Hey. Wassup? Hello!
Welcome back to the Class Breakdown, our look at the Miami Hurricanes’ 2020 recruiting class. I unintentionally took a couple months off of this piece, so there’s plenty to catch up on and talk about.
REMINDER: recruiting is a fluid construct, and this list is not exhaustive. New names will pop up, and old names will fade away, over the course of this cycle. Which happens every year. And I wanted to remind you of that fact.
And away we go.
I wrote about this already earlier in the spring and you can read the whole piece here. Here is the chart with the scholarship numbers as I see them for Miami in the 2020 cycle:
Miami Hurricanes 2020 Recruiting Class Numbers
|1||2||4||2||5||3||2||3||3||2||(any spots not filled)|
Those are the numbers. Now, let’s look at the outlook at each of the positions on the trail this year.
Recruiting Rule #1 is that you have to have a QB in every recruiting class. Luckily for Miami, they’ve already gotten their man at QB in this class.
After evaluating several players, Dan Enos zeroed in on Glastonbury (CT) Suffield Academy 4-star Tyler Van Dyke as his #1 target. And, late in April, Van Dyke committed to Miami over Syracuse and others.
#WelcomeToTheU, Tyler Van Dyke. #Canes go north to Connecticut and land 4-star QB @tyler_van_dyke as the signal caller of their 2020 recruiting class. #TNM https://t.co/uAQSYWXvk9 pic.twitter.com/gMIo7iWLfJ— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) April 29, 2019
A big (6’4” 215lb) kid with a strong arm (65+ yards in the air on the first throw of his HUDL highlights), Van Dyke has great physical traits for the position. He’s worked under center in HS, which is something that few QBs can say. And, he’s got the ability to maneuver in the pocket and keep plays alive with his legs, even if he’s not going to be a 1,000 yard rusher from the QB spot.
Getting a blue-chip QB locked in this early is a big win for Miami. The state of QB recruiting under the previous staff left much to be desired, and it is encouraging to see positive steps already being made in this regard. Other names will still be bandied about, because nothing in recruiting is fully certain until a player signs, but Miami should be done at QB in this class, all things considered.
After not getting/taking a HS RB last cycle, Miami is off to a great start at RB in this class with Miami (FL) Belen Jesuit 5-star Don Chaney Jr. already committed. Chaney Jr. is the highest rated player committed to Miami in the 2020 recruiting class, and some analysts (and college coaches, might I add) believe him to be the best RB prospect in the State of Florida this cycle (ahead of 5-star Clemson commit Demarckus Bowman). High praise, yes, but Chaney’s ability, physicality, and athleticism stand up to that scrutiny.
While having Chaney Jr. in the boat is a great thing, Miami wants and needs to pair him with another prep RB in this class.
At the top of the list of targets it Deerfield Beach (FL) 4-star Jaylan Knighton. The one-time Oklahoma commit, the 5’9” 185lb Knighton has plenty of speed and playmaking ability, and teams all over the country are vying for his commitment. But, in spite of his robust offer list, this appears to be a Miami-Florida State recruiting battle at present. Miami has built a nice connection with Knighton, but there’s still work to be done to get him to commit. And, FSU seems to have made a big move recently as well, so that’s not optimal. And Ohio State is lurking, waiting for Knighton’s next OV. So, yeah.
Another option at RB is Miami (FL) Christopher Columbus 3-star Henry Parrish. A very talented back in his own right, the 5’10” 173lb Parrish plays at the highest HSFB classification, and is a force to be reckoned with for Columbus. It appears that Miami is waiting to see what happens with Knighton before focusing fully on Parrish, but they might not want to wait too long and run the risk of another team swooping in for a steal here.
Miami would be good going local with Chaney Jr. + Knighton (the top backs in Dade and Broward counties, respectively), or going HYPER LOCAL with Chaney Jr. + Parrish (both of the top backs in Dade). And each pairing has the talent and depth Miami is looking for in this class at this position.
