In this installment of The Recruiting Notebook, we meet Miami’s Center of the Future: Miami (FL) Columbus OC Ryan Rodriguez.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Miami needs offensive linemen. Like, multiple linemen to continue to develop the roster where it needs to be. To that end, Miami targeted a local standout from a notable HSFB program: Miami Columbus OC Ryan Rodriguez.
The funny thing about that position listing is this: Rodriguez doesn’t play center in HS. He’s the best lineman for Columbus, so he plays tackle. But, in the future, Center is where he’ll live.
Rodriguez visited some G5 teams locally (FIU, FAU) after his junior season and got a couple offers. Then, new Miami OL coach Garin Justice visited Columbus looking for players to recruit, and found Rodriguez. An offer soon followed, and Miami started to make headway in this recruitment.
Let’s be clear: this wasn’t a charity offer. Rodriguez was 1st team All-Dade starting at Left Tackle for a Columbus team that won the 8A State Championship. So there’s talent and performance here, and a player who has shown an ability to play well against high level opposition.
Through the beginning of 2020, despite offers from other teams coming in, Miami continued to forge ahead in Rodriguez’s recruitment. And that ground work paid off when Rodriguez committed to Miami on April 27th.
On the 247sports composite, Rodriguez is a 3-star prospect, the #7 OC nationally in this class, #65 in the State of Florida, and #410 recruit overall.
An Adidas All-American, Rodriguez committed to Miami over Syracuse and West Virginia from a list of 13 offers from around the country.
As A Player
The first thing you notice about Rodriguez on film is that he plays with a mean streak. He finishes blocks with authority and aggression. You definitely love to see that from your offensive linemen.
Rodriguez is proficient at both run blocking and pass protection, but run blocking is definitely his stronger skillset. As he moves from Tackle to Center in college, that will become even more of an asset than it already is.
At 6’3” 280lbs, Rodriguez’s stature more befits a Center than a Tackle. So, something that was a bit of a negative will turn into a positive with this forthcoming position change. With his height, Rodriguez has only average arm length, which can be a challenge when working on the outside against edge rusher, but a positive doing the dirty work of a Center on the interior of the offensive line.
Other things Rodriguez has are solid fundamentals and championship experience. Columbus is a very good HSFB program so he has a solid grasp on executing the basics, and having played — and played well — at the highest HSFB classification bodes well for Rodriquez’s potential for the future. He probably won’t be a superstar, but Rodriguez is a high floor, low ceiling player who should be a solidly consistent performer for the Canes in the future.
- Run Blocking
- High level performance against top competition
- Transition to new position
- Limited ceiling for development
Note: changing this up from just a freshman-season outlook to a career outlook for each player.
Rodriguez was recruited to be Miami’s Center of the Future. That’s his role for this team moving forward, and that’s a key role for the future success of the Offensive Line.
With Corey Gaynor at Center for at least another season, Rodriguez will work to be the understudy for a year or two while learning, growing, and developing. That sets Rodriguez up to be a major piece of the Canes OL in the future as the starter.
Rodriguez figures to be a 5 year player for the Hurricanes. With a redshirt year followed by 4 years on the active/full-time roster, and hopefully 3 of those as the starting center, if not all 4. Rodriguez has the potential to earn All-ACC honors at his position moving forward, but there’s work to be done to reach that level of performance. And, as OL awards are largely based on overall team offensive and W/L success, the better Miami performs overall will help Rodriguez’s prospects for such accolades.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.