Welcome back for another installment of our Miami Hurricanes Class Breakdown.
If you’re new here, the Class Breakdown is our monthly look at the Canes’ recruiting class, with the commits currently in the class, and updates and chatter about those players and others who are on the radar for UM.
REMINDER: recruiting is a fluid construct, and this list is not exhaustive. New names will pop up, and old names will fade away, over the course of this cycle. Which happens every year. And I wanted to remind you of that fact.
And away we go.
I wrote about this already earlier in the spring and you can read the whole piece here. I’ve updated those numbers slightly (which I spoke about in May), and here are the updated numbers for this class:
Miami Hurricanes 2019 Class Numbers (updated)
|1||2||2||2||4||3||3||3||3||2||(Any extra spots not filled)|
Those are the numbers. Now, let’s look at the recruiting landscape of each position group.
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 2019 cycle, Miami seems singularly focused on Eugene (OR) Sheldon 4-star QB Michael Johnson Jr. at QB in this class.
But, things have taken a turn.
While Johnson Jr. once seemed days away from committing to Miami, he, instead, is all but locked in to Penn State. He’s announcing this upcoming week — I believe his commitment date is August 1st — and every piece of intel out there has him picking James Franklin’s team at that time.
So now, Miami is forced with a choice:
- push hard for a player whose mind is likely already made up to go elsewhere (namely Wisconsin commit Graham Mertz, who has said he’s shut down his recruitment, so good luck with that)
- reach for a player who otherwise wouldn’t even be considered by Miami; or
- break recruiting rule #1 and go without a QB in this recruiting class.
I’m going to write more about this topic this week so I won’t make a long monthly piece any longer, but with MJJ heading elsewhere, Miami’s QB recruiting in this class is not in a good place.
The ONE target on the board is going somewhere else, after an incredible expenditure of resources by Miami over many months. Whether Miami dropped him or he changed his mind — reports have it being a little of both — is inconsequential to me. Recruiting is a results based business and the results, for now, in recruiting QBs for 2019 leaves much to be desired.
Miami is off to another good start at RB, already having Jacksonville (FL) Trinity Christian Academy 3-star Marcus Crowley committed in this class. Crowley has already seen his stock rise, and that will be reflected once rankings update in the spring. In any event, the 6’1” 200lb Crowley will be a key player on a State Championship caliber team once again this fall, and is a very good get for Miami in this class.
Even with a player of Crowley’s caliber committed, Miami is looking to bring in 2 RBs in this class, so there’s plenty of work yet to be done.
Miami’s top target is Ft. Lauderdale (FL) University School 4-star Kenny McIntosh. He is the younger brother of former Canes DT RJ McIntosh, and at 6’1 205lbs McIntosh has great size and athleticism for the position. He’s got 21 offers from top teams, but Miami is thought to be way, way in front here. 247sports has reported that McIntosh will make a decision in June or July, but since July is almost over, that timeline seems to be off slightly. Either way, as of today, all signs point to that decision being to make the crib great and commit to Miami.
Another target on the board is Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy 5-star Trey Sanders. A former Alabama commit, the 5’11” 215lb Sanders is a top 10 player in this recruiting class. Miami was the first team to contact him after he decommitted from the Tide, and have gotten Sanders to visit multiple times this spring. However, all recent predictions have Sanders picking Alabama again, so this is all but done.
Another player with an offer, Destrehan (LA) 4-star John Emery Jr., is an interesting prospect, but definitely on the periphery of the situation. A standout player whose speed and playmaking ability are among the best in the country, Emery Jr. will stay close to home. After Mississippi State made a charge, LSU has surged in predictions recently. As a top player from Louisiana, it will be a shock if Emery Jr. ends up anywhere other than LSU.
SURPRISE!!!! Emery Jr. committed to Georgia while I was writing this piece on Sunday afternoon.
Others like Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy 5-star Noah Cain, Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas 4-star Daniel Carter, and Carol City (FL) 4-star Nayquan Wright all have offers, but seem to be further down the list for various reasons. But, of them, Carter seems the most likely option to join this class should McIntosh elect to go elsewhere.
