To The Victors Go the Spoils…2012 National Signing Day Recap

~ The following article was contributed by beloved Eye of the Hurricane blogger and recruiting guru, bg1906 ~

When Al Golden announced he was coming to the University of Miami he was praised as being a charismatic hard worker that was a good football coach, a great developer of talent, and a tireless recruiter. In fact, recruiting pioneer Tom Lemmings called Golden a young Urban Meyer or Nick Saban and that Golden would be a FORCE recruiting with such a powerful brand as the University of Miami. Well fast forward a little over a year and I’d have to say I agree 100% with Lemmings’ assessment.

If you are a fan of the Miami Hurricanes it is very hard not to be excited about the current direction of the program. To this end, the Canes took a GIANT step forward yesterday as they officially signed 33 new student athletes to join The U Football Family. Coach Al Golden and staff did a wonderful job of assembling a consensus Top 10 class that is praised for having a wonderful balance of star power and depth, while also injecting a much needed shot of talent into the program. Not to mention this feat was accomplished after having a .500 season (6-6), and maybe to a larger extent, with potential NCAA sanctions hanging overhead.  What an amazing job and every bit worthy of the national praise this staff has received for what they’ve done in assembling the Class of 2012.

So how did the Canes pull of a Top 10 recruiting class???

To me there were five key elements that REALLY stood out when it came to the Canes recruiting efforts in assembling the 2012 class:

  1. Our staff started out very aggressively during the initial stages of the 2012 campaign. They hosted junior days, camps, and opened their practices up to recruits who quickly bought in and committed early to the Canes. This is a strategy you usually see from schools like Texas, where a vast majority of their class are in-state guys and commit very, very early in the process.
  2. The staff did and trusted their own evaluations of the players they offered. This was refreshing because the staff knew exactly what kinds of players they wanted to target and were then able to go out and recruit/evaluate to that standard. In doing so they were able to land a symmetrical class with an excellent balance between star power and depth.
  3. The staff got back to the roots of what makes the University of Miami special. Of the 33 players signed, 27 are from the state of Florida. With a nice balance of talent from across the state including a heavy dose of talented players from Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, as well as several very talented players from the talent rich Tampa/St. Petersburg Area. The Canes also ventured into some new territories by locking up players from areas we don’t normally have success in including Lake City, Leesburg, Boca Raton, Vero Beach, and Venice. Then like successful regimes of the past, they sprinkled in some top talent from several other talent rich regions of the country that we have traditionally and successfully recruited in the past including Texas, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana. They were even able to land a JUCO recruit who originally hails from the state of Alabama (Ladarius Gunter), so the staff proved it could and would go wherever necessary to recruit top talent. Impressive!
  4. The staff was relentless in its recruiting efforts. They approached the recruiting process with an attitude of WE are the University of Miami, we have a lot to offer, and we will NOT be intimidated by ANYONE! Coach Golden reiterated that on yesterday during his press conference and he believes we should own our neck of the woods and defeat the Alabamas, the LSUs, the Floridas, and the Florida States of the world when they venture into the State of Miami. While on the recruiting trail, the staff also had to battle a heavy dose of negative recruiting, and yet their persistence paid off and they were still able to land top notch players like Deon Bush, Tyriq McCord, and Daniel Isidora, while also flipping kids like Rayshawn Jenkins (USF), Antonio Crawford (Georgia Tech), Robert Lockhart (Virginia Tech), and Jawand Blue (Virginia Tech). They also in a 2-3 week period were able to convince probably their most high profile and least likely acquisition, Tracy Howard, to stay home and play for The U.
  5. The staff was strategic sound in their recruit planning. They targeted kids that truly LOVED and WANTED to be Miami Hurricanes. Evidenced by kids like Duke Johnson, a player who was actually a Randy Shannon commit, that never ever waivered from the commitment he made as a junior. Or a guy like Jawand Blue, who committed immediately after receiving his offer on signing day after having been a Virginia Tech commit for nearly 8 months. It was important that this happen because these are the kids that TRULY LOVE the Miami Hurricanes and want to be Canes no matter the circumstances. This is how teams like USC and Ohio State survive through tough sanctions. They recruit to the BRAND and they recruit kids that LOVE THE BRAND!  We are no different. In fact, we have perhaps the most powerful brand in all of college football and the staff targeted kids that REALLY LOVED THAT BRAND, THE U. These are the types of kids we have to have in this program and it was fantastic to see the staff actively pursing these types of players.

