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Miami Hurricanes Recruiting Radar: Class Breakdown September 21st

After a month off, here’s the third monthly installment of our series looking at the Canes’ 2018 recruiting class.

Brevin Jordan is a bad, bad man.
Brevin Jordan’s Instagram (@brevinjordan9)

Hey there, recruiting fans. It’s time for another great installment of the Class Breakdown!

In case you’re new here, the Class Breakdown is our monthly look at the Canes’ recruiting class, and some of the salient recruiting moves and chatter on the radar.

Class Numbers

I wrote about this already earlier in the spring and you can read the whole piece here. I’ve already had to update this slightly (more OL slots), but these are the numbers of players at every position that I’m looking for Miami to take in 2018:

Miami Hurricanes 2018 Class Numbers

QB RB WR TE OL DE DT LB CB S K Best Available
QB RB WR TE OL DE DT LB CB S K Best Available
1 2 4 2 4 1 2+ 1 3 2 1 (Any extra spots not filled)

There is, obviously, the chance that these numbers change. Attrition from the roster has potentially opened up scholarships that Miami could potentially fill with the 2018 recruiting class. If it looks like Miami is trending to take more than 25, I’ll revisit that change later.

With no further ado, let’s hop into the outlook for each position.


Need: 1

Committed: 1

If you've been reading my recruiting posts over the past few years, you know I have a closely held recruiting rule: you have to have a QB in every recruiting class. No excuses; no exceptions.

For the 2018 recruiting cycle, Miami has their man already committed in 4-star Artur Sitkowski. Standing 6’5” 215lbs, Sitkowski has great size for the position. Additionally, he’s showed well at several recruiting camps and 7v7 tournaments this Spring.

Sitkowski, who transferred to Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy for his senior year, beat out Zach Annexstad to start for IMG’s national team (they have 2 teams at the school). Early on in his senior season, Sitkowski has been playing very well, leading the Ascenders to a 2-0 record with wins over Chandler (AZ), and Corona (CA) Centennial. Sitkowski’s play has helped IMG ascend to the #2 (or #1 depending on which outlet you prefer) ranking in America, and a realistic shot at the mythical HSFB National Championship. That’s pretty good, if you ask me.

Sitkowski has maintained that he’s solidly committed to Miami, but other teams are still buzzing around in case that changes. As of now, I fully expect Sitkowski to be on campus in Coral Gables in January.

On top of the already-committed Sitkowski, Miami has offers out to several other QBs in 2018, just to be safe. Some of those names to know are: Texas commit Cameron Rising, OSU commit Emory Jones, Tennessee commit Adrian Martinez, UCLA commit Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Kentucky commit Jarren Williams, and Texas commit Casey Thompson.

Running Back

Need: 2

Committed: 2

For the 5th cycle in a row, Miami looks to bring in 2 RBs in the 2018 recruiting class. And, as of now, they have that many RBs committed in 5-star Lorenzo Lingard and 4-star Camron Davis (GREAT first name, btw).

Both Lingard and Davis are top 10 RBs in America for the 2018 recruiting class, and have a wealth of talent. While their styles are different — Lingard is bigger and Davis is more of a slasher — they have the skills to be very effective players for the Hurricanes. And, both seem to be locked in with Miami, and were in attendance at the season-opening win against Bethune Cookman.

Even with having both Lingard and Davis committed, Miami has offers out to several other RBs this cycle.

Miami has offers out to several other RBs this cycle, most notably James Cook (Dalvin’s brother), and Chris Curry (Najeh Davenport’s cousin, committed to LSU). That being the case, I think Miami will stick with Lingard and Davis at RB in this class, but could look to add a local Dade or Broward county back yet to be offered, or maybe a fullback-type player like Abraham Alce, formerly of American Heritage and now at Immokalee.

Wide Receiver

Need: 4

Committed: 3

Miami has 3 WRs committed in the 2018 recruiting class: 4-stars Brian Hightower, Mark Pope, and Daquris Wiggins. This 3 man group has good size (Pope is the shortest of these committed WRs at 6’1”) and dynamic skill. You’d be hard pressed to find a current group of WR commits anywhere in America that rival this trio. Hightower is a long-strider who does numbers at Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy. Pope and Wiggins are teammates at Miami (FL) Southridge and are both elite talents. Of the two, Pope is the better player, and could (should?) be a 5-star. He’s so good. SOOOO good.

