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Miami Hurricanes Recruiting Radar: Meet the 2021 commits

An ever-growing group of blue chip talents is committed to Miami for the 2021 cycle

5-star S James Williams is the centerpiece of Miami’s 2021 recruiting class

Hello again, recruiting fans. We’re back for more ‘crootin.

Yesterday, we took a look at the numbers and needs for Miami in the 2021 recruiting class. If you missed that piece, be sure you click the link below.

This year’s piece is different because of the timing. Usually, I write this (and yesterday’s piece) in February right after NSD. But, I’ve been caught up with the secret day job (and a bit lazy) and, there’s been this whole COVID-19 pandemic thing, so we’re getting a later look at the group here in July/August. Because of this, there are 1. more players committed — 21 at the time of writing, and 2. likely to be less variance. There’s less likelihood of mass decommitments, the likes of which Miami has seen consistently over the last near decade, so the ending class is probably going to look more similar to the group we’re meeting today than it did to the initial “meet the commits” lists I’ve previously done on the normal February timeline.

And also, instead of going down the list position by position like I’d normally do, since this is a bit different, let’s look at things differently; we’ll be running down the commits by their recruit ranking. And, as always, I use the 247sports composite rankings for this.

With no further ado, let’s meet the commitments:

5-star ATH/S James Williams, Ft. Lauderdale (FL) American Heritage

The nation’s #1 ranked ATH, the top ranked player in Florida, the 6’5” 220lb Williams is the kind of player that Miami has struggled to get in recent years. A top-10 overall player in the 2021 recruiting class, Williams picked Miami over perceived favorites Georgia for his commitment.

Simply put: Williams is the prototype at Safety. Big. Fast. Strong. And surprisingly quick for a man that size (shoutout to Game of Thrones for that description). He will undoubtedly be a day 1 player at Miami, with the ceiling for his potential nearly unlimited.

4-star WR Romello Brinson, Miami (FL) Northwestern

Next up on the commit list is All-American Romello Brinson, a dynamic WR who picked Miami over a plethora of SEC offers. He, like Williams, is the kind of player that Miami has far too often seen leave South Florida to ply their trade elsewhere in the CFB world. Getting him as yet another weapon in the receiving corps is huge. And you should be excited about it.

4-star OG Laurence Seymore, Miami (FL) Central

The first player to commit to Miami’s 2021 class, Seymore gave his pledge to The U back in March of 2018 — the spring of his FRESHMAN year of HS. While early commitments like this were par for the course at a time, Seymore is the last of that type, as Manny Diaz has changed recruiting protocols since that time.

If you’re new to hearing about Seymore, don’t think this is some charity case. He’s big, physical, and imposing at the point of attack, and has been a staple of Miami Central’s OL for years. Several other teams have made runs at flipping Seymore over the course of his 2.5 year-long commitment, but none have succeeded. Look for him to be an early contributor at OL, and stepping into a starting role as his career progresses.

4-star WR Jacolby George, Plantation (FL)

Yup, that’s right: another fast, dynamic WR to add to the revamped receiving corps. George stars at Plantation, and put up more than 1,000 yards receiving as a junior in a breakout year. George has good size and blazing speed, and puts both of those things to good use on the field.

He might have the name “star power” of other recruits, but he has the game to match up against any of them. You should be very happy he picked The U.

4-star DE Jabari Ishmael, Miami (FL) Columbus

Another in a long line of tall (6’6”), lengthy, twitchy edge rushers, Ishmael picked Miami over Oregon for his recent commitment. The son of longtime UM strength assistant Victor Ishmael, Jabari is a standout player in his own right, and with his own merits. He’s one of the latest players from Columbus to pick Miami, joining players such as Trajan Bandy, Deon Bush, and many others to make that pick.

4-star RB Thad Franklin, Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna

Big, tough, physical running back Franklin continues the Chaminade-to-Miami pipeline in this class. He’s been a centerpiece of Chaminade’s 3 consecutive State Championship teams, and will look to go 4-for-4 this fall. Franklin is bigger than your typical Miami RB recruit, standing 6’0” 225lbs.

Franklin uses that size to great advantage, and also shows quick feet and good vision on the field. He also ran for nearly 2,300 yards and 28 TDs last fall, so there’s production with him as well.

4-star TE Elijah Arroyo, Frisco (TX) Independence

One of just 2 out of State commits, Arroyo actually has roots in South Florida, and was born in the area before moving to Texas. He’s a dynamic pass catcher from the TE position, earned All-District accolades as a junior in 2020, and will continue to develop and continue the strong tradition Miami has as the preeminent program for Tight Ends in the country.

4-star DT Savion Collins, Miami (FL) Palmetto

The second-longest tenured commit in this class behind Seymore, Collins picked Miami in September 2018 when he was still at Southwest Miami (FL) HS. Since then, he’s transferred to Miami (FL) Palmetto — where he played his junior year — and there’s been some debate about the strength of his commitment. Florida has been hot on his case trying to work a flip, and at a time that seemed days away from happening, but to this point Collins is still committed to Miami, and is a player who could have a big impact for the Canes down the line should he sign here.