There are other options on the board as well, but the focus is on pairing Knighton (or Parrish) with Chaney Jr. But, for those wanting other names, guys like 4-star ATH Caziah Holmes, 4-star Lamy Constant, and 4-star Tirek Murphy (recently committed to Purdue) all hold offers. And, several other players, like 3-star Marvin Scott III have garnered offers this spring. But the focus is clearly on the top group of players at the current juncture.
Receiver is a recruiting position of strength for the Canes so far this cycle. Miami holds commitments from Miami (FL) Northwestern 4-star Marcus Fleming, West Palm Beach (FL) Palm Beach Central 4-star Bryan Robinson, and most recently added Deerfield Beach (FL) 3-star ATH Xavier Restrepo, who is a technician at slot WR that constantly makes plays.
While there are 3 players committed in this class who figure to be WRs at the college level, Miami could still elect to add an additional player here. This is a place where one of the Best Player Available scholarships could end up going.
UPDATE: I took so long to finish this piece that Bryan Robinson decommitted since I started writing. So there are only 2 players committed at WR now.
Miami Hurricanes Recruiting: WR Bryan Robinson decommits from Miami. Yup. Another one. #Canes https://t.co/QOppmqWrTd pic.twitter.com/FHBa1NpO6c— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) June 14, 2019
As pretty much always, there are a plethora of potential options for Miami to pursue at WR this year. And, there are players of many different types, skillsets, and physical builds to choose from, depending on which way the team decides to go.
Leading the list of potential targets is Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas 4-star Marcus Rosemy. The 6’2” 187lb receiver recently included Miami in a reduced list of top schools, and could visit over the summer. Ohio State was once thought to be the heavy outright favorites, but Georgia seems to have overtaken that spot. It will be a tough job to pull Rosemy, who openly stated at one time that he wanted more communication from the Canes, especially with the list of teams also in pursuit. But, stranger things have happened.
Speaking of strange things happening, Trussville (AL) Hewitt-Trussville 4-star Dazalin Worsham is slated to take an official visit to Miami the weekend of Paradise camp (June 22nd). The 6’0.5” 185lb Worsham has been committed to Alabama since April 20th (4/20 turn up) but Miami has been recruiting him nonetheless. Miami, like most teams, has been the loser in many, many recruiting battles against Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide. But, Miami did beat Alabama head’s up for Ahmmon Richards once upon a time so maybe.......?
Another player on the radar is St. Louis (MO) Trinity Catholic 4-star Mookie Cooper. A fast and explosive player, Cooper could slot into fellow midwest native Jeff Thomas’s role in the offense moving forward. While Miami is in Cooper’s top list of schools, he has yet to visit. I think there’s real interest there, but unless/until he visits, this recruitment can’t be considered “serious”, IMO.
Several other players have offers from Miami with varying interest. Guys like Memphis (TN) Central 4-star Darin Turner, Miami (FL) Christopher Columbus 4-star Xzavier Henderson (brother of the UF corner with the same surname), Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy 4-star Michael Redding III, Houma (LA) Terrebonne 4-star Ja’khi Douglas, Corona (CA) Centennial 4-star Gary Bryant Jr., Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna 3-star Elijah Canion, Irmo (SC) Dutch Fork 3-star Jalin Hyatt (a VT commit), Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman 3-star Rome Odunze, and Miami (FL) Palmetto 3-star Kentron Poitier are but a few of the names out there with offers.
It is believed that guys like Poitier and Odunze have moved up the board over others (presumably with higher rankings at present), but we’ll see how that manifests itself in the future of this cycle, especially now that Robinson has decommitted.
Miami is off to a good start at TE in this class with Naples (FL) 4-star Dominic Mammarelli already being committed to the Canes. Mammarelli has prototypical size at 6’4” 235lbs, and has been noted by several analysts and coaches as being one of the top blockers for a HS TE, along with being an athletic receiver between the hashes.
But, as listed, Miami is looking to bring in multiple players at this position this year.
Leading the list of targets is Desert Pines (NV) 5-star ATH Darnell Washington. A massive player at 6’7.5” 248lbs, Washington could be a star at TE or DE at the next level. Miami, and nearly every team recruiting him, is after Washington to play offense, and for good reason; he’s a BEAST.
