The Miami Hurricanes football program has put together the 8th ranked signing class of the 2018 National Signing Day. Miami had locked up the bulk of their class during early signing in December, but rounded out with signing a couple of players from major positions of need, such as defensive tackle and cornerback- even if they’re not all ACC-ready in 2018.
Now that the 2018 class is over, Miami has to turn to 2019 and evening out the depth chart by recruiting a quarterback, a tailback, four elite offensive linemen, two defensive ends with one being a five-star, two defensive tackles, as well as a few linebackers and over five defensive backs to say the least for the 2019 class. It’s time to close strong at all positions and lock down more than one five-star recruiting in ‘19.
Every class needs a quarterback in order to solidify depth, cover up transfers, and provide competition. In 2018, the ‘Canes signed Jarren Williams a four-star quarterback from Georgia. Mark Richt is still recruiting Georgia well after his long tenure as the UGA Bulldogs coach. Williams has size and a lot of upside to him. Williams will more than likely redshirt providing a gap year between himself and N’Kosi Perry, Miami’s 2017 signee. This spring Miami has a true quarterback competition with incumbent senior Malik Rosier, Perry, redshirt freshman, Cade Weldon, and Williams vying for snaps with the 1’s and 2’s. It’s important for coaches to create competition at such a high profile position but also to have legitimate quarterback arms to throw in drills and scrimmages.
Coaches always want depth at the position that takes the biggest pounding during a football season and that’s the tailback position. Miami added Lorenzo Lingard, their first five-star player since Chad Thomas arrived in Coral Gables. They also brought in Cam’Ron Davis, a four-star back from Carol City as well. Adding Lingard and Davis to Travis Homer and athlete Deejay Dallas could allow Miami to flex Dallas around to different positions while making Homer-Lingard the main combination getting carries. Losing Joe Yearby and Mark Walton early over the past two seasons has caused a gap in the position with Robert Burns and Trayone Gray providing little confidence. Depth charts are desperate for quality backs across the country, outside of Alabama, and Miami was no different. Coaches need guys that can fill different roles, like a 3rd down back, or a short yardage pick up guy if your main back is more of a speed option.
Losing Christopher Herndon IV to injury towards the end of the season was a huge blow to Malik Rosier and the ‘Canes offense. Herndon was underutilized but still an extremely effective pass catcher and blocker playing the H-Back position. Michael Irvin II has a lot of growth and a lot to learn in order to be effective. Mark Richt brought in Brevin Jordan from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, and Will Mallory from Jacksonville, FL. Jordan is a 6-3 250 pound four-star tight end with NFL size and ability while Mallory is 6-5 207 pound four-star tight end that needs to grow into his frame. Either way, these guys bolster a really depleted tight end / h-back corps that now has three solid players at the position.
Coaches say big men need breaks and defensive tackle is the epitome of that saying. The great Miami teams always had unreal defensive tackles rotations. I’ve mentioned these groupings before but it’s hard to forget Jerome Brown being flanked by Dan Sileo and Derwin Jones who all played in the NFL. In the late 80’s the ‘Canes had Russell Maryland with Cortez Kennedy and flex players like Shane Curry and Willis Pegues. In 1992, Warren Sapp backed up Pat Riley and Mark Caesar with The Rock on stand by.
The ‘Canes would’ve had an elite level defensive tackle rotation had RJ McIntosh and Kendrick Norton stayed on campus with John Ford, Pat Bethel and signees Nesta Silvera, and Jordan Miller. Instead, McIntosh and Norton created a massive age gap filled by a graduate transfer from Illinois. The interior will be weak and that hurts Miami but Silvera will need to play immediately and if Miller can redshirt that helps separate the classes out a little bit.
Miami hit another bad spot at corner where the recruiting classes have been shallow and now the depth chart is lacking while there also aren’t a ton of bodies for reps in practices, scrimmages, or in the kicking game. Corners are used in the kicking game and Miami can’t risk that because of the lack of depth. The starters are Trajan Bandy and Michael Jackson, and those are great starters. But after that it’s a huge fall off with the retirement of Malek Young. Jhavonte Dean is a cover 2 corner with size but no hips and after that it’s mostly the freshman class.
Miami missed out on Patrick Surtain Jr but landed solid corners in four-stars like Al Blades Jr, DJ Ivey, Gilbert Frierson, and three-star Nigel Bethel. Bethel needs time to add weight and many feel Frierson and Blades could both wind up at safety. That leaves DJ Ivey to bolster a cornerback crew that doesn’t have ACC level depth.