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Miami Hurricanes Recruiting Look Ahead: National Prospects

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In part 3 of the Recruiting look ahead for the #Swag16 class, we focus on the top National targets from outside of Florida.

Will the Canes make a run at the top ranked player in the class of 2016, DT Rashan Gary from NJ?
Will the Canes make a run at the top ranked player in the class of 2016, DT Rashan Gary from NJ?
247Sports

After having looked at the prospects from Florida (well, focusing on South Florida mainly, but including the rest of the State as well) for Miami's 2016 recruiting class, we now take our focus Out of State to the National Prospects.

This is the place where we will have many players pop up on the radar who Hurricanes fans probably haven't heard of. And, with a couple hundred thousand HSFB players, that's to be expected.

Miami has had some success landing OOS players in recent years, getting Al-Quaddin Muhammad, Brad Kaaya, and Lawrence Cager from non-Florida locales. The Canes have also struggled to bring in the über elite National Prospects, missing out on the likes of John Houston and Rasheem Green in the 2015 cycle.

Again, this isn't a definitive list. But, it's a good place to start for now.

OFFENSIVE PLAYERS

 

When you look at the Canes' depth chart, most of the skill players are from Florida. This has been the case for many, many years. And, with 8 such players already committed in the #Swag16 class, this figures to carry over into this class as well.

While this is the Year of the Receiver locally, there are still a couple national targets who Miami is linked with. But, the big thing that Miami will look to add nationally are the big guys: Tight End and OL.

WR Dymond Lee (6'2" 174lbs), Chaminade HS, West Hills, CA

Yes, I know that South Florida is stacked with receivers. But, if there's one from outside of the tri-county area to go after, it's Lee. He's a former teammate of starting QB/franchise/face-of-the-program Brad Kaaya and 2015 signee Bar Milo. Kaaya and Lee had great on-field chemistry, with Lee having 44 catches for 848yds and 9 TDs in 2013 (Kaaya's Sr season).

Lee has a silky smooth game, and should be a very good player at the next level. Unfortunately for Miami, he's said he prefers to stay close to home for college. But, after having gotten a franchise QB (with whom Lee clearly worked well) and very good OL from Chaminade in the past 2 recruiting cycles, it's worth the time to at least see if we can change Lee's mind.

WR Isaiah Graham (6'1" 180lbs), Bastrop HS, Bastrop, LA

Graham is a talented player from a very rich recruiting area. He put up gaudy stats in his junior year, tallying 48 catches for 1,138 yards and 20 touchdowns. He has good speed and agility, and his testing stats show up on the field during games.

Graham recently said that Miami has been in constant contact with him, and that could bode well if we try to make a run at Graham as this cycle progresses.

TE/DE/ATH Devin Asiasi (6'5" 260lbs), De La Salle HS, Concord, CA

Asiasi is a very good jumbo athlete who excels on both sides of the ball. At Tight End, he has good hands, runs fairly well (although he won't be confused with anybody's speed merchant), and has a nasty streak as a blocker. There's a crackback on his HUDL highlights (below) at the 2:57 mark that the defender is still feeling.

While Asiasi could be a very nice Tight End, he may profile better on defense. He was 1st team All-League at Defensive End, and definitely has the prototypical size to be an impact player on this side of the ball. Asiasi has said that while he personally views himself as a Tight End, he's open to playing Defense in the future if that's what his coaches feel is best for him. And, he comes from a school where Miami has had recruiting success (albeit more than a decade ago), as Asiasi hails from the same HS Alma Mater as former Hurricane and longtime NFL LB D.J. Williams.

TE/DE/ATH Devin Asiasi (6'5" 260lbs), De La Salle HS, Concord, CA

Asiasi is a very good jumbo athlete who excels on both sides of the ball. At Tight End, he has good hands, runs fairly well (although he won't be confused with anybody's speed merchant), and has a nasty streak as a blocker. There's a crackback on his HUDL highlights (below) at the 2:57 mark that the defender is still feeling.

While Asiasi could be a very nice Tight End, he may profile better on defense. He was 1st team All-League at Defensive End, and definitely has the prototypical size to be an impact player on this side of the ball. Asiasi has said that while he personally views himself as a Tight End, he's open to playing Defense in the future if that's what his coaches feel is best for him. And, he comes from a school where Miami has had recruiting success (albeit more than a decade ago), as Asiasi hails from the same HS Alma Mater as former Hurricane and longtime NFL LB D.J. Williams.