What is even more impressive is that a vast majority of these kids were committed very early on in the process and the staff was able to maintain those relationships and commitments with only 1 casualty and that being the loss of OLB Reggie Northrup to Florida State. However, even Northrup’s decommitment was expected by the staff and they had a contingency plan in place, which was enacted when they offered and flipped West Boca Raton’s Jawand Blue on the spot! Again, impressive!

So now that we know WHY we were successful, let’s take a quick look at the players that made it successful, my Top 10 players for the Class of 2012.

Miami Hurricanes Class of 2012: Top 10

1. CB Tracy Howard: A case could be made for both Duke Johnson and Tracy Howard being #1, but I went with Howard because he plays a position of extreme need. He’s a good athlete, with good coverage skills, and should contribute from Day 1.

Tracy Howard Video:

2. RB Randy “Duke” Johnson: Duke Johnson on the other hand is lightning in a bottle and can take it to the house at any moment. He’ll be a weapon from the day he sets foot on campus on both offense and special teams .

             Duke Johnson Video:

3. WR Angelo Jean-Louis: Jean-Louis is one of the Top WR prospects in the country. He turned a lot heads during Under Armor All-American Game practices and should be able to provide immediate help to the Cane WR corps.

          Angelo Jean-Louis Video:

 4.  LB Raphael Kirby: Raphael Kirby is LB from Georgia that just makes plays. He possesses great instincts and is always around the ball. I suspect Kirby will find a way onto the 2 deep and contribute on special teams as well.

           Raphael Kirby Video:

5.    CB/S Deon Bush: Deon Bush may be the best overall athlete in the entire class. He’s strong and can jump out the gym. Deon was recruited as a CB but can also double as a Safety, which is the position he played at Columbus HS. Bush has all the skills you want in a DB, but he hasn’t played much CB in his career up to this point. I do still expect him to play in 2012 be on both defense and special teams.

         Deon Bush Video:

 6.    DE Jelani Hamilton: Jelani Hamilton is a big time prospect who saw his senior season cut short due to injury. He comes from a tradition-rich,  powerhouse program in St. Thomas Aquinas and was easily one of the program’s top players over the last 2 years. He has a good size/speed profile and also plays with good effort and intensity. He is also very technically sound as you would suspect from any prospect coming from such a highly regarded program as STA. As with the case of most incoming freshman on the offensive and defensive lineman, Hamilton will need time to add additional bulk and strength to his long frame. However, due to the lack of depth at the defensive end position, he could find himself in the rotation early.

        Jelani Hamilton Video:

7.    DE/OLB Tyriq McCord: Tyriq McCord is a dynamic pass rusher. He projects as a hybrid DE/OLB and should help the Canes generate more pass rush. He has great speed of the edge and is a powerful and relentless pass rusher in his pursuit of opposing QBs. I can see McCord being used this year as a pass rushing specialist, much in the vein of a Javon Nanton. He’ll also be able to contribute on special teams.

         Tyriq McCord Video:

8.    OT Ereck Flowers: Ereck Flowers could potentially be the best player in the entire class when it is all said and done. He’s big, he’s mean, and he can move. Big Red could very well find himself in the 2 Deep and he’ll only get better with time. His ceiling is limitless.

         Ereck Flowers Video:

9.    WR Robert Lockhart: Robert Lockhart was a nice find. He originally committed to Virginia Tech out of HS but after not qualifying, he prepped at Fork Union Miliary Academy. At Fork Union he became teammates with another Cane signee, Taylor Gadbois, and it was Gadbois, along with current Cane and former West Boca teammate Corey King, that helped convince Lockhart to flip from Virginia Tech to Miami. Lockhart is a playmaker. He has a nice size/speed profile and displays good hands and excellent playmaking ability. He should be another player who will get into the mix from Day 1.

