The Blueprint (Defense)

The Blueprint (Defense)

DMoney
Recruiting is an inexact science. Fans don’t have the answers, but we can try to identify trends both nationally and at Miami. Below is one attempt to collect these trends by position and see how they apply to the Canes. The offensive list is here.

DT

THE TRENDS: Defensive tackle is the ultimate bag position. There are only so many humans with the requisite size, athleticism and attitude walking the Earth. Most live in the South, and they are easy to identify. This leads to massive bidding wars. Over the past two years, seven of the eight (88%) first round DTs were blue-chip prospects from the South. Christian Wilkins (a blue chipper from Connecticut) was the only exception.

HOW DOES MIAMI STACK UP: For a program that lacks cash and cache, Miami is doing pretty well. Manny has landed the three local must-haves in Leonard Taylor, Nesta Silvera and Elijah Roberts. He’s also been creative in building up the unit’s athleticism, landing a former hooper (Jared Harrison-Hunte) and three guys with exceptional testing numbers (Jason Blissett, Jalar Holley and Quentin Williams). There is some lack of size beyond Jon Ford and Jordan Miller, but that is OK in this system.

DE

THE TRENDS: Pass rusher has quietly become the premier position in South Florida. The Bosa Brothers, Brian Burns and Josh Uche followed Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon and Jabaal Sheard, all of whom have over 50 sacks in the pros. If a local player has sufficient length (preferably 6’4 and above) and change-of-direction, he should be a Cane. Manny’s system requires less physicality from the position than Golden’s system, so the primary criteria needs to be the ability to get in the backfield and disrupt.

HOW DOES MIAMI STACK UP: Very well. This may be Manny’s best position. We’ve consistently been among the national leaders in sacks with a steady stream of South Florida kids: Greg Rousseau, Chad Thomas, Joe Jackson and Jon Garvin. This year, Jabari Ishmael and Pat Payton both meet the criteria of long pass rushers with enough change of direction to play off-the-ball if necessary.

Miami has the most DEs in the NFL of any college and needs to sell that nationally. As Miami increases its national reach, we need to be sticklers about motor and hand usage. Those are differentiators when you are evaluating elite rush talents.

LB

THE TRENDS: This is a hard position to peg. I watched the HUDLs for the first round picks of the past three drafts and the LBs projected to go in the Top 50 this year. There were:
  • Four RB/LBs (Patrick Queen, Devin White, Roquan Smith and Dylan Moses)
  • Four converted QBs (Tremaine Edmunds, Leighton Vander Esch, Chazz Surratt and Zaven Collins)
  • Three high school edge rushers (Micah Parsons, Kenneth Murray and Rashaan Evans)
  • Three traditional LBs (Jordyn Brooks, Devin Bush and Nick Bolton)
  • Two WR/S (Isaiah Simmons and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah)
The one common theme is that they all had long TD runs on their clips, whether they were on offense, defense or special teams. You need to run at this position. The average testing profile coming out was bigger than expected: 6’2, 224, 4.70 forty, 4.39 shuttle and 34.1 VJ.

South Florida has been weak at LB for the past decade or so. The truly elite names (Lavonte David, Ryan Shazier, Devin Bush and Anthony Walker) all ended up in the Big 10 for some reason.

HOW DOES MIAMI STACK UP: This position has been a struggle. Miami hasn’t landed a great local LB since Denzel Perryman in 2011, and the unit is currently in disarray. It’s hard to compare our current commits since they don’t have testing numbers. However, you can see comps for Chase Smith (as a WR/DB) and Tyler Johnson (as a twitched-up rusher) in some recent first rounders. Sam Brooks has an almost identical testing and position profile to Kenneth Murray, but he’s been playing with an injured foot all year and looks like a shell of himself. One comparison for Corey Flagg could be Missouri’s Nick Bolton, who has similar testing numbers and was a hyper-productive three star in Texas.

S

THE TRENDS: Locally, the trend is clear: Miami needs to win blue-chip battles. It has won four of those since 2012: Deon Bush, Jamal Carter, Jaquan Johnson and Gurvan Hall. The jury is out on Hall, but the other three made the NFL. However, Miami has lost more battles than it has won lately. Both of Alabama’s starting safeties are from South Florida, as are starters on Georgia and UF.

Nationally, there has been a recent trend toward sleepers. In 2019, only 1 of the 12 safeties drafted in the first four rounds was a blue chipper (former Miami commit Chauncey-Gardner Johnson). In 2020, only 3 of the 12 safeties drafted in the first four rounds was a blue chipper. They are all different sizes and come from all over the country, but the consistent theme is that they also played offense. Despite Coach D’Onofrio’s famous proclamation that he wanted “safeties who play safety,” it appears the NFL disagrees.

