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Miami Hurricanes Recruiting Radar: 2018 Freshman 15 - September Edition

We’re more than halfway through the 2018 recruiting cycle and there’s been plenty of changes to the board.

Patrick Joyner is the last man standing at linebacker on the board.
247 Sports

Previous editions: April, May, June, July, August

Welcome to the sixth 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.

It was a slow summer in Miami recruiting. The Canes filled up pretty quickly during the spring and have left a precious few spots remaining in this class. However, fall brings football season, and that means recruits coming to games and taking their official visits. That will give us better clarity when determining just how serious some targets are about UM.

Let’s get into the board for the month of September.

1. Tyson Campbell, CB, Fort Lauderdale, FL (American Heritage) (Last Month: 1)

Ht 6-2 | Wt 180 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #23 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 25 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, Ohio State, Alabama, and Georgia. Clemson, LSU, Florida, and Florida State are on the outside looking in.

Latest: Campbell is chopping down his list to a top 5 sometime this month and has already said the Hurricanes will make that cut, along with Alabama, Ohio State, and Georgia. Campbell’s top 5 will all get official visits, which will be taken after the season to focus on his senior year. He says his decision will come down to whether he wants to play at home in front of his family, or if he feels it will be better to get away from South Florida for college. So, really, it seems to be between Miami and his preferred out of state school. That decision would likely be made during December or at a January all-star game.

2. Dennis Briggs, DE/DT, Kissimmee, FL (Gateway) (Last Month: 3)

Ht 6-4 | Wt 255 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #443 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’ has a top 6 of Miami, FSU, UF, Tennessee, Oregon, and Georgia.

Latest: Briggs says he will official to Miami, FSU, Tennessee, Oregon, and Georgia. Despite that, Florida remains still involved as he’s taken multiple unofficial visits to Gainesville and the Gators cannot be counted out. He’ll be taking his visits during the season and tentatively plans on committing on his school’s “Senior Night”, the last home game of the season. The Canes still feel like the leader here.

3. Trevor Trout, DT, Saint Louis, MO (Chaminade) (Last Month: 6)

Ht 6-3 | Wt 315 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #185 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 6 of Miami, Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, USC, and UCLA.

Latest: Trout recently narrowed his list to a final 6 on Aug. 30th and he included Miami in that group. Additionally, along with UM, Alabama, Georgia, USC, and UCLA will get official visits. Missouri has been one of Trout’s longtime favorites and, as the hometown school that Trout has seen multiple times on unofficials, will be a serious threat to land his commitment. It really feels like this is anyone’s game and the official visit to Coral Gables will make or break Miami’s chances.

4. Patrick Joyner, DE/LB, Homestead, FL (South Dade) (Last Month: 9)

Ht 6-2 | Wt 205 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #886 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. While some schools are looking at Joyner as a DE, the defensive staff at Miami sees him as a linebacker, and he’s probably now the top LB on their board.

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 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. Joyner will also be visiting Tallahassee for the Miami-FSU game. A pitch detailing how Joyner will be the only LB in UM’s class could win him over.

5. Nigel Bethel, CB, Miami, FL (Northwestern) (Last Month: 11)

Ht 5-11 | Wt 160 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #1332 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.

6. Davoan Hawkins, DE/DT, Hollywood, FL (Chaminade-Madonna Prep) (Last Month: 10)

Ht 6-4 | Wt 260 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #785 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 for an official visit.

7. William Barnes, OT/OG, Apopka, FL (Apopka) (Last Month: 4)

Ht 6-4 | Wt 290 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #51 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 as of yet. If Miami can secure one of those official visits, they will have a fighting chance for Barnes.

8. Daniel Faalele, OT, Bradenton, FL (IMG Academy) (Last Month: 7)

Ht 6-9 | Wt 390 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #441 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.

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.

9. 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 set 2 of his 5 official visits. He’ll be heading to Nebraska and Ohio State for game weekends, leaving 3 visits still unknown. It goes without saying, but Miami really needs to nab one of those officials to get back in the game here.

10. Tyquan Thornton, WR, Miami, FL (Booker T. Washington) (Last Month: NR)

Ht 6-3 | Wt 165 | 247 Composite: 3-Star, #522 Overall

Behind The Ranking: Thornton is a thin but ultra-competitive and extremely tough receiver. He’s a threat to go vertical any play and can out-stride a cornerback down the field. Thornton is the type of receiver that high points a ball and flat out goes and gets it with a center fielder's ability. He’ll work the middle of the field and does not fear incoming traffic.

In The Mix: Thornton is committed to Florida but is still looking at Miami.