        Robert Lockhart Video:

10. WR Malcolm Lewis/ATH Herb Waters: I couldn’t make up mind on #10 so I have a 10a and a 10b.

10a is Malcolm Lewis. Lewis is a teammate of Tracy Howard and a key cog in the Miramar Patriot passing attack. Lewis is a playmaker that has good size and speed and is deceptively strong. He has excellent hands and though he’s not an elite long speed guy, he possesses excellent short area quickness and change of direction.

        Malcolm Lewis Video:

10b is Herbert Waters. Waters may be one of the most underrated players in the class. He’s also a playmaker that has played a variety of positions in HS including QB, WR, and DB. Many feel his future is in the defensive backfield, though he was recruited as a WR. However, no matter what position, Waters makes plays. He injured himself last season, but if he’s healthy when he arrives he could find himself competing early for playing time.

          Herb Waters Video:

Well there you have it Canes fans, the Class of 2012. They, along with the 2011 Class, are the foundation of our future, a future that appears to be bright indeed!

Until next time…

Go Canes!


66 thoughts on “To The Victors Go the Spoils…2012 National Signing Day Recap”

  1. .
    Unsung guys we’re going to need sooner rather than later: Ivery, Moore, and Briscoe.

    Hoping at least a couple of these guys step up and man up in the interior line. We’ve had little of that in recent times. Need to throw some people around. First they’ll get a “good hands” and sportsmanship lesson from Micanor.

    That’s right, I said it. That’s the kind of attitude we need. It’s why I like Suh no matter what anyone says. Just do that ish in the pile. Rule 1: don’t get caught.

  2. GREEDY!

    My boy!

    Orange AND Green!

    This article got me, bg. Really excited for what these boys can do!

    And thank you for all that you have done for Eye of the Hurricane. I appreciate you more than I can articulate into words and I’m sure the rest of our readers and bloggers feel the same! 😀

  3. No probs JSQ. Just glad you guys like ’em! I shoot from the heart and I love following the kids as the matriculate. Its fun to watch…MOST of the time. 08 hurt my head a bit! LOL. Expected SO much more for them. Watch how they succeed in the NFL and you’ll say where the hell was that at UM!

  4. Yes, I am preparing myself for that bg, especially with my 2008 NSD crush, Tommy Streeter.

    Still heartbroken over Brandon Washington too.

    I think I shall have a HUGE draft weekend party to help myself cope with the idea! 🙂

  5. By the way “NSD crush” is the equivalent of what sorority girls call a “rush crush.” It is a player you really want to join your team, just like a girl you really want to pledge your sorority.

    Both result in me wanting to bake cupcakes for the object of my affection.

  6. I read that Philly. Urban is a slimy liar, but unless there’s something more I doubt anything would come of this.

    If Bielema has specifics, then put up or shut up.

  7. A side not on yesterday about the flips and about Muschamp being angry. I have to sympathize with them even though it worked in our favor. I mean Tracy was all but signed, sealed, and delivered to UF. They’d spent countless man hours and money on travel and communication with him and for those that watched the State Championship game, Tracy even did a Gator Chomp during the game. Then to have it all taken away in 2-3 weeks has got to suck. Our biggest help came perhaps indirectly from LSU as Billy Gonzales took the OC job at Illinois and Tracy cancelled his OV their because of that move. Otherwise he never visits UM and THIS never happens. In terms of Blue, he’s committed to VTech for 8 months. He wasn’t even on our radar. But he gets a couple of teammates on the team, Cory King and Lockhart, and passes word to them he’d LOVE to be a Cane. They meet with him and evaluate, like him, but there’s no room. So if Northrup doesn’t flip, Blue is headed to VTech. Things like that happen in recruiting ALL THE TIME and that’s why its so stressful and why the VTech response (the phone call between Blue and the VTech coach) is warranted (but it should’ve remained private). Then you got the fact we flipped Lockhart too and VTech MUST hate us by now! HAHAHA! Not to mention GTech as well for flipping Crawford who’d committed to them in Summer 2011 as well. Then in a a few weeks we just swope in and take the rug from under them. How could you not feel betrayed? Its happended to us too several times before, see Byron Moore last year, Major Wright, and others. I feel for those coaches, but in this case it worked out for us. It actually is a lesson on why you MUST own your backyard. Out of State recruits are so hard to keep because many times they are culturally attracted to the home team by default so often times if its a high profile prospect, the only way you get him is if the home team stinks, the home team doesn’t recruit the kid, or the kid just beats to his own drum and wants to experience something different. That’s why recruiting changes so fast from minute to minute because you never know what’s going to happen next.

