Alright guys and gals. We’re 2 weeks away from the early signing period, and the Canes, along with everyone else in America, are focusing heavily on the 2019 recruiting class. I told you I’d be back for more updates and commentary, and I’m a man of my word, so here we are.
Earlier this week, Miami had 2 OL commits in 3-star Kingsley Eguakun and 4-star Michael Tarquin. In just under 24 hours, Miami saw both players flip to Florida.
Miami needs big numbers and plenty of talent at OL in this recruiting class, so these flips are especially problematic. Miami now has 0 OL committed in this class, which is a fireable offense if not corrected. And that’s not hyperbole: I mean it. If Miami ends this cycle with 0 OL in this class, Stacy Searels has got to go immediately (and likely needs to have already been fired, but we’ll talk about that another time).
I’m not saying the decommitment trend this year is on the level of when Al Golden was here, but it’s hard to overlook the fact that it’s close.
During Golden’s tenure, things started off well with just 0, 3, 7, and 9 decommitments in the 2011-14 classes.
But, in the 2015 recruiting class, Miami had 14 decommitments on Golden’s watch, many of whom were at the top of the class. Then, in the 2016 recruiting class — the one Golden was recruiting when he was fired as head coach after that 58-0 beatdown by Clemson midway through the 2015 season — Miami had 25 (!!!!!!) decommitments. That’s enough decommitments to form a full and complete recruiting class by themselves! Now, several players came back into the class, most notably star WR Ahmmon Richards, but 39 decommitments in 2 years, even with some lower tier options being dropped by Miami accounting for some of that number, is a metric TON.
Circling back to this year, Miami has seen an incredible amount of decommitments. As stated in the header for this section, the most of any P5 team. Here’s proof:
Spent 15 minutes sifting through 247Sports database to compile 2019 decommitment leaders among Power 5 schools.
Here’s the order: 1. Miami 13, 2. Florida 10, 3. Florida State and North Carolina 8, 5. Oklahoma and Ole Miss 7.
— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) December 4, 2018
Even Florida State, dumpster fire that they are, and North Carolina, who would love to upgrade to being a dumpster fire, have less decommitments than Miami does. There’s a variety of reasons for this, but that’s immaterial to my point. The raw number is the issue, and that needs to be addressed moving forward.
Like I said, Miami has no OL commits in this class, so the Canes are now trying to move on from their committed/plan A players to plan B guys who they were either slow playing or late risers who are new to the board.
First, Miami offered Butler (FCS) grad transfer Tommy Kennedy. A player with plenty of CFB experience, Kennedy is looking to move up to the FBS level for his 5th year. Teams all over the country have offered him recently, so Miami has plenty of competition here. Kennedy played LT for Butler, so he could potentially play that role at Miami.
No, Kennedy is not a HSFB or JUCO recruit, but at this point Miami has to look wherever possible for additions on the OL.
Next, Miami offered Miami (FL) Central 3-star Maurice Smith. This was a direct signal that Eguakun was going to flip, as Miami has reportedly viewed both he and Smith as future centers. Smith is currently committed to Boston College, but hopefully the fact that he’s a local player will work in Miami’s favor moving forward.
Next, Miami offered Canton (GA) Creekview 3-star Nick Pendley. Like Butler, Pendley is a player who has seen his offer list increase recently with Indiana and Florida State joining Miami in extending a bid to the Peach State native. Current Canes RB DeeJay Dallas is working to recruit Pendley to Miami, so we’ll see if he still has the magic touch.
There are other OL targets out there, but instead of rehashing what I’ve already discussed, you can check out last Month’s Class Breakdown for that discussion (and all the positions).
What if I told you there was a RB who’d run for more than 6,100 yards and scored 100 TDs in his HSFB career who was currently uncommitted? Would that be something you’d be interested in?
Good, because those are the career numbers for Katy (TX) 4-star Deondrick Glass, who just received a scholarship offer from Miami last week. Obviously, with no RB committed (yes, another position without a commit), Miami is looking at many available options (several of whom, Glass included, I discussed in the Class Breakdown linked above). Glass is the newest name connected to Miami, and he has plenty of talent. We’ll see if Miami is able to get involved late with this talented player.
Another recent offeree is Middle Village (NY) Christ The King Regional 3-star DT Jared Harrison-Hunte. Yes, another NY native DL (joining target Adisa Isaac and commit Jason Blissett, the numbers 1 and 2 players in NY, respectively) with size and strength. Harrison-Hunte fits the mold for a DT at 6’4” 286lbs. While Penn State and Ohio State are the top teams to have previously offered Harrison-Hunte, Miami is working quickly to get a foothold with him.
QBs Maverick McIvor, a recent Texas Tech decommit, and Brett Gabbert (yes, Blaine’s younger brother) are players who could be next on the offer train, if Miami wants to turn up the heat on either as the pursuit for a QB in this class continues.
You see the headline. Bogle posted this on his twitter after the meeting. Check the caption. React as you see fit.
Miami only hosted 2 official visitors last weekend: 5-star OT Evan Neal and 4-star OG Dontae Lucas. Both attend IMG Academy, but Neal is an Okechobee (FL) native and Lucas is a Miami native. And, Miami has been recruiting each player for years. So, getting them and their families on campus for an OV was key.
And just for clarity: Neal is uncommitted but reportedly Alabama is the team to beat, and Lucas is committed to Florida State.
This week will see even more OVs to the Gables, and next week will be the biggest OV weekend of the year for Miami. We’ll have more discussion about the visitors, and Miami’s ongoing recruiting efforts as the weekend nears.
In the aftermath of Tarquin’s decommitment, the sentiment on social media was unpleasant to say the least.
In response to the widely held sentiment that Miami’s 2019 recruiting class is in a very bad and unacceptable place with no reasonable hope for things to change given the current state of affairs, Quality Control analyst David Cooney had this to say:
To which I responded:
Cooney, formerly the Offensive Coordinator at Miami (FL) Southridge HS — where he coached Mark Pope, Dee Wiggins, and Delone Scaife, among many other P5 recruits — is a charismatic coach and in the building working with the Canes, so maybe he knows something we don’t (hopefully) and/or is being his normal, up-beat self.
Either way, with the above and subsequent tweets, he’s thrown down the gauntlet and drawn a line in the sand: Miami’s class is going to rebound, and there are some big names and good players on the way.
As I said before:
Prove it, coach.
That’s it for this mid-week update. Hop in the comments with your recruiting comments and questions (and let’s try to look forward, not just wallow in the current state of affairs; we all know things need to improve).