With a 5-star, top 15 player overall in this class such as Washington, every high major P5 team is trying to get him to their team. All the usual suspects — Georgia, USC, Alabama, etc — and pretty much everyone in America will join the Canes in their pursuit of Washington.
Other players with offers at TE are Marietta (GA) 5-star ATH Arik Gilbert, Windsor, Ontario (Canada) Holy Names 4-star Theo Johnson, Oak Park (MI) 3-star Maliq Carr, among others. Much like with RB, the clear top target is Washington, with the other options being on the board should things with Washington fail to materialize.
It is no secret that Offensive Line is one of the most important positions for Miami in the 2020 recruiting class. To this point, the Canes hold a commitment from Ocala (FL) Vanguard 3-star OG Antonio Smith. He’s got decent size and skill and 100% profiles as an interior lineman at the college level.
The newest addition to the class and this position group is Orange Park (FL) Oakleaf 4-star Jalen Rivers.
#WelcomeToTheU, Jalen Rivers. Miami nets a literal and figurative massive recruiting win by getting @jalenrivers01 to pick the #Canes over Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. Yeah, that’ll work. #TNM https://t.co/EQyAIKiB73 pic.twitter.com/50LutihcZN— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) June 9, 2019
A massive lineman at 6’6” 331lbs, Rivers is a high caliber player who is a big addition for the Canes. Rivers chose Miami over Florida and Georgia (and further interest from Alabama). He and teammate 4-star DE Chantz Williams — who are god brothers — were once very vocal about their intention to be a “package deal” — both players going to the same school — but that has since changed. This is a good thing for Miami, as Williams has turned his focus elsewhere, and the Canes made a strong move to get Rivers to commit and follow the footsteps of former Oakleaf star Shaquille Quarterman and take his talents to Coral Gables.
While it’s good that Miami already has 2 players along the OL committed in this class, multiple other players, especially true tackles with height and length, are needed in this class.
Miami has offers out to tons of linemen, mostly tackles, with new offers going out on a nearly weekly basis. OL coach Butch Barry is looking any and everywhere possible for solutions to the dearth of true OT options on the roster. “LIKE WHO, CAM?!?!” okay okay here are the names.
Miami (FL) Norland 4-star Issiah Walker Jr. is another player Miami is after at OT in this cycle. Despite the fact that Walker Jr. is currently committed to South Carolina, many teams around the country are pursuing the 6’4” 302lb lineman. Walker Jr. had a social media snafu this week where he tweeted out an edit of schools without Miami on it. When I commented on that tweet, Walker Jr. replied that Miami is in his top 5 schools and the graphic was an error. You may decide for yourself if you believe him or not, but a twitter edit isn’t going to keep Miami from recruiting Walker Jr. Period.
And, to that end, Walker recently camped at Miami on 6/16, and could very well return for Paradise Camp on the 22nd as well.
Homestead (FL) South Dade 3-star Jonathan Denis was once committed to Miami but opened things up after last season. Several of his teammates are currently committed to Miami, and the Canes are working to get Denis back in this class as well. Louisville, Kentucky, LSU, and Mississippi State all have offers out to Denis, but all predictions have him picking Miami.
Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas 4-star Marcus Dumervil is yet another tackle with an offer. The 6’5” 300lb Dumervil is cousins with former Louisville and NFL DE Elvis Dumervil, so he has great pedigree. And, he plays for one of the preeminent HSFB programs in the country. Dumervil currently holds 46 scholarship offers, which is expected for a player of his size, pedigree, and HSFB program. This might be the last time I write about him, however, as teams such as Oklahoma, Alabama, Ohio State, and LSU are thought to be running at the front of his recruitment.
The first non-Floridian on the list is Mars (PA) Area 4-star Michael Carmody. At 6’6” 285lbs, Carmody has the size teams all over the country covet in their tackles. Now, before you react, just know that Carmody has already taken an unofficial visit to Miami. So, there’s a connection there. A return visit (or 2) would take this for potential to reasonably possible, but one step at a time. Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan, Texas A&M, Penn State and PLENTY of other teams are pursuing Carmody, so this won’t be an easy pull for anyone.