  8. I’m hoping that Lockhart becomes a G. Kid looks like AJ Green catching the rock, in his footage.
    Here’s to hoping that he’s not just another Highlight-Hero.

    We’ve had plenty nuff of those round’ here….

  9. bg, I don’t feel bad. They are amphibious creatures and I will not attribute human emotions to the jort-clad lower life forms to the north.

  10. JSQ.

    LOL. ACTUALLY their reptiles! HA! But the hate is shared! I own a snake so I can’t hate reptiles but so much, but the ones of Gator decent and type, UGH! HA!

  11. Your are correct, bg. Reptilian creatures. My bad.

    The study of both creatures is known as herpetology, from the Greek word herpes, meaning “creeping thing.”

    Henceforth, I think we should just call them herpes.

  12. Sh!thead, you can’t trouble their tiny brains with stuff like facts or geography.

    By the way, we are deep frying gator for the 2013 tailgate and I’m serving that ish up hot with sweet and sour sauce.

    Tastes like chicken.

  13. This guy matt hayes is an embicile if he belive this bullshat he wrote:
    In Miami’s long history of winning on the field and in recruiting, there has been no bigger victory than what Golden and his staff pulled off this recruiting season. Bigger than the five national titles, bigger than those Heisman Trophies, bigger than all of those All-Americans.

  14. bg1906 says:
    February 2, 2012 at 4:56 PM
    A side not on yesterday about the flips and about Muschamp being angry. I have to sympathize with them

    OH HELL NAW, i’mma act like i didn’t see this one dawg!

  15. That’s like sympathizing with somebody trying to steal your riding lawnmower cause they’re push lawnmower ran out of gas, only to get caught, you going sympathize with them….tsk tsk

  16. Your post covered a lot of stuff was thorough and made good points but bg, I feel absolutely no sympathy for the lizards or the gobblers, especially not the lizards.

    There’s so damn many of them they’re like cockroaches anyway – I mean the real ones and the fair weather fans. Every time I see one in a canal or something, I wonder how many shoes or belts you can get out of one.

    As far as VagYeast Tech, that coach is an a-hole. A grown man berating an 17-18 year old is not a good look. Kids change their minds all the time like you were talking about. Act like a man and not a jilted gf and move on.

  17. Cal et al.

    NOT that I feel sorry for the Gators. I mean for coaches in general that has that happen. US included. Just tough for them. I’m glad because it worked out in OUR favor, but I can understand the coaches anger. I’d be mad too!

    Tell ’em why you mad son!

  18. HD, honestly hard to tell. Interestingly enough the sixers are number 1 in espns power poll but unfortunately it wont last.

    We beat a lot of poor teams before the magic and bulls wins with the exception of hawks and maybe the pacers as theyr doing well. But then u factor in we beat a slumping magic without jameer nelson and the bulls without deng and hamilton and beleive me deng and rip woulda made a huge difference in that game.

    Im not triyng to slight us but those are facts. But on the other hand we are playing great ball. We have like 7 guys averaging 10 or more points a game, we are playing amazing defense, and we have the coach of the year to this point of the season in dougy collins.

    Its going to be really interesting how it plays out for the rest of the season. Lets see how we do in our next 5 games with the heat, lakers, clips, hawks and spurs i think ? This is a huge stretch to not only pick up quality wins but show we belong. It started with beating orlando and the bulls, but now its time to really show up. Gotta win 3-4 of those 5. With the way the celtics are looking and especially the lowly knicks, I think we have a good shot at the 3 seed and home court. Heres to hoping the season plays out that way and we continue to play the way we are playing

  19. Even more, I’m glad that THESE coaches practice Gorilla Warfare. Randy didn’t fight like this or SNATCH guys like that. Golden doesn’t give a EFF! He just DOES IT! ha!

