The Miami Hurricanes got a big boost to the 2020 recruiting class today when Orange Park (FL) Oakleaf 4-star OT Jalen Rivers gave his commitment to Manny Diaz’s Canes.
A massive 6’6” 331lbs, Rivers plays tackle at the HS level, but could end up moving inside to guard in college. Either way, he’s a player with great size and length who should be able to push for playing time early on in his college career, regardless of position.
Earlier in this recruiting cycle, Rivers was very open about his plan to be a “package deal” with his teammate and good friend 4-star DE Chantz Williams. However, after pair started to look at different variables for their college choices — namely Williams’s insistence on picking a team the employs a 3-4 defense — they separated their recruitments. And that separation helped lead to Rivers making the move to commit to Miami today.
The added embedded bonus of playing on the same team as a top-80 overall player at DE: Rivers gets to work against Williams on a daily basis. This is an “iron sharpens iron” type of deal, as each player gets to go against a high-major caliber recruit to help build and refine their technique for implementation in the weekly game plan, but also helps push them for future development and success as well.
Oakleaf is a program from which Miami has gotten several commitments in previous years. Rivers will look to follow the most recent, and best, Oakleaf alum to suit up for the Canes: 4-year staring MLB Shaquille Quarterman. While Rivers will be following Quarterman to Miami, he will also be joining a family member in South Florida; Rivers’ sister is a student at FIU, a university located about 20 minutes away from UM’s Coral Gables Campus.
It is no secret that Miami needs OL in a bad way, especially tackles. Rivers is a top 25 player at the position in this class, and has the height, length, and size for a prototypical tackle. And, even if he isn’t able to stick at tackle, he could reprise Navaughn Donaldson’s role as a giant guard on the interior of Miami’s OL.
This is a big recruiting win for Manny Diaz and new OL coach Butch Barry. Rivers’s named finalists were Miami, Florida, and Georgia, and out-dueling that pair of SEC powers — not to mention Alabama, who had also offered Rivers — head to head on the recruiting trail is a big win, even moreso to get a player of Rivers’ size and ability, and keep him away from those other teams.
The 16th commit overall in this class, Rivers is the 2nd OL committed to Miami in the 2020 recruiting class. He joins Ocala (FL) Vanguard 3-star OG Antonio Smith at this position in the class, which is currently ranked 5th nationally.
For a better look at the player Miami is getting in Rivers, take a look at the HUDL highlights below.