In this installment of the Recruit Notebook, we meet an elite player who will play from day 1 and is the highest rated player in Miami’s 2018 class: RB Lorenzo Lingard.
Miami is a team that has a strong history of RBs, and has had several great ones recently. But, after missing on a 2nd RB in each of the last 3 classes, the Canes needed to add depth and talent at the RB position in the 2018 recruiting class.
From the moment Mark Richt was hired at Miami, and immediately following the move to bring RB coach Thomas Brown to Coral Gables with him, the Canes targeted 5-star RB Lorenzo Lingard as their #1 player at this key position. Everyone knows that a Mark Richt offense relies heavily on the RB, and Lingard is the prototype player to be that feature back.
Lingard is a player who has been on the national recruiting radar for years. He’s well built at 6’0” 195lbs, and a dominant player on the field. Early on in the cycle, Lingard was thought to be an FSU lean, or a premium target for other non-Miami teams. Even with that being the case, Miami was hard at work laying the foundation to bring in the talented RB.
Richt and Brown had targeted Lingard highly when the pair was at Georgia, so keeping that connection when they came to Miami was easily done. Lingard took an unofficial visit to Miami in February, and the rest was history. He committed shortly thereafter, and immediately took on the role of vocal ambassador at the front of Miami’s class.
On top of being an elite football player, Lingard is a champion hurdler on the track. He has many great physical gifts, such as his build, his acceleration, and his straight-line speed, which come in handy for both sports.
Though he has offers from many schools, and nearly every top school in America wanted him in this class, Lingard never wavered on his commitment to Miami once it was made on February 9th. That was payoff of 2 years of great work by Richt and Brown, and will pay dividends for the Canes immediately in 2018.
There are few recruits in America rated as highly as Lingard. On the 247sports composite, Lingard is a 5-star prospect, the #2 RB in this class, #4 in the State of Florida, and #20 recruit overall. Yeah, that’s elite, you guys.
Lingard committed to Miami over Alabama, Auburn, and Florida State from a list of 27 other scholarship offers from around the country. The only reason Lingard didn’t have more than 28 offers is because mid and lower tier schools didn’t waste their time trying to recruit this elite player. Lingard could have signed anywhere in America an the team would have been happy to find a scholarship for him. Believe that.
Lingard as a Player
Lingard is a player who uses his combination of size and speed to great success. At 6’0” 190lbs, Lingard could probably add a couple pounds of muscle, but he is very well built for a HS player. He is a champion hurdler, and that track speed comes in handy when he gets into the open field.
Lingard had a very productive HS career. He ran for 3775 yards and 56 TDs in his time at Orange City (FL) University HS. Lingard has already been named the Gatorade Florida Player of the Year, and is a finalist for Florida’s Mr. Football after being named the 2017 8A Florida Player of the Year.
When you watch Lingard play, you see a tough, physical runner who excels at running downhill. He’s got good feel for inside running, and decent vision to find holes and creases to run through.
For his prowess as a runner, Lingard is limited as a receiver. He was rarely if ever used in this way in HS, so that will be an area for improvement moving forward to be sure.
- 1-cut running ability
- physical development
- inside running ability
- pass catching
- pass protection
Lingard is a player with elite talent, and that talent won’t sit idly by for very long. He’s very developed physically, plays fast, and has been compared favorably to another former Mark Richt RB: Todd Gurley. If Lingard approaches the performance that Gurley delivered for Mark Richt’s Georgia teams, then Miami will be very, very pleased.
Chances for a redshirt: 0/10.
I’ll keep this short: Lingard is going to play next year for the Canes, and he’s going to play a lot.
That’s it for this installment of the Recruit Notebook.