Could Have Been 'Canes: Class of 2008

Could Have Been 'Canes: Class of 2008

Peter Ariz
Over the next week, I will be unveiling past prospects from the 2008-2011 classes who could have been Miami Hurricanes. All of the prospects in this feature are from the South Florida area. Some of these players were never recruited by Miami, some never showed legitimate interest, and some just decided to go elsewhere.

All of the rankings used are from Rivals.

Patrick Johnson (LSU/Ely): 5*-- #1 CB
Johnson is arguably the most infamous case of a prospect that Miami lost from South Florida. The multi-talented DB was committed to Miami in April of 2007 and waffled throughout the process before de-committing officially in November 2007. He then committed to LSU at the Army All-American Game. There have been rumors that a member of his family was paid off to make the switch. Johnson was the total package of size, speed, and athleticism as a prospect.

Next Level: Started the last four games of the season for the Tigers as a freshman. He was first-team all-SEC and second-team All-America in his sophomore year. He went on to be a first-team All American in his junior year, and then declared early for the NFL Draft. At LSU, he had 7 career INTs and 2 punt return TDs. He was selected 5th overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2011 NFL Draft. He had a great rookie year for Arizona.

[video=youtube;X4yh4081vYM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4yh4081vYM[/video]

Corey Liuget (Illinois/Hialeah): 4*-- #7 DT
Liuget was heavily recruited by Miami and the ‘Canes were in his final 3 along with Illinois and LSU. He ultimately chose the Illini on Signing Day and he turned out to be a better college player than Miami Northwestern product Marcus Forston.

Next Level: Liuget had a very productive college career. He had 125 tackles, 25.5 TFLs and 8.5 sacks in his three-year career. He declared early for the draft and was selected 19th overall by the San Diego Chargers in the 2011 NFL Draft. Had 19 tackles and 1 sack in his rookie seasons.

[video=youtube;cFCTb5jWrXs]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFCTb5jWrXs[/video]
[video=youtube;w4v6n-3ILac]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4v6n-3ILac[/video]

Martavious Odoms (Michigan/Pahokee): 3*-- #71 WR
Odoms was offered by Miami on mid-November, but there was some confusion late in the process because apparently it was a track offer. He ended up choosing for Michigan a few days after Signing Day and went on to have a solid career for the Wolverines.

Next Level: He started in 26 of the 39 games he played at Michigan. He led the team in receptions and yards as a freshman, and holds the Michigan record for most receptions as a freshman. Led the Big Ten in receptions (49) during his freshman year as well. Didn’t put up incredible numbers the rest of his career, but surpassed 1,000 career yards during his senior year and was a good return-man for the Wolverines as well. Holds the record for all-purpose yards as a freshman in Big Ten history. He is currently a free agent.

[video=youtube;0Q6zTRPm6yc]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q6zTRPm6yc[/video]

Eugene “T.Y.” Hilton (FIU/Miami Springs): 2*-- unranked
Arguably the biggest “miss” by Miami, Hilton was lightly recruited and chose FIU over West Virginia the night before Signing Day. Miami did not give him much of a look during the process because of his size. The ‘Canes took 7 wide receivers in the 2008 class and Hilton had better college careers than all of them.

Next Level: Hilton is considered the best player in FIU school history. He started every game he played in for the Panthers and scored on a punt return on the first touch of his career. Had 1,301 all-purpose yards his sophomore year including a 96-yard kickoff return TD against Alabama. He was a freshman all-American in 2008 and was the Sun Belt player of the year in 2010. Hilton had over 2,000 all-purpose yards during his junior year. He was selected in the 3rd round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.

[video=youtube;FYmbKz55ZEM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYmbKz55ZEM[/video]

Janoris Jenkins (UF/Pahokee): 4*-- #6 CB
Jenkins never really seriously considered Miami during the process and it was going to be a tough pull because of his close relationship with Deonte Thompson. He picked the Gators in September 2007. At Pahokee, there was an epic Muck Bowl battle between him and Miami commit Travis Benjamin, who went back-and-forth all night. He was lauded as having exceptional speed and cover skills.

Next Level: Jenkins started from day one at UF. He was only the second true freshman in school history to start at corner. He was a big part of the 2008 national championship team. He had 8 career INTs in his 3 years at UF. He played his senior year at North Alabama because he was kicked out of Florida due to multiple run-ins with the law in his time there. He was selected 39th overall by the

[video=youtube;1iCEyEX8yDU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iCEyEX8yDU[/video]

Robert Sands (West Virginia/Carol City): 2*-- unranked
Sands was a versatile 6’6 safety prospect out of Carol City, who many thought didn’t have the athleticism to stay there. He wanted to go to Miami and looked up to Kenny Phillips, who he considered as a role model. He was a first-team all-Dade selection and the ‘Canes never offered Sands. He went on to have a nice career at West Virginia.

