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Miami Hurricanes Recruiting Radar: Early Signing Period grades

There are some things to like with Miami’s Early Signees. But there’s plenty to hate, too.

4-star WR Jeremiah Payton is awesome, but he’s one of precious few blue chip players in Miami’s 2019 class at current.

The 2019 Early Signing Period is nearly over. And, like most teams, the Miami Hurricanes had their fair share of players sign during the newly-instituted signing period.

However, there were many whiffs for the Canes, who did not close on any player they were chasing that announced a decision on Wednesday, and thusly there are holes to fill in this recruiting class.

Before we talk about where Miami goes from here, let’s take a second and grade the class as it currently stands.

Note: As has been the case for years, for star ratings and rankings, we are using 247Sports composite.


Signees: none

Grade: F

I’ve long said that Recruiting Rule #1 is that you have to have a QB in every recruiting class, period. Miami does not have one, and that’s a failure in my mind.

Offensive Coordinator Thomas Brown said Tuesday that Miami will find a QB in this class, but I question from whence a Miami-caliber QB is going to come, as the prep QB group in 2019 is the worst in more than a decade and transfers largely want to play immediately, a prospect that is unlikely with N’Kosi Perry at the helm.

At least Jarren Williams has decided not to transfer. So, that’s nice. But in terms of 2019 recruiting at QB? F.

Running Back

Signees: Auburn transfer Asa Martin

Grade: C

Auburn transfer Asa Martin has signed with Miami as a transfer. He was 2017 Mr. Football in Alabama, and a 4-star recruit who signed with the Tigers over many challengers. He was unhappy after Auburn burned his RS in the season finale against Alabama, and with only having 13 carries on the year to boot.

Martin is a Miami-caliber talent, who will be eligible to play in 2020 after sitting out due to NCAA rules.

Getting him is good and helps, but Miami is 0-for-the-cycle at RB. Kenny McIntosh. Trey Sanders. Nayquan Wright. Noah Cain. Marcus Crowley (at least he was committed at one point, though I’m not sure if that makes things better or worse). DJ Williams. And the list goes on. Miami offered all those RBs, had connections with several, even had Crowley committed....and yet have signed none of them.

If not for Martin signing as a transfer, this would be another 0 recruit position with an F grade.

So things are starting out well.

Wide Receiver

Signee: 4-star Jeremiah Payton

Grade: B

Payton is really, REALLY good. And, he’s going to play from day 1 at Miami. Getting a kid of his elite caliber — he’s a top 70 overall recruit in this class — is a big-time win for Miami.

Depending on how things go with others on the board, most notably 5-star Jadon Haselwood, this grade could improve. Or it could fall. We’ll see.

Tight End

Signee: 3-star Larry Hodges

Grade: C

Hodges is a solid player, an H-Back type who can be moved around the formation and used in a variety of ways.

But Miami needed 2 TEs in this class, and missed on clear #1 target Keon Zipperer, who chose Florida.

Offensive Line

Signees: 3-stars Jakai Clark, Adam ElGammal, and Zion Nelson

Grade: D

Miami had 2 4-star players committed at this position at one point, and both flipped to and signed with Florida.

Nelson is a 3 year project who could either be a steal of a lifetime or never see the field.

ElGammal has potential, and is likely the best of this class.

Clark is a Center which is fine but likely not a high impact guy.

And, Miami missed on 5-star OT Evan Neal, as well as others at this position of DIRE need. Getting the trio that’s signed is better than nothing, but I’m not going to pretend like it’s anywhere near good enough.

Defensive End

Signees: Jahfari Harvey, Cam Williams (reported to sign today)

Grade: B-

Harvey is a baller, and continues Miami’s streak of getting an underrated DE from the Tri-County area who will have a significant impact on the roster — Chad Thomas, Joe Jackson, Gregory Rousseau, and Jonathan Garvin being other notable players who fit that bill.

