Hello again, recruiting fan friends. Today, we’re going to talk about quarterbacks. But, before we do, let me remind you that we’ve already looked at the numbers and needs for Miami in 2020’s recruiting class
Miami Hurricanes Recruiting Radar: Numbers and Needs in 2020. Recruiting is about filling needs so here are the ones for Miami this recruiting cycle. #Canes #TNM https://t.co/0uTu5lLGqy pic.twitter.com/1Ep38cq5Mk— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) February 25, 2019
And re-introduced the current commits, as well.
Miami Hurricanes Recruiting Radar: Meet the 2020 commits. The #Canes’ 2020 class is the best in the ACC and 3rd best nationally right now. Here are the players that have #Category20 so highly touted. #TNM https://t.co/emLiDalG6Y pic.twitter.com/nhuqbflRnA— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) February 26, 2019
Now, as we move into our recruiting outlooks, we start with Quarterback, a position unlike any other on the field and on the roster. Quarterback has its own Recruiting Rule (the FIRST recruiting rule) for a reason. Having a competent (or good, or, and this is crazy, I know, GREAT) QB matters so much to the success or failure of a team. Just look at Miami in 2018. A championship caliber defense and electric play makers all over the roster was wasted due to the lack of competent QB play.
That’s why Miami, and every team, needs to get a QB in every recruiting class. The added impetus for this in Miami’s 2020 recruiting class is clear. None of Miami’s 5 scholarship QBs are established as good at the college level. They have athleticism and potential, sure, but production is lacking from that equation to this point. And, the 2019 signee, 3-star Peyton Matocha, put up big numbers against lower competition in Texas, and is a developmental played (read: he’ll need years before he is an impact player here, if ever), so there’s a need for a top-tier prospect on the roster and in this class.
There is good news on this front however: the class of QBs in Florida this cycle is the best collection of talent the State has seen in YEARS. SB Nation National Recruiting Analyst Bud Elliott wrote about this fact after seeing several top players put on a show at Nike’s The Opening Orlando Regional. After years of low quality QBs in-state, and one of the most barren QB classes in the last 20 years in the 2019 recruiting class, having a plethora of top quality prospects in-state is huge for Miami.
Obviously, the Canes will need to get one of these players, or another similarly talented prospect, in this class. But, the fact that there are viable options of a high quality in-state is a big, big positive in my eyes. Miami should try to get top players locally/in-state before looking regionally or nationally. It’s Recruiting Rule #3, and you can read more about that here. But, even absent that piece, looking at and going after high quality players locally/in-state first is the thing that Miami, and all schools, should do.
Now that that’s been said, let’s take a look at some players who could be on the radar for Miami at QB in the 2020 recruiting class:
(Note: this is not an exhaustive list of every QB in America. There are other Miami-caliber players that I’m not mentioning today.)
Jacksonville (FL) Mandarin 4-star Carson Beck. The clear headliner on the list, the 6’4” 226lb Beck is Florida’s reigning Mr. Football and 8A player of the year, and is one of the best QB prospects around. He’s got a huge arm, and big stats to back up his ranking. I mean, nearly 3600 yards with 39 TDs and 8 INTs is pretty decent if you ask me. Oh, and he led Mandarin to a 2018 State Championship in Florida’s largest classification, so he doesn’t just put up numbers; he wins, too.
Beck was previously committed to Alabama, but with the departure of OC Mike Locksley and QB coach Dan Enos, he backed off that pledge. With Enos in Miami now, the Canes have worked to stay involved with Beck’s recruitment. But, despite Miami’s best efforts, it is the Florida Gators who are in the best position to get Beck’s commitment. Beck wants to commit before his senior season, and with an upcoming visit to Gainesville, his 2nd or 3rd in just a couple months, he may pull the trigger on that commitment when he returns to their campus.
Yesterday, fellow SOTU contributor Gabby Urrutia wondered if it was time for Miami to move on from recruiting Beck. I don’t think it’s time to move on fully, but it is time, been past time, to have other options on the board. This is a key difference between this staff and previous: Miami isn’t going to have only 1 viable QB option this class. Unlike last year, where Miami only recruited 1 HS QB when Mark and Jon Richt were in charge of that position, the Canes are flush with options at present. Sure, Beck is the #1 option, because he’s really, REALLY good and has high potential, especially given his arm talent. But if he (likely) chooses to go elsewhere, Miami won’t be bereft of options to pursue at QB. And that’s a good thing....because Beck is gonna commit to Florida sooner rather than later.
