In this installment of The Recruiting Notebook, we meet a talented running back who will add elite playmaking to the Canes’ offense: Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas 4-star RB Jordan Lyle.
Looking to add playmaking ability to the offense, the Miami Hurricanes turned their recruiting attention to Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas RB Jordan Lyle.
A 6’0” 180lb running back, Lyle plays bigger than his size, and has long been one of the top backs in South Florida. He first made a name for himself as a sophomore when he worked his way into the rotation for Aquinas as the Raiders won their 3rd consecutive State Championship. Lyle had 225 yards and two touchdowns on the ground while averaging 6.6 yards per carry, and also scored twice on receptions.
Miami joined Penn State (1st offer) and Colorado in extending Lyle a scholarship before his sophomore year. That list only grew after his showing in 2021, with teams such as Georgia, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Pitt, Maryland, South Carolina, and Oregon all offering the soon-to-be starting RB.
Lyle stepped his game up to very high levels as a junior in 2022. Leading Aquinas to yet-another State Championship — their 4th in a row — Lyle posted numbers you’d expect from a blue chip running back: 91 carries for 1,015 yards (11.2 yards per carry) and 12 TDs. Lyle also contributed 6 catches for 55 yards as a receiver, but with multiple FBS caliber receivers on the roster, that low number of catches is perfectly fine.
Following the 2022 season, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and USC all offered Lyle scholarships. His attention, however, turned to Florida State, where Lyle took his first unofficial visit, but then moved on to the duo of Miami and Ohio State.
Lyle took an unofficial visit and official visit to Columbus, and ended up committing to OSU after that official. Miami continued to recruit the talented RB through the 2023 season. Being a South Florida local, Lyle was able to take no fewer than 5 unofficial visits to Miami as the Canes pushed for a commitment flip.
While that cat and mouse game between Lyle, Miami, and Ohio State was ongoing, Lyle put together another outstanding season on the field. In leading Aquinas to their 5th consecutive State Championship, Lyle elevated his game and performance even further. 130 carries for 1,376 yards (10.6 yards per carry) and 21 TDs to go along with 13 catches for 177 yards (13.6 yards per catch) and a touchdown for an undefeated State Champion Aquinas team that plays in Florida’s largest HSFB classification.
With his 4th HS State Championship secured, Lyle fully leaned into hiss recruitment. He took an official visit to Coral Gables the weekend of December 15th, and that was enough to show him all he needed to see. Lyle flipped his commitment from Ohio State to Miami on Monday, just 2 days before the Early Signing Period.
On the 247sports composite, Lyle is a 4-star prospect, the #11 RB nationally, #20 in the State of Florida, and #145 player overall in this class.
Riley committed to Miami over a robust list of 28 scholarship offers from around the country, which included Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee among many others.
As A Player
At 6’0” 180lbs, Lyle has decent size for a running back. He could stand to develop his body up to 190+, but that would be for durability mostly. Lyle plays bigger than his size, and is a adept at finishing runs with power. Lyle keeps his legs going and falls forward on nearly every play, which is a thing you want from your running backs.
One of the things that stands out about Lyle is his ability to play through contact with balance. Defenders routinely hit Lyle during his runs, sometimes multiple times, but he’s able to shrug those off, spin off them, and keep his balance as he continues down the field. The fact that Lyle runs through contact, even heavy contact from bigger defenders, is something that helps him have the 10.3 yard per carry average that he had for his HSFB CAREER.
Lyle is efficient with his movements. He’s not a dancer; Lyle looks for a hole to use his 1-cut style to get up the field against the defense. And, when making his cuts, Lyle doesn’t drop yardage; he continues to move forward to the open space on the field.
Lyle isn’t the fastest player at this position, but he’s got above average speed and elite quickness. Put those together, and you’ll see why he’s able to break long runs during games. If things break the right way, that could continue in college, but Lyle will need to continue to work on his speed to pull away from defenders down the field.
He wasn’t used much as a receiver in HS because Aquinas is stacked with FBS talent at every skill position, but Lyle shows good instincts and hands when needed. He makes himself available as a checkdown receiver and then goes to work in open space (a major advantage for him vs opposing defenses). Lyle could also be valuable running option or angle/Texas routes against linebackers at the next level.
Lyle has the desire and technique to be a solid blitz pickup blocker. Like all HS RBs, however, this is something that he’ll need to continue to develop over time. And when he gains a bit more weight and strength, that will help him along this path as well.
- Balance through contact
- Championship pedigree (4x State Champion in HS)
- Can add weight
- Can develop as blitz pickup blocker
- Above average but not elite speed
Note: changed this up from just a freshman-season outlook to a career outlook for each player a couple years ago and we’re continuing that style this year as well.
Miami has a loaded RB room, and adding Lyle ensures that that will remain the case. And, with several players leaving the roster via transfer, there’s a chance for early playing time for Lyle should he earn it.
Mark Fletcher Jr. — the 2023 recruit Miami stole from Ohio State at the RB position — looks like the starter, but beyond that, there are questions. Tre’Vonte Citizen has all the talent and physical gifts in the world but he’s nearly 18 months removed from a knee injury sustained as a freshman and hasn’t played. Ajay Allen is a fast, explosive back who adds to the rotation. Chris Johnson is a speed back who flashed in limited snaps as a freshman. And then there’s Lyle.
The stage is set for Lyle to earn playing time early in his career. But, even if he doesn’t, the path to the RB1 job in a year or two is pretty direct. The blue chip back will have every opportunity to earn his way on the field, and when he does, he should be in a good place to make a positive impact for Miami. While anything from depth piece to starter is within the range of possibilities for Lyle, I’d lean more toward him being a rotation back first and pushing for starting time down the line a year or two.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.