UPDATE: Carmody committed to Notre Dame on Father’s Day.
Another Floridian with an offer is Tampa (FL) Jesuit 4-star Conor McLaughlin. Another tall, lean player at 6’7” 260lbs, McLaughlin has seen his recruitment EXPLODE this spring. Teams from all over the country have offered him, with his most recent offer — from Stanford — potentially being the biggest. Miami did just get TE Larry Hodges in the 2019 recruiting class from Tampa Jesuit, and hopefully they’re able to get a streak going with McLaughlin. But, for a high academic kid, especially an OLineman, the allure of a Stanford offer may be too much to pass up.
A lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and some strong family genes have helped Tampa Jesuit OT Connor McLaughlin (connormclau) develop into a major college prospect #TNM #TheU #Canes https://t.co/mljJE2w9bW pic.twitter.com/7uAGSjYhGT— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) June 6, 2019
Ft. Lauderdale (FL) Cardinal Gibbons 3-star Gerald Mincey also holds a Miami offer. He’s a big kid at 6’5” 324lbs, with good arm length as well. Mincey was once committed to Kentucky, but when Miami and other teams came around with offers, he backed off that commitment to explore his options. Florida, Florida State, and Georgia are all also chasing Mincey, with 100% of current predictions for Mincey’s commitment have him heading to Gainesville.
UPDATE: Mincey committed to Florida over the June 9th weekend.
Another Floridian with an offer is Cocoa (FL) 3-star Richie Leonard. The 6’2” 320lb guard recently included Miami in his top 7 schools, and plans to visit Coral Gables in the future. He’s a talented player with good size who should be a multi-year rotation guy at the college level. Leonard was once committed to Kentucky, so he’s already on the P5 level in terms of talent. FSU is widely thought to be the favorite to land Leonard’s commitment at present.
These are just some of the players that Miami has extended offers to along the OL this cycle. It would, obviously, be nice to get the 5 players needed from this group of names. But, if not, the search will continue and the board will expand until we get who we need or there’s no more players left to get, whichever happens first.
Miami’s defensive line has been among the best in the country over the past few years, and another crop of premium recruits up front in this class, especially at DT, would help keep that going.
Miami already holds commitments from Miami (FL) Carol City 4-star DE Samuel Anaele, Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna 4-star DT Willie Moise, and St. Petersburg (FL) Lakewood 3-star DE Tre’Von Riggins, who will surely move inside to DT at the college level (he’s already 279lbs). Anaele transferred (yet again) from Carol City to a small private school, the name of which I can’t find right now. Riggins transferred from IMG Academy back to his home school of Lakewood. Just so y’all know, and y’all know I know.
I mentioned him earlier, but Orange Park (FL) Oakleaf 4-star DE Chantz Williams is a player Miami has been after. Once part of a package deal with god brother/teammate/elite recruit/recent Miami commit 4-star OT Jalen Rivers, the pair seem to be heading in different directions now. Rivers has committed to Miami, while Williams is thought to favor Florida.
A late addition to this piece, and this class overall, Miami (FL) Booker T. Washington 5-star DE Donell Harris recently announced his decommitment from Miami, and in the same note announced his intention to reclassify from 2021 to 2020. So, that means a former top-5 player in the 2021 class is now in this current class.
Miami Hurricanes Recruiting: 2021 5-star DE Donnell Harris decommits from Miami, reclassifies to 2020. Lots going on here. #Canes https://t.co/UTHUlUppEd pic.twitter.com/kq2rFhrUqY— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) June 13, 2019
Harris opened things up to see what other programs had to offer, and will still consider Miami. But, with a player of his caliber, recommitting to the program they have decommitted from is incredibly rare. Look for Georgia and Alabama (shocking, I know) to push the hardest for Harris now that he’s both uncommitted and moved up into the current year’s recruiting class.