But, even with those 3 very, VERY good WRs committed currently, Miami isn’t done recruiting at WR. The Canes are looking to take 4 WRs in the 2018 class, so there’s 1 more spot open — and maybe more depending on how the rest of the class comes together.

A late-rising player on the board is Miami (FL) Booker T. Washington 3-star WR Tyquan Thornton. A former Baylor commit, Thornton is tall and thin (6’3” 170lbs) with a world of speed. He’s one of the fastest players on any field that he steps on. Thornton dominated at a recent Miami camp, and several 7v7 tournaments, so he’s had a very strong summer season.

Complicating things a bit is Thornton’s recent commitment to the University of Florida. Miami is reportedly still engaged in this recruitment, so we’ll see what happens. But, the Canes are admittedly and understandably running behind for Thornton at current.

4-star Devonta Jason (New Orleans, LA) recently released his top 6 which included Miami. Currently committed to Kansas — no, that’s not a typo — Jason is a big bodied WR with plenty of skills. While I don’t think that he’ll end up in Coral Gables, I’ve long maintained that Jason won’t end up at Kansas, either. This commitment to Kansas feels a lot like RB Jordan Scarlett’s commitment to FAU a while back: good PR for the school, but absolutely not a realistic landing location for a player of his talent.

5-star Terrace Marshall (Bossier City, LA), recently released his top schools list, and Miami was notably absent. It was a longshot to get Marshall even with his previous visit to campus in the spring. Miami is unlikely to re-engage on this front.

Pompano Beach (FL) North Broward Prep 4-star Kevin Austin is another player with an offer who is “off the board”. Austin committed to Notre Dame on August 11th, and figures to stick with that commitment. I’ve been vocal that Austin is a personal favorite of mine, but that ship, like Marshall, seems to have sailed.

Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas 4-star Elijah Moore recently committed to Ole Miss. I wouldn’t commit there with sanctions looming on the very near horizon, but that’s me. CORRECTION: Moore committed to Georgia on August 15th, not Ole Miss. I think that Miami would likely look at a receiver who is bigger than Moore’s 5’10” to round out this class.

Other players like Anthony Schwartz, Warren Thompson, and Xavier Williams hold offers, but none seem likely to end up at Miami currently. As such, I likely won’t write about them (or the other committed guys in this position group) again until/unless something changes.

Miami isn’t in a rush to get a WR4 in this class, and may be able to wait around to see how the season plays out, whether coaches from other schools are fired, and if any top talents at the position show interest late in the cycle, a la Jeff Thomas in 2017.

Tight End

Need: 2

Committed: 2

After landing only 1 TE (Brian Polendey) in a 2017 class when 2 was the preferred number, Miami has already secured commitments from 2 of the top TEs in America for the 2018 recruiting cycle.

Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman 4-star Brevin Jordan — who some think is the best TE prospect in this class — and Jacksonville (FL) Providence 4-star Will Mallory are the players Miami has committed at TE in this class, and they’re going to end up being the #1 group of TEs that sign with any school in America this cycle.

Jordan has been BALLING to start his senior season, already with 22 catches for 349 yards and 3 TDs in his team’s first 4 games.

Those games were played against a top tier national schedule, and Jordan showed he’s an elite talent. Some have even begun to speculate that continued play of this level could — COULD — end up earning Jordan a 5th star. So, that’s good.

Like many Florida natives, Mallory’s season has been affected by Hurricane Irma, but he’s already shown himself to be a top tier talent as well.

While others at this position have offers, Miami seems to be fully locked in on keeping Jordan and Mallory committed in this class and appear to be done recruiting the TE position in 2018.

Offensive Line

Need: 4

Committed: 3

Miami continues to rebuild along the offensive line, and the 2018 is another step along that path. In the quest to increase the talent on the OL and build quality depth, the Canes are looking to bring in 4 OL in this class. While I had already been using this number for this position group in my previous piece, a summer article by Andrew Ivins of 247sports’ Miami site states the same thing.

