Welcome to the fifth 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.
Even though Miami did not gain any commits from the Freshman 15 in the past month, the Miami staff saw their board absolutely gutted and thrown into chaos: 8 recruits either committed elsewhere or eliminated the Canes from contention. As a result, over half the board was turned over and this version of the Freshman 15 finally includes recruits that are committed to other schools.
Let’s get into the board for the month of August.
1. Tyson Campbell, CB, Fort Lauderdale, FL (American Heritage) (Last Month: 1)
Ht 6-2 | Wt 180 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #20 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 20 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, LSU, Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson, Florida, and Georgia.
Latest: Ohio State and Urban Meyer were pretty big threats at one point, but some of Campbell’s interest in them has diminished, in part due to Heritage teammate Andrew Chatfield’s decommitment from the Buckeyes. Campbell is coming off a July tour of visiting some out of state schools, stopping off at Alabama, Georgia, and even Clemson (during Paradise Camp weekend). We didn’t like him leaving town for Clemson instead of appearing at Paradise, but it’s hard to blame a kid for wanting to see some places he’s never been before. We foresee there being many twists and turns in this recruitment and it is likely Campbell is going to take his time to make sure he’s making the right call.
2. Terrace Marshall, WR, Bossier City, LA (Parkway) (Last Month: 3)
Ht 6-3 | Wt 190 | 247 Composite: 5-Star, #9 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Marshall is that rare talent that combines the frame of a lanky outside receiver with the agility of a slot receiver. His athleticism allows him to go up and make contested catches with bigger corners, while being able to rack up yards after the catch against even the quickest defenders. He still needs a little polish to be sure, but Marshall is easily one of the top receivers in the nation this cycle.
In The Mix: Marshall has a top 5 of Miami, LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, and TCU.
Latest: Marshall named his top 4 of Miami, LSU, Texas, and Texas A&M at the Rivals’ Five-Star Challenge and on Twitter, but, soon after, added TCU to the mix. He says these will be the 5 schools he will focus on until he makes his commitment and each will get official visits in the fall. Marshall already unofficially visited Coral Gables back in April and it seems like he will make good on his promise to return on an official, showing just how serious he is about Miami. Coach Richt has really made him feel like a priority and Marshall loves the Miami vibe. Getting kids out of Louisiana that LSU covets is not an easy task but the Canes are putting their best foot forward with Marshall. A big year on the field is almost necessary to bring in a 5-star, elite out of state prospect, and that’s probably what it will take for Miami to even have a shot to land Marshall in the end.
3. Dennis Briggs, DE/DT, Kissimmee, FL (Gateway) (Last Month: 9)
Ht 6-4 | Wt 255 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #431 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’ official top 10 includes Miami, FSU, UF, Tennessee, Oregon, South Carolina, Georgia, Ole Miss, Pitt, and NC State.
Latest: Despite releasing a national top 10 in July, it’s pretty obvious that Briggs is staying in-state. He talks up the Big 3 constantly and his family has indicated they prefer him in Florida. And of the Big 3, FSU and UF seem to be running behind Miami as of now. Briggs has been to Miami countless times with his family and although he’s playing coy with his recruitment, the general consensus is he is Miami’s to lose. Briggs also has become close with John Campbell, who just recently committed to Miami as well. Add it all up, and it is only a matter of time before Briggs announces for the Canes.
4. William Barnes, OT/OG, Apopka, FL (Apopka) (Last Month: 2)
Ht 6-4 | Wt 290 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #45 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Even though the Canes already have a solid trio on the O-Line committed in Delone Scaife, Cleveland Reed, and John Campbell, they are desperate for more talent in the trenches. The O-Line simply must be fixed at all costs and the best way to do it is to load up on studs like Barnes. Barnes is an advanced run-blocker and has the frame and athleticism to excel in pass protection with more development. He is also known for being proficient at the mental side of the game.
In The Mix: Schools like FSU, UF, Ohio State, UNC, and Auburn join Miami and others on Barnes’ offer list.
Latest: Barnes does not do many interviews and when he does do them, he never reveals much. Reading between the lines, though, UF and North Carolina have probably separated themselves from the pack a bit at the top of Barnes’ list so far. That’s not to say Miami is out of this, however. The Apopka native plans to take all five official visits during the fall semester, but he is unsure of who he is visiting and plans to have his five official visits decided by the end of the summer. If Miami can secure one of those official visits, they will be in the game for Barnes.
