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Miami Hurricanes Recruiting Radar: Class Breakdown 11/2

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Hey! I’m back. To talk recruiting. So, let’s talk

State of the U Illustration by Mike Meredith

Hello, recruiting junkies. Been a while, I know. But, we’re here now, so let’s enjoy our time together!

Welcome back to the Class Breakdown, our look at the Miami Hurricanes’ 2021 recruiting class. The secret day job has kept this from being monthly this year, but the midway point of the season is a great time to reset the landscape in these unprecedented times (tm).

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.

Class Numbers

I wrote about this already earlier in the summer and you can read the whole piece here. Here is the chart with the scholarship numbers as I see them for Miami in the 2021 cycle:

Miami Hurricanes 2021 Recruiting Class Numbers

QB RB WR TE OL DE DT LB CB S ST Best Available
QB RB WR TE OL DE DT LB CB S ST Best Available
1 1 3 2 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 (any remaining)

That’s where I started from. Miiiiight have to update one or two of those soon, however. Let’s look at each position and talk about it.

Quarterback

Need: 1

Committed: 0

Recruiting Rule #1 is that you have to have a QB in every recruiting class. For Miami in 2021, the search for that signal caller continues.

The name at the top of the list has been, and continues to be, 4-star QB Jake Garcia. A California native, Garcia transferred to powerhouse Valdosta (GA) for his senior year. Then ESPN did a profile on Garcia and the cross-country move. Then rival schools claimed it wasn’t a “full and complete move” since his parents separated to follow the letter of the law (a full family move) but not the spirit of the law (Garcia’s mom stayed in Cali for her job, and the Garcias openly said in the ESPN piece that they will be reuniting once Jake goes to college), and Jake was subsequently ruled ineligible for the remainder of his senior year after 1 game.

BUT WAIT; there’s more! Garcia has moved AGAIN, this time to the powerhouse program at Loganville (GA) Grayson. According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Garcia has petitioned for immediate reinstatement at Grayson, which some think is forthcoming. The GHSAA did not detail what exactly made Garcia ineligible, and it is unclear why he would be ineligible at Valdosta but potentially eligible at Grayson, another perennial powerhouse program.

UPDATE: as I was working on this piece, Garcia’s transfer to Grayson was completed, and his eligibility reinstated. Here’s a piece from 247Sports’ Greg Biggins on the development. Garcia played this week for Grayson, throwing for 240 yards and 2 TDs in part-time action.

The thing with Miami’s pursuit of Garcia is the fact that the talented signal-caller has been committed to USC since September of 2019. That hasn’t stopped Miami from continuing to recruit him, but that’s also a quite large impediment to forward progress.

Outside of Garcia, Miami has offers out to 15 other QBs this cycle. And, like Garcia, every one of those players is committed to a P5 team at present. So it’s flip Garcia szn or look to the portal or hope D’Eriq King comes back next year, since this year doesn’t count towards eligibility.

Running Back

Need: 1

Committed: 1

After landing the best 2-man RB class in the country last year — Donald Chaney Jr. and Jaylan Knighton — Miami only needs 1 RB this cycle. And, they’ve gotten their man with Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna 4-star Thad Franklin already in the boat.

Even with Franklin committed, Miami is still connected to other players at this position. Most notable on the list is Miami (FL) Central 3-star RB Amari Daniels. A speedster from this traditional powerhouse program, Daniels was set to announce a commitment last week. His named finalists were Texas A&M — one of his first offers was from coach Jimbo Fisher, formerly of FSU — and Georgia, but Daniels decided to delay that pick. Many think that’s because Miami was then and is now involved in this recruitment, so don’t think things are done just yet.

UPDATE: so, a funny thing happened while I was still working on this piece: Daniels and HS teammate 3-star ATH/WR Yulkeith Brown committed to Texas A&M as a package deal, sharing the same commitment announcement. Brown was another player Miami had evaluated, but decided not to pursue in favor of others at receiver (we’ll get there momentarily). In that Daniels and Brown committed together I believe Miami has decided that Franklin as the sole RB in this class is fine for them, a sentiment I share.