4-star S Kamren Kinchens, Miami (FL) Northwestern

Want to build an elite safety room? Pairing Kinchens and Williams will do that. Kinchens stars at Northwestern, and along with Brinson, Brantley, Hammett, and Burns Jr. — we’ll meet those last 3 here shortly — have the Bulls on a 3 year run of State Championships. Kinchens is an All-American Safety the likes of which teams all over the country wanted. But he’s staying home, and that’s a great thing for Miami, who continues to stack elite talent at Safety like few teams in the country.

4-star OT Michael McLaughlin, Parkland (FL) Stoneman Douglas

An Indiana native, McLaughlin moved to South Florida a little over a year ago and transferred to Stoneman Douglas. At the time, he was a tall, thin TE prospect, and attended a camp at UM for that position. But, Miami’s staff thought he could be a good tackle prospect, had him work out there after the camp, and things moved swiftly to McLaughlin picking the Canes.

Since he’s only played OT for a year, McLaughlin has a bit of developing to do at that position, but he’s got great height and length at 6’7” and will continue to fill out his frame and learn the finer points of OL technique as he develops.

3-star WR Brashard Smith, Miami (FL) Palmetto

Miami’s latest — and likely fastest — commit, Smith is a speedster who can find the endzone on any play, from any distance. He’s a great compliment to Brinson and George in this 3-man receiver class, and has drawn favorable comparisons to Tyreek Hill, Henry Ruggs III, and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown in terms of his speed. That’s rare air, my friends. Giddy up.

3-star OC Ryan Rodriguez, Miami (FL) Columbus

Miami needs a center of the future, so they went back to local powerhouse Columbus and got Rodriguez. He’s faced top competition while playing at Columbus, and joins HS teammate Jabari Ishmael in picking the Canes. Rodriguez could also land at one of the guard spots in the future.

3-star LB Tyler Johnson, Miami (FL) Killian

The younger brother of former Canes star S Jaquan Johnson, Tyler has moved back to where it all started: Miami Killian. He’s good good size at 6’1” 200lbs, good to above average athleticism, and incredible instincts — A Johnson family trait. He’s the 3rd longest tenured commit in this class, and figures to carry on the family legacy at Miami once he signs.

3-star OLB Ja’Corey Hammett, Miami (FL) Northwestern

Another Northwestern Bull, Hammett stars on defense rushing the passer off the edge. But, that’s what the best athletes on the defense do annually for Northwestern: current Miami LB Sam Brooks Jr. had 18.5 sacks from this spot for them a few years ago.

Like Brooks Jr., Hammett will make the transition from “go get the ball” edge rusher to stand up LB at the college level. And, also like Brooks Jr., Hammett has the size, speed, and instincts to make that transition easily at the college level. He’ll need to add size to his lithe frame before he sees game action at Miami, however.

3-star TE Khalil Brantley, Miami (FL) Northwestern

Yup, another Northwestern Bull, Brantley was a big bodied WR who has made the transition to TE. He’s got good height and size at 6’2” 205lbs, but can fill out his frame more. He’s also got good quickness and great ball skills, so he’s able to outrun slower defenders and make tough, contested catches all over the field. Like many HS players, his blocking could use some refinement.

3-star CB Tim Burns Jr., Miami (FL) Northwestern

The 5th and final Northwestern Bull, Burns Jr. is a heady cornerback who brings an edge and talent to the Canes’ defense. He’s the latest in a long line of Northwestern players to have picked Miami, and does so alongside 4 of his teammates in this class alone.

3-star DT Allan Haye, Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna

“Big Jolly” is another 3 time State Champion from Chaminade who is committed to The U. He’s got good size and quick, nimble feet from the DT position and will be a good rotation player down the line.

3-star DE Thomas Davis, Valdosta (GA) Lowndes

A bit of a tweener at 6’0.5” 235lbs, Davis’s quick first step and blazing speed for his position make him a terror off the edge for Lowndes. Named his Region’s Defensive Player of the Year after putting up 11.5 sacks for the State Championship runners-up. He should be able to carve out a Trent Harris-like role as a standup end/OLB down the line. Davis could also potentially transition to LB.

3-star LB Deshawn Troutman, Orlando (FL) Edgewater

A Miami native who moved to Orlando recently, Troutman is a fast, physical LB that fits what Miami wants to do on defense. His brother Trenell Troutman played at several SoFLA HS’s before picking Louisville for college.

3-star ATH/CB Malik Curtis, Ft. Myers (FL) Bishop Verot

The first thing you notice about Curtis is his speed. It’s Brashard Smith-like. He can MOVE, jack! While I, and some others, think his best fit would be on offense, Miami has recruited the 5’11” 160lbs Curtis to play CB. That could work, as he’s played there part time in HS, but I still want to see that speed in space running toward the endzone. But that’s me.

3-star K Andres Borregales, Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna

A 5-star prospect on Kohl’s Kicking, Chris Sailer Kicking, and Kornblue Kicking — the industry leaders in kicking development and rankings — Borregales is another Chaminade player making his way to Coral Gables. And, he’ll be coming in on the heels of his brother Jose, who starred at FIU for 3 years and will kick for UM as a grad transfer in 2020. The Borregales family kicking legacy is strong, and Andres will keep it going for The U.

Whew. Okay. That’s a wrap on meeting the 2021 commits.

Miami has precious few spots remaining in this class. We’ll look at some of the targets for those remaining spots in the coming days.

Go Canes