5. Rosendo Louis, LB, Deerfield Beach, FL (Deerfield Beach) (Last Month: NR)
Ht 6-1 | Wt 225 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #487 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Louis is not the most highly ranked recruit, but the staff sees something it likes in him. Living nearby in Deerfield Beach, he’s been one of the more pursued LB’s in this class. He reads and reacts to plays quickly and takes good angles when pursuing the football. Louis is also extremely physical and a great tackler. After whiffing on Amari Gainer and David Reese, the staff has focused on Louis as the next top target at linebacker.
In The Mix: Louis claims a top 5 of Miami, Arkansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Florida State.
Latest: Louis made his way to Boca for the Canes final spring scrimmage in late April and had a good time watching the LB’s and being around the team. In July, he visited the campuses of both Miami and FSU. For his part, Louis comes from a family of UM fans and is looking for a school where he can fit well into the defensive scheme, but also really wants to play early in his college career. With the Bermuda Triangle 2.0 at linebacker, that’s not a good sign for Miami’s chances. We will know for sure though on August 18th, when Louis plans on announcing his final decision.
6. Trevor Trout, DT, Saint Louis, MO (Chaminade) (Last Month: 15)
Ht 6-3 | Wt 315 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #182 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 10 of Miami, Alabama, Oklahoma, Penn State, Georgia, Missouri, TCU, Texas A&M, USC, and UCLA.
Latest: Trout has a national list of offers and recently narrowed down his choices to his top 9, which included UM. He then added in Alabama later to finalize his top 10. Trout has built quite a connection with coach Kool, who first started recruiting him to Missouri 2 years ago as the Tiger’s D-Line coach. Trout has claimed that due to Miami’s distance and his interest in their program, they will definitely be getting one of his five coveted official visits. That’s huge for the Canes’ chances for this out of state DT and everything rides on that visit.
7. Daniel Faalele, OT, Bradenton, FL (IMG Academy) (Last Month: 12)
Ht 6-9 | Wt 390 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #382 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 despite not even playing in an actual game yet.
Latest: In typical Faalele fashion, he showed up to IMG Academy’s Media Day with his teammates, but decided he would not answer any questions. He answered several requests with “No interviews”. Faalele’s teammates had a chance to project where he would end up, and all of them answered Michigan, with Georgia a distant second. It does say something that his teammates believe him to be so high on Michigan, and the Wolverines should probably be considered his leader as of now, but until we hear it from Faalele himself (which doesn’t seem to be anytime soon) I wouldn’t count anybody out. Miami will continue to put effort into getting Faalele on campus for an official visit.
8. Micah Parsons, DE, Harrisburg, PA (Harrisburg) (Last Month: 8)
Ht 6-3 | Wt 235 | 247 Composite: 5-Star, #5 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Parsons is a unique prospect because he possess the size and agility indicative of a top 5 talent nationally. He is extremely explosive and his balance is a strength. Parsons is quick at the snap of the ball, and he changes direction well. He can chase a play down from behind and he uses his length to corral the ball carrier. Quite frankly, the man is a beast.
In The Mix: Parsons has narrowed down a top 9 of Miami, UF, FSU, Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Georgia, and Nebraska.
Latest: Parsons has an official top 9, but it still seems like Ohio State and Penn State lead the rest. He attended Urban Meyer’s big “Friday Night Lights” camp in Columbus last month, and also made a stop at Alabama. Parsons wanted to have his 5 official visits set by the end of summer, but there’s still no word on who has captured those 5 visits. It goes without saying, but Miami really needs to nab one of those officials to get back in the game here.
9. Patrick Joyner, DE/LB, Homestead, FL (South Dade) (Last Month: NR)
Ht 6-2 | Wt 205 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #855 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.
In The Mix: Joyner is committed to FSU, but still has Miami, Auburn, Alabama, Georgia, Pittsburgh, Florida, and South Florida 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 showed out at an Alabama camp last month and his performance earned him an offer from the Crimson Tide. Joyner also made a trip to visit Auburn. 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. While some schools are looking at Joyner as a DE, the defensive staff at Miami sees him as a linebacker.
10. Davoan Hawkins, DE/DT, Hollywood, FL (Chaminade-Madonna Prep) (Last Month: NR)
Ht 6-4 | Wt 260 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #759 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: 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 the interest between the two parties has been ramped up. Hawkins maintains that UK is still his #1 but said Miami was “moving up in the ranks” and plans to return to Coral Gables in the fall.