Williams, who was reported on Thursday night to be signing with Miami today, is another player with size and skill who will join the DE group and play a role on this team in years to come.

But, this is yet another position where the misses matter. Lloyd Summerall as a package deal with his teammates from Lakeland going to Florida. Kevin Harris to Alabama (no, I don’t blame him, but it’s a miss). Adisa Isaac to Penn State. JJ Weaver to Kentucky.

Miami still has top target 4-star Khris Bogle on the board, so this could improve. Or he, like so many others, could choose to go to Alabama. So we’ll see on this one as well.

Defensive Tackle

Signees: 4-star Jason Blissett, 3-stars Jalar Holley, Jason Muñoz

Grade: B

Blissett is a top talent from NYC. Holley and Muñoz are both solid players from powerhouse HSFB programs who have size and skill and decent potential moving forward.

This group could be bolstered by an addition, however. The only real option is 3-star Jared Harrison-Hunte, signee Adam ElGammal’s HS teammate, but don’t hold your breath. And, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the major miss at this position this cycle: Braylen Ingraham to Alabama.


Signees: 4-star Avery Huff, 3-star Samuel Brooks

Grade: B

This grade is high because I’m super high on Huff’s potential. As I’ve said and written, several college coaches thought Huff to be the best LB in FL this cycle, and his potential is immense.

Brooks is a dynamic player from Miami Northwestern, and he should be able to have a nice career with solid impact as he continues to regain form after a bad knee injury sustained as a HS junior.

This group does, however, need another player. And, the late flip of 4-star Anthony Solomon to Michigan is the thing keeping this grade from being an A. Miami is looking at other options for the final spot at this position.


Signee: 4-star Te’Cory Couch

Grade: C-

Couch is good. He’s the best cover corner in SoFLA, and is will be a good addition to the Canes’ secondary.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the misses matter. 3-star Jarvis Brownlee flipped to Florida State late. Miami made a psuedo run at John Dixon before he signed with South Carolina. 5-star Akeem Dent was once committed to Miami, but flipped to Florida State nearly a year ago.

Miami has targets on the board, so things could change. Mississippi State commit Martin Emerson Jr. could flip. 4-star Tyrique Stevenson or 4-star Kaiir Elam could pick Miami. But, unless/until they do, this is another position that, even with a talented player in Couch already signed, did not meet the needs of the team.


Signee: 4-star Keontra Smith

Grade: B

Of the signees in this class, Smith is the 2nd highest rated overall and the highest rated defensive player. He has size, athleticism, and skill, and will be a key contributor to Miami’s secondary for years to come.

But, again, misses matter, and Miami’s had several. Tyrique Stevenson is on the board (yes, I’m talking about him again bc he’s listed as a Corner but I’ve long thought him to be a better Safety prospect), but seems to favor Georgia. Miami flipped Cornelius Nunn from Syracuse only to see Nunn flip BACK to Cuse in the end. Miami missed on Brendan Gant and Jordan Battle as well, another pair of 4-star recruits who picked FSU and Bama, respectively.

Realistically, I should lower this grade. But, I’m very high on Smith as a prospect so I bumped it up. Sue me.


Commit: JUCO P Louis Hedley

Grade: Incomplete

Hedley won’t sign until February due to scholarship number restrictions per Andrew Ivins of 247sports. Hedley is fully locked in with Miami, however, and should (hopefully) upgrade the punter position moving forward. So, that’s good, and I’ll probably give this position a “B” grade once Hedley signs.


Signees: 13 (if Williams signs today as has been reported)

Offensive Signees: 5 (6 if you include Martin)

Defensive Signees: 8

There are some highlights — Payton, Huff, Harvey, Smith — but this is largely an average class with many holes at key positions that need to be addressed to have a quality roster.

Overall Grade: D

You have thoughts, comments, concerns, and grades. Share them in the comments below, and vote in the poll!


What grade would you give Mami’s Early Signing Period Class?

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  • 1%
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  • 2%
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