Class Impact: Michael McLaughlin to Miami

Class Impact: Michael McLaughlin to Miami

Stefan Adams
2021 Marjory Stoneman Douglas (FL) OT Michael McLaughlin committed to the Miami Hurricanes on Monday after visiting for spring practice.


The 6-7 255 pounder is currently a consensus 4-star prospect in the national rankings. According to the 247Sports Composite Ranking, McLaughlin is the #299 player nationally in 2021, the #27 OT in the country, and the #45 player in the Sunshine State. His commitment moved UM’s class ranking on 247Sports up to #5 in the nation and to #5 on Rivals.


The Player

McLaughlin has probably one of the more intriguing recruiting stories of any prospect the Canes were looking at in 2021. After playing his sophomore season at Danville High up in Indiana, McLaughlin made the move to South Florida in late May of 2019 and enrolled at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, FL for his junior year. At that time, the 6-7, 255 pound defensive end and tight end was still looking for his first college offer, but, in early June, he nabbed a scholarship in an unexpected way.

While he was attending a Manny Diaz summer camp and participating in 7-on-7 play as a tight end with his team, former Miami OL coach Butch Barry pulled him aside and asked him to workout with the offensive linemen in OL/DL drills. Soon after, he had an offer from the Hurricanes as an offensive lineman; McLaughlin would return to UM multiple times in the months afterward, including for Paradise Camp, a visit for the Central Michigan game at Hard Rock Stadium in September, and for Junior Day two weekends back. The Canes were pretty clearly his unofficial leader when McLaughlin came back to campus yet again on Monday for spring practice, and he felt there was no reason to hold off any longer. He chose Miami over Florida State, Ole Miss, UVA, Kentucky, and Virginia Tech among others.

I was able to evaluate McLaughlin in-person last June at Paradise Camp in what was his second time ever playing on the OL. Against some of the top defensive linemen in the area, he predictably flopped, getting dominated by power rushers running right through him, and not having the technique or handwork to take advantage of his length and quickness against speed rushers on the edge; his stance, leverage, and body positioning were pretty awkward as well. Watching that performance and then seeing McLaughlin’s junior tape from this fall makes you appreciate more just how far he’s come in just a few short months.

On film, McLaughlin surprisingly shows a ton of ability to drive block in the run game despite his slight frame. Shows plus aggression to run through his target and clear out space for the ballcarrier; looks to devastatingly finish his matchups. That natural strength bodes well for his future prospects once he actually gets into a college strength and conditioning program; obviously needs to gain a ton of weight to hold up at the next level. Shows some awareness to look for work when a defender isn’t directly rushing at him. His pass sets are going to continue to need a lot of work and still look uncomfortable at times, but he absolutely has a better grasp of what he needs to be doing and why he needs to be doing it, showing he can execute the basics in pass protection. Long frame, and step distance can cover more ground on the outside with better angles. With his length and improved hand placement, has the upside to shut down even the best speed rushers off the edge. Nowhere near a finished product, but ultimately, he has improved exponentially from Paradise Camp, and with such a great learning curve, you love to see that he’s on the right trajectory.

At Rivals Miami last month, he also bested 4-star Gators DL commit Tyreak Sapp on a few reps, proving that he can carry over his improvement to highest levels of competition in his age group. Off the field, McLaughlin is strong in the classroom (4.16 GPA) and is also a two sport star in basketball.


The Class

McLaughlin is the 10th commit overall in the 2021 class and the second O-Lineman along with Miami Central 4-star OG Laurence Seymore. Right now, that’s quite a start for UM at a huge position of need, with McLaughlin acting as a high-upside developmental talent on the edge, and Seymore playing the role of physically-ready interior monster. The Canes took way less OL last cycle (2) than they really needed, and with the overall numbers down at this spot on the roster, Miami is going to look to take at least 4 and possibly 5 linemen in 2021.

