In this installment of the Recruit Notebook, we meet a tall corner with game-ready skills, helping build depth at a position of desperate need: CB Jhavonte Dean.
In the quest for game-ready CBs, Miami targeted Blinn College (Brenham, TX) CB Jhavonte Dean early on in the 2017 cycle. A bigger corner at 6’2” 180lbs, Dean has the height that the Canes’ staff covets, and good skills on the field as well.
Like most JUCO players, Dean wasn’t a major recruit coming out of HS. The Homestead (FL) native attended South Dade HS and was teammates with former Canes WR Tyre Brady. But, unlike Brady, Dean wasn’t looked at as an FBS player coming out of HS. Due to that, he went to Blinn to work on his skills in the hopes of becoming a top prospect.
In his 2 years at Blinn, Dean did just that. He was able to refine his skills and become a 4-star prospect with size, speed, and developing technique. Dean parlayed his newfound status as a prospect into an offer from and commitment to Alabama. That kind of speaks for itself, no?
But, things weren’t done for Dean. Miami entered the fray, putting him as their #1 JUCO target. Then, Alabama was rumored to potentially not have room for him in the class, because Alabama recruits really, REALLY well and started closing on other HS targets.
Through all that, Miami kept pushing, got Dean on campus for an Official Visit, which resonated with both player and his family. Dean, having not heard from Alabama in quite some time, decommitted from the Crimson Tide. I mean, Dean never even took a visit to Tuscaloosa, so it was pretty clear he wouldn’t be in Alabama’s class. After his decommitment, Dead committed to Miami on National Signing Day, giving him an FBS home for the next 2 years, and a chance to play in his hometown in front of his family, something that wasn’t an option for him out of HS.
On the 247sports composite, Dean is a 4-star prospect, the #2 JUCO CB in this class, the #4 JUCO player from the State of Florida, and the #12 JUCO player in this class overall.
Dean committed to Miami over 9 other offers, including Alabama, Arizona State, and Florida.
Dean as a Player
Obviously, Dean’s size is immediately noticeable on film. He, like CB coach Mike Rumph, is a big corner who matches up well with tall receivers — something nearly every team has on the roster. Dead uses his height well to contest throws at the point of catch, and to generally bother WRs who would rather get a free run at the ball.
Dean has good speed, which gives him the ability to make up for some footwork mistakes. He’ll need to clean up the footwork at Miami, but this is a kid who can run, and that is always good to have.
Dean is good at attacking the ball in coverage. At least on highlights, there wasn’t a catch that the WR made without Dean being there in close coverage, bringing physicality and usually breaking up the play.
One thing that could use improvement is Dean’s change of direction. It’s alright now, but playing in JUCO and playing at Miami are 2 VERY different levels of competition. Dean’s agility will hopefully increase once he’s on campus and gets to work with the Strength and Conditioning coaches.
For another look at Dean, here’s an eval from a top HSFB coach:
And yet another look from a Recruiting analyst:
Has more upside than you'd expect from a JUCO prospect but some of that comes from the fact he's a little less polished than you'd expect.
His ability to flip his hips and run with WRs jumps out at you immediately. Very slight of frame and you almost worry that he's too skinny at his stage. I wonder how he will do against bigger, more physical WRs. Should be immediately playable on the boundary in coverage and seems most comfortable on off-man sets.
Closes gaps quickly and locates the ball well. Breaks on short routes well showing excellent burst. Has all the traits to have plenty of PBU's and some INT's. He's going to be a really strong cover CB provided he gets stronger and more physical.
The concern with him is in run support. He's slight frame and penchant to go around blockers rather than engaging and shedding them is an ugly combination. Luckily Miami has shown a knack for being good at developing run supporters at his position. If he grows in that area, he has a chance to be really good here.
Miami graduated Corn Elder and Adrian Colbert from the CB group, so game-ready players are needed at that position. With 2 years of JUCO experience to his credit, Dean tops that list. And, as is normally the case with JUCO players, Dean wasn’t brought here to sit. He was brought here to play
Chances for a redshirt: 0/10
Dean is going to play heavy snaps for Miami in 2017. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him starting from day 1. He has the size and skill to help Miami plug their hole at CB, and step right in as a top tier player in the Canes’ defense.
That’s it for this installment of the Recruit Notebook.