Already committed in this class are Lakeland (FL) 4-star Cleveland Reed, Miami (FL) Southridge 4-star Delone Scaife, and Orlando (FL) Dr. Phillips 3-star John Campbell. Both Reed and Scaife attended The Opening, Nike’s elite recruiting camp, which was held in Oregon earlier in July. They are both talented players who have played tackle in HS, but figure to be interior linemen at the collegiate level. Campbell has good size and length and will likely stick at tackle in college, although he will probably need time to develop into a rotation player at the next level.

Miami is reaching out to some players committed elsewhere, according to recent reports. First up, Miami has contacted Knoxville (TN) Catholic 5-star Cade Mays. A consensus top 15 player nationally in this class, Mays is a Tennessee Legacy — his father played for the Vols — who has been committed to UT since July 2015. Obviously, being from Knoxville and a Tennessee legacy (and commit) make the Canes’ recruitment of Mays challenging to say the least. Adding to that: Miami hasn’t offered yet. But, per 247sports’ report, Mays and Miami have discussed a visit. Like always, if he comes to campus, then things become real. Until then, this is an interesting anecdote, and nothing more.

Another player committed to an SEC school who has recently received a Canes scholarship offer is Cypress (TX) Cy Ranch 4-star Colten Blanton. Blanton is committed to Texas A&M, and has been since last November. Like Mays, Blanton has very good size and the skills to be able to play early at Miami. And, like Mays, until/unless he visits, that’s nothing more than a cool story, bro.

Montgomery (AL) Park Crossing 3-star Tank Jenkins is another player that Miami is recruiting. He a guard and not a tackle, but he’s got good skills and you can never have too many talented and physical offensive linemen.

Tampa (FL) Cambridge Christian school 4-star Richard Gouraige, Tampa (FL) Berkley Prep 4-star Nicholas Petit-Frere, and Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy 3-star Daniel Faalele are players with offers who figure to head elsewhere. They all have good size — Faalele is a huge player at 6’9” 400lbs — and undeniable talent, but their sights seem set in places other than Coral Gables.

Miami’s in a good, but not great, spot at OL in this class. To really knock it out of the park, the Canes would need to add another Tackle to this group, and preferably one who is a bit more polished than Campbell. Unfortunately, the OL crop from SoFLA isn’t the strongest this cycle, so Miami will have to look elsewhere to find the player(s) to round out this group in 2018.

Defensive Line

Need: 4

Committed: 2

Miami not only has arguably the top DL in America, but they’re off to a good start in recruiting to keep the talent and depth at an elite level.

Miami has commitments from Plantation (FL) American Heritage 4-star DT Nesta Silvera, and Hialeah (FL) Champagnat Catholic 3-star DE/OLB/ATH Gregory Rousseau. Silvera has had a good camp season, and is another Miami commit headed to Nike’s The Opening. Rousseau has great length and positional versatility. He should be a weapon at the VIPER and OLB positions for Manny Diaz’s defense.

Even with Silvera and Rousseau committed, Miami has plenty of work to do recruiting on the Defensive Line in 2018. Miami could potentially lose 4 DTs from the roster if RJ McIntosh, Kendrick Norton, and Gerald Willis all elect to go to the NFL Draft. So, additional bodies will be needed there, as well as at DE, where you can never have enough pass rushers.

Defensive Tackle

One of the top targets at DT is Kissimmee (FL) Gateway 3-star Dennis Briggs. He’s long been at the top of the list, and the connection between Briggs and Miami is very strong. Briggs is active on Twitter, and lots of posts are Miami-centric.

Briggs has good size and length at 6’4” 260lbs. No, he’s not the biggest DT prospect right now, but he has the frame to put on good weight in college. Some have compared Briggs’ build to starting DT RJ McIntosh coming out of HS, and if Briggs follows McIntosh’s physical and performance development, that would be a win for all parties. Miami is the far and away favorite to land Briggs’ commitment at current, with Florida State also involved.

Miami is also recruiting Ramsey (NJ) Don Bosco Prep 4-star Tyler Friday, St. Louis (MO) Parkway North 4-star Michael Thompson, St. Louis (MO) Chaminade 4-star Trevor Trout, Concord (NC) 4-star Rick Sandidge, and Charlotte (NC) Mallard Creek 4-star Jordan Davis, and Hollywood (FL) Chminade-Madonna 3-star Davoan Hawkins (Kentucky commit) at DT. All have good size for the position, and are top tier recruits at this position of need for the Canes. There is work to be done here, but with Coach Kool at the helm — his reputation and coaching ability is what has gotten Friday and Thompson (and likely others) interested in Miami at all — I’m not worried.