TE Naseir "Pop" Upshur (6'3" 233lbs), Imhotep Institute, Philadelphia, PA

Another top TE prospect from the Keystone State, Upshur is a player who lists Miami among his 38 offers. He is much more of a blocker than Angeline and finishes his blocks with aggression. Upshur is also a capable receiver from the Tight End position. And, like Asiasi, Upshur twilights on the defensive side of the ball at DE.

Upshur visited Coral Gables for Junior Day back in January. 43% of his Crystal Ball predictions have him choosing Miami, but any final resolution is a long way away. Broken record time: get him on campus for an Official Visit, then we can talk seriously about the prospects of signing Upshur on NSD 2016.

WR/TE Michael Irvin Jr. (6'3" 212lbs), Prestonwood Christian, Plano, TX, St. Thomas Aquinas HS, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

So, I had to edit this one. After having recently withdrawn from Prestonwood Christian, it appears that Playmaker Jr. is following the footsteps of his father by transferring to St. Thomas Aquinas for his senior year of HS.

 

 

Irvin Jr. is a big athlete for a WR. So much so, that some think that he's destined to switch to Tight End at the next level. And, as I've said in this section before, TE is one of the spots where Miami COULD use another player in this class. Regardless of where he ends up, it's clear that Irvin Jr. has talent. In a game against burgeoning powerhouse IMG Academy, Irvin had 21 catches. Yeah, in THAT ONE GAME.

Irvin Jr. uses his big frame well, and has his father's ability to make catches over the middle of the defense without fear. He had over 100 catches his junior year, so he has to be doing something right, yanno? Hopefully if Irvin Jr. ends up in Miami, his career lives up to the standard set by his father. A tall task, I know, but hey, we can hope, right?

 

Going big  for Offensive Line

After taking 6 players along the Offensive Line in 2015, this is an area where Miami doesn't need big numbers in the #Swag16 class. What we could use, however, is one or two top tier talents  to add some star power to a position group that lacks a can't-miss star. And, while one of the FL prospects previously listed may be a good player who Miami would take, the National prospect pool is where the star power would likely come from.

OT Ben Bredeson (6'5" 270lbs), Arrowhead HS, Hartland, WI

Bredeson is a 5-star player from Wisconsin. Usually, 5-star OL from Wisconsin go to Wisconsin, but sometimes players want to blaze their own path.

Miami once pulled #1 overall recruit Seantrel Henderson from Minnesota when it was widely thought they had no chance, and the hope here is for a repeat of that recruitment (but a better and more steady collegiate career).

OT Willie Allen (6'7" 300lbs), John Curtis HS, New Orleans, LA

Another 5-star talent, Allen plays for Louisiana powerhouse John Curtis HS. He was first team all-state, and holds 26 offers currently. But, for a player of Allen's size and ability, expect him to receive many more throughout the cycle. Allen is a big and VERY physical player. Any team in America would love to have him on their roster.

OT Jauan Williams (6'7" 303lbs), Archbishop Carroll HS, Washington, D.C.

Yes, another big, athletic, physical lineman. Williams currently has 40 scholarship offers, with Alabama sticking out the most to him currently. At this point, though, there isn't a consensus as to where Williams will ply his trade at the collegiate level. So, there's still a chance that the destination could be Coral Gables.

OT J.P. Urquidez (6'5.5" 300lbs), Copperas Grove HS, Copperas Grove, TX

This is the player we'll probably find out about first. Urquidez, who visited Coral Gables for 3 days in March, is scheduled to make his announcement on Monday night.

 

 

Even in spite of a positive visit, most think that Urquidez will commit to Baylor when he announces.

OT Frank Martin II (6'5" 301lbs), Mater Dei HS, Los Angeles, CA

Martin is a very good player along the OL. I'll keep this one short though: Mater Dei is pretty well known as one of the USC piepelines in Los Angeles. Even with Miami's relative success in pulling 4-star kids from Cali the last 2 cycles (Brad Kaaya and Bar Milo), it'll take something like a miracle to pry Martin away from USC.

