Could Have Been 'Canes: Class of 2009

Peter Ariz
Peter Ariz
6 min read
Denard Robinson (Michigan/Deerfield Beach): 4*-- #14 ATH
Coming out of Deerfield Beach, everybody knew Robinson’s athletic ability. Miami offered him as a cornerback, which looking back was obviously a huge mistake. They felt good with Jacory Harris at QB and instead of offering Robinson as a QB with plans of switching him to CB later, they decided to be straight up with him and tell him that they wanted him at corner.

Next Level: Robinson has been one of the most dynamic players in college football over the last 3 years. He was responsible for wonder boy Tate Forcier wanting to transfer out of Ann Arbor. His stardom is at an all-time high heading into this season, after he led the Wolverines to a Sugar Bowl victory last season. While he has made some questionable decisions throwing the football, his running ability from the quarterback position is unmatched. He has amassed 4, 931 yards, 40 TD, and 30 INTs throwing the ball, and 3,229 yards and 35 TDs on the ground.

Geno Smith (West Virginia/Miramar): 4*-- #3 Dual-Threat QB
Smith led the Patriots to the 2008 state semifinals, but Miami did not heavily recruit the Miramar gunslinger. Out of high school, he was labeled as having all of the physical tools and having a great understanding of the game. He decided to go up to Morgantown to play in the read option attack.

Next Level: For the Mountaineers, he has become one of the top QBs in the nation. He also has the benefit of playing in Dana Holgorsen’s Air Raid offense, which fits his style perfectly. Many believe he has a legitimate shot at the Heisman Trophy this season. He has thrown for 7,457 yards and 56 TDs in his career. He threw for 31 TD last season.

Jayron Hosley (Virginia Tech/Atlantic Delray): 4*-- #11 CB
Miami never offered Hosley because he didn’t meet Randy Shannon’s height requirements. DB coach Wesley McGriff loved his game due to his cover skills and speed. Hosley went on to Virginia Tech, where he had a great career.

Next Level: Hosley was a 3-year starter for the Hokies before declaring early for the NFL draft. He had 12 career interceptions, including 9 in 2010. He was also a dangerous return man for VT. Declared early for the NFL Draft and was selected in the 3rd round by the New York Giants.

Stedman Bailey (West Virginia/Miramar): 4*-- #48 WR
The speedy receiver prospect from Miramar was also a big part of the 2008 team. Him and his teammate Geno Smith committed to the Mountaineers together on November 10th, 2008. Rutgers and South Carolina were after him heavily as well.

Next Level: At WVU, Bailey has blossomed into one of the most explosive players in the country. He had a breakout season last year, breaking the school record for yards in a season with 1,279 and led the team in TD receptions with 12. He has started games since his redshirt freshman year. Many consider him a top 2-3 round pick NFL Draft prospect.

Jon Bostic (UF/Palm Beach Central): 4*-- #4 ILB
The final 5 for Bostic were Florida, Florida State, Miami, LSU, and Clemson. He ultimately chose the Gators at the Army all-American game. Out of high school, Bostic was known for his speed and aggressiveness. While Palm Beach has never really been a great area for Miami, Angelo Jean-Louis comes from the same school as Bostic.

Next Level: In his three years for the Gators, he has started 19 games and appeared in 38. He is the current leader on the team in career tackles with 169. Entering this season, he is second-team all-SEC and is on the Butkus and Lombardi watch lists. He led the team in tackles with 94 last year.

Vincent Smith (Michigan/Pahokee): 3*-- #36 RB
Miami never recruited the “undersized” running back from Pahokee. Michigan was the first school to offer Smith a scholarship in the Spring of 2008 and the Wolverines led all the way through the process. Tennessee and Wisconsin were his other two big-time offers.

Next Level: Started 10 games as a sophomore for the Wolverines. He ran for over 600 yards during that season and scored 6 times on the ground. He also had two received touchdowns. He did not put up great numbers last year during his junior season, but became the first player in school history to run for a TD, throw for a TD, and catch a TD in the same game.

Antwan Lowery (Rutgers/Columbus): 3*-- #51 DT
Lowery was always going to be a tough pull from Columbus because of the presence of his brother, Antonio, up at Rutgers. His final three were Miami, Florida, and Rutgers and he chose the Scarlet Knights on December 18th of 2008. Out of high school, he was considered a space-eating interior lineman, but was moved to Offensive Guard while in college. He played in the Under Armour All-American game in high school.

Next Level: Started most of the games during his sophomore season at Guard and is slated to be the starter this year as well. His impressive size gives him an opportunity to make it in the NFL.

