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Miami Hurricanes 2024 Recruiting Notebook: EDGE Cole McConathy

The most productive pass rusher in Alabama HSFB history joins the Canes.

One of the most productive players in Alabama HSFB history, McConathy could be a gem for the Canes.
247sports

In this installment of The Recruiting Notebook, we meet a record-setting pass rusher who could be one of the gems of this recruiting class: Spanish Fort (AL) 3-star EDGE Cole McConathy.

Bio

Looking to add talent and depth along the defensive line, Miami turned their recruiting attention to Spanish Fort (AL) EDGE Cole McConathy.

Well, actually, that’s not true: Miami’s attention was turned to McConathy with a phone call from a former NFL QB. Former Chargers QB Phillip Rivers, now coaching HSFB in Alabama, played against McConathy and Spanish Fort in September. Following that game, Rivers reached out to the coach who recruited him to NC State — Miami analyst and former DL coach Todd Stroud — and told him there was a kid that Miami needed to add to their radar ASAP.

After that call, Miami looked into McConathy, liked what they saw, and made the talented EDGE rusher a priority. By the time Miami had come around, McConathy had gone through the majority — I’m sure he thought it was the entirety — of his recruiting process.

After a couple decent years for Spanish Fort, McConathy elevated his game immensely as a junior in 2022. He posted an insane stat line: 110 tackles, 39 TFL, 22 sacks, 6 FF, and an interception. That performance led to several teams contacting him and getting involved in his recruitment.

McConathy took a pair of unofficial visits to Louisville, and mixed in a junior day visit to Florida in the early part of 2023. Following that, he took official visits to Louisville, Mizzou, and Virginia, but decided Louisville was the spot for him and committed to the Cardinals in July.

Fast forward to the fall, Miami lobbed a scholarship offer to McConathy following the Rivers/Stroud phone conversation, and made quick moves with the Louisville commit. An unofficial visit for the Virginia game and consistent contact through the season did the job: McConathy flipped to Miami on November 15th. He followed that up with an official visit just before the early signing period to solidify the connection.

If you were wondering if his increased recruitment during his senior season distracted McConathy on the field, the answer is no. The standout edge rusher had yet another strong season for Spanish Fort: 111 tackles, 36.5 TFL, an Alabama state record 24.5 sacks, 38 QB hurries, 5 PBUs, 4 FF, and 3 blocked FGs. Additionally, McConathy’s season earned him the Alabama HSFB career sack record, with 63 sacks in his illustrious career.

Recruiting Ranking

On the 247sports composite, McConathy is a 3-star prospect, the #78 EDGE nationally, #46 in the State of Alabama, and #1103 player overall in this class.

McConathy flipped his commitment to Miami after previously being committed to Louisville, as well as finalists Missouri and Virginia from a robust list of 27 scholarship offers from around the country.

As A Player

At 6’5” 235lbs, McConathy has a great build for an EDGE. He could gain some weight, but he’s not woefully undersized or anything. McConathy is ripped and very muscularly defined. In short, if he’s modeling jerseys, they’re gonna sell.

McConathy has great quickness and his reaction to the snap is incredible. He’s routinely able to beat opposing linemen with this quick twitch athletic ability. This is also a weapon for McConathy when he moves inside (which he does at times for Spanish Fort) and goes up against less athletic interior linemen. Remember what Gregory Rousseau did against interior OL? That’s what McConathy does. Same thing.

Speed to power is among McConathy’s favorite pass rushing moves. He’s regularly seen flinging OL out of his way on his march to the QB. He’ll need to get even stronger at the college level to do that against bigger/stronger OL, but McConathy has a frame to add good weight and get stronger while doing so.

There are times where McConathy drops into coverage in a zone blitz package. This is something Miami EDGEs do in our defense, so there’s a synergy for McConathy. It’s not something he’ll do often, but he has the ability to do it in limited instances.

Lastly, McConathy plays with a relentless motor. He plays through the echo of the whistle, and that is another mentality thing that could be used on the Miami roster. I’m sure some of McConathy’s state-record 63 sacks were earned because he refused to quit on the play.

Strengths

  • Record-setting productivity (63 career sacks)
  • Height
  • Muscular definition
  • Motor/tenacity

Weaknesses

  • Can add weight
  • More quick than fast

Miami Outlook

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.

McConathy is an interesting prospect. His statistics are those of a high 4-star player, he’s got the physical build of a high 4-star player, he’s played at a major HSFB classification against the competition of a high 4-star player.....yet he’s ranked as a low 3-star.

Miami rotates the DL throughout games, so there is the chance McConathy can earn snaps early in his career. Obviously, his primary usage to start would be rushing the passer, but the thing that will determine his ability to stay on the field will be his run defense.

Miami DL coach Jason Taylor has already had success with guys like Akheem Mesidor and reigning ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year Rueben Bain. At a minimum, McConathy should develop into a rotation player at EDGE who won’t hurt the defense when he checks into the game. At best, he’s an all-conference type of player who Miami leans on to make plays and win games.


That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.

Go Canes