As stated above, I’ve dropped the number of WR slots in this class from 3 to 2. Miami took 7 WRs in the last 2 years, and the 2020 class is packed with top talent, so due to those facts, Miami can be very selective in the 2019 class at this position.
Miami holds a commitment from Neptune Beach (FL) Duncan U. Fletcher 4-star Jeremiah Payton. At 6’1” 190lbs, Payton has good size and elite playmaking ability on the outside. He’s a top 100 player in this class, and was the top target to commit this spring. Area recruiter Todd Hartley got another good one from Jacksonville for Miami.
Miami was able to get Ellenwood (GA) Cedar Grove 5-star Jadon Haselwood on campus for an unofficial visit in May, and again this past weekend for an extended visit for Paradise Camp. The nation’s #1 WR is committed to Georgia, so temper your expectations/don’t go over board.
While he’s still committed to Georgia and shows no signs of wavering on that pledge at this time, Haselwood has shown up multiple times in Coral Gables, the latest time with several family members in tow. As of now, it’s safe to say that there is a real interest in Miami from the nation’s top WR prospect. Whether that results in further action — and official visit or more — remains to be seen, but by actions and words, it’s clear that Haselwood sees something he likes in the Canes. Nothing is imminent here, but the fact that he came down to South Florida for multiple days surrounding Paradise Camp can only be viewed as a good thing as far as Miami is concerned.
Miami has also offered Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna 4-star John Dunmore. A talented local player, Dunmore was without a Canes offer until May 2nd. For a player of his caliber, that’s fairly late in the process. Now, the Canes are trying to turn up the heat on the 6’2” 177lb playmaker.
Early in July, Dumore committed to Penn State and ace Florida-area recruiter JaJuan Seider. Miami holds commitments from several of Dunmore’s teammates at Chaminade, and could lean on peer-level recruiting to make up ground here. That being said, Miami has a bunch of work to do to get seriously involved here if they want to flip Dunmore from Penn State.
Miami also offered Lake City (FL) Columbia 4-star T.J. Jones recently. The 6’1” 185lb speedster has some talent, but is squarely behind the players previously listed, and maybe others, on Miami’s board at current.
Other WRs have offers, but none are noteworthy enough to mention at this time. Miami is shooting for high-end talent only at WR this year, and are content to take only 1 WR — the already-committed Payton — instead of reaching for a less-than-elite talent, especially with the group they’ve taken in the last 2 years, and the talent available and already committed to Miami in 2020, and beyond.
After signing the best TE class in America in 2018, the Canes are off to another fast start in 2019. Already committed is Tampa (FL) Jesuit 3-star Larry Hodges. Hodges is an H-Back type who lacks elite height — he’s only 6’1” — but is fast and athletic and explosive and can impact games in a number of ways. Hodges has shown well on the spring 7v7 circuit, and figures to get a ratings bump in the future.
Even with Hodges committed, however, Miami is not done recruiting at Tight End. Looking to add another player to this group, the Canes have several offers out, and are evaluating players at this position.
The first name to know on the offer/target list is Lakeland (FL) 4-star Keon Zipperer. Once considered a lock to go to Florida, Zipperer has visited Miami a couple of times, and the Canes are trying to make a move to get the 6’2” 240lb playmaker in their class. There is still lots of time left, but this isn’t a firm “no” as many perceived it to be at one time.
Another player Miami has offered at TE is Dickinson (TX) 3-star Jalen Wydermyer. This is more your prototypical TE prospect, standing 6’5” 235lbs. Wydermyer has offers from all over the Southeast, with notable teams such as Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Texas A&M being on his list. As of now, all signs point to Wydermyer staying in Texas and picking A&M.
Many recruiting analysts believe that Miami will undoubtedly land either Zipperer or Wydermyer as the 2nd TE in this class. That would be the dream scenario, for sure, so reports to that end are music to my ears.
If not Zipperer or Wydermyer, Miami could look elsewhere — Concord (CA) De La Salle 4-star Isaiah Foskey already holds an offer, for example — to get TE2 for this class. This will be a key moving forward, as depth and talent are still needed for Miami at TE
Let’s start with the commits: Belleview (FL) 4-star OT Michael Tarquin and Jacksonville (FL) Atlantic Coast 3-star OG Kingsley Eguakun. Eguakun has been committed for several months, while Tarquin just committed last month. Both players have good size and skill, and especially in the case of Tarquin, address glaring roster issues for the Canes.