11. Nigel Bethel, CB, Miami, FL (Northwestern) (Last Month: NR)
Ht 5-11 | Wt 160 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #1440 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.
12. Tyler Friday, DE/DT, Ramsey, NJ (Don Bosco Prep) (Last Month: NR)
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 has a top 15 of Miami, Michigan, Alabama, UNC, Ohio State, Georgia, Penn State, Tennessee, Nebraska, UCLA, Michigan State, Boston College, Virginia Tech, Rutgers, and Syracuse.
Latest: Miami has made Friday’s top 15 schools but, besides that, there’s not much to report: Friday is a private guy and doesn’t talk much about his recruitment. Michigan has recruited well in the New Jersey-area lately and Rutgers is always a factor for local kids, but after those two, it’s hard to tell which of the 15 schools are true players in Friday’s recruitment. This has the familiar look of a kid that is having a hard time narrowing down his options and will likely end up taking this thing until or near Signing Day.
13. Ed Montilus, OG, Apopka, FL (Apopka) (Last Month: NR)
Ht 6-3 | Wt 295 | 247 Composite: 3 Star, #541 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Montilus is a powerful guard prospect that is strong at the point of attack. He is a bit undersized height and length wise, but offsets that using quick hands and proper leverage to defeat his man. Montilus is also linemates with Barnes at Apopka and could be a factor in helping to secure Barnes’ commitment.
In The Mix: Auburn, Miami, UNC, and Florida currently lead for Montilus.
Latest: Montilus has unofficially visited Miami on his own dime many times and was even on hand for a Hurricanes Russell Athletic Bowl practice back in December. OL coach Stacy Searels is a huge fan of Montilus and has been to Apopka to visit with both him and Barnes. Montilus has camped at Auburn and visited UNC for their Junior Day as well. He doesn’t seem to be close to a commitment, but Miami has positioned themselves well here. We think they will win out if Montilus is a take: he could be a victim of the numbers game depending on how the recruitments of Barnes and Faalele shake out.
14. Donovan Georges, LB, Miami, FL (Champagnat Catholic) (Last Month: NR)
Ht 6-1 | Wt 235 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #781 Overall
Behind The Ranking: Georges shows the traits of your classic linebacker: tough, forceful, and nasty at the point of attack. He can chase a running back sideline to sideline and also redirect tight ends off their routes. Georges has the tools and athleticism to also excel in coverage if properly developed.
In The Mix: Georges has a top 6 of Louisville, Miami, Pittsburgh, UCF, FIU, and USF.
Latest: Georges is a former Georgia commitment who reopened his recruitment a few months back. Since then, he has eliminated the Bulldogs from his picture and is really giving UM a hard look. Georges was at Paradise Camp in July and has made a connection with both coach Diaz and coach Banda. We think if Miami wants Georges in the class after seeing how the recruitments of Louis and Joyner play out, then there’s a strong chance he ends up in Storm18.
15. Abraham Alce, RB/FB, Fort Lauderdale, FL (American Heritage) (Last Month: NR)
Ht 6-0 | Wt 230 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #1156 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: After the graduation of Marquez Williams, UM has a hole at fullback that will likely not be filled by any one guy in 2017. Mark Richt hopes to change that in 2018 by going after Alce, who showed up at Paradise Camp and earned an offer from the staff. Thomas Brown is excited about Alce because he can step right in at fullback and even provide depth at running back in a pinch. Because his involvement with Miami is so new, it is hard to say just where UM stands in Alce’s mind. Alce will take some visits in the fall and plans to decide in December or January.
4. DT Rick Sandidge: Released a top 7 that did not include the Canes.
5. LB David Reese: Committed to UF.
6. WR Kevin Austin: Committed to Notre Dame.
7. CB Patrick Surtain Jr: Skipped Paradise Camp, then named LSU as his leader and released his top 5. Miami was not on that list.
10. S Jamien Sherwood: Committed to Auburn.
11. WR Elijah Moore: Communication has gone silent from Miami’s end. Moore decided to skip Paradise Camp to visit Ole Miss, a program that’s embroiled in controversy and has no head coach. Yeah, he’s probably as good as gone.
13. DE Kayode Oladele: According to his coach, Oladele was apparently told by UM that they were no longer pursuing him. He then released a top 5 without Miami.
14. DT Keondre Coburn: Committed to Texas.