2019 St. Thomas Aquinas DE Jason Munoz committed to the Canes on Saturday afternoon after receiving an offer at UM’s OL/DL summer camp on campus.
The 6-4, 270-pounder is currently a 3-star in the national rankings. According to the 247Sports Composite, Munoz is the #749 player nationally, #51 SDE in the country, and the #90 player in the Sunshine State. His commitment moves Miami’s class ranking up to 7th on 247Sports and 8th on Rivals.
With Damarius Good’s commitment earlier in the week and now Munoz’s pledge, UM has taken two commitments in the past week from guys that were virtual unknowns in the recruiting world. So what gives? Well, something else both have in common is that they were evaluated in person by the staff and UM fell in love with both of the prospect’s raw abilities. Munoz in-particular absolutely dominated and took over the OL/DL camp on Saturday, and while the competition wasn’t the best, it was still very impressive. You have to respect UM going with their gut and going out of their way to unearth local gems, not simply basing their evaluations on what recruiting services or other offers say.
Munoz’s story is an interesting one. He fell behind some top-flight talent as an underclassman at St. Thomas, but Aquinas felt he was set to have a breakout junior season last year. Unfortunately, he broke his leg in the first game of the season last year and that never happened. He’s since recovered, and by all-accounts, had a great spring for STA, which led to offers from Power 5 schools like Louisville, Missouri, Kentucky, Pitt, Boston College, and Maryland to name a few.
In his limited tape, Munoz shows off a devastating swim move to defeat his man. He uses his hands very well and rips arm blocks with nastiness. As a stong-side end, he has the size and power to move an offensive tackle where he wants him to go. He shows an ability to perform comfortably both outside and inside on the D-Line and his best college position might be defensive tackle, where his athleticism will be a plus against slower guards. Munoz’s college career has a very high variance of outcomes, but he has the traits to be successful.
Munoz's commitment brings the total class numbers to 13, and he is the Canes second take at defensive end, joining Chaminade-Madonna (FL) 3-star Cameron Williams in Surge19. He's also the third STA defender to join UM's 2019 class, along with linebackers Anthony Solomon and Avery Huff. Personally, I think Munoz grows into a defensive tackle at Miami, but since he’s considered a hybrid end/tackle type right now and I broke down the defensive tackle recruiting in Renato Brown’s Class Impact recently, I’ll focus on where UM is in DE recruiting today.
We’ve heard Miami is looking to take 3 guys at defensive end in this class, but would take 4 if it’s the right guys. No change at the top of Miami’s board, as Cardinal Gibbons (FL) 4-star Khris Bogle continues to be Miami’s top priority at the position. The Canes are still in a favorable spot with Bogle, but Tennessee is really making a big push here.
Next in line, we have Auburndale Senior (FL) 4-star Lloyd Summerall. Many believe it’s only a matter of time before he commits to FSU, but a source tells us the UM staff feels confident with Summerall and he’s saying all the right things to make them believe he’s going to be a Cane in the end. This recruitment is in wait-and-see mode for now.
A guy to really watch is Vero Beach (FL) 3-star Jahfari Harvey, who will be on campus this month. We’ve heard he’s really risen up UM’s board lately and the staff loves his potential. American Heritage B/D (FL) 4-star Mike Morris is an FSU commit and legacy, but the talk with him is new head coach Willie Taggart is not pushing to keep Morris in the class and the parties’ relationship has been harmed because of this. If Miami ends up pushing for him, there’s a good chance he’s a Cane, with Michigan also another realistic option. A hurdle is his mother is reportedly not sold on the “Miami environment”.
An interesting name we’ve heard Miami has been back in contact with lately is Troup County (GA) 4-star King Mwikuta. You may remember UM was in his top 3 before he committed to Bama back in December. Besides the Crimson Tide, Miami is apparently the only other school Mwikuta is considering right now and Jess Simpson is pushing to get him to visit for Paradise.
The hub around Moore Traditional School (KY) 3-star JJ Weaver has really died out lately and it’s hard to say how much interest is still there between the parties. Rockledge’s (FL) Dorien Josey played football for the first time in 5 years last season and had a huge junior year. UM wants to see him do it again as a senior before they consider him a take, though.
The Canes spent the spring evaluation period really expanding their DE board and sent out a flurry of new offers. Miami is looking for some immediate help at the position and two JUCO kids UM recently offered were Iowa Western C.C. (IA) 4-star Chester Graves and Independence C.C. (KS) 4-star Jermaine Johnson. Of the two, Johnson has shown the most interest and recently put Miami in his top 6.
Under Simpson’s influence no doubt, UM also doled out offers to three Georgia ends in the past few months in Forest Park (GA) 4-star Justin Eboigbe, Archer (GA) 3-star Colby Wooden, and Winder-Barrow (GA) 3-star Logan Cash. I would say Wooden has the most interest of the three right now and Simpson actually used to be neighbors with Wooden’s current D-Line coach at Archer. He’ll be visiting campus for Paradise so Miami can get a better look at him.
By 2019, Miami will lose established veteran Demetrius Jackson to graduation and there is a very high probability that Joe Jackson leaves early for the NFL. That leaves UM with a returning threesome of Jon Garvin, Scott Patchan, and Greg Rousseau at end, meaning the numbers really need to be upped at this position to ensure appropriate depth.
While the opportunity for early playing time will be there in Year 1, Munoz is still very raw and hasn’t played much in his HS career so far, so how he develops with more reps on the field at STA this season will likely give us a better idea of his trajectory at the next level and a redshirt isn’t out of the question. Right now, it’s likely he’ll start his UM career as a jumbo, strong-side end, before making the move inside by his second season after a year growing his body in the Strength and Conditioning program. At that point, Munoz will be battling some upperclassmen for playing time. Only time will tell what his ceiling is at Miami.
Nice write up with new insight on our DE recruiting.
I take it you are starting to build credible working relationships within the football program. If so, and provided you are right more often than you are wrong - an admittedly difficult task when it comes to HS recruiting - then you will quickly become a fan favorite and significant upgrade over your predecesor. The writing and content is already a massive improvement.
Thanks for the info n updates. I really think we need to take 7 Dlinemen this cycle. I know its a big number but we need the trench bullies to take the next step as a program. Enough of the 5 LB talk, load up on the line n will be fine besides smith n hopefully if we get stevenson can both play in the box .
Disagree with the statement that he's "very raw". He already has the frame and build for the next level and his hand use and eyes/instincts are advanced for a HS player. He's efficient and economical with his movement and he's disciplined defending split flow option plays. I think his athletic upside is what's in question not his floor (as a rotational lineman).