In this installment of The Recruit Notebook, we meet a future building block for the Canes’ OL: OT Jalen Rivers
It is no secret that the Miami Hurricanes can use additional depth and talent along the OL. In the pursuit of that, the Canes made early and repeated contact with Orange Park (FL) Oakleaf 4-star OT Jalen Rivers for the 2020 recruiting class. A massive 6’6” 331lb Tackle, Rivers had no shortage of suitors from around the CFB world.
Early on, Rivers and teammate 4-star DE Chantz Williams made it known that they were planning on being a package deal: committing to and signing with the same school for the next step of their career. And with that knowledge, teams around the country recruited the pair together.
As spring 2019 came around, there seemed to be a fracturing of that mindset between close friends Rivers and Williams. Miami continued recruiting both players, but seemed to have more of a foothold with Rivers than Williams. And as the players started viewing things differently, their recruitments became fully individual pursuits.
While he had offers from powerhouse programs all over the country — Alabama, Clemson, Auburn, Florida and others — Rivers decided Miami was the best fit for him and he committed to the Canes on June 9th.
On the 247sports composite, Rivers is a 4-star prospect, the #15 RB nationally in this class, #23 in the State of Florida, and #145 recruit overall.
Rivers committed to Miami over offers from Alabama, Clemson, Auburn, and Florida from his list of 20 scholarship offers.
As a player
A massive 6’6” 331lbs, Rivers plays tackle at the HS level, but could end up moving inside to guard in college. Either way, he’s a player with great size and length who should be able to push for playing time early on in his college career, regardless of position.
Due to his massive size and accompanying strength, Rivers can overwhelm defenders from his position. He has the added bonus of working against 4-star DE Williams daily in practice at Oakleaf, so he’s seen at least one blue chip caliber recruit in a blocking situation.
Williams has worked almost exclusively at Left Tackle in HS. That’s a good thing, because Miami needs a top player at that position. But, with Zion Nelson at that position only entering his sophomore year, Rivers could find time at either Right Tackle or inside at Guard at the college level.
- Run Blocking
- A bit plodding
- Can get beaten by speed moves
- Can refine pass protection technique
Miami needs offensive line help, and Rivers is a metaphorical and literal big addition to this group. No position along the OL should be safe (especially with the performance seen by this group in 2019), so Rivers could earn his way into the lineup as a rotation player or starter if he does well.
Chances for a Redshirt: 1/10
Miami started 2 true freshmen in 2019, and neither of them came in with the pedigree, acclaim, or size that Rivers possesses. He immediately becomes one of the top players at this position when he steps foot on campus, and I expect him to earn his way into a role along the OL this season.
That’s it for this installment of the Recruiting Notebook.