Arguably Miami’s top target at tackle for nearly a year now has been Brentwood Academy (TN) 4-star Eli Sutton, who has heavy family ties in the area despite being from out of state. Sutton has been a regular visitor to campus since being offered last spring, and also recently put UM in his top 7. With a tentative decision scheduled for June, the Canes will hope to get close to locking him up during his planned spring visit later this month. Sutton also has upcoming visits scheduled to Northwestern this weekend and UNC on March 28th.

Ever since Columbus (FL) 3-star Ryan Rodriguez was offered in January, it seems he’s been on commit watch. The local product recently visited UM for their Junior Day event and comes from a huge family of Hurricanes fans. Miami is looking to fill their center spot on the line with Rodriguez, who is expected to be on campus for tomorrow’s spring practice. As a recruit that has just started getting college attention, Rodriguez recently told CIS that he’d like to make a few other visits (including to Louisville) before making a commitment, but as we’ve seen many times in recruiting, that plan could change at any moment.

Assuming things go well with Sutton and Rodriguez, UM has made moves to position themselves if they decide to use a 5th spot on an offensive lineman. Wayne County (GA) 4-star OG Weston Franklin is a favorite of OL coach Garin Justice and has been going back and forth trying to set a visit date in stone with Miami. Recent 3-star OT offeree Terry Wells from Wynne (AR) is also in the process of trying to set up a spring visit to Miami despite being a current commitment to Arkansas. Miami also recently handed out bids to Trinity Catholic (FL) teammates 4-star OT Caleb Johnson and 3-star OC Jake Slaughter, and either could become realistic options for this class. A name to keep an eye on locally that’s under the radar right now would be Miami Norland (FL) OG Michael Marshall, who already has a UM offer but could become a take down the line if he continues to progress.


The Team

Justice has his work cut out for him after inheriting an OL group that has some dead weight from recruiting misses and is known for some truly awful play over the past few years. Miami has experimented heavily with different lineups to start spring thus far, and it doesn’t seem like anybody’s job is safe or guaranteed in the early going. Along with only one expected offseason departure (Navaughn Donaldson) before McLaughlin hits campus in 2021, all of those factors would seem to favor a freshman lineman in search of early playing time.

However, with less than a year of experience playing the position at this point, McLaughlin is a true developmental prospect that is going to need time and weight before he can be expected to contribute at the college level. While guys like Zion Nelson have proven that developmental prospects can play early on the line at Miami, he is the exception, not the rule, and most everyone saw last year why taking time to get some seasoning and not being thrown straight into the fire is preferable for those type of linemen. Eventually, though, the length, frame, and athleticism McLaughlin possesses could propel him into a high NFL Draft pick; his upside is that limitless.

 

Comments (17)

2021 Marjory Stoneman Douglas (FL) OT Michael McLaughlin committed to the Miami Hurricanes on Monday after visiting for spring practice.


The 6-7 255 pounder is currently a consensus 4-star prospect in the national rankings. According to the 247Sports Composite Ranking, McLaughlin is the #299 player nationally in 2021, the #27 OT in the country, and the #45 player in the Sunshine State. His commitment moved UM’s class ranking on 247Sports up to #5 in the nation and to #5 on Rivals.


The Player

McLaughlin has probably one of the more intriguing recruiting stories of any prospect the Canes were looking at in 2021. After playing his sophomore season at Danville High up in Indiana, McLaughlin made the move to South Florida in late May of 2019 and enrolled at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, FL for his junior year. At that time, the 6-7, 255 pound defensive end and tight end was still looking for his first college offer, but, in early June, he nabbed a scholarship in an unexpected way.

While he was attending a Manny Diaz summer camp and participating in 7-on-7 play as a tight end with his team, former Miami OL coach Butch Barry pulled him aside and asked him to workout with the offensive linemen in OL/DL drills. Soon after, he had an offer from the Hurricanes as an offensive lineman; McLaughlin would return to UM multiple times in the months afterward, including for Paradise Camp, a visit for the Central Michigan game at Hard Rock Stadium in September, and for Junior Day two weekends back. The Canes were pretty clearly his unofficial leader when McLaughlin came back to campus yet again on Monday for spring practice, and he felt there was no reason to hold off any longer. He chose Miami over Florida State, Ole Miss, UVA, Kentucky, and Virginia Tech among others.

