In this installment of The Recruiting Notebook, we meet a defender with incredible speed and innate playmaking ability: Miami (FL) Central LB Wesley Bissainthe.
It is no secret that Miami has struggled on defense due largely to the fact that the linebackers on the roster were not up to snuff. So, in an effort to change that, the Canes targeted Miami Central 4-star LB Wesley Bissainthe to join the program.
Bissainthe is a star player at a powerhouse program, so he’s well known to Miami, and pretty much every major program in the country. There’s always an elite player (or 10) on Central’s roster, and over the last couple of years, that list has started with Bissainthe up top.
Having started, and starred on Central’s defense since his sophomore year, Bissainthe has flashed his talent early and often. But even as he was beginning his journey as a HSFB standout, one school stood out to Bissainthe: Miami.
While Bissainthe has taken visits (both official and unofficial) to Penn State, West Virginia, Florida, and Florida State, he’s taken no fewer than 12 visits to Miami over the last year and change. And, if you read the recruiting rules, you know you have to follow the visits, and that’s a LOT of visits to follow between Miami and Bissainthe.
As the 2021 season wore on, and despite nearly weekly visits to Miami, Florida State seemed to be pulling ahead for Bissainthe’s commitment. However, home won out in the end, and Bissainthe committed to Miami on December 4th.
On the 247sports composite, Bissainthe is a 4-star prospect, the #16 LB nationally, #21 in the State of Florida, and #169 player overall in this class.
Bissainthe committed to Miami over offers from Florida, Florida State, Penn State, and West Virginia from a list of 28 scholarship offers from around the country
As A Player
Bissainthe is perfectly built to play linebacker in today’s version of football. At 6’1” 205lbs he’s got good size, and can add weight to get into the 220-225 range while keeping his athleticism. That’s key, because he’ll need to beef up just a bit to combat college running games (those olinemen are BIG), but at the same time, his speed is the key factor that will allow him to also play in space if needed (and in football today, that’s needed).
Playing at Central, Bissainthe has helped the Rockets to consecutive State Championships, and will play for three-peat on Friday night. He’s played with some great players, like 2020 5-star LB Terrance Lewis (a Maryland signee who has since gone into the transfer portal) and played as good as all of them, if not better.
Bissainthe was 1st team All-Dade in 2020 with 45 tackles, 21 TFLs, and 7 sacks. That came after a sophomore season that saw Bissainthe total 7.5 sacks for the State Champion Rockets.
Instincts are part of an elite skillset for Bissainthe, but his speed and quickness set him apart. He is great in coverage, and can use his speed to affect the game from sideline to sideline. Those last 2 points are the ones that are going to be featured for Bissainthe from the moment he gets on the field at Miami.
Here’s a further evaluation of Bissainthe from 247sports Southeast Recruiting Analyst Andrew Ivins:
A new-age linebacker that can play all three downs. Not only gets the job done on Friday nights as a blitzer and gap stuffer, but has also proven to be rather serviceable in pass coverage. Tested well on the lasers the summer before junior season, which makes sense given overall play speed. Flies to the football and usually arrives on the scene with the intentions of nailing someone. Agile feet allow him to skirt blocks and make stops. Seems to be the most comfortable when he’s asked to come downhill and corral ball carriers, but understands how to turn and run with wide receivers/tight ends out of the slot or stick with running backs coming out of the backfield. Ability to close gaps is without a doubt a strength at this point in his development, but must stop over pursuing and get better at finishing off tackles. Could also get a little more flexible and will need to tack on some mass in hopes of not getting pushed around at the next level. Produced as both a sophomore and junior before turning into a team leader as a senior at one of the most storied programs in Miami-Dade. Figures to settle in as an off-ball linebacker in a 3-4 or 4-3 look given size and frame (checks in at roughly 6-foot-1, 205 pounds). Should be able to contribute after a year or two on campus and has what it take to eventually lace up the cleats on Sundays if everything comes together.
- Coverage ability
- Elite production against top competition
- Physical build (can gain a few pounds)
- Can over pursue plays (like many Miami prep defenders)
Note: changed this up from just a freshman-season outlook to a career outlook for each player last year and we’re continuing that style this year as well.
Miami is STARVED for quality linebacker play. As such, it would surprise me greatly if Bissainthe was not able to find his way onto the field early on in his collegiate career. Sure, there is a ready-made role for him on special teams, but his talents can go a long way on base defense as well.
Bissainthe is an incredibly talented player, and Miami FINALLY got out of their own way this past season and started playing the more talented players on the roster. Mario Cristobal is not coming here to mess around, and getting a player of Bissainthe’s caliber on the field as soon as possible should be high on his priority list.
If he plays to the level of his talent, Bissainthe is an All-ACC caliber player. He should have his sights set there, with a focus (like most players say at their commitment ceremonies) of being 3 and out to the NFL. And whether he stays at Miami for 3 or 4 years, Bissainthe should easily be able to make it to the league after his college career.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.