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Reviewing Miami’s 5-Star Signees of the Past 20 Classes: Part III

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The 2005 and 2008 classes each featured three 5-star prospects

Miami v Duke
Miami’s Reggie Youngblood moves to block Duke’s Michael Tauiliili during a 2008 victory over the Blue Devils in Durham, North Carolina. Youngblood was a 5-star recruit according to 247Sports.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The list of former Miami Hurricane 5-star prospects signed over the past 20 recruiting classes according to 247Sports.com just keeps getting more interesting.

Part III features four players who played in the NFL, a reality television personality and one of the most disappointing players on the list.

If you missed Part I, click here to see which former Cane (who holds 10 NFL records) is on top of this list.

If you missed Part II, click here to get caught up on which former Cane was voted “the most over-hyped college football player since 2000” by 247sports.

Part III features three 5-stars from the Class of 2005 and three from the Class of 2008. Miami did not sign any 5-star prospects in the 2006 or 2007 recruiting classes.

2005 Recruiting Class

Reggie Youngblood, OT, Houston (Tx.)-Booker T. Washington

As a Prep: Recorded 55 pancake blocks during his senior year in 2004. Youngblood was ranked the No.8 overall player in the country by 247Sports and the No.2 offensive tackle in the class. He was selected to play the Army All-American Bowl and was named a Parade All-American.

With the Hurricanes: Youngblood fought through injuries his entire Hurricanes career. He backed up Eric Winston at left tackle as a freshman in 2005 and started seven games as a sophomore in 2006 despite suffering two different injuries (ankle, knee) that caused him to miss time. He won the starting right tackle job in 2007 and started 10 games there during his junior season. During his senior season in 2008, he injured his knee in a September loss to North Carolina and Randy Shannon announced he would be out for the season. Youngblood instead returned to play less than a month later and contributed minimally in a reserve role the rest of his senior year.

In the Pros: Youngblood went to mini-camp with the New Orleans Saints in 2009 but did not make the team and never played in the NFL. He is now better known as Tami Roman’s significant other because of his role on “Basketball Wives: LA”, a reality television show series that follows the lives of women who have been romantically linked to professional basketball players. Roman is the ex-wife of 14-year NBA veteran Kenny Anderson. News just came out earlier this month that Youngblood and Roman tied the knot in secret in Las Vegas last summer.

Ranking: 17 of 24. While some might say that Youngblood’s celebrity exploits are impressive, that doesn’t help him much on this list. His battles with injuries at UM greatly limited his ability to positively contribute to the sub-par offensive lines Miami had during his tenure. The injuries also likely kept him from reaching his potential and making an NFL roster as well.

Kenny Phillips, S, Miami-Carol City

As a Prep: Phillips intercepted 16 passes in his career for Carol City and had nine non-offensive touchdowns (six interception return and three punt return) in three seasons. After his senior year in 2004, he was named the USA Today Defensive Player of the Year and was selected to play in the Army All-American Bowl. He was considered to the top safety prospect in the nation by most recruiting/scouting services for the Class of 2005.

With the Hurricanes: Phillips made 203 tackles and intercepted seven passes in three seasons playing for Miami. As a true freshman, he made 67 tackles and was voted to the All-ACC Freshman Team because of the immediate impact he made on the Hurricanes in starting the final 11 games of the season. He made four of his seven career interceptions as a sophomore in 2006 despite missing the final three regular season games with a broken thumb. He was named second team All-ACC and third team All-American by rivals.com. Phillips was recognized as one of the best safeties in the country entering his junior year in 2007 and finished his final season at UM with 82 tackles and two interceptions.

In the Pros: Phillips was drafted with the 31st overall pick of the first round by the New York Giants in the 2008 NFL Draft. He made 262 tackles and intercepted eight passes in his five seasons with the Giants and made six tackles and had two pass defenses in the Giants’ 21-17 victory over New England in Super Bowl XLVI. Phillips had brief stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints before retiring in 2016. Injuries ultimately kept Phillips from playing as many games as he would have liked during his NFL career.

Ranking: 6 of 24. Phillips came to Miami with high expectations as a local 5-star player and exceeded those expectations because of his high level of play in his three seasons in Coral Gables. He had a promising NFL career that was cut short because of injuries but still was a force to be reckoned with in the back of the Giants’ defense when healthy.

Dajleon Farr, TE, Houston (Tx.)-North Shore

As a Prep: Farr was utilized mostly as a blocker at the tight end position on offense and also played defensive end. He caught 11 passes for 326 yards with limited passes being thrown his way combined in his junior and senior seasons. Farr played in the Army All-American Bowl and was selected to the PrepStar Top 100 Dream Team.

With the Hurricanes: Farr made just 10 receptions for 134 yards and three touchdowns in three seasons with Miami. He played a reserve role behind superstar Greg Olsen in 2005 and 2006 as a freshman and sophomore and was expected to have more of a breakout season in 2007 with Olsen gone to the NFL. Farr actually led Miami in receiving touchdowns during his junior campaign in 2007 but that was for a putrid passing attack led by Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman that averaged a horrific 169.5 passing yards per game. He ultimately transferred to Memphis for his senior season in 2009 and made 14 catches for 76 yards and a touchdown in minimal snaps for the Tigers.

In the Pros: Farr had short stints with the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and San Diego Chargers in 2010 but never recorded an NFL statistic.

