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Jake Garcia or bust in the Class of 2021 for Miami

The Hurricanes are working hard to flip the new Valdosta (Ga.) High quarterback from his USC verbal commitment

New Valdosta (Ga.) High quarterback Jake Garcia throws under the eye of former Miami offensive coordinator Dan Enos at Paradise Camp in June 2019. The Hurricanes are working to flip the current USC verbal commitment.

If you spend much time on social media or following Miami Hurricane recruiting, you likely are familiar with the name Jake Garcia.

The USC class of 2021 verbal commitment is one of the top prep quarterbacks in the country. He showed interest in Miami prior to verbally committing to USC and has reported that the Hurricanes have continued to recruit Garcia.

If you aren’t familiar with Garcia, take a minute to catch up and see where things stood with Garcia in mid-June.

Since then, one major thing has changed for Garcia. The Southern California native has transferred to Valdosta (Ga.) High so he can play his senior season in fall 2020 rather than spring 2021. California has pushed back high school football until 2021 because of COVID-19.

That means Garcia is playing his high school football 441 miles from Coral Gables and 2,327 miles from Los Angeles. Interesting, if nothing else.

If Garcia did flip his commitment to Miami, he would not be just another high school quarterback coming to play for the Hurricanes. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder is ranked No.37 overall in the 247Sports Composite rankings and is ranked the No.4 overall pro-style quarterback in the class of 2021.

Miami has not signed a quarterback recruit ranked that highly out of high school since signing Kyle Wright, the top-ranked quarterback and No.3 overall player, in the class of 2003.

And now, a hot take...Garcia should be the only high school quarterback Miami attempts to add to the class of 2021. If Garcia opts to stick with his verbal commitment to USC or play his college ball anywhere but Miami, the Hurricanes should not sign a high school quarterback in the class of 2021.

Yes, I know what recruiting rule number one is. And I agree with it 99% of time. But not this time.

Miami has four quarterbacks currently on the roster with 2021 eligibility in N’Kosi Perry, Tate Martell, Tyler Van Dyke and Peyton Matocha. Perry and Martell will both be redshirt seniors while Matocha will be a redshirt sophomore. Van Dyke will either be a true sophomore or redshirt freshman depending on how much he plays during the 2020 season.

If no quarterback transfers out, Miami will have good depth at the quarterback position in the 2021 season. Perry would likely battle Van Dyke and/or Martell for the starting position and the Hurricanes would be fine at quarterback in 2021.

Whether a quarterback transfers or not, Miami always has the option to dip into the transfer portal and bring in a transfer quarterback as it did with D’Eriq King this offseason. The Hurricanes would be able to find a much better signal caller for the 2021 team through the transfer portal than what high school quarterback prospects are left uncommitted at this point in the recruiting cycle.

According to the, the top 41 high school senior quarterbacks are already verbally committed to a school in the class of 2021. That would mean Miami would be taking a player who barely ranks in the top 50 of senior quarterbacks and would likely need a lot of developing before being able to contribute at Miami.

Players who Miami has taken in the past who somewhat fit this bill are Matocha and Cade Weldon.

Additionally, Miami has 21 prospects verbally committed in the class of 2021 already. The Hurricanes are still pursuing several prospects on defense and are reportedly working with a cap of 24 for this recruiting class because they took Houston offensive line transfer Jarrid Williams to bolster the offensive line in 2020.

To say that space is tight in Miami’s class of 2021 would be an understatement. The Hurricanes are reportedly still actively pursuing Palm Bay Bayside’s Chase Smith and are also looking to add a third cornerback commitment to the class.

Miami is still keeping tabs on two Miami Central High prospects in running back Amari Daniels and wide receiver Yulkieth Brown as well. Add Garcia in there and that is 26 prospects for 24 spots in the class.

That math obviously does not equate. If Miami uses a scholarship on a high school quarterback other than Garcia, it is just eliminating itself from taking an additional player at another position who will help the recruiting class and team overall.

Make no mistake, Garcia should be priority number one for the Hurricanes moving forward until early signing day. He would be a talent who would immediately bolster the talent in the Hurricane quarterback room for the 2021 season and would factor in heavily to the competition for the 2022 starting quarterback position after Perry and Martell have left the program.

The Hurricanes should not be afraid to use the scholarship they are saving for Garcia on a player who doesn’t play quarterback if Garcia opts to go elsewhere. It makes more sense for Miami to sign another interested offensive skill player than a lesser-talented quarterback prospect.