Recruiting Radar: Recruiting class numbers in 2018
Let’s start to lay the framework for Miami’s 2018 recruiting class.
In case you haven’t realized, Recruiting never stops. Miami already has 9 players committed in the 2018 class, and have as much momentum in recruiting as anyone in America, if not more.
While the foundation of this class, which is ranked 3rd in America, is great, but there’s still spots to be filled and work to be done on the recruiting trail. To that end, today we’ll look at the landscape of offers and targets at the positions on the offensive side of the ball for 2018.
Last thing, before we get started, a gentle reminder that this list is in no way exhaustive, as new targets pop up on the board all the time. But, this is a great place to start the conversation at each offensive position.
Let’s get into it:
My number 1 recruiting rule is that you must have a QB in your class, every year, without fail. For the 2018 class, Miami is still searching for their QB commit, but several players with nice skills and good potential have already been offered.
4-star QB Arthur Sitkowski. Recently transferred from Old Town (NJ) to IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL). Has all the tools to be a top tier recruit. Miami battling Florida and others for his services.
4-star Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Will be taking over the reigns at Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman for his senior year. Played WR for 2 years while Tate Martell QB’d the team. Has all the tools you want in a dual-threat QB.
3-star Casey Thompson. A bit shorter than the other options at QB (6’1”), the Moore (OK) Southmoore QB Thompson has visited Miami a couple of times, including for the inaugural Paradise Camp last July 2016.
3-star Joe Milton. The most recent QB offeree, this Orlando (FL) Olympia QB is built like a DE at 6’5” 220lbs. Milton is admittedly raw and in need of development, but he has a cannon for an arm, and size you can’t teach. Could skyrocket up the Canes’ board in a hurry.
Miami needs 2 RBs in this class, as they have for the last 4 years. Miami has already secured a commitment from 5-star RB Lorenzo Lingard (Orange City, FL), who plans to enroll early and become the 2018 class ambassador recruiting other players to Miami. Here’s a look at who has an offer and could join Lingard at RB in this class:
5-star RB James Cook. A star RB from Miami (FL) Central, James — younger brother of Dalvin -- is the latest player in his family to commit to Florida State. Miami is openly recruiting Cook to come to Coral Gables, and it remains to be seen if that is a possibility — as has been rumored — or if he’ll follow his brother’s footsteps to Tallahassee.
4-star Camron Davis. A standout at Carol City (FL), Davis was once committed to Oregon State, but recently opened up his recruitment. Miami is pursuing Davis fairly hard right now, and are squarely in the conversation here. Oregon — Davis’s favorite team as a kid — is prime competition here.
3-star Chris Curry. This bruising RB from Lehigh (FL) will seek out contact and deliver a hit to an oncoming defender. A cousin of former Canes RB Najeh Davenport, Curry likes to model his game after Marshawn Lynch, which works for him. At 5’11” 200lbs, Curry has good size, and better speed than you’d expect. What he doesn’t have as of today, however, is a scholarship offer from Miami. But he has the talent to play here, and the legacy connection so he’s a name to keep an eye on.
This is a position where Miami closed well in 2017, and looks to really land a bunch of top end talent. On the board already at WR is 4-star Daquris Wiggins from Miami (FL) Southridge. The 2 positions with the greatest amount of talent both locally and with interest in Miami are WR and DB. I don’t buy into the singular “must get recruit”, but Miami has to get 4 really, REALLY good players at this position in 2018. And, they very well should, given the talent available — WR is L-O-A-D-E-D this year — and the amount of players with high interest in Miami already. While this group is full of out-of-state players, Miami really shouldn’t HAVE TO leave FL for a WR at all. They might choose to go OOS for a kid, but the need doesn’t exist in 2018 with this elite group.
Here are the top offerees:
4-star WR Mark Pope. Wiggins’ teammate at Miami (FL) Southridge, Pope might just be the best WR in America. No, that’s not reflected in his ranking right now, but I, and others, think a 3rd (!!!) ranking bump could be coming soon, likely ending with Pope earning a 5th star. Miami has been trending up for Pope for quite some time, with Alabama the main competition, but they’ve fallen off here. Stay tuned here.
4-star Kevin Austin. One of my personal favorite WRs this cycle, Austin is a bit under the radar right now for a 4-star player. This Pompano Beach (FL) North Broward Prep standout plays all over the place in his HS team’s wing-T offense, and filled up the statsheet as a rusher and receiver. Austin uses his 6’3” 185lb frame well, and will be a National recruit before the end of this cycle.
4-star Elijah Moore. After a standout sophomore year at Davie (FL) Western, Moore transferred to Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas for his junior season. With players such as 2018 Miami signee Mike Harley in front of him, Moore wasn’t able to make much noise last year, but don’t let that fool you. Moore is legit, and would be a very nice addition to this class for Miami.