  20. Also I believe the Canes are having another Junior day this Sunday. Expect MORE commitments for Class of 2013.

  21. LOL at the crybaby Big 10 coaches.
    LOL at Muschamp for throwing a fit over Howard.
    And a HUGE booooo to Frank Beamer or whatever coach was on the other line with Blue when he decommited from VT.

    I’ve followed so many recruiting cycles enough to know this ish happens EVERY year. In fact, we’ve been burned by kids like that so many times that I’m numb to it. It amazes me when fans get mad, let alone coaches! They’re 18 year old kids. They have trouble picking out their outfuts for the day how, can you expect them to be sure what school to go to?

    And don’t EVEN get me started on the tools that tweet or facebook kids that don’t select their school!! Ay mi madre!

  22. Sh!tHead McGillicutty says:
    February 2, 2012 at 7:07 PM
    Stacey Coley perhaps….

    bg1906 says:
    February 2, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Would love to see Coley on board..STUD!

    That’s 1st name that popped up in my head when bg talked about the junior day cong up. Just curious to see if he sees playing time coming if he comes here, we got a spot for you dawg, don’t worry, and coach mcdonald is the best wide reciever coach for sure in the acc, sammy watkins would make any coach look good!

    These college coaches walking round like they highschool girlfriend left them for the captain of the tennis team is outrageous, anyday a gaytor is pissed because of something UM did is a GREATDAY. I like beamer can their staff because without strong competition and that program brings, we wouldn’t have reason to maintain the high level of play we know we can get, but in the meantime, goldie said keep yo azz outta certain parts of Florida too, yall got lucky getting hosley, had shannon listened to me, we told em back than, but since brandon harris, & brandon mcgee, kacy rodgers was on board at the time, shannon wanted to go that route.

    blue plays better than northrup, i didn’t want him here no way, he plays just like most of them old gaytors do. I mean who puts together or let’s somebody else put together a highlight tape where probably somewhere around 3 plays, their were no highlights of him(northrup) doing nothing, GTFOH and go to fsu, jawand blue all dya. And remember folks, if a player from gaytor territory doesn’t come here, we didn’t get burned, we dodged a bullet.

  23. Brian the DerpBeast Londerp .. Has gone full retard.

    “Feb. 02, 2012 1:30 p.m. – by Brian London – Starter who could lose his spot: CB Thomas Finnie
    Sophomore CB Thomas Finnie played in 11 games last season and made 14 tackles. Finnie is a starter-by-default for Miami after senior Mike Williams’ graduation. Signee CB Tracy Howard is widely condsidered the top cover-corner in the country by most of the recruiting services. Howard has a good chance to take playing time away from Finnie and start opposite senior Brandon McGee at CB. ”

    Um, what? I think he’s got it backwards..

  24. Bennie says:
    February 2, 2012 at 11:00 PM
    Brian the DerpBeast Londerp .. Has gone full retard.

    “Feb. 02, 2012 1:30 p.m. – by Brian London – Starter who could lose his spot: CB Thomas Finnie
    Sophomore CB Thomas Finnie played in 11 games last season and made 14 tackles. Finnie is a starter-by-default for Miami after senior Mike Williams’ graduation. Signee CB Tracy Howard is widely condsidered the top cover-corner in the country by most of the recruiting services. Howard has a good chance to take playing time away from Finnie and start opposite senior Brandon McGee at CB. ”

    Um, what? I think he’s got it backwards..

    The young jedi knight strikes again. It’s brandon “senior” mcgee, who if he’s not playing up to 1st team acc standards, might as well go with the young guns, cause for real, finnie, if he’s improved any from last year is going to be real hard to unseat, plus finnie has the right mindset to maintain his job, i can’t see tracy howard taking finnie’s spot myself either, if anything brandon, mcgee will be handed the newly minted “laron byrd award” from last year.

