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Miami Hurricanes Recruiting Radar: Final Class Breakdown for 2019

Let’s take a final look at Miami’s 2019 recruiting class

State of the U Illustration by Mike Meredith

Hello again, Recruiting Fans. We’re back for our final Class Breakdown for the 2019 recruiting class.

With National Signing Day behind us, and Miami not chasing any more HS prospects, we can put a pin in this class. So, here’s how things ended up shaping up for Miami.

Oh yeah: I’m talking about HS RECRUITS ONLY! We’ll talk about Miami’s transfer group another time. But, the Class Breakdown has always been exclusively about HS prospects, and I’m going to maintain that viewpoint here.


Need: 1

Signed: 1

Grade: C+

Miami made a quick move to get Houston (TX) St. Thomas 3-star Peyton Matocha in this class after hiring Dan Enos. That adds the needed depth at this position. That’ll work.

Running Back

Need: 1 (updated)

Committed: 0

Grade: F

Remember, we’re talking about HS RECRUITS ONLY. So, on that point, Miami did not sign an RB in this class. After being connected to several high end players at this position this cycle, including 2 legacy prospects whose older brothers had RECENTLY starred for the Canes, that can only be viewed as a disappointment.

Wide Receiver

Need: 2

Committed: 1

Grade: B

During the early signing period, Miami got an NLI 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. Former Area recruiter Todd Hartley got another good one from Jacksonville for Miami.

Payton enrolled early at Miami in January.

Apart from Payton, Miami was engaged in recruiting several top-end WRs. With a strong position room already, Miami was recruiting superstars only at WR. Though the various players Miami recruited at this position to pair with Payton all had interest at a time, none of them elected to sign with Miami. So, Miami added 1 really good receiver, but 2 really good receivers would have been optimal.

Tight End

Need: 2

Committed: 1

Grade: C

After signing the best TE class in America in 2018, the Canes are off to another fast start in 2019. The signee 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.

Miami really had 1 target (and a possible) on top of Hodges in this class. But, Keon Zipperer and Jalen Wydermyer signed with Florida and Texas A&M, respectively.

Offensive Line

Need: 4

Committed: 3

Grade: C

Miami’s OL class saw wholesale turnover in the course of this cycle. Signing with Miami were 3-stars Jakai Clark, Adam ElGammal, and Zion Nelson. Of that trio, Nelson has already enrolled in Miami, and is reportedly up to 263lbs.

All of Miami’s previous OL commits through this cycle either decommitted or flipped to Florida. So that’s fun.

The top-end talents that Miami was chasing, such as 5-star tackle Evan Neal, elected to sign elsewhere, with Neal predictably heading to Alabama — the team he was once committed to before opening things up last summer.

With 3 guys signed or enrolled who are at least 2 years away from contributing, Miami needs to add more talent, AND it means the 2020 recruiting class on OL takes on added importance to cover for this year’s shortcomings.

Defensive Line

Need: 6

Committed: 5

Grade: B/B+

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 signed to Miami in the 2019 class are Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna 3-star DE Cameron Williams, Vero Beach (FL) 4-star DE Jahfari Harvey, Buford (GA) 3-star DT Jalar Holley, Brooklyn (NY) Poly Prep 4-star DT Jason Blissett, and Middle Village (NY) Christ the King Regional 3-star DT Jared Harrison-Hunte.

Of that group, Harvey is the only player who is enrolled. Miami did well to find 3 good DTs in Holley, Harrison-Hunte, and Blissett, but they had to go to Georgia and New York (x2) to get them.

There were a couple defections, but those players were pushed out/mutually parted ways with Miami. And, there were several recruiting misses along the DL as well, as DT Braylen Ingraham and DEs Khris Bogle, Lloyd Summerall, Adisa Issac, and JJ Weaver, spurned Miami to sign with Alabama, Florida, and Florida, Penn State, and Kentucky respectively. All were 4-star prospects and Ingraham and Bogle were both days if not hours away from committing to Miami previously in this cycle. Miami got a good group, sure, but it could have been GREAT with one or more of those guys.


Need: 3

Committed: 2

Grade: B

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 signed 2 LBs already committed: Miami (FL) Northwestern 3-star Sam Brooks, and Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas 4-star Avery Huff.

Miami held another commitment at LB through the 2019 cycle, but 4-star LB Anthony Solomon, Huff’s teammate at St. Thomas Aquinas, reconsidered his previous decision and flipped to the school that finished 2nd when he decided to commit to Miami: the Michigan Wolverines.

Since Solomon’s flip was late, Miami got engaged with a couple other LBs — namely Octavius Brother and Eugene Asante — but that was only on a surface level. Neither took an Official Visit to Miami, and the Canes decided to stick with Brooks and Huff in this class at LB.

Defensive Back

Need: 5

Committed: 3

Grade: C

Signed in this class are Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna 4-star S Keontra Smith, his teammate 4-star CB Te’Cory Couch, and Daphne (AL) 4-star CB Christian Williams. All 3 players have good skills, with Couch excelling as a cover man, though he’s undersized at 5’9”, Smith an enforcer in the middle of the field, and Williams a versatile player who could end up finding a home at either CB or S.

The issue here, again, are the misses. Lots of talented players considered Miami for a time, but all elected to head elsewhere for college. None of these misses was more impactful than 4-star DB Tyrique Stevenson, a local star who chose Georgia over Miami.

The other issue, apart from the misses, is the low number of signees. Miami needed more players at this position, and that didn’t happen. And, AGAIN, I’m talking about HS recruits only and not considering transfers.

Special Teams

Need: 0

Committed: 1

Grade: C+

After taking a punter (Zach Feagles) and a kicker (Bubba Baxa) in the last 2 years, Miami was not in the market for a scholarship specialist in this class. But, due to Feagles’ struggling performance and subsequent transfer, things changed.

Miami went to the West Coast to get a commitment from City College of San Francisco (CA) P Louis Hedley. An 25 year old Australian native (and apparently former scaffolder in the Australian desert), Hedley will be a scholarship player at Miami and have 3 years of eligibility once he arrives in Coral Gables. It is the hope and goal that Hedley’s performance is an improvement on what we saw from Feagles and Jack Spicer at punter this season.

That’s the final class breakdown for 2019. Miami was able to get some good players to sign. But, the misses on the trail, and the low numbers in this class leave much to be desired.

Manny Diaz and staff have a tall task in 2020 to make up for this low quality effort as they push The New Miami to recruits all across the Country. We’ll be here, every month, to track their progress through the 2020 cycle.

Thoughts ABOUT THE HS PLAYERS MIAMI SIGNED? Again, we’ll talk transfers another time. High. School. Recruits. Only.

Speak your mind, guys and gals.

Go Canes