With Briggs, Friday, Thompson, Trout, Sandidge, Davis, and Hawkins on the board at DT, there’s plenty of talent out there for Miami to close with a solid group at this position of need. On top of this group of HS talent, it wouldn’t surprise me if Miami looked to add a JUCO DT in this class, to have an older/game ready player join the team to help offset the potential roster losses I previously noted in this section.

Defensive End

A top 5 player Nationally in the 2018 recruiting class, Harrisburg (PA) 5-star DE Micah Parsons can pick anywhere in America to play his college football. A summer decommit from Penn State, the 6’3” 235lb Parsons holds scholarship offers from 20 schools, and that number is sure to grow.

Let me be clear: Parsons is an elite talent. Miami DL coach Craig Kuligowski visited Harrisburg earlier this spring, and Miami will continue to build a relationship with Parsons. At this time, Penn State is skyrocketing back as the trending pick for Parsons’ collegiate destination, but nearly every top program in the country is trying to get involved in this recruitment.

After more than a decade at Mizzou, it stands to reason that Coach Kuligowski has a relationship with players/schools in that area of the country. Another such player at DE is St. Louis (MO) Lutheran North 4-star Ronnie Perkins. Perkins, like Parsons, has good size at 6’3” 255lbs.

A U.S. Army All-American, Perkins holds 32 offers at current, with Oklahoma, Texas, LSU, Michigan, and Missouri being at the top of that list. Miami has the cache of any of those teams, but it will largely be up to Coach Kool, and the prospect of immediate playing time, to get Perkins away from the Midwest to Coral Gables.

A local player, Miami (FL) Edison 3-star DE Kayode Oladele seems to be falling off the board for Miami. Most recent reports have the Nigerian immigrant being less of an option from Miami’s end of things, and leaning toward Auburn for his commitment.

Much like with DT, Miami is working from a position of strength at DE. The roster is stacked, the 2017 signees are great, and Gregory Rousseau is already committed at this spot in this class. And, if there’s anybody on the staff I trust to find and close on talent, it’s Coach Kool. There will likely be new names to know as this cycle progresses, but I am not at all concerned with the talent that Miami will end up with along the DL in the 2018 recruiting class.


Need: 1

Committed: 0

The only position at which Miami does not currently hold a commitment, Miami has work to do at Linebacker. But, with low numbers needed and plenty of interested prospects, recruiting at this position shouldn’t be too tough for Miami as this cycle progresses.

On the radar for Miami is Deerfield Beach (FL) 3-star Rosendo Louis. A tough and rugged MLB prospect, the 6’1” 225lb Louis was a lynchpin in Deerfield’s 2016 defense that got the Bucks to the 8A State Semi-Finals. Louis currently holds 21 offers, with Miami, Florida, and South Carolina being in that group. There’s plenty of time left here, and Miami will continue to build a relationship with Louis moving forward. CORRECTION: Louis committed to Florida State on August 15th.

Miami is pushing for a flip from Homestead (FL) South Dade 3-star Patrick Joyner. This FSU commit has a good combination of size and skill, and would be a nice addition to Miami’s recruiting class. When you add in the bonus of taking a talented player away from a bitter rival, getting Joyner would be that much better for Miami.

Previously listed in this section, Vero Beach (FL) 3-star David Reese reportedly slid down and off Miami’s board at LB, and subsequently committed to Florida.

Other players like Tallahassee (FL) Lawton Chiles 4-star Amari Gainer and Cincinnati (OH) Winton Woods 4-star Christopher Oats are on the board with offers, but aren’t likely to end up in this class.

With only 1 (maybe 2?) LB spots in this class, Miami can be very selective looking for prospects. As the cycle continues, I fully expect additional names to pop up as Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz and the Canes’ staff continue to eval players from around Florida and the country.

Defensive Back

Need: 6

Committed: 5

This, like Wide Receiver and Running Back, is a position where Miami needs big numbers and top talent in this recruiting class. And, like WR and RB, Miami is off to a stellar start recruiting this position group in this class, too.