HOW DOES MIAMI STACK UP: The 2021 class is a huge step forward. James Williams and Kamren Kinchens are the exact kids Miami has been losing to the SEC. The 2019 class had Avantae Williams (who also played RB) and three local kids who only played safety. However, it is more common for local kids to only play on one side of the ball due to the depth of skill position talent.

CB

THE TRENDS: This position is an arms race. Fifteen of the 20 first rounders since 2016 have been blue chippers. The majority of the 29 DBs drafted in the first four rounds of the ‘19-20 drafts were blue chippers, as well. Teams like Ohio State and LSU dominate. This position is starting to mirror WR in many ways—you need a premium recruiter.

Urban Meyer has a great eye for CBs and says his first priority by far is man-coverage ability. Camp footage is particularly important for CBs, as they compete against comparable talent on every snap. Many of Urban's signees also played offense. In terms of sleeper trends, there have been three recent first rounders from North Carolina (Jaire Alexander, Mike Hughes, soon-to-be Caleb Fairley) who played both ways and flew under the recruiting radar. That may be a trend to keep an eye on. South Florida also produced two 3* first rounders (DeAndre Baker and Damon Arnette), although they did not play both ways due to the local depth at the position.

HOW DOES MIAMI STACK UP: Miami needs to perform better in big-time battles. If you gave us Bama’s corners (Pat Surtain, Jr. and Josh Jobe), we’d have the deepest group in the nation. I don’t want to make this another Mike Rumph thread, but even those of us who have been patient are starting to see the writing on the wall.

In this class, I'd like to see us pick up at least one player with big-time physical upside. It's good to build our floor with quality local cover guys. Shannon and Golden didn't do that and it killed our depth. But we also need someone to emerge as a frontline size/speed guy.
 

Comments (147)

Sorry, but I had to skip straight to the CB write-up lol

LB and CBs have been our worst recruited positions (tho LBs has been hampered with injuries). writing on the wall for rumph and no rumph defenders can excuse that. idgaf if youre boys with him, hes been absolute trash as a recruiter in his time here and his on field coaching doesnt make up for that
 
LB and CBs have been our worst recruited positions (tho LBs has been hampered with injuries). writing on the wall for rumph and no rumph defenders can excuse that. idgaf if youre boys with him, hes been absolute trash as a recruiter in his time here and his on field coaching doesnt make up for that

Wouldn't you place some of this blame on Manny? I would. He's the DC/HC and those positions have been a failure since he's gotten here.
 
Wouldn't you place some of this blame on Manny? I would. He's the DC/HC and those positions have been a failure since he's gotten here.

hes wanted to replace rumph for a while now. hes been the DC, but i think it was said that manny didnt have complete authority under richt (also, i dont think rumph was mannys choice either as a DB coach same as how Simpson and Kul werent mannys guys either) in who to go after/recruit. right now, its taking other guys to make up for rumph. for LB, i do blame manny and now baker.
 
DMoney, you have identified some very good trend info for LB/CB. I know there was some talk about Ed Reed playing a role in film analysis and recruiting evals. Since Manny has "never played the game", is there any chance that these trends, and the process of talent ID, will be assisted by Ed and/or other former players? It's one thing for Manny to have a defensive "scheme", something that he likes to do as far as his approach to the game, but sometimes any good coach needs another person and/or perspective to monitor something(s) that is not within his skillset.

I'd love to see Ed help us to find the SoFla players with LB/CB skills and demeanor, even if it involves position changes.
 
LB and CBs have been our worst recruited positions (tho LBs has been hampered with injuries). writing on the wall for rumph and no rumph defenders can excuse that. idgaf if youre boys with him, hes been absolute trash as a recruiter in his time here and his on field coaching doesnt make up for that
I agree
 
Recruiting is an inexact science. Fans don’t have the answers, but we can try to identify trends both nationally and at Miami. Below is one attempt to collect these trends by position and see how they apply to the Canes. The offensive list is here.

DT

THE TRENDS: Defensive tackle is the ultimate bag position. There are only so many humans with the requisite size, athleticism and attitude walking the Earth. Most live in the South, and they are easy to identify. This leads to massive bidding wars. Over the past two years, seven of the eight (88%) first round DTs were blue-chip prospects from the South. Christian Wilkins (a blue chipper from Connecticut) was the only exception.

HOW DOES MIAMI STACK UP: For a program that lacks cash and cache, Miami is doing pretty well. Manny has landed the three local must-haves in Leonard Taylor, Nesta Silvera and Elijah Roberts. He’s also been creative in building up the unit’s athleticism, landing a former hooper (Jared Harrison-Hunte) and three guys with exceptional testing numbers (Jason Blissett, Jalar Holley and Quentin Williams). There is some lack of size beyond Jon Ford and Jordan Miller, but that is OK in this system.

