It’s no secret that Manny Diaz and the Hurricanes are putting together quite the recruiting class for 2021, filled with future playmakers and stars for Miami. While everyone likes to talk about the talented wide receivers or defensive backs committed, one of the things that excites me the most is the duo tight end of Kahlil Brantley and Elijah Arroyo.
Brantley committed to Miami back in February of 2019, and has become the ambassador for the Hurricanes 2021 recruiting class. The three-star monster out of Miami Northwestern High School is much better than his ranking, reminding me a little of current tight end Brevin Jordan and also former UM tight end Chris Herndon.
Formerly listed as a wide receiver, Brantley has the kind of receiving skills you desire in a tight end, and has tremendous ability in the open field after making the catch and picking up extra yards. He’s also a threat in the redzone and down near the goal-line, as well as creating separation from defenders. As a junior, Brantley had 624 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns, helping Northwestern capture their third-straight state championship.
247 said “I know you’re kind of solid with Miami” I explained to him I AM SOLID— Kahlil Brantley ¹⁸ (@_18flavorz) May 6, 2020
247 Sports has Brantley ranked as the 27th tight end in the 2021 recruiting class, and the 74th overall player in the state of Florida for the cycle. Expect Brantley’s rankings to rise his senior season.
TE from Miami is *UNGUARDABLE* | Kahlil Brantley '21 | Northwestern High ( Miami, FL) #UTR Spotlight— Under the Radar (@UTRScouting) May 20, 2020
Watch Full Video Here --> https://t.co/K0tF4zz1a4@_18flavorz @CaneFootball pic.twitter.com/Dsc9dUeliy
Then there's Arroyo, who committed in May, and who I believe is one of the most under appreciated players in the 2021 recruiting cycle. Out of Frisco, Texas, Arroyo may not be as well known as some of the South Florida recruits, but his talent is undeniable.
100% COMMITTED pic.twitter.com/3gRtJwWCAi— Elijah Arroyo (@arroyo_elijah36) May 4, 2020
However, Arroyo was recently bumped up in terms of recruiting ranks, as 247 Sports moved him up 101 spots, as the four-star now sits as the 3rd tight end in 2021, 20th overall player in Texas, and 124th player nationally.
Another tight end with exceptional pass-catching abilities, Arroyo caught 48 passes in 2019. for 648 yards and 5 touchdowns. Though hailing from the Lone Star state, Arroyo is a native of Florida, and has always been a fan of the Hurricanes. Arroyo told 247 Sports that the arrival new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee was a big reason he chose Miami. Lashlee spent the last two seasons as the OC for SMU.
4-star tight end Elijah Arroyo out of Texas commits to Miami. 48 catches, 648 yards and five touchdowns last year. Welcome to #TEU pic.twitter.com/a3izyiqqMD— Marsh Thomas (@hurricanesmarsh) May 4, 2020
When you watch his film, Arroyo does a good job at using his 6”4 height to challenge defenders and snag the ball in the air. Combine that with 4.6 speed, and you have one dangerous weapon at tight end.
Willie Smith was Miami’s first All-American tight end in 1985 and set several all time Miami records as a pass catcher. Elijah Arroyo is next in line to continue the TEU legacy. The athletic pass catcher will create mismatches and be a #1 target in Lashlee’s offense. pic.twitter.com/Ie4D4uwUXA— Canes Legacy (@CanesLegacy) May 4, 2020
What I love most about Brantley and Arroyo, is that they look like, and play like how tight ends are supposed to be in this new age of up-tempo offensive football. When you have quicker players at the tight end position, it opens up so much more of your playbook, presenting your offense with a plethora of opportunities. These aren’t your fathers old school tight ends like Mark Bavarro or Jay Novacek, you can line Brantley and Arroyo anywhere on the field, and they’re going to produce big plays catching, and they can take on a defender as a blocker.
I put my heart into this one auntie #LongLiveMyAngels #OL4L #OneHanded pic.twitter.com/riw0H5w6aI— Kahlil Brantley ¹⁸ (@_18flavorz) September 7, 2019
Brevin Jordan will most likely declare early for the NFL following the 2020 season, but Miami has incredible depth at tight end, with Will Mallory, Larry Hodges and Dominic Mammarelli still on the roster as well, all of which have pro-potential.
Miami has a well documented rich history of producing great tight ends, and I believe Brantley and Arroyo will follow in their footsteps.