will decide where he ends up. Miami’s official is unscheduled at this point, but he will be at UK for an official during the weekend of December 15th.
7. Jayson Oweh, DE, Blairstown, NJ (Blair Academy) (Last Month: NR)
Ht 6-5 | Wt 236 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #160 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Oweh has only been playing organized football for a season, and college coaches love someone that is a blank slate and doesn’t have learned bad habits. Oweh displays great length and quickness to frequently disrupt the flow of plays. He’s still growing and gaining muscle, but has tools to blossom into an end that can set the edge in the run game. Oweh has quality bend when rushing into the backfield. With Ronnie Perkins off the board to Oklahoma, Oweh looks to be the new top target at DE.
In The Mix: Oweh has a top 6 of Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Miami, UF, and Notre Dame.
Latest: Oweh has been a bit of a late bloomer since he is so new to football, but Miami coaches have loved his senior film so far and sent him an offer 2 weeks ago. Oweh’s gotten a lot of late interest (Michigan offered around the same time as the Canes), so his list has been constantly changing, but two big schools that have been with him for awhile now are OSU and PSU, and he considers them his leaders. Still, Miami has a chance to make up ground when Oweh visits Coral Gables on an official visit in mid-December. He officially visited OSU back in September, and will officially visit PSU and Michigan in November. UF and Notre Dame are battling for his last official visit. Oweh plans to commit at the Under Armour game in January.
8. Chris Collins, DE, Richmond, VA (Benedictine) (Last Month: NR)
Ht 6-5 | Wt 215 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #499 Overall
Behind The Ranking: At first glance, Collins looks extremely athletic; he may actually remind you of UM DE commit Gregory Rousseau, with the two sporting similar length and wiry frames. Collins has range as tackler and can run sideline-to-sideline well, while also being fluid when asked to drop into space. He shows the appropriate foot quickness to shoot gaps and demonstrates exceptional flexibility in his hips to help him get around the edge.
In The Mix: Collins is committed to UNC and is only considering a flip to Miami.
Latest: UM actually was in on Collins early in the cycle, but contact had dropped off since the spring. Coach Kool decided to ramp up his interest in the Virginia defensive end, however, and Collins has been accepting of the overtures; he plans on setting up a UM official visit sometime in December. He’ll also officially visit UNC in December and is planning to be an early signee, so we’ll get a final decision from Collins either way next month.
9. Jared Goldwire, DT, Fort Scott, KS (Fort Scott C.C.) (Last Month: 7)
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. Obviously, as a JUCO player with limited eligibility, Goldwire wants to go somewhere he can play right away. That might hurt the Canes due to their D-Line depth, but if RJ McIntosh leaves early for the pros, this recruitment will get more interesting.
10. Nigel Bethel, CB, Miami, FL (Northwestern) (Last Month: 8)
Ht 6-0 | Wt 165 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #1353 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 previously named a final 3 of Miami, Georgia, and UF, but it seems Louisville is now involved.
Latest: Bethel hasn’t given an interview since the summer and has been mum on when and where he’s going to be taking his officials. This is another Miami target that will be significantly effected by Jim McElwain’s firing, but what it actually means for the future of Bethel’s recruitment is unclear. However, Bethel has been tweeting out pro-Louisville posts recently, and the Cardinals look to be involved here now. It’s unknown if Bethel is a true take for the staff with Campbell still on the board at CB, and being a “Plan B” could cause the Canes to lose this talent from their backyard.
11. Jordan Davis, DT, Charlotte, NC (Mallard Creek) (Last Month: 9)
Ht 6-6 | Wt 320 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #312 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 and is another that hasn’t been interviewed since the summer. However, he is close to narrowing down his options to 5 official visits. And, of those potential 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.
12. Devonta Jason, WR, New Orleans, LA (Landry-Walker) (Last Month: 12)
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 has been committed to Kansas since February, but is still being pushed to flip by everyone in his top 7. Of those, he says LSU is the school gunning for him the hardest. Jason hasn’t bothered to shut down the rumors of his eventual flip to LSU, instead wearing Tigers gloves during his most recent game. It sure seems like he’s stirring the pot just for attention, which is not a good sign for him ending up at Miami knowing coach Mark Richt. Jason is one of two players on this board (Davis being the other) that hasn’t explicitly tried to nail down plans for an official visit with this staff, and if that talk doesn’t happen soon, it’ll implicitly tell us he’s not really interested in UM.
13. Kayode Oladele, DE, Miami, FL (Champagnat Catholic) (Last Month: NR)
Ht 6-4 | Wt 235 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #382 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Oladele plays hard, he is violent, his hands stay active, and he has speed to the ball. He can improve his pad level, and work leverage more, but you always see his hands flying around, you always see him working to get to the ball, and when he gets that window, he closes in a blur. As a Nigerian native that is new to football, Oladele is the type of raw athlete that Coach Kul has had success with many times in the past.
In The Mix: UM, Auburn, FSU, and Florida are the main programs involved with Oladele.
Latest: After originally being told the Canes did not have room for another defensive end in the class, Oladele was surprised to hear from Miami 2 months later asking if he was still interested. As it turns out, his love for Miami hasn’t died, and Oladele attended the Georgia Tech game as an invited recruit. As the once-leaders in this recruitment, the Canes have some making up to do here after the slight, and are now playing catch-up to Auburn and FSU. Also, his official visits have yet to be ironed out. If Miami truly makes an all-out push here, there’s a very good chance he ends up in the orange and green.
14. Abraham Alce, FB, Immokalee, FL (Immokalee) (Last Month: 15)
Ht 6-0 | Wt 230 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #1232 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, Boston College, and Wisconsin at this stage.
Latest: After previously listing Wisconsin as his frontrunner, the Canes have made up ground here and are now co-leaders with the Badgers for Alce. He really enjoyed his experience in the UM recruiting section for the Toledo game and the staff made him feel wanted. While Alce hasn’t formally set any official visit dates, UM will get one at some point. He’ll have to speed up his process, though; Alce is graduating early and will have to make his decision by December, and the Canes are now pursuing another fullback target as well.
15. Realus George, FB, Atlanta, GA (Pace Academy) (Last Month: NR)
Ht 6-2 | Wt 245 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #1368 Overall
Behind The Ranking: George accelerates and explodes into contact as a blocker. He does what all great fullbacks do: takes a crease and makes it a lane. George is adept at reading a defense and chooses his targets carefully. Once George locks onto a defender, they don’t have much hope of re-entering the play.
In The Mix: Colorado State, Navy, and Memphis are others besides Miami that are involved with George.
Latest: The Canes offered George last week, and have immediately shot to the top of his list. He’ll be visiting UM unofficially for the Notre Dame game in 2 weeks, and indicates he’ll return for an official in December or January. In terms of other official visits, George has been to Colorado State, and will visit Navy this weekend. However, as long as he commits before Alce, we see no reason that George is not a part of this class.
10. DT Tyler Friday: Things could pick back up with him later, but Friday feels to be staying up north as of now.
11. DE Ronnie Perkins: Committed to Oklahoma on his official visit to Norman last weekend.
13. OT Nicholas Petit-Frere: While Miami sets up more and more official visits with other prospects, Petit-Frere has been quiet. Too quiet. He’s got the talent, but there’s just too much unknown with his recruitment and, regardless, he’s a longshot.
14. OT Daniel Faalele: Behind the scenes sources are indicating Miami is no longer pursuing Faalele.