In this installment of The Recruiting Notebook, we meet a very large lineman with potential to be a contributor down the line: Paramus (NJ) Catholic 3-star OT Juan Minaya.
With Mario Cristobal as Miami’s head coach, it should come as no surprise that high level talent acquisition, development, and performance along the offensive line is among the foundations of the program. To help address the talent acquisition side of things, Miami turned their attention to Paramus (NJ) Catholic OT Juan Minaya.
A known track and field athlete — shot put and discus — Minaya started getting football recruiting attention in the spring of 2022. Miami, along with Ole Miss, Pitt, Boston College, and West Virginia, reached out with scholarship offers for the Offensive Tackle.
Following his junior season, Minaya — whose nickname is “Door” because he’s as big as most standard door frames — saw continued movement in his recruitment.
For every that ask where my nickname came from— Juan “Door” Minaya (@Juan_Minaya77) June 27, 2023
Michigan State, Maryland, and Duke jumped into the fray with offers for Minaya. After that, consecutive unofficial visits to Miami moved the ball forward further. And, following those visits, Minaya committed to the Canes on April 18th.
Wanting to be sure he made the right decision, Minaya took official visits to Maryland and Duke, along with Miami — the school he’s committed to — through the month of June. Minaya stayed firm on his pledge to the Canes. He also took an unofficial visit to Hard Rock Stadium for the Texas A&M game, which he attended alongside the majority of the recruits in this class.
On the 247sports composite, Minaya is a 3-star prospect, the #78 OT nationally, #19 in the State of Ohio, and #1043 player overall in this class.
Minaya committed to Miami over finalists Duke and Maryland from a list of 16 scholarship offers from around the country.
As A Player
At 6’6” 335lbs, Minaya is a very large player, even for his position. He’s big and sturdy, and plays to his size. He’s bigger than most players he goes up against, and that will continue at the college level. There simply aren’t many people walking around of Minaya’s size.
Minaya is a monster in run blocking. He gets ahold of smaller defenders and moves them wherever he wants. On film, Minaya is routinely seen collapsing the left side of the line, and his running back finding wide open spaces behind him, for plenty of yards and touchdowns.
For a man his size, Minaya is surprisingly adept at pulling, both in the run game and screen game. And, when he gets momentum going, Minaya routinely demolishes second and third level defenders, sometimes two at a time.
Working at Left Tackle, Minaya provided solid pass protection for Paramus Catholic. He gets out of his stance quickly, and does well to combat a variety of rush moves from the opposition. Minaya will need to work on maintaining his balance, however, as there were a couple counters to rush moves that beat him. They didn’t always get home, but it’s something worth addressing as he continues to develop.
- Run blocking
- Balance in pass pro
- Overall technical development
- Relatively new to the sport
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.
Minaya is a big, malleable lump of clay. He’s raw, but physically imposing, and because of his immense size, there’s potential to develop into a player given enough time.
While I think that Minaya has the tools and potential to become a good player for Miami down the line, it’s gonna take a few seasons to get there. A redshirt and a year (or two) of rotational snaps would do Minaya well, and give him the time to develop his potential into regular performance.
With other, higher rated players in this class ahead of him, and possibly (likely?) a couple transfer as well, there shouldn’t be a need to rush Minaya onto the field. But, again, that’s actually a good thing for all parties, and should put Minaya in a place to be successful when he does finally crack the 2-deep down the line.
Minaya could be anything from also-ran to all-conference in his time at Miami. At worst, he’s a scout team/extra body/program player type of guy. At best, he’s a starter and pushing for all-conference honors. It will be several years until we know which way things are going, but lucky for Miami (and Minaya) there’s nothing but time.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.