On the Road Again: Recruiting Targets for ‘Canes Defensive Line
~ The following article was contributed by beloved Eye of the Hurricane blogger and recruiting guru, bg1906 ~
On the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again! Pardon me, as I’m not a big country music fan, but this mega-hit by Willie Nelson most definitely describes the current state of affairs for the football staff of the Miami Hurricanes.
Since deciding to enforce a self-imposed bowl ban for this year’s 6-6 team, Coach Al Golden and his staff have been hard at work hosting official visitors to Coral Gables as well as, scouring the country for the next great Miami Hurricane football players. Finding impact players has always been important, but has become even more important now that budding star WR Tommy Streeter and DT Marcus Forston, players Golden probably thought he would have on roster for 2012, have declared for the NFL Draft. With other possible NFL Draft casualties including: star RB Lamar Miller, DE Olivier Vernon, OL Brandon Washington, and S Ray Ray Armstrong, it becomes very apparent that the class of 2012 will need to become the foundation for which Coach Golden builds HIS legacy as the Head Coach of the University of Miami.
The Hurricanes lack overall depth at all positions up and down the roster and are looking to take a class of 30+ recruits to become the foundation of the Golden Era of the Miami Hurricanes. Majority of our needs are on defense and since it’s a lot of information to cover, today we will discuss the defense line and in a few days the LBs and DBs.
At one time this was the deepest position on the entire team, but after some movement (Dyron Dye and David Perry to TE and Adewale Ojomo to DT) and graduation (Marcus Robinson and Andrew Smith) the Canes are left pretty thin in experienced Defensive Ends. Also with the possibility of losing our best DE (Olivier Vernon) to the NFL Draft the Canes find themselves with what could be just one Defensive End (Anthony Chickillo) with any meaningful experience. This is why the Canes have made DE such a high priority in this class. Current DE commitments include: Jelani Hamilton (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) is currently our flagship DE recruit. Out of St. Thomas Aquinas, he is a big kid (6’5, 250 lbs) who could also project as a DT down the road. However, Hamilton is very vocal about remaining at DE and does not want to play inside. He’s a good all around DL who can play both the run and pass, and he shored up his commitment this past weekend on his official visit to Miami. Dwayne Hoilett (Vero Beach, FL), a speedy edge rusher that will need to gain in the size and strength department upon arriving to Miami (6’4, 220 lbs), but who has some definite skill at getting after the QB. Hoilett surprised many scouts at Nike’s The Opening in Oregon earlier this year and received quite a bit of praise after the event. Jake O’Donnell (Doylestown, PA), is a big guy at 6’6, 235 lbs and a pretty decent athlete. His greatest attributes at this time are his quick first step, his motor, and his determination. O’Donnell also flexes into a stand-up DE at times in HS and that is something we’ve seen DC Mark D’Onofrio do with our current DEs, so this will not be foreign to a player like O’Donnell when he arrives.
The Canes aren’t done at this position however and have had several DEs visit officially and are still looking to pick 1 or 2 more DE commitments. The pool will include: Tyriq McCord (Tampa, FL), a big-time, tough and physical kid who is being heavily recruited by Miami as well as several schools in the SEC, McCord is another that can play standing or with his hand down. Will need to increase his size and strength but is an excellent pass rusher with a genuine mean streak. He is good friends with Anthony Chickillo and visited Miami last weekend on an official visit. McCord would be a big time pick-up if the Canes can land him. The Canes have hit the Juco circuit hard this past year because they need some experienced guys to come in a play right away. This past weekend they brought in highly touted Juco DE Denico Autry (Albermale, NC) for an official visit. Autry is a 6-6, 245 lbs prospect with offers from virtually every major program in the country including Alabama, Florida, FSU, USC, Texas, Georgia, Miami, Oregon, etc. He has a good first step and excellent quickness. He’s more a pass rusher at this stage and will need to add strength to become a complete DE. He was said to have enjoyed his official visit and would be a big time pick-up in this class.
Other DEs that should get some attention in the coming weeks include: Brian Cox Jr (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), Eric Kinsey (Miami, FL), and Trent Taylor (Lakeland, FL – A one- time Miami Commitment who decommitted after the Nevin Shapiro story. Taylor is currently committed to Tennessee).
Defensive Tackle is a problem position for the Canes as the team already lacked quality depth in this department due to injuries. Add to the loss of our most experienced DT Marcus Forston to the NFL and very little experienced depth is left at the DT position. The lack of depth did allow some guys like Jalen Grimble and Darius Smith to get reps this season and that should benefit the Canes next season with the returns of Curtis Porter and Luther Robinson. The DT position is a position that is hard to project for but if you can find a difference maker at this position, you have a jewel! Not many great prospects in this class in-state and the Canes are having a hard time recruiting the position. Currently the Canes have only 1 true DT commitment and this is from DT Earl Moore (Tampa, FL). Moore (6’1, 280 lbs) plays the Nose in his high school’s 3-4 scheme and he has some tools to work with. Moore has a quick first stop and gets a good push going up field. He plays the double team well and is able to shed blocks. However, he’s not a DOMINANT player inside and will need to get a bit bigger and stronger to man the NT position at Miami. He is a prospect though and has some nice offers which include Florida, FSU, Georgia, UNC, South Carolina, Tennessee, and USC. So he’s definitely a quality pick-up. The highest rated guy on the Canes list is obviously national #1 DT recruit Eddie Goldman (Washington, DC), who visited Miami this weekend and had a good official visit, but is thought to be an Alabama lean. I would think the Canes would to take 1 or 2 more DTs so a few other DTs who may start being recruited with a shot at becoming a Hurricane include: Visesio Salt (Walnut, CA), Teko Powell (Miami, FL), and Jordan Hinojosa (Miami, FL – Currently committed to Minnesota).
Check back in a few days when we profile the LBs and DBs.