Rantavious Wooten (Georgia/Glades Central): 4*-- #29 WR
Wooten had offers from all over the country including Auburn, Michigan, and Clemson. He held a Miami offer and was good friends with high school teammate Travis Benjamin, as well as Randy Phillips and Damien Berry, who were Hurricanes at the time. Wooten eventually committed to LSU on August 29th, before switching his commitment to Georgia in October after taking an official visit to Athens.

Next Level: Wooten isn’t necessarily on this list because of his achievements at the college level, which haven’t been incredible. Wooten only has 19 receptions in his career and injured his knee last season after two games.

Conner Vernon (Gulliver/Duke): 3*-- unranked
Vernon might be a player that many people don’t know about, but he undoubtedly belongs on this list. He was an extremely lightly recruited prospect out of Gulliver Prep where his only other major offers besides Duke were Ole Miss and Wake Forest. He committed to the Blue Devils on July 29th of 2008.

Next Level: Vernon has started nearly every game he has played in at Duke. Had 55 receptions during his freshman year and was named to the Freshman All-American team. He had 73 receptions during his sophomore season and 70 in his junior season. He has 198 career receptions with 2,675 yards and 13 TD. Needs 35 catches this year to become the ACC’s all-time record holder for receptions.

Comments (15)


Great work Pete. I remember Bakas telling us that it wasn't a big deal that we weren't recruiting Geno Smith because he was just a "spread qb".
Don't talk to me about Stedman Bailey...DO NOT.
Hosley's height sure looked like an issue when he housed that Sanchez pass Saturday night......
This one hurts. Geno always should have brought in to compete, Denard should have been told what he wanted to hear, Stedman should have been competing, Hosley should have been playing opposite Harris. We all knew this at the time, too, which makes this hurt worse.

And for the record, I am not a Shannon basher.
Some other "Could Have Been 'Canes"...

Bobby Massie, OT, Ole Miss - now starting in the NFL
Andrew Tiller, OT, Syracuse - now playing in the NFL
William Campbell, DT, Michigan - underachieved so far, but starting to come around, starting nose tackle for Michigan.
Demontre Hurst, CB, Oklahoma - starter and NFL Draft pick for Oklahoma.
Kayvon Webster, CB, South Florida
Sam Barrington, LB, South Florida
Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
Rodney Smith, WR, Florida State
Dion Sims, TE, Michigan State
Orson Charles, TE, Georgia

This one hurts more than '08 because Geno, Bailey & Hosley would have/should have been easy gets.
Miami was "Top 2" for a LOT of guys that year they Shannon swung and missed on...problem was...and we are seeing it today, 2009 was the start of swinging, missing, and not having backup plans or if he did, the players were very weak.


Missed out on Orson Charles, Richard Wilson, and Dion Sims...sign Billy Sanders and Steve Plein.
Didn't look at Jayron Holsey, sold Denard at CB and missed, missed on Hurst early in the process and Kayvon Webster late and only took on Brandon McGee at corner.
Missed out on Marcus Hall, Xavier Nixon...missed on JUCO Plan B's in Massie and Tiller, signed Johnson.
Didn't look at Stedman Bailey as a result, didn't get much love from Geno, and ultimately missed out on Sticks McCartney in 2010. Also swung and missed on Reuben Randle and Andre Dubose. Net result...1 WR (Allen Hurns) in two years of recruiting...IN SOUTH FLORIDA lol.

08 was a phantom year for Randy...the Honeymoon class offered too many prospects and free spots to have a weak or deep class...the second class Randy needed to manage scholarships and offers correctly and simply misevaluated the whole thing...he would do that for the rest of his tenure at Miami.
Bobby Massie, that's a good one Larry. Was he a JuCo?
Yeah, he was a JUCO and Ole Miss and Miami were his final 2.
Couldn't remember if he was prep or juco but I definitely remember him. Big, athletic, mean looking ****.
Why dont you ad a few of the ones that didnt make it like

Antone smith - works at Red Lobsterz in live oak, married to the fry cook

Tommie Harris -Obese and bedridden

Davin Joseph -Hoarder

Brian Fortay -Cuckold
Really, really hate missing out on Conner Vernon. Dude is just a great all-around WR.
I know he's a 2010 guy, but imagine Ricardo Allen on this team.

I remember Bakas was all about him and was pretty upset that Shannon never offered him because of his size.

Shannon was a buffoon.
Don't talk to me about Stedman Bailey...DO NOT.

stop right there....dont say his shut your ***** mouth.!!!

if anybody was clamoring for stedman twas me and u Larry...i knew the kids was the goods from jump....

he had his way with div 1 cbs from down here in one on one (similar to what stacy coley does now).....Cris Carter was coaching him at a camp and even he was surprised by how ahead the kid was..he looked better than Duron.
I know he's a 2010 guy, but imagine Ricardo Allen on this team.

I remember Bakas was all about him and was pretty upset that Shannon never offered him because of his size.

Shannon was a buffoon.

so is bakas though