Leading the offer list is Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy 5-star OT Evan Neal. A towering hulk of a man, Neal stands 6’8” 360lbs, down about 30lbs from his previously-listed (and 100% accurate) 391lbs. Neal can play guard or tackle, and has excelled at both in his time at IMG. A Central Florida native, Neal has visited Miami multiple times over the last year and a half. He’s far and away the #1 target at OT, and the Canes are battling the likes of Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, and Oklahoma for his services. But, depending on which reports you believe, Miami is out front (debatable how far) in Neal’s recruitment, but Alabama is never a team to be dismissed.
Baton Rouge (LA) University Lab 5-star OG Kardell Thomas visited Coral Gables back in June. The 6’3” 356lb LSU commit has long stated that he’s interested in Miami on some level, and we finally saw proof of that with his recent visit to campus.
Furthermore, Thomas stated in post-visit interviews that he is scheduled to return to South Florida for an official visit to Miami in October...for the Florida State game. Obviously, a Louisiana native being committed to LSU is something that will be tough to overcome. BUT, if there’s any chance of that happening, Miami will need to knock Thomas’s official visit weekend out of the park.
Speaking of players committed elsewhere who have recently visited Miami, Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy 4-star Dontae Lucas fits that bill. The FSU commit visited Coral Gables multiple times in 3 weeks before the dead period, including a secret visit during which he worked out for Canes OL coach Stacy Searels.
The former Miami Senior High lineman is still committed to FSU, and has a close familial relationship with former Miami HSFB coach Telly Lockette. That fact — Lockette coached Lucas’ older brother previously — means that while he’s unlikely to flip from FSU, Lucas’s multiple visits to Coral Gables are at a minimum worth noting. Future contact and visits would be needed to flip this talented lineman from that school up North.
Another OL Target is Tampa (FL) Plant 4-star Will Putnam. A player who can play either Guard or Tackle, the 6’4” 280lb Putnam has good size and pedigree, and plays for one of the best HSFB programs in the State of Florida, one that has routinely produced top level P5 talent.
5-star OT Darnell Wright listed Miami in his recently-released top 10. The West Virginia native has stated an interest in Miami, and there’s been talk that he might take an official visit to Coral Gables this fall, but unless/until he does this is a nice note and nothing more.
Other players along the OL have offers, but either a visit or new reports of increased interest are needed before they are real options for a spot in this class.
Miami needs a bigger DL class this year due to a bunch of losses from the roster, and only replacing them with 3 DL in the 2018 recruiting class. But, there needs to be quality with those numbers, and there’s talent available to fill this need.
Already committed to Miami in the 2019 class are Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna 3-star DE Cameron Williams, Doral (FL) Academy 3-star DT Denzel Daxon, Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas 3-star DT Jason Muñoz, Vero Beach (FL) 3-star DE Jahfari Harvey and Buford (GA) 3-star DT Jalar Holley just committed after Paradise Camp yesterday.
#WelcomeToTheU, Jalar Holley. Make that 6 commits for the weekend as 2019 DT @jalarholley_90 commits to Miami after solid performance at Paradise Camp. #Canes #TheU https://t.co/k2VDMMkBHk pic.twitter.com/IMXwqapBXA— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) July 29, 2018
Williams is a 6’5” 215lb edge rusher with burst and skill. There is chatter that Williams may be less than solid in his commitment, so that’s something to watch moving forward. Daxon is a stocky DT with a good motor and good size at 6’1” 315lbs. Muñoz is an under-the-radar player with good size at 6’3” 276lbs. He missed the 2017 season with a broken leg, but performed well for Aquinas in the spring, earned an offer at a Mark Richt Football Camp, and committed pretty much on the spot. Harvey is a 6’3” 225lb edge rusher who used a strong spring at his new school — Vero Beach — to become the #1 prospect in Florida’s Treasure Coast area. And Holley is from the same school where DL coach Jess Simpson spent much of his legendary HSFB coaching career, and has the build and skill to be a solid interior lineman for Miami.