Gainesville (FL) Eastside 3-star Anthony Richardson. The next prospect is one who doesn’t have an offer yet. A former Florida Gators commit (so UF will likely trade Richardson for Beck in this class), Richardson is one of the best physical specimens you’ll see at QB. Richardson measured and tested well at The Opening Orlando Regional last weekend — 6’4”, 222 pounds, 4.50 40-yard dash, and a 34.1-inch vertical — and earned an invite to the Elite11 finals along with Beck and another QB (a little further down on this list).
Like I said before, Richardson does not currently hold an offer from Miami. I hope that situation changes. He’s big and fast with a strong arm and developing passing skill. But, he’s not a 3+ year project player; Richardson can play. Even if he ends up not coming to Miami, I think it would be a bad look to not even offer him. We’ll see if Miami’s coaches share this opinion or elect to look elsewhere entirely.
Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei 4-star Bryce Young. The highest rated player on this list, Young is committed to USC. And, if you know anything about recruiting, there may not be a stronger pipeline than Mater Dei QBs to USC. But, with Clay Helton potentially on the hot seat, Miami has offered Young in recent weeks.
A bit on the smaller side (6’0” 176lbs), Young doesn’t look like the prototypical QB, but he sure plays like one. Young has already thrown for over 8,700 yards with 94 TDs and 15 INTs in 3 years of HSFB. And he’s added more than 700 yards rushing and 16 TDs on the ground, too. He’s a dynamic player for an elite HSFB team, but it’s going to take a big, huge, gigantic, seismic, legendary recruiting win to pull him away from USC.
Glastonbury (CT) Suffield Academy 3-star Tyler Van Dyke. Van Dyke is a player that Miami offered a while ago, but he’ll be making a visit to Coral Gables shortly. His offer list continues to grow, with Georgia Tech, Louisville, Pittsburgh and Wisconsin all extending an offer to Van Dyke after Miami had done so.
A pocket passer with a STRONG arm (just watch the first throw on his HUDL highlights. 60-65 yards in the air nearly flat footed. Sheesh), Van Dyke looks the part of a P5 QB. At 6’4” 212lbs, Van Dyke is big but not the fleetest QB afoot. He’s definitely your prototypical pocket passer who can move around a bit but isn’t going to really affect games with his legs. Whether or not he ends up being the QB in Miami’s 2020 recruiting class remains to be seen, but this kid can spin it, man.
Cartersville (GA) 3-star Tee Webb. Before you ask, yes, that’s the same HS that Trevor Lawrence starred at. Now that that’s out of the way, Webb is a nice prospect who Miami offered recently. He’s starting to see his recruitment pick up with the Canes and GT both offering this calendar year. Webb is tall and thin at 6’3” 185lbs, but he has a good arm and good skills at the position. He comes from a school that’s helped developed several good college QBs, including the generational-talent Lawrence, so there’s plenty to like here, too.
Jacksonville (FL) Sandalwood 3-star Jeff Sims. I’ll keep this short: Sims can spin it. But, he’s committed to Florida State. He, along with Beck and Richardson, earned an invite to the Elite11 finals based on his performance at The Opening Orlando Regional, so he’s got some skill. Miami hasn’t offered, and likely won’t, but he’s a good in-state QB so he’s on the list.
St. Petersburg (FL) Lakewood 3-star Gregory Spann. Spann earned his offer from the previous staff, but is an intriguing prospect. He might not fit the bill as being the super premium prospect that Miami needs in this class, but he’s a name to know.
Others to know include Tampa (FL) Plant 3-star Tucker Gleason, Newport Beach (CA) Corona Del Mar 3-star Ethan Garbers, and Miami (FL) Central 3-star Katravis Marsh. There are plenty of other quality QBs in this class, including National #1 QB DJ Uiagailelei, but he’s going to Clemson most likely so forget about him.
The QB recruiting picture for Miami this year will be interesting, because top talent is needed. Hopefully OC/QB coach Dan Enos will be able to coach at a high level, which in turn will help him recruit at a high level. And, the good thing for him is this: he only needs to find 1 player. It needs to be the right player with talent and potential, but at least Enos doesn’t have to go out and get 5 new guys for his position like some other coaches (whose positions utilize multiple players on the field at the same time) have to.
That’s our early look at Miami’s QB recruiting. We’ll dive into some targets on offense and defense in the coming days.