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Needs and wants for Miami in the ‘22 class

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The Hurricanes signed eight studs on ESD, but now the focus as to be on the transfer portal and February signing day.

Miami Introduces Mario Cristobal as Head Football Coach Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The Miami Hurricanes ‘22 class got started on Wednesday, December 15th on Early Signing Day. However, the incoming class is hardly over between transfer portal signees and the standard February signing day in 2022.

Cristobal’s first ESD brought in eight prospects, seven of which are four-star players including quarterback Jacurri Brown from Lowndes High School in Valdosta, GA. The other offensive player to sign was wide receiver Isaiah Horton out of Tennessee.

On the defensive side, Miami stocked up on defensive backs, a glaring weakness in Coral Gables being the cornerback position. At CB, the ‘Canes signed four-star Khamauri Rogers from Mississippi, “athlete” Chris Graves from Ft. Myers, FL, and three-star Jaden Harris out of Atlanta, GA.

The other three ESD signees were safety Markeith Williams, defensive lineman Nyjalik Kelly, and stud linebacker Wesley Bissainthe. Miami still needs a shot in the arm at multiple positions via both the transfer portal and the traditional signing day in February.


The freshmen

Shemar Stewart, DE, Florida

The top target on Mario Cristobal’s board needs to be Pace High School defensive end Shemar Stewart. Stewart, a six-foot-six, 272 pound defensive lineman out of Miami is a five-star that could serve as a 3-4 down lineman or a rush end. Picture stand-up rushers like former Hurricane Jaelan Phillips or Oregon edge Kayvon Thibodeaux. Not only is he a five-star, but he’s a homegrown blue chipper in the trenches that’s rated the 9th overall player in the nation per 247 Sports.

Kevin Coleman, WR, St. Louis

Coleman is a wide receiver from St. Louis that’s rated the 44th best player in the nation by 247. A speedy slot receiver type, Coleman is five-foot-eleven, 170 pounds. The ‘Canes will have to ‘flip’ Coleman from Florida State, which doesn’t seem difficult to do this off-season. An offense certainly can never have too many playmakers nor can it have too much speed.

Cyrus Moss, DE, Las Vegas

The 63rd overall player in the country per 247 is Cyrus Moss. Moss is a six-foot-six, 220 pound defensive end from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, NV. Miami has had their fair share of Gorman players of late and Cristobal will recruit the line positions hard and fast. Moss looks like Greg Rousseau with a tight end body but could add lean muscle and bulk up into an edge rusher. Moss has been considered a lock to Oregon, but that was then and this is now. The relationship Moss has with Cristobal could see a flip to sunny Miami instead of dreary Eugene.

TJ Dudley, LB, Alabama

Pulling a linebacker from the state of Alabama is no easy task, but Cristobal was set to land Dudley as part of his Oregon ‘22 class. Dudley is still “100%” committed to the Ducks, but a lot can change between now and February. The six-foot-one, 220 pound linebacker could be the “Mike” the ‘Canes are looking for in the future with Bissainthe at the “Will.”

Robby Snelling, LB, Reno

Snelling is a six-foot-three, 200 pound linebacker from Reno, NV. Snelling isn’t crystal balled anywhere right now, even though he’s a favorite for LSU. This puts Mario Cristobal and his authenticity up against Brian Kelly and his ‘family.’ Snelling is a four-star that could provide depth at linebacker, an area of much need for The U. Snelling is the 297th rated player per 247, and the 30th rated linebacker. He’s also a left handed pitcher with a 90 MPH fastball.

Terrance Gibbs, RB, Winter Park

Winer Park, FL running back Terrance Gibbs has yet to sign, and could be a nice flip in February. Gibbs is a six-foot, 190 pound back from Winter Park High School in Florida. A four-star player, Gibbs is leaning towards Texas and if Sark likes a RB you know he’s seen some great ones at the position and you should, too. I think two positions that need to be filled by a freshman every year are QB (thanks, Cam) and RB.