That’s a good group of 5 players and hits the number I’ve listed, but Miami still wants/needs to add more talent up front. Those Best Available slots on the class list up above? Those are likely to go to DL, OL, or DBs, depending on how things shake.
With more talent needed, let’s look at the targets.
The top target is now Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas 4-star DE Braylen Ingraham. Formerly at Ft. Lauderdale (FL) Dillard HS — the same school that produced current DT Jon Ford — Ingraham is a big player at 6’4” 270lbs and will grow into being a DT at the next level. With a very lithe frame, Ingraham could add weight, move inside, and be the next iteration of an RJ McIntosh-type DT for Miami. While Ingraham holds 25 offers, Miami is thought to be the far and away favorite to sign this talented defender. Ingraham is set to announce his commitment on October 23rd — his mother’s birthday — and all signs point to that announcement being a public commitment to Miami.
Another top target is Apopka (FL) Wekiva 4-star DT Tyler Davis. Another top prospect, Davis holds nearly 30 offers, and figures to get a ratings bump after a dominant spring camp and combine circuit. He’s a bit shorter than you’d like at just 6’0”, but he’s 293lbs and wears it well. Davis is a penetrating DT who disrupts plays on a routine basis. Miami is still trailing Ohio State and Florida in this recruitment at current.
Miami is also pursuing a couple of FSU commits who figure to end up at DT in college. Lehigh Acres (FL) Senior 4-star DE Quayshon Fuller and Delray Beach (FL) American Heritage — the sister school of the Nesta Silvera, Pat Surtain Jr, Tyson Campbell American Heritage — 4-star DE Mike Morris are both prospects who will grow into DTs at the next level and have Canes offers. Both have visited Miami in recent weeks, and the Canes seem to really be making headway with Fuller, but nothing is finalized yet.
Another future DT is Ft. Myers (FL) Dunbar 4-star DE Derrick Hunter. A one-time Miami commit, Hunter has been all over the place in his recruitment recently. Hunter recently committed to Florida State.
Hunter is earning a reputation as a bit of a head-case with recruiting fans, due to his antics on social media. While that is a fan perspective, it could impact his recruitment down the lien, as has happened with other players. It’s rare you find
6’4” 280lb 6’6” 285lbs (according to his measurements when he visited Florida State) defenders with the athleticism Hunter showcases and potential he could realize, and those are the things that have Miami, and many others, still connected to Hunter’s recruitment, despite the social media antics that have made many fans, and ostensibly a few schools, wary of this talented player.
At the top of the target list at DE is Ft. Lauderdale (FL) Cardinal Gibbons 4-star Khris Bogle. An athletic 6’4” 207lbs, Bogle is one of the premium pass rushers in the 2019 recruiting class. He’s visited Miami multiple times over recent months, but Tennessee has made a big move for him recently. Florida State and Clemson are also chasing after the star player. It’s hard to get a read on Bogle, because he’s been hot and cold for a number of schools, but make no mistake that Miami wants him in this class.
Another target at DE is 4-star Lloyd Summerall, who recently transferred from Auburndale (FL) to Lakeland (FL). A long and lean edge rusher at 6’6” 215lbs, Summerall is exactly what Miami wants at DE. The problem with him being a prototypical DE is that teams all over America want him on their roster, as well.
Summerall visited Miami for Paradise Camp, and that visit went well. Summerall’s interest has been piqued by the development of freshman DE Gregory Rousseau, who has a similar build and game to Summerall, but was less developed at this same stage of recruitment since Rousseau played mainly Safety, not DE, in high school. Miami is making moves, but Florida State, Alabama, Florida, and others are also still chasing the talented defender.
Yet another top target is Louisville (KY) Moore Traditional School 4-star J.J. Weaver. A South Florida native who moved away when he was in elementary school, Weaver has great size and length at 6’6” 230lbs. Not only that, but Weaver is reportedly one of DL Coach Jess Simpson’s favorite prospects at DE, and that could lead Miami to push hard for his commitment.
Like Kardell Thomas before, Weaver is set to take an official visit to Coral Gables for the Florida State game the first week of October. It will be interesting to follow Miami’s recruitment of Weaver between now and then, but he’s a top player on Miami’s board, to be sure.