4-star ATH Xavier Williams. A borderline 5-star player, this Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna star plays both WR and CB for his HS team. I think Williams’ future is on offense, and so do most of the 40 schools who have offered him. Williams is committed to Alabama at current, like so many SoFLA WRs before him. Miami is still connected here, but there’s so much depth at WR this year that letting Williams go elsewhere may not be a bad move if it means Miami can get 4+ of the guys on this list.
4-star Warren Thompson. This Seffner (FL) Armwood star was committed to Miami for about 43 minutes last summer before decommitting. Stating he rushed a decision at the time, Thompson has simply focused on his game, and shown why he’s a top end talent. Miami is heavily involved in this recruitment, and could get the 6’4” 196lb Thompson to pick the Canes in the end. Thompson, like the previously mentioned Pope, could end up as a 5-star recruit before too much longer. He’s THAT good.
4-star Brian Hightower. Yet another tall and talented receiver, this Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy player is also highly interested in Miami. A Los Angeles Native, some think he’ll return to the west coast for college, but not so fast. Hightower and Miami WR coach Ron Dugans have been building a good relationship, and Miami is squarely in the mix, some even think they’re at the forefront of Hightower’s recruitment. And, if you missed the connection, Hightower’s new QB? Miami target Arthur Sitkowski. There’s always a link.
4-star Jacob Copeland. Yeah. That’s right. ANOTHER 4-star player on this list. A well built 6’1” 190lbs, this Pensacola (FL) Pine Forest player is already a top national recruit. Many SEC and ACC teams are chasing Copeland, who has been on Mark Richt’s radar since his days at Georgia.
4-star ATH Jermaine Eskridge. This Tampa (FL) Jefferson standout played his HSFB with Canes early enrollee QB Cade Weldon in 2016. Eskridge has good hands and good size, and makes plays on both sides of the ball. With 52 offers to his credit, Eskridge is clearly a top tier recruit. There have been differing reports on how involved Miami is here, but he holds an offer so there’s at least an entry level interest from Miami’s side.
4-star ATH Kearis Jackson. This Fort Valley (GA) Peach County player is another multitalented athlete whose future figures to be on offense. Easy to see the connection again: Richt used to coach at Georgia, and Jackson remembers that. Jackson’s got good speed and 15 offers as of today.
3-star Jatavious Harris. I know, I know, he’s not a 4-star (yet), but Harris has size and skill at the WR position. The Milledgeville (GA) Baldwin standout was 1st team All-State as a junior, and has had interest in Miami since the Canes were the first to offer him a scholarship prior to his junior season. At 6’3” 184lbs, Harris has good height and size for the position, as well as above average speed. All things being equal, I’d take an in-state player before Harris, but I don’t think this would be a bad take for Miami, at all.
3-star ATH Marquez Ezzard. A 6’0 185lb burner from Stockbridge (GA), Ezzard is another player who can play many positions but figures to have the most upside at WR. Oh yeah, and he’s a Georgia kid so Mark Richt and all that.
Unranked Corey Gammage. A late bloomer in every sense of the word, Gammage hails from Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic, alma mater of Canes CB coach Mike Rumph. Gammage may not be rated now, but he will be soon, trust me on that. Gammage was 2nd team All-State in Florida’s 8A classification, and a force for Atlantic all season long. Gammage has offers from Miami, Florida, Auburn, West Virginia, and Virginia Tech so far, with many others sure to follow. While he might not have the name recognition of others on this list, Gammage is going to be a 4-star, 20+ offer recruit by the time his senior year starts. Count on it.
I could go on and on and on because WR, and WRs with offers and some interest (varies by player, of course) is a good sized list. I’ll end it with those 12, but there’s several more whose names you should know.
Others players with offers: 5-star Terrance Mitchell (Bossier City, LA), 4-star Justyn Ross (Phenix City, AL), 4-star Kamryn Babb (St. Louis, MO), 4-star C.J. Moore (Tulsa, OK), 4-star Joshua Moore (Bradenton IMG Academy, FL), 4-star Lawrence Keys III (New Orleans, LA), 4-star James Mitchell (Big Stone Gap, VA), 4-star Tommy Bush (Schertz, TX)
After losing David Njoku to the NFL draft this season, and with Christopher Herndon IV a senior, Miami looks to be in the market for 2 TEs in the 2018 class. Miami is one of the best training grounds for TEs, and the Canes use the TE to great success in their pro-multiple offense. Recruits know this, even though they choose to ignore it from time to time (wassup, Tre’ McKitty?). Unlike WR, Miami will likely look outside of the State of Florida for one — or both — of the recruits at this position in 2018. Regardless, Miami should be able to get a couple very nice players at this position in this class.