The transfers

Mario Cristobal will not settle for ‘what’s already in Coral Gables’ to be his depth chart moving forward for 2022. Coach Cristobal didn’t move 3,000+ miles to hear “he was winning the Pac-12 North but can’t win the ACC Coastal?!’ type of commentary. With that said, it looks like Marcus Banks, the cornerback from Alabama, is a lock to portal kombat over to the ‘Canes.

I’m going to list some players here that are worth LOOKING INTO, in no way am I suggesting Miami brings in three portal linebackers, but hell, if they do, maybe that means we never see Ryan Ragone getting serious playing time again.

Marcus Banks, CB, Alabama

Banks is a former four-star cornerback from Texas that has been coached by none other than Nick Saban on a daily basis as part of the Crimson Tide defense. Coach Cristobal knows Banks from his recruitment at Bama, and 247 has this as a 100% lock. Banks is six-foot, 170 pounds and could be a shot in the arm for a horrible CB room and take PT away from guys like Al Blades Jr (does he still play?), Te’Cory Couch and DJ Ivey.

Theo Wease, WR, Oklahoma

Theo Wease is a former five-star wide receiver out of Texas. Wease, a six-foot-three, 202 pound receiver, could be another former-Sooner-turned-Hurricane that breaks out by spending a season with Tyler Van Dyke as his quarterback. While you’re RB room can be too crowded your receiver room cannot. They’re more likely to pull hamstrings and tear ACL’s and when you’re running three to five on the field at a time, depth is a requirement.

Victor Oluwatimi and Bobby Haskins, OL, UVA

Oluwatimi and Haskins are the quintessential Bronco Mendenhall type of linemen. Both were underrated coming out of high school. Oluwatimi was a two-star (which means no one had a damn clue he existed until signing day) and Haskins a three-star. Oluwatimi has been UVA’s dominant center and his a hot commodity in the portal. Haskins has been the Hoos highly graded left tackle. Imagine Miami bringing in legit, NFL caliber prospects that are built to start today at center and left tackle.

Terrence Lewis and Branden Jennings, LB, Maryland

Lewis is a former five-star linebacker out of Miami Central High School and Jennings is a former four-star from Jacksonville, FL. Both are “Florida guys” who could be lured down to Miami to play linebacker for The U. In the 3-4 defense, Lewis can play will or an outside type of hybrid position. Jennings is a thumper in the middle that’s six-three, 230 pounds. You can never have too many blue chip linebackers in a 3-4 defense.

Lewis

Jennings

Jackson Bratton, LB, Alabama

Bratton is a former four-star linebacker from Muscle Shoals High School in Alabama. That puts Miami behind the 8-ball against programs in the area like Auburn, UAB, and Memphis. Bratton is six-foot-three, 233 pounds and a middle linebacker run stuffer type. Miami desperately needs one of those if they transition into an odd front defense. Hell, Miami needs to take any LB’ers they can get their hands on. One that happens to have been coached by a Nick Saban team is just even more reason to pick him up in the portal.

Jayson Jones, NT, Oregon

Jones is a former-four star out of Alabama that signed with the Ducks for the 2020 season. Jones is six-foot-six, 320 pounds of nose tackle. If Miami wants to run a 3-4 defense, like Cristobal did in Eugene, Jones is the perfect fit in the middle. Look, giant men who can move like Jones aren’t a dime a dozen and this is a must-have prospect via the portal.


The wrap

If Miami signed the bulk of these players, that would be around a 20-22 person signing class for the 2022 off-season. That’s the type of four and five star bulk the ‘Canes need to get their blue chip ratio into ACC Championship and even College Football Playoff contention. If Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and Ohio State are going to sign 70% or more blue chippers, Miami needs to as well.

Coach Cristobal wasn’t brought here to develop two and three star players, he was brought here to sign “Alabamian” type classes and then develop them into NFL talent after ACC Championship trophies were hoisted above said blue chippers heads.