Next Level: Started 9 games as a freshman and was first-team all-conference his sophomore year. While at West Virginia, he was known for his hard hits and playmaking ability. He was a big weapon in the Mouintaneers’ 3-3-5 defense and played a good amount near the line of scrimmage. The Cincinnati Bengals selected him in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

[video=youtube;L0o1xMWqCow]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0o1xMWqCow[/video]

Travis Howard (Ohio State/Krop): 4*-- #19 CB
Howard was recruited by Miami, but decided to go to Ohio State after taking a visit there in October 2007. Him and his high school teammate Etienne Sabino wanted to attend the same school and they both loved the Buckeyes.

Next Level: Now a 5th-year senior, Howard has played in 31 games for the Buckeyes and started 11 in his career. He has 4 career INTs including a pick-6 against Penn State in 2010. He is slated to start again for the Buckeyes this season.

[video=youtube;KM0LOp720iQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM0LOp720iQ[/video]

Lavonte David (Nebraska/MNW): 3*-- unranked
Miami took 7 players from the 2008 Miami Northwestern class, but ironically the best of them was not even looked at by the ‘Canes. An undersized LB for the Bulls, David committed to Middle Tennessee State out of high school, but instead went to Junior College in Kansas for two years, where he then chose Nebraska.

Next Level: David broke the Cornhuskers’ single-season tackle record with 152 in 2010. He followed that up with 133 tackles in 2011. He was first team all-conference both years and was a 2nd round pick for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2012 NFL Draft.

[video=youtube;XwTnQchoaoI]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwTnQchoaoI[/video]
[video=youtube;2tJiyeHFmTc]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tJiyeHFmTc[/video]
 

Comments (42)

Interesting piece.

Really does show that the talent is still in South Florida, we just need to make sure we get the right guys and that they're developed while they're at the U.
 
I have a feeling that George Williams is going to end up like Robert Sands
 
You're a sick sick kid Ariz. The Levonte David thing is so sad that its hilarious in a way.
 
I have a feeling that George Williams is going to end up like Robert Sands
Maybe but if we get Grace and Thomas I don't think I could second guess that. Not saying you are just thinking out loud.
 
Antonio brown who plays for the Pittsburgh in the NFL is another one he's my friend I went to school with him and look at what he's doin now even in college he played at Norland but transfered from Carol city
 
Last edited:
senac21 said:
Antonio brown who plays for the Pittsburgh in the NFL is another one he's my friend I went to school with him and look at what he's doin now even in college he played at Norland but transfered from Carol city
Yea there are a lot of kids from before 2008.. Kevin Smith, Louis Delmas come to mind as well
 
Having these guys wouldn't have helped us overcome Shannon's coaching imo. Our conditioning and attitude would've still sucked.
 
I love threads like this. But I have to confess that had those kids that went elsewhere come to Miami, they likely would have had less than stellar careers. I have zero confidence in thinking Randy could have used any of those kids well. If we had gotten PJ and JJ, my guess is that they along with BHarris would have been solid. But without the trio I think they underperform.
 
interesting...but how many couldn't qualify at UM?
But also shows why Miami should always a top program
 
imurcane said:
I love threads like this. But I have to confess that had those kids that went elsewhere come to Miami, they likely would have had less than stellar careers. I have zero confidence in thinking Randy could have used any of those kids well. If we had gotten PJ and JJ, my guess is that they along with BHarris would have been solid. But without the trio I think they underperform.
A lot of it to is knowing how to utilize these guys. FIU knew that They had to get Hilton the ball in various ways. WVU knew that Sands wasn't the best cover safety, but he had strengths that could be used in their schemes.
 
I remember some of the conversations about Lavonte David. I was hyped up when the Bucs drafted him. Tackling machine.
 
If we skip over Jermaine Grace, I look forward to seeing him on this kind of list in 5 years.
 
D
Rational hindsight fail.

It is too easy to come in after the fact and start threads like this.
 
If we skip over Jermaine Grace, I look forward to seeing him on this kind of list in 5 years.
.

I'd lose all of my confidence in this regime if they pass on Grace

straight corching
 
I highly doubt Grace is passed up
 
imurcane said:
I love threads like this. But I have to confess that had those kids that went elsewhere come to Miami, they likely would have had less than stellar careers. I have zero confidence in thinking Randy could have used any of those kids well. If we had gotten PJ and JJ, my guess is that they along with BHarris would have been solid. But without the trio I think they underperform.
A lot of it to is knowing how to utilize these guys. FIU knew that They had to get Hilton the ball in various ways. WVU knew that Sands wasn't the best cover safety, but he had strengths that could be used in their schemes.
t.y. hilton was THE ONLY OPTION for fiu...@ Miami he would be fighting to get in the rotation....

it all goes to "fit" and scheme to me...

Travis Benjamin would put up similar or better numbers than T.Y. did had he played at FIU.

Out of this group the only ones that hurt or are true misses to me are:
Patrick Jonson ( we had him as a commit)..

and Corey Liuget.

the rest not so much.

Janoris Jenkins was a pretty good player..but we were shooting for the PJ and Brandon Harris coup.

Lavonte David developed in college..and besides we already had him in (sean spence)...

Robert Sands was a scheme player as a rover type....and Travis Howard is a bum imo.
 

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