Miami (FL) Christopher Columbus 3-star DE Elijah Roberts, a one-time Miami commit, recently released his top 5 schools and Miami made the cut. A bigger player at 6’3” 267lbs, Roberts is a local player that Miami has been trying to get back in the fold for quite some time. Due to his size, Roberts is a player that Miami could take and want to move inside to defensive tackle. The Canes are probably running at the front of Roberts’ recruitment, but with Florida, Florida State, South Carolina, and Georgia Tech all in his top 5 as well, there’s work to be done.
Tampa (FL) Berkeley Prep 4-star DE Jaylen Harrell — not to be confused with the 4-star CB of the same name (without the “y”, though) from Miami Central — is another player on the board for Miami. He’s got good size at 6’4” 235lbs, and could develop into a big time edge rusher. Like Williams, however, Florida is the favorite for Harrell at present.
Charlotte (NC) Mallard Creek 3-star DE Quentin Williams grew up as a Miami fan, and has previously visited Coral Gables. He is well built at 6’3” 234lbs, and has been a productive player to this point of his career as well. North Carolina are the favorites for Williams right now.
Port St. Lucie (FL) West Centennial 3-star DE Jamari Stewart is a player that Miami has been after for a while. Previously listed as an OLB, the 6’4” 215lb Stewart primarily rushed the passer as a junior and could really see his stock elevate this season. Miami is the favorite at present.
Dublin (GA) 3-star Romello Height is another player who, like Stewart, is listed at LB but is being recruited to Miami as a DE. The 6’5” 216lb Stewart was recently in Coral Gables for an official visit, so this recruitment is pretty serious. Kentucky, Florida, Ole Miss, Georgia Tech, and South Carolina join Miami in pursuit of this lengthy, talented defender.
Tampa (FL) Chamberlain 3-star DE Johnny Walker is another player with an offer from Miami. He’s tall and a bit thin at 6’3” 204lbs, but should be able to add size to his frame in the near future. Walker holds 16 offers at current, and Miami is among the teams thought to be at or near the top of his list. But there’s plenty of work to be done for any team to get him committed.
An unrated player, South Miami (FL) DE Khaya Wright has recently garnered a Canes offer. At 6’2.5” 194lbs, he’s tall and lean with a frame to add size moving forward. Wright also holds offers from Syracuse, Virginia, and Georgia Tech, so he’s a known name among ACC schools at a minimum. He’s a productive HS player but it would probably take several misses on the targets in front of him for Wright to be a viable candidate for this class.
Baton Rouge (LA) University Lab 4-star DT Jaquelin Roy holds a Canes offer. University Lab players nearly ALL go to LSU, and 100% of predictions for Roy have him going there. Alabama, Ole Miss, and Tennessee join Miami in pursuing the 6’3.5” 289lb Roy.
Miami (FL) Gulliver Prep 4-star Westley Neal had long coveted a Miami offer. The wait for that offer ended on June 3rd when the Canes finally extended a scholarship slot to Neal. While he’s a bit shorter than optimal at 6’0.5”, Neal weighs in at 317lbs and he makes plays up front. Neal recently released his top 8 prior to receiving his Miami offer, but has openly stated that the Canes were his “dream school” since he was a kid and finally getting this offer is a “gamechanger” for him. I know Miami just offered Neal, but they may push quickly for a commitment, maybe at Paradise Camp on June 22nd.
Charlotte (NC) Providence Day School 4-star Kendrick Bingley-Jones is another tackle with Miami offer. The Canes are chasing the 6’4.5” 266lb Bingley-Jones, but so are North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio State, Florida, Florida State, Duke, North Carolina State, and others. Bingley-Jones is big and tall and plenty strong, but unless/until he visits Miami — which seems unlikely given his August 3rd commitment date and 4 (of 5 possible) Official Visits having already been scheduled elsewhere — he’s little more than a name on a list, and one I probably won’t mention again.
Clearwater (FL) Catholic Central 3-star DE Jerzhan Newton holds a Canes offer, and will surely move inside to tackle in college. Standing 6’3” 250lbs, Newton is thickly built and should be able to add size moving forward. Georgia Tech, Kentucky, and West Virginia are some of the other teams who are pursuing Newton.