Here are the offerees:
4-star Brevin Jordan. The top target at TE, the Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman star has all the tools to be the next great Canes TE. At 6’3” 240lbs, Jordan has good height and size, and very good athleticism. Miami is in a good spot here, and look to get Jordan and his HS teammate, the aforementioned QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, on campus for a spring visit.
4-star Will Mallory. A player with good height at 6’5” 205lbs, the Jacksonville (FL) Providence star Mallory has seen increased communication with Miami in recent weeks. Mallory has 26 offers to his credit, and is a national recruit. Regardless of who the other TE is in this class for Miami, getting Mallory would be a boon for Miami.
4-star Mustapha Muhammad. This Missouri City (TX) standout received an offer from Miami during his junior season. Muhammad has 27 offers at current, and is another national recruit. Miami looks to have work to do to get into the top of the conversation with this player.
3-star TE Daniel Barker. A standout at local Lauderdale Lakes (FL) Boyd Anderson, Barker is a player that is very high on Miami. The 6’4” 230lb TE recently told Miami’s Rivals site that he likes Miami, and has had conversations with Mark Richt and TE coach Todd Hartley. While he doesn’t hold an offer from Miami at current — he only lists 3 offers to his credit — Barker is most definitely a player to keep tabs on at TE in this class for the Canes.
3-star Bralen Taylor. This 6’8” 220lb player is thin right now and needs to gain weight. Taylor plays mainly WR at the HS level but should move inside to TE in college. Hailing from Cuero (TX), Taylor is another OOS option for Miami. Taylor has the ability to win jump balls and be a threat down the seam at the next level.
After getting 5 OL in the 2017 class, Miami doesn’t figure to need huge numbers at OL in this class. Miami already has 3-star OG Delone Scaife (Miami Southridge) committed, and will look to add 1 or 2 more players here. And, because they’re different, I’m splitting the offerees between OT and OG.
5-star Jackson Carman. #1 Tackle in this class in the most current rankings, this Fairfield (OH) native will likely be headed to play for Urban Meyer at the school in the state south of Michigan. The 6’6” 290lb Carman has a ton of offers and could pick any school in America if he wanted. But, Miami has pulled in top talents at OL before, so I’m fine with this “shoot your shot” offer.
4-star Richard Gouriage. Tampa (FL) Cambridge Christian OT Gouriage is a top 45 player in this class, with the size and skill to be an impact player along the line in college. At 6’5” 270lbs, Gouriage has nice size and good length for OT. Already with 25+ offers, Gouriage is a premium ACC/SEC recruit.
4-star Nicholas Petit-Frere. Another Tampa (FL) native — Berkley Prep, though — Petit-Frere is a top 55 player with plenty of offers to choose from. At 6’6” 290lbs, Petit-Frere has very good size and skill for the OT position. He, like Gouriage, is a premium ACC/SEC recruit.
4-star William Barnes. This Apopka (FL) native has more of a connection to Miami than the previously listed players, and is a very good talent in his own right. A top 85 player at 6’4” 290lbs, Barnes would be a nice addition to the Canes’ OL. And, you guessed it, he’s a premium ACC/SEC recruit, too.
3-star John Campbell. This is a kid who has seen his stock take a meteoric rise recently, garnering nearly 10 offers in the last week. This Orlando (FL) Dr. Phillips recruit is 6’5” 270lbs and will likely be a 4-star rated player in short order. Teams all over America seem to be discovering Campbell right now, so his recruitment could go anywhere.
4-star Cleveland Reed. Hailing from Lakeland (FL), Reed is a nice player from a very good HSFB program. At 6’4” 295lbs, Reed has the size to play at this level. Reed claims 15 offers at current, with Florida being the favorites for his services.
4-star Curtis Dunlap. This Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy standout is a mountain of a man at 6’4” 340lbs. IMG Academy offers the best in training, so Dunlap is sure to be an advanced player, with size to step in early in his college career. Like nearly all IMG players, Dunlap hails from elsewhere, with Oklahoma being one of his leading schools right now.
Unranked Ed Montilus. Teammates with OT Barnes at Apopka (FL), Montilus is another player with good skills whose ranking hasn’t caught up, yet. But, that should change in the near future, as spring evaluation season is nearly upon us. Montilus has good size at 6’4” 296lbs, and will be a nice get for some CFB team, ranking be damned.
Whew. What was going to be a quick list piece is now over at nearly 3000 words.
So, that’s where Miami’s offers on offense stand for now. Yes, there will be more offers. Yes, there will be players other than the ones listed who move around Miami’s recruiting board. But, this is a good place to start as we being the 2018 cycle.
That’s it for today. Defensive offer board coming tomorrow (I hope).
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