Miami has 5 DBs committed in the 2018 recruiting class: Miami (FL) Columbus Cheshire (CT) Academy 4-star CB Josh Jobe, Palm Beach Gardens (FL) 4-star S Gurvan Hall, Coral Gables (FL) 4-star CB Gilbert Frierson, Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas 4-star CB Al Blades Jr., and Homestead (FL) South Dade 3-star CB D.J. Ivey. Every one of those commits has the ability to be an All-American, and all 5 of them are from Palm Beach County (Hall), Broward (Blades Jr.), or Dade County (Jobe — yes he’s at prep school in Connecticut now bc he aged out of eligibility in Florida, but I’m still counting him — Frierson, and Ivey). For all the years of talking about “getting back to the South Florida Roots of Miami Hurricanes Recruiting”, this is what it looks like in application.


Leading the way on the target list is Plantation (FL) American Heritage 4-star CB Tyson Campbell. A tall (6’3”) corner with very good speed (State Champion in the 100 meter dash with a 10.41 in 2017), Campbell has the build, athleticism, and skill that has colleges all over the country fighting for his commitment.

Currently holding 22 offers, Campbell is a top 30 player in the 2018 recruiting class. Miami, Clemson, LSU, and OSU are just some of the teams from which Campbell has been offered. While most intel has this as a Miami-OSU recruiting battle, Campbell could choose to go any number of ways. He’s a premium player at a premium position, and Miami would be thrilled to add him to the commit list, and continue to rebuild the connection with American Heritage that was so badly damaged back when that other guy was Miami’s head coach.

Oh, and, for what it’s worth, 247sports recruiting analyst Steve Wiltfong predicted Campbell would commit to Miami on Wednesday night, just hours before this piece was scheduled to get published. Obviously, that could change, and there’s no time-table on this prediction, so take it with a grain of salt. But, this is a positive development at current and definitely worth watching.

Miami (FL) Northwestern 3-star CB Nigel Bethel is an interesting talent who has risen up the recruiting board recently. Bethel has good speed and good talent, but I’m not fully sold on him as a take just yet. A strong HSFB season would go a long way in my view of Bethel. But, I think he’s the clear #2 (at best) behind Campbell on the CB board for Miami right now.

Plantation (FL) American Heritage 5-star Patrick Surtain Jr. released a top 6 without Miami on it. Unless one of the biggest surprises in recent recruiting history happens, Surtain Jr. is most assuredly headed somewhere other than Miami.

Ft. Lauderdale (FL) Dillard 3-star CB Stanley Garner is another CB with an offer. However, Garner recently committed to Kentucky. I previously said that Miami would prefer their other options at CB to Garner, and that looks to be the case.


Miami looks to be settling in on a S group of Gurvan Hall and Josh Jobe, and setting their sights on landing another premium CB as the 6th DB in this class.

Previously listed Jensen Beach (FL) 3-star S Jamien Sherwood committed to Auburn, Jacksonville (FL) Trinity Christian 5-star S Tyreke Johnson hasn’t been linked to Miami in quite some time, and West Palm Beach (FL) Dwyer 3-star S Cameron Jonas committed to Syracuse.

Now, the focus is going to be on keeping Hall and Jobe in this class. Miami is going to have to battle a host of schools who are trying to flip each of these talented players away from the Canes. But, with many schools chasing after each player, Miami will have work to do to keep them in this class. No, I’m not preaching doom and gloom, I’m simply stating the fact of the situation. I believe Miami will be able to keep both players committed, but it won’t be without plenty of work.

Special Teams

Need: 1

Committed: 1

Miami has arguably the best kicker in America in this class in Pasadena (TX) Memorial K Bubba Baxa. Baxa committed to the Canes back at the end of May, had elite performances at every camp and competition he attended this summer, and is off to a stellar start of his senior season.

Miami needs a kicker. Miami has arguably the best kicker in America committed in this class.

Seems like a job well done in recruiting kickers, if you ask me.

And that, my friends, is that. Hope you enjoyed the third installment of the Class Breakdown for the 2018 recruiting cycle. Not really a ton of movement, as the focus is more on keeping this commit group together than adding players to the class immediately.

As always, hop in the comments and keep the conversation going.

Go Canes