Other players like Jensen Beach (FL) 3-star Emanuel Rogers, Griffin (GA) 3-star Damarjhe Lewis, and West Palm Beach (FL) Palm Beach Lakes 3-star Timothy Brown also hold offers from Miami.
The ‘Canes Are Tasked with Reloading a Thin Linebacking Corp for 2020#TheU #MiamiHurricanes https://t.co/UaVSroA90q pic.twitter.com/YPvN5ZMVyx— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) June 15, 2019
Arguably the most important position in the 2020 recruiting class, Miami has to restock the cupboard as all 3 starting LBs and the starting STRIKER (hybrid OLB/S) are seniors this season. Both quantity AND quality are an absolute necessity at LB in this class.
Already committed to Miami at LB in this class is Largo (FL) Pinellas Park 3-star Alvin Mathis. He’s got good size at 6’1” 210lbs, and can run, but other players will need to join this group to fulfill Miami’s clear and present need at LB.
Leading the target list is Upland (CA) 5-star Justin Flowe. The #3 overall player in America and the top LB in this class, Flowe is the prototype at LB. A chisled 6’2” 225lbs, Flowe has a game-ready physique and all the talent in the world. Flowe has already taken an unofficial visit to Coral Gables, and plans to make a return trip for an OV during the season. As I’m sure you expected, every top team in America is chasing Flowe. Clemson. Alabama. USC. Georgia. Texas. You name ‘em, they’re after him. This is a recruitment that will likely go all the way until NSD, and Miami has a serious fight on their hands for one of the nation’s most elite prospects in this class.
Burien (WA) Kennedy Catholic 5-star Sav’ell Smalls is a game-ready OLB who will be an impact player at the next level. The nation’s #1 OLB and #4 player overall, Smalls is well-built at 6’3” 230lbs and has no shortage of teams chasing him. Like several others I’ve written about in this piece, unless/until he visits Coral Gables, this can only be classified as a dream. Alabama, Washington, Clemson, Florida, and Florida State are but a few of the many teams who are chasing after Smalls.
Camden (NJ) 3-star Tyrek Austin-Cave is a top target for the Canes as well. The 6’1” 203lb Austin-Cave recently took an Official Visit to Miami, and could very well be coming close to making a decision. While Miami obviously stands out on the heels of a reportedly strong visit, Syracuse, Minnesota, and West Virginia are also in hot pursuit.
Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas 4-star Derek Wingo is committed to Penn State, but could be open to other options. While Ohio State is likely the team that will get Wingo to look around, the local standout holds a Miami offer and has visited both games and campus recruiting events in the past. I find it hard at this point, however, to see him ending up at Miami.
Charlotte (NC) Mallard Creek 4-star Trenton Simpson was on the list, but he committed to Auburn while I was constructing this piece. So he’s off the board.
Houston (TX) North Shore 3-star Corey Flagg Jr. is a prime target for the staff and could very well be on commit watch in the near future. A bit undersized at 5’10” 223lbs, Flagg Jr is highly productive (144 tackles as a junior) and very instinctual. Once thought to be a near-lock to go to Oklahoma State, Miami has risen up toward the front of Flagg Jr’s recruitment and the Canes could very well be the team to be at the present.
Expect Flagg Jr. to go public with his commitment to Miami shortly. Coaches tweeted about it (without referencing his name) and he RT’d all those tweets. Flagg Jr. is reportedly waiting a few days to put together a commitment video with his family. But this one looks to be sealed up.
UPDATE: Flagg Jr. committed to Miami on Monday evening
Hollywood (FL) McArthur 3-star Ruben Hyppolite II is an athletic LB who is committed to Maryland. Don’t let that commitment stand in your way about considering him a target for Miami; Hyppolite II has repeatedly said that he will continue to go through the progess and visit other schools. He and his teammates were on campus on Father’s Day for the 7on7 tournament hosted by Miami, so Hyppolite II has been in front of the coaches recently. He is probably one of the top flip candidates for Miami this cycle, along with OL Issiah Walker Jr. (who I have previously discussed in this piece).