Another player to know is Lawrenceville (GA) Archer 3-star Colby Wooden. A well built player at 6’4” 230lbs Wooden has good burst and bend from the DE position. He’s shown well all spring based on the reports I read, and he could end up being a solid target in the future, what with DL coach Jess Simpson’s strong ties to the Atlanta-area. But, it is clear that Wooden is behind the trio of Bogle, Summerall, and Weaver on the DL board at this time.
Miami offered #1 and #2 JUCO prospects 4-star Chester Graves and 4-star Jermaine Johnson back in May. Graves, the #1 JUCO player in this class, is 6’4” 220lbs and plays at Iowa Western CC. Johnson, the #4 JUCO player and #2 DE in this class, stands 6’6” 240lbs and plays at Independence (KS) CC — which is the team featured on Last Chance U on Netflix, btw. Both players have size and talent, and could help bridge the gap between the older DEs on the roster and the youngsters Miami looks to bring in with the 2019 recruiting class. Both Graves and Johnson have many suitors, but are names to know due to their combination of size and athletic ability.
Also, just wanted to list Brevard County (FL) Rockledge 3-star DE Dorien Josey in case he becomes a target down the line. He was at Paradise Camp, and has good size at 6’3” 230lbs, but he’s quite far down the board right now.
With Williams and Harvey committed, Miami is in a good place to add one or more of the above-listed targets to the DE group in this class. And, in a perfect world, Miami would add 2 of the Bogle/Summerall/Weaver trio and call it a day at DE.
After only taking 1 LB in 2018, and a less-than-inspiring group in 2017, the Canes need big numbers and talent in this class at LB. The good news is that Miami has 3 LBs already committed: Miami (FL) Northwestern 3-star Sam Brooks, and Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas 4-star Anthony Solomon and 4-star Avery Huff. Those players are a diverse group, and the LB class Miami needs this cycle.
Unless something crazy happens — like a 5-star player or top 10 recruit at this position wanting in this class — Miami is done recruiting at linebacker.
After a slow start at DB, Miami has been busy at work recently, getting 3 new commitments at this position group over the last month (eh, 6 weeks since I published the last installment of this piece).
Miami got things started when Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna 4-star S Keontra Smithcommitted in May. They kept things rolling with additional commitments from Altamonte Springs (FL) Lake Brantley 3-star ATH Damarius Good as a CB, Miami Gardens (FL) Carol City 3-star CB Jarvis Brownlee, and Smith’s teammate — Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna 4-star CB Te’Cory Couch, who flipped from Michigan.
Smith is a hard hitting and rangy safety who makes plays all over the field. Good is a speedy athlete who mainly plays offense in HS, but will transition to defense in college. Brownlee had a standout spring, showing good ball and cover skills in helping his 7v7 team win the National Championship. And Couch is arguably the best pure cover corner in South Florida this cycle, although he lacks optimal size for the position.
Even with those 4 players committed at DB, the Canes are looking to add more talent in the defensive backfield.
Like who? Like these guys.
Miami (FL) Southridge 4-star Tyrique Stevenson is a potential 5-star player in this class and an elite athlete. A recent transfer from Homestead (FL) South Dade, Stevenson would be at the top of Miami’s board no matter the school he attended. At 6’0” 190lbs, Stevenson has the height, build, and athleticism to be an impact player in the secondary from day 1. Obviously, a player of Stevenson’s caliber has his fair share of suitors — he claims 28 scholarship offers, including Alabama, Clemson, Florida and Florida State.
Miami now finds itself in a dogfight with Georgia for Stevenson. He has visited Athens twice recently, including for their Dawg Night camp this past weekend instead of Paradise Camp at Miami. Stevenson did visit Coral Gables on Thursday, but all the momentum seems to be heading towards Georgia at this moment. Still, Miami will fight for their top target until the end.
Also, there is debate as to whether Miami wants Stevenson at CB or S. But, for my money, just get him on the roster and let the rest work itself out later.
