Thoughts on this class

Thoughts on this class

Peter Ariz
This is a long post, but with the Dead Period coming to an end on January 3rd and recruiting news as slow as it will be before the next month, I figured now would be a good time to look at the class as a whole and give my thoughts. I will start with what I believe to be the negatives before getting into each position.

It’s easy to downplay the loss of Dalvin Cook with another premier back in the class (Joseph Yearby), but when you look at the bigger picture it could come back to haunt Miami. Florida State has snagged the top player in Dade County the last two years and that just makes it easier for more elite talents from down here to do the same in the future. The trio of Cook, Treon Harris, and Ermon Lane (likely FSU-bound) is highly respected by other recruits down here. Miami is still feeling the effects not offering Devante Freeman until late in the process. Freeman is FSU’s version of Duke Johnson the way he recruits for his school.

Ultimately, I think we will look back on this class and say the biggest mistake was not giving Treon Harris the opportunity to play quarterback. Harris would have been a Cane if he were granted that chance. I see him as a much better prospect at quarterback than Malik Rosier and the benefits of adding a Dade County legend come along with his presence. People will say it’s not right to “lie” to a kid, but there is nothing wrong with giving him a legitimate chance at the job. He has high upside as a defensive back as well. For the record, I don’t think he would beat out Brad Kaaya, but it is worth the scholarship offer.

Now onto the strengths of the class, and there are a lot of them.

QB
I truly believe that Miami found their franchise quarterback in Brad Kaaya. Ideally he could have come in this semester and gotten spring reps, which would have given him a real shot at the starting spot, but unfortunately his school has rules against graduating early. Regardless, James Coley did a great job of identifying Kaaya early in the process and getting him on board. I’m not a huge Rosier fan, but with Kaaya in the fold it’s tough to get picky.

RB
Joseph Yearby is a stud, plain and simple. Someone made a good point on the board yesterday that if Dalvin Cook was committed to Miami and Yearby was headed to Florida State, we would be making as big of a deal about that as we are with Cook now and I tend to agree. Yearby is a major upgrade from any running back on the roster not named Duke Johnson, and as DMoney posted, James Coley looks at Yearby as a Duke clone. He will be a very productive running back in college. I was not as big of a Yearby fan as other before this season, but his improved speed really surprised me. Brandon Powell is another supremely talented athlete, but I think he will ultimately wind up as a slot receiver or cornerback. Trayone Gray could turn out to be the best running back in this class if he qualifies, but that is unlikely right now.

WR
It’s tough to mess up a receivers class when your recruiting base is South Florida and Miami did very well. Not landing Johnnie Dixon was a blow, but I love the ones that Miami landed. Darrell Langham was a great find for the staff and the combination of size and speed is very promising. I think he will redshirt, but could be scary in a couple years. Braxton Berrios will see the field early and make an immediate impact. Not only are his physical numbers off the charts, but he will be the quarterback’s best friend as an exceptional route runner with great hands. Miami has lacked a slot receiver like him. I have been a huge Tyre Brady fan for about 3 years now and I’m glad to see that he got it all together off the field and in the classroom. He is a freak athlete with length, jumping ability, and surprising fluidity for his size.

TE
It’s tough to judge this spot right now because we don’t know if Derrick Griffin/Ryheem Lockley will qualify. My gut tells me that only one of them will make it to Miami. If both somehow make it in, that would be an unbelievable pull. Chris Herndon is a couple years away from being able to contribute, in my opinion. Brayden Lenius would be an intriguing late addition.

OL
Miami needed this class of offensive linemen after what some around the program perceive to be a weak 2013 class. Kc McDermott and Trevor Darling will be ready to play the day they step on campus and are both Future NFL linemen. Reilly Gibbons has a high ceiling and should develop into a starting tackle. Nick Linder has shown steady improvements from the time he committed to Miami early in the process. Linder still has room to grow as a player, but his play at the Under Armour All-American practices have been promising as well.

DE
A position of obvious need, Miami cleaned up in this cycle with premier edge rushers. Chad Thomas is arguably the best at his position in the country and has future first-round pick written all over him. Trent Harris has freakish explosive ability and some have compared him to Olivier Vernon. Mike Smith has been a favorite of mine since watching him terrorize Dade County offensive lineman for two years. He is not a freak athlete by any means, but all he does is get sacks. He is relentless. People will think I am crazy, but the player that I believe will be the highest draft pick out of this entire class is Demetrius Jackson. Jackson is 6-5, 220 pounds of wiry strength and explosiveness. He showed me enough in his first season of playing football in high school to know that he is not afraid of contact. Everyone I talk to around the Booker T. Washington program was surprised how big of an impact he was able to make on the best team in the country after picking up football last spring. He will play a hybrid rusher role at Miami.

DT
This is another position where it is tough to fully judge until we know who qualifies/sticks, but if it stays how it is right now then Miami did a great job. Travonte Valentine is the star. He has everything you look for in a defensive tackle prospect and he could be the rare DT prospect who is able to make an impact as a true freshman. I checked in yesterday on the status of his qualifying chances and a Champagnat coach told me he is still on track to get in. Anthony Moten is another top level prospect who could see the field early. Courtel Jenkins was a kid that the staff jumped on early and he has taken off in recent months. Ideally, he wouldn’t have to see the field so early, but depth might force that. The addition of Calvin Heurtelou was a surprise last week, but he is physically ready as a JUCO prospect and Miami will count on him to play a lot of snaps next season. Michael Wyche would be a solid addition as well, but we will see if he is able to qualify.