Bellflower (CA) St. John Bosco 4-star Kourt Williams is a very talented player with offers from all around the country. Miami only offered in May, so they’re playing a bit of catch-up. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again: unless/until Williams visits — likely multiple times — this is nothing more than a name on a list.
Norcross (GA) Greater Atlanta Christian 3-star Choe Bryant-Strother holds an offer and could be one of the higher options on Miami’s LB board. Nebraska, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and UCLA are also after the 6’2.5” 230lb Bryant-Strother. Official Visits will likely tell the story here, a standard operating procedure in the world of recruiting.
Miami’s secondary has been among the best, and was THE best pass defense in the country in 2018, and looks to continue that high standard of play with a new group of players making the plays.
So far this cycle, Miami holds commitments from Homestead (FL) South Dade 4-star DB Jaiden Francois, South Dade 3-star DB Keshawn Washington, and Davie (FL) Western 3-star CB Justin Hodges. Francois has been a standout at corner, but has stated a desire/intent to move inside to Safety in college; his teammate Washington is a tall and lean Safety who will likely move to the OLB/S hybrid STRIKER position in college; and Hodges is a big corner with some skills but questionable speed, having run in the 4.9’s this offseason at a recruiting combine.
With Washington not really counting as a DB (since he’s likely to bump down to STRIKER), Miami likely needs 3 MORE players in the secondary to round out this class.
The top target at CB isn’t actually a CB. Nashville (TN) Ensworth School 4-star S Keshawn Lawrence is one of the top prospects at his position nationally, but Miami is interested in him as a big CB. At 6’2” 195lbs, Lawrence’s size is impressive at either DB position, but even moreso at Corner.
The cousin of former Canes CB Corn Elder, Lawrence will make his 2nd visit to Coral Gables next weekend for an Official Visit. He has previously taken an OV to LSU, and teams like Tennessee, Ole Miss, and South Carolina (among others) are alongside Miami in their pursuit of this top 70 national recruit.
Miami has also offered Highland (KS) C.C. 4-star CB Brian George. A Belle Glade native, George is a top-5 JUCO prospect for the 2020 class. He’s a big corner at 6’2” 190lbs with good speed, and holds 22 offers at present. If MIami looks to add an experienced player, the transfer portal or George could be the route they take.
Lakeland (FL) Kathleen 4-star Kendall Dennis, and Lakeland (FL) 3-star Fenley Graham both hold offers. But, Miami has struggled mightily in recruiting Polk County both recently and historically, so the odds are not in the Canes’ favor with either player.
Miami (FL) Central 3-star ATH Deidrick Stanley is a bit undersized at 5’8” 178lbs, but he’s quick, fast, and feisty. With his lack of size, however, Stanley is probably low on Miami’s list, especially with 3 other sub-6ft corners already on the roster (Bandy, Couch, Bethel).
I’ll just drop a quick note that Keshawn Lawrence is the #3 S nationally in this class, and Miami could very well play him here instead of CB if he picks the Canes. And, Jaiden Francois plans to transition to S at the college level, as well.
Past that, I’m really struggling to find names at Safety presently. Yes, Miami has offers out to high caliber recruits, guys like Duncanville (TX) 4-star Chris Thompson Jr., Pearland (TX) Shadow Creek 4-star Xavion Alford, and Oradell (NJ) Bergen Catholic 4-star Jordan Morant. But — and yes you’ve heard me say this a lot, even in this piece — unless/until they (or any player) visits Miami, likely twice, then the prospect of adding them to this recruiting class is little more than a pipe dream.
Bubba Baxa was a blue chip kicker recruit, and he’s only a sophomore. Louis Hedley looks to continue the trend of Australians in their mid-20s coming to America and being solid to great punters. Any number of skill position players could try their hand in the return game.
Miami will look to address special teams with scholarships for a kicker or punter in 2021 or beyond.
Whew. Okay. Sorry for the long delay between these pieces, guys. This should have you reasonably caught up for now. And with Paradise Camp this upcoming weekend — June 22 — we’ll have plenty to talk about in next month’s Class Breakdown as well.
As always, hop in the comments and keep the conversation going.