DE

THE TRENDS: Pass rusher has quietly become the premier position in South Florida. The Bosa Brothers, Brian Burns and Josh Uche followed Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon and Jabaal Sheard, all of whom have over 50 sacks in the pros. If a local player has sufficient length (preferably 6’4 and above) and change-of-direction, he should be a Cane. Manny’s system requires less physicality from the position than Golden’s system, so the primary criteria needs to be the ability to get in the backfield and disrupt.

HOW DOES MIAMI STACK UP: Very well. This may be Manny’s best position. We’ve consistently been among the national leaders in sacks with a steady stream of South Florida kids: Greg Rousseau, Chad Thomas, Joe Jackson and Jon Garvin. This year, Jabari Ishmael and Pat Payton both meet the criteria of long pass rushers with enough change of direction to play off-the-ball if necessary.

Miami has the most DEs in the NFL of any college and needs to sell that nationally. As Miami increases its national reach, we need to be sticklers about motor and hand usage. Those are differentiators when you are evaluating elite rush talents.

LB

THE TRENDS: This is a hard position to peg. I watched the HUDLs for the first round picks of the past three drafts and the LBs projected to go in the Top 50 this year. There were:
  • Four RB/LBs (Patrick Queen, Devin White, Roquan Smith and Dylan Moses)
  • Four converted QBs (Tremaine Edmunds, Leighton Vander Esch, Chazz Surratt and Zaven Collins)
  • Three high school edge rushers (Micah Parsons, Kenneth Murray and Rashaan Evans)
  • Three traditional LBs (Jordyn Brooks, Devin Bush and Nick Bolton)
  • Two WR/S (Isaiah Simmons and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah)
The one common theme is that they all had long TD runs on their clips, whether they were on offense, defense or special teams. You need to run at this position. The average testing profile coming out was bigger than expected: 6’2, 224, 4.70 forty, 4.39 shuttle and 34.1 VJ.

South Florida has been weak at LB for the past decade or so. The truly elite names (Lavonte David, Ryan Shazier, Devin Bush and Anthony Walker) all ended up in the Big 10 for some reason.

HOW DOES MIAMI STACK UP: This position has been a struggle. Miami hasn’t landed a great local LB since Denzel Perryman in 2011, and the unit is currently in disarray. It’s hard to compare our current commits since they don’t have testing numbers. However, you can see comps for Chase Smith (as a WR/DB) and Tyler Johnson (as a twitched-up rusher) in some recent first rounders. Sam Brooks has an almost identical testing and position profile to Kenneth Murray, but he’s been playing with an injured foot all year and looks like a shell of himself. One comparison for Corey Flagg could be Missouri’s Nick Bolton, who has similar testing numbers and was a hyper-productive three star in Texas.

S

THE TRENDS: Locally, the trend is clear: Miami needs to win blue-chip battles. It has won four of those since 2012: Deon Bush, Jamal Carter, Jaquan Johnson and Gurvan Hall. The jury is out on Hall, but the other three made the NFL. However, Miami has lost more battles than it has won lately. Both of Alabama’s starting safeties are from South Florida, as are starters on Georgia and UF.

Nationally, there has been a recent trend toward sleepers. In 2019, only 1 of the 12 safeties drafted in the first four rounds was a blue chipper (former Miami commit Chauncey-Gardner Johnson). In 2020, only 3 of the 12 safeties drafted in the first four rounds was a blue chipper. They are all different sizes and come from all over the country, but the consistent theme is that they also played offense. Despite Coach D’Onofrio’s famous proclamation that he wanted “safeties who play safety,” it appears the NFL disagrees.

HOW DOES MIAMI STACK UP: The 2021 class is a huge step forward. James Williams and Kamren Kinchens are the exact kids Miami has been losing to the SEC. The 2019 class had Avantae Williams (who also played RB) and three local kids who only played safety. However, it is more common for local kids to only play on one side of the ball due to the depth of skill position talent.

CB

THE TRENDS: This position is an arms race. Fifteen of the 20 first rounders since 2016 have been blue chippers. The majority of the 29 DBs drafted in the first four rounds of the ‘19-20 drafts were blue chippers, as well. Teams like Ohio State and LSU dominate. This position is starting to mirror WR in many ways—you need a premium recruiter.

Urban Meyer has a great eye for CBs and says his first priority by far is man-coverage ability. Camp footage is particularly important for CBs, as they compete against comparable talent on every snap. Many of Urban's signees also played offense. In terms of sleeper trends, there have been three recent first rounders from North Carolina (Jaire Alexander, Mike Hughes, soon-to-be Caleb Fairley) who played both ways and flew under the recruiting radar. That may be a trend to keep an eye on. South Florida also produced two 3* first rounders (DeAndre Baker and Damon Arnette), although they did not play both ways due to the local depth at the position.

