Yesterday Miami announced the signing of 14 (16 overall) prospects, eight of whom were previously verbally committed to other programs. Head coach Al Golden and staff did a tremendous job in the short period of time they’ve been on campus, not only signing the class they did, but beginning the process of repairing the relationships with South Florida high school coaches, restoring hope and optimism in the program, and setting the table for a successful 2012 class.
Here’s how the 2011 class stacks up (all ranking according to Rivals):
Rashawn Scott 6’2, 198 3* WR
Phillip Dorsett 5’10, 170 3* WR
Taylor Gadbois 6’8, 295 3* OL
Anthony Chickillo 6’3, 226 4* DE
Jalen Grimble 6’4, 255 4* DE
Olsen Pierre 6’6, 280 3* DE
Eddie Johnson 6’2, 218 3* LB
Antonio Kinard 6’4, 215 3* LB
Gionni Paul 6’0, 227 3* LB
Denzel Perryman 5’11, 217 3* LB
Dallas Crawford 5’10, 185 3* DB
Thomas Finnie 5’10, 170 3* DB
Dalton Botts 6’3, 200 3* P
Matt Goudis 6’0, 165 2* K
The class breaks down with (1) athlete, (2) wide receiver, (1) offensive lineman, (4) defensive ends, (4) linebackers, (2) defensive backs, (1) punter, and (1) kicker. The overall class is ranked 36th, with a chance to move up if UM can fill the void in this class with a quarterback, namely 4* signal caller Jacoby Brissett (6’4, 220), who is set to announce his college destination Friday at halftime of his varsity basketball game. He’s choosing between the Gators and ‘Canes.
There are also rumors of ex-Rutgers QB Tom Savage being interested in transferring to Miami, but according to NCAA rules, he would have to sit out a year before becoming eligible.
The Hurricanes ended up with several signees in their class who either weren’t recruited by former coach Randy Shannon or weren’t seriously recruited, including local players Kevin Grooms (South Broward), Thomas Finnie (Miami Central) and Ricardo Williams (Homestead).
“It’s a heavy defensive class,” Golden said. “If anything, that should give you an indication of my evaluation of our offense relative to our defense right now,” he stated in his press conference last night.
“What this group is going to do (is) be a blue-collar unit,” Golden said. “It’s going to be a group that will challenge for jobs in certain areas, raise the intensity and the performance and execution of the guys that were in place.”
As with every National Signing Day, there were a couple of surprises and disappointments. The surprises were the signing of DE Jalen Grimble and LB Eddie Johnson. Both are big prospects that could contribute to the depth on defense and play special teams right away. The disappointments were the commitments of WR Devin Lucien (UCLA), WR Patrick Onwuasor (Arizona), DE BJ Dubose (Louisville), DT Lonnie Gosha (Arkansas), ATH Dominique Terrell (UVA) to other schools, and the uncertainty of being able bring in a quarterback (not securing a commitment from one).
“It’s not so much the ones you don’t get; it’s making sure you get the right ones. I really believe that. You don’t want to be sitting there on Aug. 8 saying, ‘Hey, does anybody know why we recruited this kid? Was it because he was offered by eight other schools? Does anyone know where he fits in our system?’ All the staff here took their time and evaluated.”
“To be honest with you, we probably had spots for a couple of more kids, but we just didn’t want to get into the herd effect and we didn’t want to drop down,” Golden added. “We didn’t want to lower our expectations, so we stayed at a high level and wanted to battle it out at that level.”
The focus for recruiting has already shifted to 2012. Tonight, Golden is hosting area high school coaches, and part of the meeting will consist of taking in tonight’s hoops game against Georgia Tech. Coaches will be bringing film and transcripts of athletes they believe the Hurricanes could recruit.
The countdown to NSD 2012 has already begun.