LB
This is a huge weakness for the team and has been for a couple seasons, so it is concerning that the depth/talent at the position has not improved under this staff. Juwon Young is every bit of his listed 6-2, 228 and after seeing him at Miami camp, he can move extremely well. Darrion Owens has tremendous potential with his length, hitting ability, and is very rangy as a former safety. I do think that people need to slow down with their expectations of him early, though because he is still newer to the position. I’m was not a big fan of the Terry McCray pick up, but he had very good production this season so that is a plus. I just think he lacks explosiveness from the position, which Miami is severely missing right now. I would not be surprised to see another addition here late, possibly a Junior College kid.

CB
I wouldn't call this an incredible haul for Miami, but it is not a huge position of need and JC Jackson is still on the board. Nigel Bethel was a must get as the top corner in Dade and he has proven that he is not afraid to compete. I don’t know if he will ever be a starting outside corner here due to his size, but he has very good cover ability and track speed. Ryan Mayes is the other corner in the class, but I find it hard to believe that he sticks at that spot. He is already at 6-2, 195 and has not stepped into a college weight room. After being impressed with his physical ability I camp settings, I was hoping to see a little more out of him the times that I saw Northwestern play this season. As I mentioned, JC Jackson is still a good possibility and he would be an elite addition as either a corner or safety.

S
A month ago, I would have told you that the safety position was a huge concern but the last few weeks have eased my concerned. Flipping Marques Gayot from Louisville was a solid get. I see him as a safety who will play a lot in the box and has the size to potentially grow into a linebacker. Kiy Hester is the total package and will play next season. He covers a lot of ground, has exceptional ball skills, is not afraid to hit, and has the size needed to play right away.

Overall, it is a very good class that filled needs and has what I consider multiple elite prospects on the defensive side of the ball. At this point, closing with JC Jackson would be the cherry on top. Keeping Kaaya committed and getting Valentine to stick and qualify remain the top priorities. Getting Kaaya to stick won’t be an issue, but Valentine will be a roller coaster until he’s enrolled in classes. I expect him to ultimately wind up here, though.
 

Comments (101)

Thank you for the update and your work. In your opinion how many of these incoming freshman do you expect to play over returners or split time with them?
 
In any year this class is about as good as it gets. I think the "cook drama" soon to be "Sony drama" is about our lack of a big back but going position by position You can't finish much better then this class +JC.

The same things we say about TR, Lane and Dixon we will say about Ridley , SBB, and Davonte so I don't see this class as a major miss at wr.

There are 2 big backs we are on top for next class

DB's are top notch for 2015

All and all if golden can bring in some big boys next class this wont be a one and done situation
 
I don't get the Treon thing either.

Like the class except for LB. Like the ones we currently have but we need a bigger infusion of talent at that position.
 
Great analysis Pete...I agree 100%...I think Golden did the right thing by Harris by not offering him as a QB..after the Kirkland and Thomas saga, you don't want to make it more difficult lying to him ruining that recruiting pipleline...I know Coach Harris and them respect Golden for being truthful about it...
 
Good class? That's a joke! This class is awesome! Studs all over the place! The hell with Cook, Harris and lane. Hope their careers amount to nothing!
 
In any year this class is about as good as it gets. I think the "cook drama" soon to be "Sony drama" is about our lack of a big back but going position by position You can't finish much better then this class +JC.

The same things we say about TR, Lane and Dixon we will say about Ridley , SBB, and Davonte so I don't see this class as a major miss at wr.

There are 2 big backs we are on top for next class

DB's are top notch for 2015

All and all if golden can bring in some big boys next class this wont be a one and done situation
Who could you possibly be talking about?
 
I'd be content with not offering treon if this was a 1 QB class...but since we went with Rosier instead I'm smh
 
In any year this class is about as good as it gets. I think the "cook drama" soon to be "Sony drama" is about our lack of a big back but going position by position You can't finish much better then this class +JC.

The same things we say about TR, Lane and Dixon we will say about Ridley , SBB, and Davonte so I don't see this class as a major miss at wr.

There are 2 big backs we are on top for next class

DB's are top notch for 2015

All and all if golden can bring in some big boys next class this wont be a one and done situation
Who could you possibly be talking about?

Scarlett and Patrick.....

I still think we need a bigger back in this class....if Trayone isn't going to qualify who else is out there. I haven't seen any offers go out.
 
I always wonder if a kid like Denard Robinson looks back (or will look back) at his decision and regret not playing another position (especially CB in the case of Denard).

I still feel he would have been a fabulous CB for Miami had he come the realization that his professional future was not going to be at QB. Would he trade all the "shoelace" glory of his first few years at Michigan for the chance to be a 1st round CB?

I'm not sure the answer. I think Treon to a lesser extent could be having these same thoughts some day.
 
I always wonder if a kid like Denard Robinson looks back (or will look back) at his decision and regret not playing another position (especially CB in the case of Denard).

I still feel he would have been a fabulous CB for Miami had he come the realization that his professional future was not going to be at QB. Would he trade all the "shoelace" glory of his first few years at Michigan for the chance to be a 1st round CB?

I'm not sure the answer. I think Treon to a lesser extent could be having these same thoughts some day.

Well, now he's going to be trying to play QB for a couple of years and ultimately end up at DB...all the while recruiting all the best kids from the inner city for FSU.
 
Is it out of the question to think that not offering Treon had nothing to do with talent evaluation but rather avoiding future issues. What would happen if Treon and Brad were to battle for job and Treon didn't win? Can you imagine the community uproar?
 
Pete, do you think Mike Smith will be able to make the transition from DE to OLB? Is he to stiff to play OLB?
 

2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
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WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

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