I was able to evaluate McLaughlin in-person last June at Paradise Camp in what was his second time ever playing on the OL. Against some of the top defensive linemen in the area, he predictably flopped, getting dominated by power rushers running right through him, and not having the technique or handwork to take advantage of his length and quickness against speed rushers on the edge; his stance, leverage, and body positioning were pretty awkward as well. Watching that performance and then seeing McLaughlin’s junior tape from this fall makes you appreciate more just how far he’s come in just a few short months.

On film, McLaughlin surprisingly shows a ton of ability to drive block in the run game despite his slight frame. Shows plus aggression to run through his target and clear out space for the ballcarrier; looks to devastatingly finish his matchups. That natural strength bodes well for his future prospects once he actually gets into a college strength and conditioning program; obviously needs to gain a ton of weight to hold up at the next level. Shows some awareness to look for work when a defender isn’t directly rushing at him. His pass sets are going to continue to need a lot of work and still look uncomfortable at times, but he absolutely has a better grasp of what he needs to be doing and why he needs to be doing it, showing he can execute the basics in pass protection. Long frame, and step distance can cover more ground on the outside with better angles. With his length and improved hand placement, has the upside to shut down even the best speed rushers off the edge. Nowhere near a finished product, but ultimately, he has improved exponentially from Paradise Camp, and with such a great learning curve, you love to see that he’s on the right trajectory.

At Rivals Miami last month, he also bested 4-star Gators DL commit Tyreak Sapp on a few reps, proving that he can carry over his improvement to highest levels of competition in his age group. Off the field, McLaughlin is strong in the classroom (4.16 GPA) and is also a two sport star in basketball.


The Class

McLaughlin is the 10th commit overall in the 2021 class and the second O-Lineman along with Miami Central 4-star OG Laurence Seymore. Right now, that’s quite a start for UM at a huge position of need, with McLaughlin acting as a high-upside developmental talent on the edge, and Seymore playing the role of physically-ready interior monster. The Canes took way less OL last cycle (2) than they really needed, and with the overall numbers down at this spot on the roster, Miami is going to look to take at least 4 and possibly 5 linemen in 2021.

Arguably Miami’s top target at tackle for nearly a year now has been Brentwood Academy (TN) 4-star Eli Sutton, who has heavy family ties in the area despite being from out of state. Sutton has been a regular visitor to campus since being offered last spring, and also recently put UM in his top 7. With a tentative decision scheduled for June, the Canes will hope to get close to locking him up during his planned spring visit later this month. Sutton also has upcoming visits scheduled to Northwestern this weekend and UNC on March 28th.

Ever since Columbus (FL) 3-star Ryan Rodriguez was offered in January, it seems he’s been on commit watch. The local product recently visited UM for their Junior Day event and comes from a huge family of Hurricanes fans. Miami is looking to fill their center spot on the line with Rodriguez, who is expected to be on campus for tomorrow’s spring practice. As a recruit that has just started getting college attention, Rodriguez recently told CIS that he’d like to make a few other visits (including to Louisville) before making a commitment, but as we’ve seen many times in recruiting, that plan could change at any moment.

Assuming things go well with Sutton and Rodriguez, UM has made moves to position themselves if they decide to use a 5th spot on an offensive lineman. Wayne County (GA) 4-star OG Weston Franklin is a favorite of OL coach Garin Justice and has been going back and forth trying to set a visit date in stone with Miami. Recent 3-star OT offeree Terry Wells from Wynne (AR) is also in the process of trying to set up a spring visit to Miami despite being a current commitment to Arkansas. Miami also recently handed out bids to Trinity Catholic (FL) teammates 4-star OT Caleb Johnson and 3-star OC Jake Slaughter, and either could become realistic options for this class. A name to keep an eye on locally that’s under the radar right now would be Miami Norland (FL) OG Michael Marshall, who already has a UM offer but could become a take down the line if he continues to progress.


