Class Impact: Michael Tarquin to Miami

Class Impact: Michael Tarquin to Miami

Stefan Adams
2019 Belleview OT Michael Tarquin committed to the Canes on Saturday afternoon on his visit for the UM spring scrimmage.

The 6-5, 290-pounder is currently a 4-star in the national rankings. According to the 247Sports Composite, Tarquin is the #275 player nationally, #26 OT in the country, and the #42 player in the Sunshine State. His commitment moves Miami’s class ranking up to 7th on 247Sports and 8th on Rivals.

The Player

Miami is recruiting Tarquin as a pure tackle prospect, with coach Stacy Searels telling him that he’ll play both right and left tackle. I’m a big fan of what Tarquin brings to Miami and what he can potentially be molded into with more refining. Entering his senior year of high school, Tarquin is already an advanced run-blocker and shows top-notch athletic ability, with movement skills that are smooth and unencumbered for a man of his size. There isn't an angle block he can't get to and Tarquin has no trouble reaching the second level of a defense, featuring smooth climbs to linebackers as a work-up blocker. Belleview loved running RB screens to his side of the field and it was a very effective play for them, in part because it allowed Tarquin to showcase his athleticism in getting out in front downfield to pummel linebackers and defensive backs.

He also has the lateral quickness in the run game to cross-face from the backside and direct and seal his man on the play-side. Tarquin is a punisher and doesn’t stop until he drives his opponent to the ground; if he gets his hands on a defender and locks on, it’s over.

In terms of pass blocking, he can take quick settle steps, then sink down and scoop defensive ends on base blocks. His footwork allows him an extra half-second more to get into his set and then drive block from his base. Tarquin can meet edge speed with quick sets in pass pro and is adept at using his hands to fight off a defender’s initial punch to give him time to reset. He’s very balanced in his pass sets and keeps his man centered on his block.

The Class

Tarquin’s commitment brings the total class numbers to 11, marking the Canes’ second offensive lineman pledge. Atlantic Coast (FL) 3-star Kingsley Eguakun is already on the commit list and we were told he was Miami’s first and only target at the center position. He’s as solid as can be and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Where does this leave Surge19? Well, with three senior starters graduating and depth still a problem area on the offensive line, UM is likely aiming for four linemen in the class, and five is not out of the question if the space is there and it’s the right guy.

IMG Academy (FL) OT/OG Evan Neal continues to be the top target on the line for Miami; despite a great recent visit to FSU, sources close to Neal still feel he’s a Hurricane. The jury’s still out on if he’ll play tackle or guard at the next level, but either way, Neal is a must get for UM. The Canes will also shoot their shot on Huntington (WV) OT Darnell Wright. Until he gets on campus, it’s hard to tell just how much of a player Miami is with Wright, but keep in mind coach Hartley used to coach at Marshall and has tons of West Virginia-area recruiting connections.

Slightly further down the board, Plant (FL) OG Will Putnam is a name that keeps being thrown around, and Miami is trying to ramp up their efforts there. A class of Eguakun, Tarquin, Neal, and Putnam would no doubt look shiny rankings-wise, but still leaves UM with only one surefire tackle prospect if Neal does end up at guard. This has been a weakness in Miami recruiting lately, the propensity to take too many OT/OG tweeners, only to find out later when they get on campus that most of them fit better at guard, and then being stuck with a lack of true tackles on the roster.

That’s where we go to Miami Northwestern (FL) OT Mark Fox and Doral Academy (FL) OT Wardrick Wilson, who were both invited recruits at the spring game on Saturday and have legit interest in Miami, although neither currently hold an offer from UM. Fox in particular has long been waiting on a UM offer and raved to CIS about his spring game trip, also saying it was a “great experience to see college linemen work”. The two are currently committed to SEC schools, Fox to South Carolina and Wilson to UF; if the Canes pull the trigger on offering either, things will get really interesting, and UM would certainly be in prime position to make the flip.

The staff will also continue to scour the state and the rest of the country for hidden gems at O-Line and it’s very possible someone not currently on the radar ends up in the class. Offensive line is a position where you see a lot of late bloomers and the light go on for guys during their senior seasons.

The Team

The Tarquin pick-up is huge not only from a talent perspective, but also because OT is the position on the team that is struggling the most right now, the issue being the Canes have way too many guard-types and not a lot of true tackle-based substances on the O-Line. Coach Stacy Searels has been upfront about the struggles to find reliability at the position, saying last week that he usually has 2 tackles he can trust at this point in the year; right now, he only has one.

Tyler Gauthier, Tyree St. Louis, and Jahair Jones all graduate after this season, leaving a huge hole on the left side of the line for 2019. Replacing St. Louis at left tackle seems like it will be especially difficult, as nobody has really set themselves up as an heir-apparent to take over for him as of the end of spring practice. Predicting a true freshman to come in and start at left tackle is dubious at best and offensive line is one of those positions that it’s hard to truly tell what you have until they show up on campus. However, Tarquin will enroll early in January to participate in spring ball 2019, setting himself up to potentially compete to at least get reps in the two-deep at either tackle spot. There’s no reason why Tarquin can’t be in the starting lineup at left or right tackle by his sophomore year in 2020.


Comments (9)

Tarquin is a huge get. Wonder if big Vaughn would slide to LT next year and Neal/Tarquin would take that RT spot. All depends on how Vaughn handles his business this year and if we somehow land Wright, he’s starting at LT tackle day 1.
Still alot of work to be done on the Oline but this is a great get. OT is an issue for us thats why the Cunningham decommitment was bigger than people made it out to be. Neal is a must get and I think he has the ability to play tackle plus a 6'7 guard is not ideal.
Idk y that kid Putnam name keeps getting thrown out. Ive read several articles blogs boards etc that give the impression that hes not interested at all.
Idk y that kid Putnam name keeps getting thrown out. Ive read several articles blogs boards etc that give the impression that hes not interested at all.

Me too. I thought one of the mods said that - he seems to have little to no interest in UM
Great pickup as we need more true T prospects. Neal is a must get and to me he is a prototypical RT. Darnell Wright IMO is a true LT prospect and I honestly believe we will be a player for him given the fact that Hartley will be on it.

Getting back to Tarquin, it is a huge pickup because of his ability to play RT or LT. While OL is the toughest position to project, I think Tarquin has the feet and athleticism to play LT here. We need as many quality T prospects as we can get so it will be very interesting to follow the progress of guys like Fox and Wilson during their senior years.

A class of....
Fox(or any other late bloomer with tackle skills)
would be a grand slam and isn't as far fetched as some would think.
Great writeup. Did you play OL in HS? Seems like you know how to evaluate the position, which is uncommon on the internet.