There are other players with offers, but Miami looks set on Franklin and potentially Daniels at RB this year unless something drastic changes here moving forward.

Wide Receiver

Need: 3

Committed: 4

After a stellar 2020 receiver class, Receiver is again a recruiting position of strength for the Canes this year. Miami holds commitments from Miami (FL) Northwestern 4-star Romello Brinson, Ft. Myers (FL) Bishop Verot 3-star ATH Malik Curtis, Plantation (FL) 4-star Jacolby George, and Miami (FL) Palmetto 3-star Brashard Smith.

Brinson is the crown jewel of this receiver class, with George and Smith also being top-tier prospects with playmaking ability and game-changing speed as well.

Curtis is a bit of a different story, and not based on his talent. When he committed to Miami, Curtis was thought to be a developmental CB prospect. But, the thing about Curtis is this: HE CAN FLY!!!! His speed is literally the first thing you notice on his HLs. And I wrote in his commitment piece that I thought he would be a perfect space/slot/speed player in Miami’s spread offense, and he’s done nothing but prove that thought to be right. Every week, Curtis is scoring multiple touchdowns for Bishop Verot, and Miami is now looking at him to play offense in college. AS. HE. SHOULD.

I’ll keep this section short (this will be a theme of this piece since open spots are so few this year): unless an ELITE prospect — someone like former Miami (FL) Booker T. Washington now Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy Alabama commit 5-star WR Jacorey Brooks — wants in, or Miami has an about-face regarding Curtis (which I believe would be unwise), the Canes are likely done at WR this year.

But in terms of reshaping the roster, a quartet of Brinson-Curtis-George-Smith following Redding III-Restrepo-Smith-Worsham from last year is the exact way Miami should be recruiting. Well done.

Tight End

Need: 2

Committed: 2

Another year, another elite haul at Tight End for Miami. Ho hum. Such is life for Tight End U.

Committed in this class are Frisco (TX) Independence 4-star Elijah Arroyo and Miami (FL) Northwestern 3-star Khalil Brantley. This is an elite pair of pass catching prospect, who both have height and length and frames to continue to add size moving forward. Neither is a great blocker, but that is the specialty of last year’s signee Dominic Mammarelli, so that’s okay. Even so, I have full confidence in Miami’s ability to develop Tight Ends, so I’m not worried about it given Arroyo and Brantley’s athleticism.

In short, Miami is adding 2 elite TE prospects to continue the tradition of Tight End U at Miami. Done and done.

Offensive Line

Need: 3

Committed: 3

Miami needs to continue to add depth and talent along the Offensive Line, and that hasn’t changed. Committed in this class are Parkland (FL) Stoneman Douglas 4-star Tackle Michael McLaughlin, Miami (FL) Central 4-star Guard Laurence Seymore, and Miami (FL) Columbus 3-star Guard Ryan Rodriguez.

McLaughlin is an Indiana native who moved with his family to Florida more than a year ago. He has grown from a 6’7” 235lb TE into a 6’8” 290lb Tackle in that time, and looks to have a prototypical Tackle frame, something that Miami needs on the roster. Seymore is a manchild who has starred on Central’s OL for more than 3 years while playing at an elite level. Though he’s the lowest rated of the commits along the OL, Rodriguez is an Army All-American, and has moved from Tackle to Guard for Columbus this year to prepare for his future position at Miami.

Those 3 players are a great step toward building Miami’s OL into the kind of group that the Canes greatly desire. And, while the trio of commits is a good group, another top prospect at this position would really set things off.

The dream would be someone like Fairfax (VA) Robinson 5-star Tackle Tristan Leigh or Duncanville (TX) 4-star Tackle Savion Byrd deciding to join the class and adding size, length, and talent to the OL. I don’t think that will happen, but a guy can dream, right?

