The Miami Hurricanes are said to be done with a little over half of their 2013 recruiting class, 10 commitments. They have been very selective with who they have offered, and even more so with who they have taken. Here is a look at the commitments up-to-date and the gaps that still need to be filled.
Kevin Olsen—The Wayne Hills (NJ) High School product is solid with his commitment. Olsen, 6’3 and 195-pounds, recently participated in the Elite 11 (an event that groups high-level quarterbacks together to compete) and had one of the soundest performances out there. At an Al Golden Football Camp earlier in the summer, he worked with TE commitment Standish Dobard and after the camp, Dobard was sold on his future QB.
Alex Collins—It’s a case of interest versus commitment. Collins, 5’11 and 200-pounds, has camped at FSU, brought his mom up to FSU and talked highly of FSU, yet he is still committed to the Canes. His reasoning was that Miami has the best shot of getting him to the NFL as a running back and that doesn’t look to have changed. Out of South Plantation High School, he will be one of the most dynamic running backs for 2013, recently showing off his catching skills at a 7-on-7 tournament.
Other prospects: AJ Turman, Lorenzo Woodley
Jeremy Kerr—He knows his role will be mainly blocking, and he’s okay with that. That doesn’t mean he won’t be able to catch a pass every now and then. The Miami coaches have convinced him that he will have a legitimate shot at playing the tight end position and that opportunity is something that he is looking to make the most of. At 6’6, 255-pounds he could slide to tackle, but if coach Brennan Carroll has it his way, he will be a big tight end. The St. Petersburg athlete is a solid commit.
Travis Johnson—Out of the three current tight end commitments, Johnson has the most experience at receiver. His hands are great, even for a wide out. While he doesn’t have an exceptional burst off the line, once he gets going he is hard to stop. He has proven the can make all of the catches, while being covered well by the defender or not. He will have to transition to being a full time tight end at the next level but it shouldn’t be an issue for him.
Standish Dobard—Probably the most versatile tight end of the group. His large framed body (6’5/245) helps him make catches in traffic along with getting yards after the catch. The experience he has blocking and catching will increase his chances of early playing time at the University of Miami. Playing with his hand in the dirt is just another day at the office for this New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr prospect.
The Canes could very well be set only taking one wide out this year after taking five the year before, and another athlete that could play either way. The main targets for 2013 are Jordan Cunningham (University School), Levonte Whitfield (Jones) and Stacy Coley (Northeast).
*Note: Whitfield could be taken at a specialist.
Alex Gall: When looking for O-line prospects, the state of Ohio is not a bad place to start. Gall, 6’5 and 295-pounds, was being considered by some of the top programs in the country. He is solid, stating that even if a big-time program close to his home, like Wisconsin, came knocking he wouldn’t answer. The Cincinnati (OH) Moeller HS prospect has a great relationship with Coach Kehoe and had the Canes high on his list the entire process.
Restocking offensive lineman is very important. They will help with the longevity of your talented quarterback commit (*ahem, Olsen) and running backs. Miami took three last year and will have to add at least another 2-3 to keep up the competition. With one already on the commitment list, other names are still out there for the Canes to consider. Denver Kirkland (Booker T Washington) is probably their number one target at the moment, moving on to guys like Jordan Budwig (University School), and recruiting others who are committed to different programs. The coaches have their eyes on certain prospects on which they are waiting to see develop their senior year as well. Out of the OL recruits that Miami has offers out to, Laremy Tunsil and Joe Fennell are the only uncommitted (besides Kirkland who is mentioned above) prospects. Tunsil was never really interested in the Canes and Fennell is playing things close to the vest.
Defensive line is going to be interesting this year because they took five defensive ends and three defensive tackles last year. That equals to roughly 25 percent of the 2012 class being used up on defensive lineman. This year, with numbers a lot tighter, they will be looking for one elite DE, like Tim Williams (University Laboratory School, La.). As far as defensive tackles, taking three wouldn’t be unreasonable. Along with current commit Keith Bryant, prospects such as Marquadius Bain (University School), Jaynard Bostick (St. Lucie West) and Deadrin Senat (Immokalee) are still roaming free.
Keith Bryant—Defensive tackle Keith Bryant has really saw his stock sore since committing to the Canes and taking visits. He is solid at the moment, however entertaining visits (even at the bequest of his mother) is never a good thing. The 6’2, 300-pounder is devastating in the back field and plays with a mean streak. He will fit in good at Miami and has to like the opportunity to play early.
After taking three linebackers last class, the Miami coaches are looking to complement them this year. Top prospect thus far has to be Matthew Thomas from Booker T. Washington. The almost 6’4, 206-pound backer is very talented and is being recruited by most major colleges in the country. Jermaine Grace, who is your typical 6’1, 200-pound athlete that is extremely fast, holds a Miami offer and is considered a strong lean. The Canes could very well add one more to their wish list, and depending on need, they will pick another linebacker that fits what they are trying to do (aka, a tall LB or another specialist).
Jamal Carter—A versatile athlete that can make plays happen whether it’s on defense or returning kicks/punts on special teams. He is a true football player. Carter, 6'1 and 180, is a great pick up for the University of Miami. The four-star prospect from Miami (Fla.) Southridge is already making comparisons of himself and Miami greats. It's safe to say that the Canes have a solid commitment.
Artie Burns—Track star. No, highly touted football player. Wait which one is it? Both. He was recruited heavily by the top two programs for defensive backs in the country, LSU and Alabama. He is 6’0, 185-pounds and can play cornerback or safety at the next level. He doesn’t have a preference on which position he ends up at and his commitment continues the pipeline to Northwestern High School (Miami, Fla.).
They took eight DBs last year, and another one that could play DB. Six of the eight are at corner, so it is likely that Burns is a safety prospect.The Canes could be done at this position, unless they get an elite corner.
Ray Lewis 111—An athlete from Lake Mary (Fla.) Prep, Lewis comes in with expectations. The son of UM and NFL great, Ray Lewis, has his work cut out for him. He is a leader on the field and if he doesn’t live up to expectations it will not be for a lack of trying. The team captain, who stands 5’10 and 190-pounds, plans to come in and work to earn his spot on the UM roster.