HOW DOES MIAMI STACK UP: Miami needs to perform better in big-time battles. If you gave us Bama’s corners (Pat Surtain, Jr. and Josh Jobe), we’d have the deepest group in the nation. I don’t want to make this another Mike Rumph thread, but even those of us who have been patient are starting to see the writing on the wall.

In this class, I'd like to see us pick up at least one player with big-time physical upside. It's good to build our floor with quality local cover guys. Shannon and Golden didn't do that and it killed our depth. But we also need someone to emerge as a frontline size/speed guy.

This was quality. We have a ways to go but winning is something that never hurts. We just need to win and sell recruits that we're turning the program around and we want them to be part of us taking the throne from Clemson
 
They are all different sizes and come from all over the country, but the consistent theme is that they also played offense. Despite Coach D’Onofrio’s famous proclamation that he wanted “safeties who play safety,” it appears the NFL disagrees.
No ****. :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: . I'm pretty sure the NFL disagrees with his logic. No'D was the fuccin absolute worst coach to ever work in this program.
 
Personally think Covid and injury has affected LB development on this team more than any other position. With Shaq and Pickney entrenched for four years the drop off has been immediate and drastic.

Guys like Huff and Brooks have had meaningful practice time slashed. Huff didn't get here until August of last year so he's had zero springs and maybe half of a regular fall practice schedule. Flagg and the rest of the true freshmen have had virtually none.

Jennings knowing what the hell is even going on seems to have won him that job by default.

IMO the linebackers will look far better next year.
 
Personally think Covid and injury has affected LB development on this team more than any other position. With Shaq and Pickney entrenched for four years the drop off has been immediate and drastic.

Guys like Huff and Brooks have had meaningful practice time slashed. Huff didn't get here until August of last year so he's had zero springs and maybe half of a regular fall practice schedule. Flagg and the rest of the true freshmen have had virtually none.

Jennings knowing what the hell is even going on seems to have won him that job by default.

IMO the linebackers will look far better next year.
So Huff has been on campus for 15 months, a full fall schedule (2019), numerous position meetings, and now 3 months this fall and still can’t figure out the D? Maybe he’s just not very good.

Flagg has been at Miami for a fraction of that time and has no issues picking up the defense.

Stop making excuses for guys like Brooks & Huff. There‘s no reason both of them shouldn’t be excelling if they’re actually worth a sh*t.
 
personally, despite the obsessive focus on the perceived failings of the defensive coaching staff, i think we're seeing positive trends in recruiting at every position on the defense except for one. at DL, LB, S we are accomplishing either:

1. winning battles for highly rated, national level recruits (avantae, chantz, leonard taylor, james w, kam kinchens etc). local DL class in 2022 should only add to this list.

or

2. identifying athletic profiles (harvey, huff, brooks, blisset, JHH, austin cave, cam williams, chase smith, thomas davis etc).

it's all about development now. once the 2021 class gets in the staff will have more than enough raw material to mold into a fast, athletic, and dominant ACC defense. the future on this side of the ball is setting up to be twitched up hybrid athletes playing behind a deep and talented DL. coaches just need to get us there.

CB is a totally different story, lol. we're getting tall, long armed guys w/ limited athletic upside or super raw athletes who may never amount to anything at the position. it's not a great combo. something needs to be fixed, i won't belabor the point.
 
DMoney, you have identified some very good trend info for LB/CB. I know there was some talk about Ed Reed playing a role in film analysis and recruiting evals. Since Manny has "never played the game", is there any chance that these trends, and the process of talent ID, will be assisted by Ed and/or other former players? It's one thing for Manny to have a defensive "scheme", something that he likes to do as far as his approach to the game, but sometimes any good coach needs another person and/or perspective to monitor something(s) that is not within his skillset.

I'd love to see Ed help us to find the SoFla players with LB/CB skills and demeanor, even if it involves position changes.

Can we stop on Reed influence? He is an ambassador with no duties. He can’t recruit and this is a 8 hours a week job.
 
So Huff has been on campus for 15 months, a full fall schedule (2019), numerous position meetings, and now 3 months this fall and still can’t figure out the D? Maybe he’s just not very good.

Flagg has been at Miami for a fraction of that time and has no issues picking up the defense.

Stop making excuses for guys like Brooks & Huff. There‘s no reason both of them shouldn’t be excelling if they’re actually worth a sh*t.

As usual, a rock solid, well thought out, non troll answer.

Go start a poll on it now, your take is so on fire.
 
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2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
WR
5'9"
190
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
210
Miami, FL
WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne Senior, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

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