Defensive Line

Need: 5

Committed: 5

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. Like Offensive Line, Miami needs to continuously bring in numbers and talent at this position year after year.

Committed to Miami at this point are Miami (FL) Palmetto 4-star DT Savion Collins, Valdosta (GA) Lowndes 3-star DE/LB Thomas Davis, Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna 3-star DT Allan Haye, Miami (FL) Columbus 4-star DE Jabari Ishmael, Miami (FL) Palmetto 5-star DT Leonard Taylor,

A quick rundown: Collins is one of the longest tenured commits in this class, but it’s looking less and less likely he’ll end up at Miami.

Davis is a bit undersized at 6’0.5” and could transition to LB from Edge in college.

Haye is an integral piece of the championship program at Chaminade.

Ishmael is the son of assistant UM Strength Coach Victor Ishmael and looks to be the next in the long line of tall, athletic edge rushers for Miami.

And Taylor is the crown jewel of this group, a local 5-star DT and among the top handful of players both at his position and nationally. THAT is the local star power for Miami that we’ve been talking about them needing to get on a yearly basis.

Defensive Ends

Miami has commitments from Davis (if he stay at Edge) and Ishmael. There aren’t many ready-made targets out there this year. There’s LSU commit 4-star Keanu Koht from Vero Beach. There’s 4-star Tyreak Sapp from St. Thomas Aquinas, a Florida commit. There’s 4-star Bryce Langston from Ocala Vanguard, a former Florida commit who attends the same HS that N’Kosi Perry once starred at. And, there are a couple uncommitted 5-stars nationally as well. And, I mean, maybe there’s a flip of a local player committed elsewhere? But at present, it might just end up being Ishmael and Davis (depending on which position he lands at).

Defensive Tackles

Miami has commitments from Haye, and HS teammates Collins (who transferred to Palmetto from Southwest Miami before last year) and Taylor. But, as noted above, it’s probably only going to be Taylor in the end.

Houma (LA) Terrebonne 5-star DT Maason Smith has Miami on his short list. He’s well on record for preferring Miami’s defensive scheme, which allows for more freedom for the players along the DL that some others, to the rest of his top group. HOWEVER, most top Louisiana native players go to LSU. And those of Smith’s caliber who don’t, go to Alabama. So, it’s safe to say that Miami has an uphill battle here, but we’re on the short list. So that’s good.

Outside of Smith, there aren’t many options on the board right now. But again, Miami needs 5 DL in this class, and they have 5 committed at present. So they’re meeting the needs of the roster, but adding another true edge, not a tweener like Davis, and/or getting another seismic recruiting with Smith would be pretty cool, if you ask me.

Linebacker

Need: 2

Committed: 3-ish

Miami has commitments from the aforementioned Davis, who could end up at LB, Miami (FL) Killian 3-star Tyler Johnson, and Orlando (FL) Edgewater 3-star Deshawn Troutman. Johnson is the younger brother of former Killian and Miami star S Jaquan Johnson, and Troutman is the younger brother of former St. Thomas Aquinas and Louisville standout S Trenell Troutman.

The one possible addition on the board is Miami (FL) Central 5-star Terrance Lewis. The Tennessee commit has transferred several times recently, going from Miami Northwestern to Chaminade-Madonna back to Northwestern then finally to his present spot at Central. He is one of the best players nationally at his position, and close friends with a top DB committed to Miami (we’ll get there in a bit). Miami could be trying to leverage that relationship to flip Lewis, as he and the Miami-committed 5-star DB had previously hinted at playing together in college. We’ll see what happens, but for now Lewis looks locked in with Tennessee, though only God knows why he wants to play there.

Defensive Back

Need: 5

Committed: 4

This is one of the recruiting positions of strength for Miami in this class. Yet and still, there’s PLENTY of room for improvement here. It’s not contradictory, I swear.

