This past Tuesday was the culmination of many talented high school football players’ dreams in National Signing Day. Miami managed to keep home a handful of South Florida studs en route to a solid first class without a full cycle for Mark Richt and company. Let’s break it down position by position starting with the offense.
Jack Allison 6-5, 200lbs from Palmetto, FL ****
The Canes only signed one quarterback this cycle… But the one they landed is a good one. Allison was the eighth ranked pro-style quarterback prospect in the nation this past year, and he is in line to take the starting mantle at the ‘U’ after the inevitable pro departure of Brad Kaaya. Allison is a prospect I like very much but still have some reservations about. His positives are an ideal frame at 6-5 that he has time to grow into, solid arm strength and athleticism, impressive leadership ability, and high football IQ. His main issues boil down to mechanics. He has inconsistent footwork which leads to inconsistent accuracy and he also possess a slightly elongated and accentuated throwing motion that limits his velocity. He has the arm strength to make all the throws, but he won’t be able to maximize it unless he understands how to correctly utilize his fundamentals to make the most of his tools. Allison is a guy who can be an impact starter down the road but requires at least two seasons on the bench learning behind an entrenched starter.
Class Position Grade: A-
Travis Homer 5-11, 195lbs from West Palm Beach, FL ****
Like the quarterback group, the Canes only signed a single prospect to bolster the halfback corps but they hauled in a good one. Homer is a prospect who I absolutely love, and I have zero idea how he hasn’t received more hype as of yet. He’s built in the Joe Yearby mold as a home run hitter utilizing killer speed with a game centered around tremendous vision and juking ability. He brings explosion and old school Miami speed to an offense, and if coached well he can be an unadulterated stud a few years down the road. Homer is a hidden star in this class. The problem is that Miami only signed one running back when they really would’ve been better off with at least one if not two more. I question why the staff didn’t put serious thought into chasing a guy like Carlin Fils Aime or makinga bigger push to flip Amir Rasul back. Homer is a star, but it would’ve helped the offense as a whole to add at least one other piece here.
Class Position Grade: A-
Sam Bruce 5-8, 180lbs from Fort Lauderdale, FL ****
Ahmon Richards 6-1, 170lbs from West Palm Beach, Fl ****
Dionte Mullins 5-10, 180lbs Miami, Fl ****
The wide receivers are the crown jewels of this recruiting class. Miami managed to hang on to three bona fide stars who will give Brad Kaaya some playmakers to throw the ball to. Bruce is a dynamic, explosive player with ‘Philip Dorsett Reincarnate’ written all over him. He is a threat to score every time he touches the ball, and with solid hands and blazing speed, he will have quite the career here. His only downside is that his slight stature will likely relegate him to the slot, but luckily, his speed centric play style should excel there. Mullins is a similar player to Bruce in many ways but with better size. He is a dependable target over the middle of the field with sure hands, and is willing to go up to fight for a ball. He too is a burner with outstanding speed (though Bruce has him beat in this regard) who uses this speed best after the catch. Mullins is a welcome dose of playmaking to the receiving corps. Richt was able to flip Richards back to the ‘U’ after previously decommitting and being considered an Alabama lean. He brings size and physicality at the receiver position as a guy who loves to go up and attack the ball in the air. Don’t let his physical oriented approach to the game fool you however, Richards also has great speed, and can turn on the jets to leave defenders in the dust. His route running is also the most polished of the group, and he has the potential to be a Devante Parker type player in this offense. This receiving class is electric, and the trio of South Florida studs Miami has landed is exactly the kind this program prides itself on.
Class Position Grade: A+
Jovani Haskins 6-4, 235lbs from Bergenfield, NJ ***
Michael Irvin Jr. 6-3, 220lbs from Fort Lauderdale, Fl ***
Haskins is a hard prospect to get a read on as he has been forced to play much quarterback for his school over the past two years due to injuries. As such, there is little tape on him at tight end, but his athleticism and body type seems a perfect fit for the position. It’s difficult to make a determination on how high quality a prospect he is given the little tape, but he is extremely reminiscent of David Njoku from a few years ago. Keep an eye on Haskins, he is a great sleeper addition to this class who could become a gargantuan mismatch in the passing game. Irvin meanwhile is a legacy addition to the class with the best possible Miami bloodlines. He appears for the most part to be a solid but not spectacular player at tight end who can contribute well to the group but is unlikely to ever headline it. Irvin is a solid role player and legacy guy with good hands and toughness, but not much more than that. This is a bland but passable tight end class.
Class Position Grade: B
Tre Johnson 6-7, 295lbs from Orlando, Fl ***
Johnson is a decent prospect with Florida routes. He is a mammoth of a player at 6-7, and looks to be an ideal right tackle. Many schools actually recruited him as a defensive tackle, but Miami preferred him on the offensive side. He appears mostly to be a depth guy at this point with the potential to develop into a solid starter far down the road. This is an extremely lackluster offensive line class at a time when a talent infusion is needed. While the Canes didn’t need to land a high number of guys here, they needed talent, but they weren’t able to get it done. This will lead to a large offensive line class next year and potential depth and talent issues down the road. The lack of talented offensive lineman in this class is its Achilles heal.
Class Position Grade: D+
Overall Offensive Recruiting Class Grade: B+
Richt managed to pull together an impressive first class on the offensive side of the ball. He found the Canes’ quarterback of the future while supplying him with a future star in the backfield and a myraid of studs to throw to. In addition to all that, the staff managed to pull in two solid (albeit not sexy) tight end prospects. The problem here is an utter dearth of new talent on the offensive line which is of huge concern. Great teams build through the trenches, and right now, Miami doesn’t have the bodies in those areas to compete with the Alabama’s and Michigan States’s of the world. This is a rock solid offensive class but is not without its flaws, namely in the offensive line.
Stay tuned for our next article breaking down the new defensive recruits!