Ranking: 22 of 24. Farr was one of the tight ends tasked with carrying on the “Tight End U” tradition in the mid-2000’s and failed to do so. Making just 10 catches in three seasons at Miami as a 5-star recruit while having minimal injury problems with the Hurricanes is almost inconceivable. His struggles weren’t entirely his fault however as Miami’s offense was historically bad at times during his tenure.

2008 Recruiting Class

Arthur Brown, LB, Wichita (Ks.)-Wichita East

As a Prep: As a senior in 2007, Brown made 151 tackles, had 10 sacks and also had a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown despite missing two games. His 2006 junior season was equally as impressive as he finished with 132 tackles and 12 sacks. Brown was selected as a Parade All-American and played in the US Army All-American Bowl.

With the Hurricanes: Brown played in 24 games as a freshman and sophomore at Miami and made just 17 tackles in a reserve and special teams role. Randy Shannon moved Brown from weakside linebacker to inside linebacker after his freshman year was excited about his potential at his new position after some time to learn it. But rather than finish his career at Miami, Brown opted to transfer to Kansas State, where he became a star. He racked up 201 tackles, three sacks, three interceptions and a defensive touchdown in two seasons for the Wildcats. He was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2012. Brown and his younger brother Bryce Brown, a long-time Miami running back verbal commitment, were both named by Yahoo! Sports as players who took impermissible benefits from Nevin Shapiro.

In the Pros: Brown was drafted with the 56th overall pick of the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. He played three seasons with the Ravens and recorded 17 tackles and one forced fumble in limited playing time. He then spent most of the 2016 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars before finishing that year with the New York Jets. The Seattle Seahawks signed Brown in 2017 but cut him just two months later before the season began. He spent the 2019 preseason with the San Antonio Commanders of the AAF but was cut in training camp.

Ranking: 16 of 24. Brown’s contributions at Miami and in the NFL were minimal compared to many on this list. But his two-year stint at Kansas State was elite and can’t be totally ignored. It certainly will make you wonder what could have been for Brown and the Hurricanes’ defense had he not left Miami.

Marcus Forston, DT, Miami-Northwestern

As a Prep: Forston was a 3-year starter at Northwestern on a loaded team that won back-to-back 6A state championships. Northwestern was awarded the USA Today High School National Championship for going 15-0 in 2007. As a junior in 2006, Forston registered 92 tackles and 20 sacks. His senior year, he accounted for 72 tackles, 20 sacks and seven forced fumbles. Miami signed Forston and six of his Bull teammates in its No.1 ranked 2008 class that many Hurricanes fans will never forget.

With the Hurricanes: Expectations were high for Forston arriving at Miami as the local kid who just led his high school team to a national championship. Things never really panned out for Forston like they did at Northwestern as he finished his Miami career with 60 tackles, seven sacks and an interception. Forston had 17 tackles and three sacks in a limited role as a freshman in 2008 and that was enough to make him a Freshman All-American according to the FWAA. He did not record any statistics in 2009 because of an ankle injury but bounced back in a big way his junior year with 37 tackles, three sacks and an interception. His senior year was a disappointment however as he was suspended for the opener against Maryland for being named as a player who took impermissible benefits from Nevin Shapiro. After playing in three games, Forston hurt his knee and missed the rest of the season.

In the Pros: Forston left UM as a redshirt junior and went undrafted during the 2012 NFL Draft. He spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons with the New England Patriots and made just three tackles in four games played. New England cut Forston in August 2014. Forston signed with the St. Louis Rams’ training camp roster in August 2015 but was cut before the 2015 season began.

Ranking: 14 of 24. Expectations were sky high at Miami for Forston coming off a high school national championship and his dominant performance at Northwestern. He contributed in two of his four seasons at Miami but never rose to the level many thought he would in dominating games consistently. His minimal NFL resume is a reflection of that.

Brandon Harris, CB, Miami-Booker T. Washington

As a Prep: Harris led Booker T. Washington to its first state championship in school history his senior year in 2007 as the Tornadoes won the Class 3A state title. Harris compiled 49 tackles, five sacks, four interceptions and two defensive touchdowns in addition to 26 receptions for 501 yards and eight touchdowns on offense that season. He was named the Florida Gatorade Player of the Year in 2007.

With the Hurricanes: Harris played in all 39 games he was eligible for at Miami and started 32 of those games. He finished his career with 133 tackles, four interceptions and two sacks. Harris was a first team All-ACC selection his sophomore year as he had 58 tackles and two interceptions and was second team All-ACC his junior year with 44 tackles and an interception.

In the Pros: Harris was drafted with the 60th overall pick of the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. He spent three seasons with the Texans before signing with the Tennessee Titans for the 2014 season. He played those four NFL seasons in total and recorded 48 tackles and 10 pass defenses. The Miami Dolphins signed Harris for training camp in 2016 but cut him before the season started. He also was a member of the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts, and won the Grey Cup with the team in 2017. Harris now works on the coaching staff at Florida International. He is the graduate assistant in charge of defensive backs.

Ranking: 7 of 24. Harris was as solid as you can be at Miami for three years but never found the sustained success he was looking for in the NFL. Starting 32 of 39 games at Miami and playing in all of those games puts him ahead of a good portion of the 5-stars on this list.