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High School Recruiting

Miami Hurricanes land commitment from top-ranked tackle prospect in South Florida

The recruiting dead period is over, spring practices are underway the Miami Hurricanes aren’t wasting any time working on their Class of 2021. Michael McLaughlin, one of the top-ranked offensive linemen in South Florida for the 2021 recruiting cycle, is joining Miami’s class.

McLaughlin orally committed to the Hurricanes on Monday while attending Miami’s first practice of the spring in Coral Gables. He announced his decision on Twitter after watching the new-look Hurricanes practice.

“Miami’s always been high on my list, so I actually had my mind made up in early February that I wanted to commit in person at the first practice,” McLaughlin said. “Miami’s just a place that I see myself for the next four years and it also sets me up for the 40 after four — the 40 years after college.”

McLaughlin is one of the more intriguing offensive line prospects in country in part because of his inexperience. The four-star tackle moved to Florida last year from Indiana, where he had been playing tight end at Danville. He attended a Manny Diaz Football Camp with Stoneman Douglas in Parkland shortly after moving to South Florida and began his day playing 7-on-7 with the Eagles. Former offensive line coach Butch Barry noticed McLaughlin’s massive frame and surprising agility and asked him to come work out with the offensive linemen. At the end of the day, the Hurricanes became the first school to offer a scholarship to McLaughlin.

In less than a year, McLaughlin collected about 20 offers, including one from the Florida State Seminoles, and vaulted from unranked up to No. 299 overall in the composite rankings. The 6-foot-7, 255-pound junior possesses all the physical traits coaches look for and helped lead Stoneman Douglas to its first district title since 2001 last season. He’s currently the top-ranked tackle in Florida — excluding players originally from out of state at Bradenton IMG Academy — and the No. 2 offensive lineman in Broward County behind four-star University guard Marcus Tate, who has orally committed to the Clemson Tigers.

Although Barry left Miami in the offseason, McLaughlin remained a major target for the Hurricanes, and new offensive line coach Garin Justice was able to land his pledge Monday after McLaughlin also attended a junior day at Miami in January. Justice’s commitment to technique is important to McLaughlin, who’s still learning his new position.”

McLaughlin becomes the 10th member of the Hurricanes’ 2021 class and the fourth-highest ranked prospect in the class. Most importantly, McLaughlin is also the second blue-chip offensive lineman in the class along with four-star Miami Central guard Laurence Seymore, who is the top-ranked offensive lineman in Miami-Dade County. Four-star Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna running back Thad Franklin and four-star tackle Savion Collins are the other four-star prospects in the recruiting class.

McLaughlin’s commitment solidifies the Hurricanes’ current standing as the No. 5 recruiting class in the cycle. Miami also currently boasts the top-ranked class in the Atlantic Coast Conference for 2021.

“Miami is definitely building something there right now,” McLaughlin said. “They’re on an upward trend, for sure.”

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This story was originally published March 2, 2020 2:23 PM.

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