Usually when I write these “recruiting wishlist” articles, I'm talking about one specific player. Though, this time, I’m expanding just a little bit, and focusing on a certain position for recruiting, and it’s....you guessed it, cornerbacks.
In case you haven’t been following Miami recruiting the last several years, there has been a certain trend when it comes to cornerbacks, it’s always the position we struggle with. Specifically the last two recruiting classes, October and November roll around, and UM is sitting with 1 or maybe zero cornerbacks verbally committed.
One of the problems that may arise due to this lack of recruiting, say one of your cornerbacks enters the transfer portal during the season, or another CB declares for the NFL Draft after his junior year. Before you know it, you’re faced with some difficult depth chart decisions.
Take the 2020 season for example. Redshirt freshman Christian Williams, shortly after the opening game against UAB, announces he’s entering the transfer portal. Cornerback depth was already a major concern for the Canes this year, and then one game into the season, Miami was down another corner.
Now, moving forward, you have DJ Ivey, Te’Cory Couch and Al Blades Jr., who are the only cornerbacks Miami has on the roster, with any significant playing experience in college. Any of those three get injured, enter the portal themselves, you get the point.
When it comes to recruiting, it’s well known that Miami has failed to land top prospects at this position. For the class of 2018, the Hurricanes whiffed on local 5-stars Tyson Campbell and Patrick Surtain II, and then lost 2021 5-star Jason Marshall this past August, when he verbally committed to the Gators.
Am I ranting a little bit right now? Perhaps. Though, it’s frustrating when Miami can land elite players at safety or defensive line, but fail to do so when it comes to cornerbacks, year after year.
Last week, 2021 3-star CB Tim Burns Jr. announced he was decommitting from Miami, making matters worse, that was the only cornerback that UM had in their 2021 class.
So now, with only weeks to go before early signing day, the Canes are scrambling to find cornerbacks, and sending out offers like crazy. With limited spots left for Miami in their class, it’s obvious that they need to bring on, not just one, but a few CB’s, either as a high school recruit or from the transfer portal.
Ivey and Blades are gone after 2021, which leaves Couch as the only corner on Miami’s roster with real playing time at UM. You don't want to be put in the situation, where you’re relying on younger players each season, expecting them to develop into a true starting cornerback.
With how college football is today, where offenses are scoring more points than ever, you’re going to need depth at cornerback. Though, not just depth, you need cornerbacks who are elite talents, if you want to become an elite program. Relying on smaller cornerbacks just won’t cut it on a consistent basis. You shouldn’t be in a position where undersized Trajan Bandy is your top cornerback, because you don't have the depth to give the defense more options.
At the moment, the names to know for 2021 cornerbacks that Miami is targeting, Markevious Brown from IMG Academy, Damarius McGhee out of Pensacola Catholic, and perhaps Terrion Arnold in Tallahassee. While those are the biggest names that UM is going after, I think it’s unlikely Miami ends up signing any of the three.
This isn’t an article to bash Mike Rumph, because everyone is to blame, whether it’s coach Banda, Manny Diaz, the fact that this is an ongoing situation is beyond frustrating.