    Opposing teams secondaries better enjoy themselves come this year, but they better not make the mistake of thinking it’s going to be easy or something. I like the fact that malcom lewis is a track guy, another clear sign this man has real legit speed. In fact here’s to all the guys running track after their freshmen year.

  25. lol (barry jackson)!!

    ### Most wasteful use of air time: ESPN’s over-the-top obsession with Tim Tebow. The network dedicated a SportsCenter special to him, devoted chunks of every pre-game show to him, and even wrote a Christmas ode to him, narrated by a dozen analysts. (We’re not kidding.)

    Yes, it was a huge story. But where’s the self-restraint? Where’s the self-awareness that enough is enough? We don’t need to hear the same analysts – Merril Hoge, Tom Jackson, Skip Bayless and others – opining on Tebow week after week, or in some cases, day after day.

    Read more here:

  26. bg1906
    February 3, 2012 at 1:45 AM
    Good find Cal. Here is another one.

    No doubt this is a great 2012 class, have you all noticed how this kids are not afraid of the mic? They have attitude (in a positive way) , no entitlement here, they talk with confidence, big diff vs the 08 class.

  27. WTF is wrong with this paul williams guy, he’ll put you to sleep on your feet interviewing em,(for a goodnights rest, see the 2nd video link).

    nash, esteban, Uchamps, uh oh, the secret might be out, tune in to the 1st video link, particularly at the 1:37sec mark, somebody might need to slap the hell outta this guy. He kind of reminds me of coach hurtt in the way that he talks and keeps repeating shat, his favorite “he’s an athletic kid” ok, which one that came in is not athletic, of course they are, they came in on a got damyum athletic schalorship!

    WHO needs sleeping pills!

  28. Anybody have a Insider Account with ESPN? They have listed the top 100 recruits for 2013. Be intersting to see who is on the list.

  29. Thanks, Calvin, I’m all set, I DVR’d the National Championship this year.


  30. JSQ says:
    February 3, 2012 at 11:54 AM
    Thanks, Calvin, I’m all set, I DVR’d the National Championship this year.


    rofl, damyum, i knew he was bad, but not bad, you gone be sleep that long, hopefully u wake up b4 the next NSD. speaking of which, apparently delray is has not been informed, the ink probably hasn’t dried on these new LOI’s and he’s already on to 2013, lol.

  31. Bg started covering the 2013 recruits a few weeks ago and I was asking Six about someone from 2014 (Chase Litton) a couple of days ago – never too early to start planning! 🙂

  32. Lol:

    WE ARE, FLORIDA STATE !!!! RT @NickMoody10: Homework assignment: watch 2 hours of tv and type 250 words about the commercials. Not bad

  33. Terry Nazon@sexstrologyReply

    Mars RX retrograde still…are you A. Bored to death B. Reconsidering your Job C. Sorting out worries D. Immersing yourself in stupid fights

  34. Ran into Nelson Agholor last night at University Mall

    (which now has a viral video of two big women getting into a brawl outside of a Kids Foot Locker two days ago .. those damn baby Jordans making women fight)

    Here’s the video of the fight ..

    Nelson was in front of me in line at a store looking at hats – he had a USC hat on backward with a USC shirt. I asked him if he liked USC, he said that he just committed there as he was turning around … saw who I was, started laughing. He was getting a Jets hat, said that was his favorite team

    Asked him when he was leaving for USC, he told me when and also that he would be rooming with Leonard Williams – a big 4* DE from Mainland over in Daytona. He said that he was going to try and see if he could room with some of the upperclassman OL big boys, he wants to get to know the guys that will be protecting him

    So I guess that means they’ll be using him on Offense more than back at Safety. Real nice kid, always has been, would’ve been a nice addition to the Canes to go with Rayshawn – but he said that USC was always in his heart, esp. after being out there

  35. Philly.

    Nkemdiche is a MAN CHILD. He’s a beast of a DT. National Recruit. We will probably offer but not recruit him too heavy. We have some HELLIFIED DTs in Florida this year so I think we’ll stay in-state. We already have Keith Bryant committed and we are #1 for Deadrin Senat. But Nkemdiche is a specimen INDEED!

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