The commitments are as follows: Miami (FL) Northwestern 3-star CB Tim Burns Jr, Miami (FL) Northwestern 4-star S Kamren Kinchens, Melbourne (FL) 4-star Striker Chase Smith, and Plantation (FL) American Heritage 5-star S James Williams. It should also be noted that Malik Curtis was initially recruited as a CB, but his stellar play on offense has him ticketed to that side of the ball in college (as he always should have been, IMO).

Burns Jr. and Kinchens patrol the secondary together for Northwestern. Smith, the son of former Miami TE Willie Smith, can play all over the field, but his athleticism and projectable frame fit perfectly at STRIKER. And Williams is a 5-star player, among the best in the country regardless of position, and a mold-breaker at 6’5” 218 playing Safety. That’ll work.

Cornerback

It is no secret that Miami needs depth and talent at cornerback. Burns Jr. is good, but he by himself does not fill the needs of the roster. And yes, Malik Curtis was thought to be in this group to start with, but he’s gonna play offense (AS HE SHOULD) so that opens up the necessity for another CB (or 2) in this class.

Miami offered Palmetto 5-star Jason Marshall, and he told the staff he was committing at one time. (insert some stuff that happened behind the scenes) Marshall committed to Florida. He has an offer, but he’s probably not coming.

Covington (GA) Newton 4-star Nyland Green holds an offer, but the connection seems to be fading, and it wasn’t that strong to begin with.

Lehigh Acres (FL) 4-star Omarion Cooper is committed to Florida State, which is a dumpster fire. Maybe make a run at flipping him?

Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy 4-star Markevious Brown, formerly of Pahokee, is a talented player with a Miami offer who should be at the top of the board right now. Brown is working toward a decision, but with Miami’s penchant to lose out on players at this position of many year, I’m not confident here, either.

Miami’s most recent offer went out to Mansfield (TX) Lake Ridge’s Marvin Covington. An unrated player at present, Covington has made a name for himself this fall with stellar play against several blue-chip WRs on his team’s schedule. Miami was Covington’s first offer, but with the way he’s playing, his speed and length at 5’11”, I do not expect it to be his last.

Whether it’s one of the players listed here or someone else, Miami can not end this cycle by adding only 1 CB to the roster. HS recruit. Transfer portal. Create-a-player. I don’t care how, but more talent is needed at this position.

Safety

Miami had a great haul at Safety last year, and adding Kinchens and Williams in this class is yet another home run. Oh, and remember that bit from the Terrance Lewis section about him being friends with a top player? That player is James Williams, and they have talked about playing together in college. So, we’ll see.

Tallahassee (FL) John Paul II Catholic 4-star Terrion Arnold has a Miami offer. Miami could bring him in as yet-another blue chip safety in this class, or move him to cornerback, as Arnold is only 6’0” 180lbs. I would enjoy the latter scenario greatly.

Special Teams

Need: 1

Committed: 1

To fill the need at kicker this year because our former kicker was, uh......not good, Miami brought in Jose Borregales as a grad transfer from FIU.

To fill the need at kicker for the future, Miami has a commitment from Hollywood (FL) Chaminade Madonna’s standout kicker: Andres Borregales. And before you ask, yes, he’s the younger brother of Jose. The younger Borregales has long been one of the top kickers in the 2021 recruiting class, and if he performs anything like his brother, Miami will be in good hands (or good feet) at kicker for years to come.


Whew. That was a lot, and I’m sorry it’s been so long, but that’s that.

Miami has precious few spots left in the 2021 recruiting class, but some pretty big holes to fill as yet. There’s been a great recruiting job so far to get the class where it presently stands, but there’s work yet to be done to get it where it needs to be in the end.

Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Concerns? Wanna tell me I’m stupid? Hop in the comments and get it off your chest!

Go Canes