Latest: Thornton’s recruitment has been odd to say the least. Thornton committed to UF back on July 24th, but immediately after said he was still considering Miami and wanted to set up another visit to campus. He took that visit, unofficially, this past weekend, taking in Miami’s opening matchup victory against Bethune-Cookman. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds and if Thornton sets up an official visit later this fall. At the very least, it shows UM is still interested in adding a 4th receiver to this class.

11. Jordan Davis, DT, Charlotte, NC (Mallard Creek) (Last Month: NR)

Ht 6-6 | Wt 320 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #310 Overall

Behind The Ranking: Davis has massive size with long arms. He initiates well at the point of attack and drives offensive lineman back consistently. Davis has shown the ability to beat double teams, while still playing with disciplined gap integrity.

In The Mix: Davis has an open list at this point, naming North Carolina, N.C. State, Michigan, Georgia, Miami, South Carolina, and Florida State as those pursuing him the hardest.

Latest: Davis has kept a pretty low profile as far as recruits go, and hasn’t given many updates on his recruitment. However, he is close to narrowing down his options to 5 official visits. And, of those visits, Davis claims to want to see Miami and Michigan the most. So, as of now, we feel pretty comfortable saying Miami will get an official, but there is still a long way to go to get Davis’ signature.

12. Ronnie Perkins, DE, Saint Louis, MO (Lutheran North) (Last Month: NR)

Ht 6-4 | Wt 260 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #114 Overall

Behind The Ranking: Perkins is developed as a pass rusher, with devastating quick swim moves paired with jump-steps. He is a very active and forceful tackler that takes on blocks, then stack-and-sheds well. Perkins also plays with textbook pad level.

In The Mix: Perkins has a loose top group naming Texas, Oklahoma, Miami, Florida, Mizzouri, and Georgia, among others, as those he’s been in constant contact with.

Latest: Perkins is already all set to officially visit Texas next weekend, and has a visit to Oklahoma also in the works. That leaves 3 officials unoccupied, and Miami will battle it out for one of those spots.

13. Tyler Friday, DE/DT, Ramsey, NJ (Don Bosco Prep) (Last Month: 12)

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.

14. Nicholas Petit-Frere, OT, Tampa, FL (Berkeley Prep) (Last Month: NR)

Ht 6-5 | Wt 265 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #41 Overall

Behind The Ranking: Petit-Frere needs to put on some weight in a college strength program, but when he does, he has the potential to be an elite left tackle, possessing fantastic length, frame, and athleticism. His massive wingspan buys him time to recover against sudden changes of direction.

In The Mix: Petit-Frere has no favorites. Miami, Stanford, USC, Notre Dame, and Clemson make up some of his offers.

Latest: If he’s not wide-open, Petit-Frere is doing a good job of making it seem that way. He refuses to name favorites in interviews, and does not want to rule any of his offers out, taking a pragmatic wait-and-see approach to his recruitment. Petit-Frere is going to really take his time feeling out the process to make sure he’s doing what’s best for him, so much so that his head coach believes he is going to take this thing to Signing Day.

15. Devonta Jason, WR, New Orleans, LA (Landry-Walker) (Last Month: NR)

Ht 6-3 | Wt 190 | 247 Composite: 4-Star, #111 Overall

Behind The Ranking: Jason has great body control in mid-air to be able contort for difficult catches. He has the prototypical frame of a #1 receiver with great hands that don’t drop much. Elite straight-line speed allows Jason to blow the top off a defense.

In The Mix: While still being committed to Kansas, Jason has a named top 7 including Kansas, Miami, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Tennessee, and WVU.

Latest: Jason’s been committed to the Jayhawks since February, but many analysts think there’s no way he ends up signing with Kansas. Jason looks like he could be on his way to proving them right, as he named a top 7 schools while still being committed to KU. Bizarre. There’s really not much known about Jason’s Miami recruitment, however, Jason has been to campus before, on an unofficial visit back in April. A lot of this is still developing, and Miami just dumped a Louisiana receiver because they felt his interest was not genuine, so we’ll likely find out sooner than later just how into UM Jason really is.

Falling Off

2. WR Terrace Marshall - Created a new top 5 out of the blue, leaving Miami out. It was rumored Miami saw him as another DeVonta Smith (a highly touted Louisiana receiver from 2017 that was only using UM as a vacation visit) and decided to stop recruiting him.

5. LB Rosendo Louis - Committed to FSU, QUITE rudely I might add.

13. OL Ed Montilus - Not much has been heard from Montilus since early spring. It’s fair to wonder if UM is still after him.

14. LB Donovan Georges - Miami and Georges have seemed to part ways. Judging by his final list of Colorado State, Pitt, FIU, and USF, that was more of the Canes’ decision than Georges’.

15. RB/FB Abraham Alce - Too much talent is interested in Miami right now to have a fullback on the board. I have a feeling Alce will eventually make his way back, though.