The Team

Justice has his work cut out for him after inheriting an OL group that has some dead weight from recruiting misses and is known for some truly awful play over the past few years. Miami has experimented heavily with different lineups to start spring thus far, and it doesn’t seem like anybody’s job is safe or guaranteed in the early going. Along with only one expected offseason departure (Navaughn Donaldson) before McLaughlin hits campus in 2021, all of those factors would seem to favor a freshman lineman in search of early playing time.

However, with less than a year of experience playing the position at this point, McLaughlin is a true developmental prospect that is going to need time and weight before he can be expected to contribute at the college level. While guys like Zion Nelson have proven that developmental prospects can play early on the line at Miami, he is the exception, not the rule, and most everyone saw last year why taking time to get some seasoning and not being thrown straight into the fire is preferable for those type of linemen. Eventually, though, the length, frame, and athleticism McLaughlin possesses could propel him into a high NFL Draft pick; his upside is that limitless.

Is this year Herbert's last year of eligibility too ?
 
Kid's gonna put on weight no matter what as long as he's getting surplus calories. If he's on point about his nutrition he's gonna put on all good weight and be an animal. Still young enough that he might put on another inch or two.

We're so f@#$ed on OL because we hardly have depth as it is, which means you can't wait on guys that come in at 260 to grow. Need to get back to getting dudes like this that can put on good weight. And then not start them until their RS juniors.
 
hes the kid that had that dumbass commitment video and committed to michigan rite ???
I never remember him ever being committed to Michigan but you might be right
 
hes the kid that had that dumbass commitment video and committed to michigan rite ???
Video was awesome and creative. Don’t be a Walking Dead hater.
 
Good prospect. His length, quick feet and athleticism takes away the speed rush. That's a good start. Moves well and got into his pass set quickly on the few pass plays on his highlight reel. His hand placement needs work and he obviously needs to get stronger, add weight. Those are easily correctable. This kid has a tremendous potential. I'm hoping this staff can develop this kid into the player he can be.
 
This kid finishes his blocks In a dominating way. Love it.
 
His frame is legit.

Project Tackle....but we dont typically get Project Tackles with his frame down here much.

He has a Sam Young comp for me...not as tall but could have that trajectory weigh wise and ability.
We don't get any tackles lol
 
Let’s get 4-5 OL commits and hope that Garin can work some magic with what he’s got in the ranks right now. If he can make a player out of Hebert, Hillary, etc then we can get recruits like MaLaughlin and RS them, allow them to gain muscle weight and strength and have some really nice depth for a change. Things are bleak enough, but I hope we don’t have to thrust another kid into the starting lineup like we had to with Zion.
 
His frame is legit.

Project Tackle....but we dont typically get Project Tackles with his frame down here much.

He has a Sam Young comp for me...not as tall but could have that trajectory weigh wise and ability.
Sam Young was special coming out of Aquinas, raw but more physically ready than McLaughlin. Shame he picked a shitty ND team and didnt get developed. Really hope that is an accurate comparison as Young was viewed as the next big thing.
 

2021 Commits

OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
215
Hollywood, FL
OT
6'7"
255
Pompano Beach, FL
CB
5'10"
145
Miami, FL
TE
6'2"
205
Miami, FL
OLB
6'3"
205
Miami, FL
TE
6'5"
220
Miami, FL
K
5'11"
140
Hollywood, FL
OLB
6'2"
200
Homestead, FL

Latest Predictions

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2020 Schedule

09/05
Temple
Miami Gardens, FL
09/12
Wagner
Miami Gardens, FL
09/17
UAB
Miami Gardens, FL
09/26
Michigan State
East Lansing, MI
10/03
Pittsburgh
Miami Gardens, FL
10/09
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, NC
10/24
North Carolina
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10/31
Virginia
Charlottesville, VA
11/07
Florida State
Miami Gardens, FL
11/14
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA
11/21
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, GA
11/28
Duke
Miami Gardens, FL
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