OG Michael Onwenu (6'2" 310lbs), Cass Technical HS, Detroit, MI

A stocky and powerful interior lineman, Onwenu is a player whose recruitment has picked up recently. With Jim Harbaugh taking over at Michigan, one of the big pushes has been to keep top local talent home, not an easy task when you're recruiting against Michigan State, Ohio State, and others. But, with this renewed focus locally for Michigan, Onwenu is a player who has been one of the top targets for the Maize and Blue.

Onwenu has 6 offers, with Miami being on that list. He has said good things about the Canes, but with the attention I think he's about to get from the aforementioned teams who are closer to home, I find it hard to believe that he'll come to Coral Gables for anything more than a "free trip to South Beach" visit, if that.

DEFENSIVE PLAYERS

DT Rashan Gary (6'4" 290lbs), Paramus Catholic HS, Paramus, NJ

If ever there were a time for Al Golden and Mark D'Onofrio to use their connections in the Northeast to get a player, this is it. Gary is a beast at DT, a position where Miami is still looking for a difference making, top-of-the-line player. If everything goes Miami's way in this recruitment, Gary could be that player.

Gary already holds 27 offers, but expect that number to be closer to 60 by the time all is said and done. He'll be attending Nike's The Opening, and every major school in America will be in on this recruitment.

DT Edwin Alexander (6'2" 310lbs), St. Thomas Aquinas HS, New Orleans, LA

Yup, another DT (you'll see this is a theme). Alexander, like Gary, is a 5-star talent who has most of teh country chasing after his commitment. LSU currently leads his recruitment, and are the favorites to land this talented and disruptive defender.

DT Rashard Lawrence (6'3" 305lbs), Neville HS, Monroe, LA

Yup. You guessed it: another DT. Lawrence, like Gary and Alexander, is ANOTHER 5-star, top 20 national player that Miami is after to solidify their interior DL. It'd be a good fit too, since Lawrence's HS plays both 3 and 4 man fronts, something that Miami has gone to in recent years.

Lawrence might be a tough pull, however, considering 100% of predictions for Lawrence's commitment have him going to LSU.

DT Glen Logan (6'4" 270lbs), Destrehan HS, Destrehan, LA

Unlike the other players in this section, Logan is a 4-star recruit. But, he's still a very good player who could definitely be a welcomed addition to the Canes' roster.

Apart from his physical skills, the important thing about Logan is his love of the Canes. He said in an interview with InsideTheU.com that "Miami was and is my dream school" ($). Now, we know that being a kid's "dream school" hasn't worked out too often in recent years, but this coaching staff has to do everything in their power to reverse that trend. And, if they're going to do that, Logan is the player who they should start with, in my opinion.

DE/DT Darius Whitfield (6'3.5" 265lbs), St. Paul's Episcopal School, Mobile, AL

Another highly talented player from SEC country, Whitfield is a guy who can swing between DE and DT when needed. He's very quick for a player his size, and plenty strong to handle nearly any lineman at the HS level.

Whitfield is thought to be high on Alabama, but Miami has been a constant in his recruitment. It's super duper ridiculously early in this process, but if the Canes can get Logan and Whitfield, that's a homerun in my mind.

DE Ron Johnson (6'4" 240lbs), Camden HS, Camden, NJ

Back to Golden and D'Onofrio's old stomping grounds of New Jersey for this talented edge defender. Johnson's list has South Carolina, Michigan, Penn State and others at the top right now, but that could change. He's been on record saying that he wants to check out Alabama and Miami, and positive visits there could shift things around for him.

As he's more in the mold of players who are available locally, missing out on Johnson wouldn't be the death knell to this class. But, getting the talented 4-star recruit would bolster the roster even further.

LB Michael Divinity (6'2" 218lbs), John Ehret HS, Marrero, LA

Yes, I know the Canes already have 4 LBs committed in this class. But, you can never have too many options, right? Divinity is a talented OLB who has a 4-star ranking and is a top 100 recruit in this class. I don't know if we'd take 5 LBs in this class, but he would clearly be an upgrade over a couple of the guys we have committed. NOT saying we should drop them for him, but Divinity is a player who we'd find a place for, should he want one.

That could all be a moot point, however, since most predictions have him heading to LSU at current.

That's it for now. Which player do you want the Canes to get? Leave a comment and vote in the poll below.

GO CANES!!!