West Palm Beach (FL) Palm Beach Central 5-star Akeem Dent is a top CB in the 2019 recruiting class. Once committed to Miami, Dent flipped to Florida State last July. Obviously, the #1 CB in America is a player that Miami — and many schools — want, and they’re trying to get him to flip from FSU. Dent and his mother visited Coral Gables for a recent Junior Day event, so there’s been connection to campus. Even still, the Canes are fighting an uphill battle in this recruitment, with Florida State and Alabama leading the way.
Tampa (FL) Chamberlain 4-star John Dixon is another option at CB for Miami. At 6’0” 170lb, Dixon has good height and length for the position. He fits the physical profile that Miami wants, and that’s a good thing. With 18 offers at current, Dixon has plenty of options. Florida is widely seen as the unquestioned leader in his recruitment, and with Miami having already taken commitments from Brownlee, Couch, and Good at CB, there may not be a spot in this class for Dixon at this time.
North Palm Beach (FL) The Benjamin School 4-star Kaiir Elam — a cousin of former Florida star Matt Elam — is player who I previously took off the board, but could become an option down the line depending on how things fall. With his family ties, it stands to reason that Florida is the leader for Elam, but we’ll see what happens, I guess.
Wexford (PA) North Allegheny 4-star Joey Porter Jr. has an offer from Miami and put Miami in his recently released top 5. Son of the former Pittsburgh Steelers LB of the same name, Porter Jr. has good size at 6’2” 185lbs and good athleticism too. He might not be at the top of the list, but Porter Jr. is a player who Miami has contacted and so that’s why he’s on the list.
Miami (FL) Palmetto 3-star Cornelius Nunn holds an offer, but has been a plan B option throughout the duration of this cycle. Nunn recently committed to Syracuse, due largely to the fact that the higher profile programs that had offered him weren’t pursuing him heavily...yet. But, with the way the board is falling now, Nunn looks likely to become an option to join this class in the future.
Just reminding you that Miami (FL) Southridge 4-star Tyrique Stevenson could be in this class at Safety instead of Cornerback. If you’re viewing him as an S, he’s Miami’s top target at the position.
Wellington (FL) 4-star ATH Mark-Anthony Richardsis a name all Canes fans should know. The younger brother of star WR Ahmmon Richards, Mark-Anthony is a multi-talented athlete would could find a home on offense at WR or on defense in the secondary (or even Linebacker or the hybrid STRIKER position). Obviously, with his brother being a star player here, Miami is in good position for the younger Richards. Teams such as Auburn have tried to appeal to Richards’ desire to play offense by recruiting him on that side of the ball. Miami recently outlined a plan to have Richards play both ways in a similar fashion to how Michigan used Jabrill Peppers a couple years ago.
I get that other teams are trying to use a variety of tactics, including recruiting him on offense, to get Richards on their team, but as of now, it would be a shock if he ended up anywhere other than Miami.
Ft. Lauderdale (FL) University School 4-star Josh Sanguinetti is all but off the list for Miami. I imagine this will possibly be the last time he’s listed here. A tall and lean 6’2” 165lbs, Sanguinetti had been focused on Miami and Stanford throughout the majority of this cycle. New teams, schools like Michigan, Nebraska, LSU and Ole Miss, are now entering the picture while the Canes and Cardinal have cooled their interest significantly. With several players now ahead of him on the board, it seems like Sanguinetti may have missed his chance to be in this class for Miami.
St. Augustine (FL) Pedro Melendez 3-star Kenny Logan is another option at S. He’s 6’1” 183lbs, so he fits the mold of what Miami looks for physically at this position. There was a rumor that Logan tried to commit earlier this spring, but Miami wasn’t ready to accept that commitment.
Translation in my eyes? “We like you, but don’t love you, and maybe down the line you’ll be a take, but there are other players we have above you on the board right now.” With Logan hinting at a forthcoming commitment to his chosen school, he may have gotten the same picture.
After taking a punter (Zach Feagles) and a kicker (Bubba Baxa) in the last 2 years, Miami is not in the market for a scholarship specialist in this class.
And that’s that. Another installment of the Class Breakdown is complete.
Love it? Hate it? Have a favorite player and you just wanna talk about it? Questions to consider? Hop in the comments and let’s chat.