In this installment of The Recruit Notebook, we meet one of the players who will look to replace Miami’s outgoing seniors at a key position on defense: LB Tirek Austin-Cave.
Coming into the senior season for 4 year starters Shaquille Quarterman, Michael Pinckney, and Zach McCloud, the Miami Hurricanes clearly knew they had to reload at the linebacker position in the 2020 recruiting class. Sure, there are other LBs on the roster, but getting productive players who can start here in the future was a key in this class.
Enter Camden (NJ) LB Tirek Austin-Cave.
A standout defender, Austin-Cave was 1st team All-State in 2018. This was based on the strength of a MASSIVE season: 162 tackles, 18 TFLs, 1 sack, 3 PBUs, and 1 FF. That kind of production rightly earned Austin-Cave the attention of several P5 teams, and his recruitment started to take off.
After his season ended, Austin-Cave started taking visits in the spring of 2019. Unofficial visits were the case early, but with a desire to make a decision prior to his senior season, official visits took precedence. OVs to Miami, West Virginia, and Minnesota, in that order, were all that Austin-Cave needed to take. Following these multiple visits, the stat-stuffing LB decided that he wanted to be a Cane, and he committed to Miami on the 4th of July. Fireworks, indeed!
On the 247sports composite, Austin-Cave is a 3-star prospect, the #27 ILB nationally in this class, #15 in the State of New Jersey, and #597 recruit overall.
Austin-Cave committed to Miami over offers from Minnesota, West Virginia, and Baylor from his list of 20 scholarship offers.
As a player
When you have 162 tackles in a season — 13.5 per game — that’s a testament to your skills on the field. Such is the case with Austin-Cave, whose production was a key element of a stingy Camden defense that allowed 8ppg in 2018.
Austin-Cave has incredible instincts, and a high motor. So, he can diagnose a play early on , and has the ability to get where the ball will be, and get the runner or receiver on the ground more often than not.
Having been timed at 4.76 in the 40 yard dash and 4.53 in the short shuttle, Austin-Cave isn’t the fastest player in the world. But his instincts and intellect allow him to play at the top end of his athletic potential instead of being a step slow to the play.
At 6’1” 203lbs, Austin-Cave has good height and weight for a LB. He could stand to gain some muscle and functional strength, especially if he’s gonna play inside linebacker in the ACC.
Here’s another look at Austin-Cave by 247sports analyst Brian Dohn:
Lean frame with length and wide shoulders. Can easily add 20 pounds. Highly productive player with 162 tackles in his junior season. Reads plays well. Good burst and body control. Plays physical. Can navigate traffic to make tackle. Possesses closing speed. Very effective in-the-box player. Excels playing downhill. Has to work on change of direction. Coverage skills are inconsistent. Needs better depth on drops in zone. Increase strength a must. Has to show he has speed to get to sideline. Should develop into a multi-year starter at strong Power 5 program and could be an NFL free agent.
- Sure tackler
- Average speed at best
- Could be better in pass defense
- A bit light for his position
Miami needs LBs and Austin-Cave fits that bill. He might not challenge to start, but Austin-Cave could work his way into a special teams role as a freshman, with an eye at a starting job further on in his college career.
Chances for a Redshirt: 7/10
The RS possibility for Austin-Cave depends on how much he’s in line to play specials. For now, I’ll put that at kind of low, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he earned enough PT to avoid a RS, even if I’m not predicting that at this time.
That’s it for this installment of the Recruiting Notebook.