If the Miami Hurricanes could finish 12th in Rivals’ 2020 recruiting rankings despite going 6-7, imagine what UM could do with a better offense (which is expected this season) and a better record.
Miami already is off to a good start for 2021 recruiting, with a 10-player class rated fifth by Rivals, behind Florida, Ohio State, Clemson and Notre Dame.
Where things stand, with all commitments non-binding:
▪ Four-star Hollywood Chaminade Madonna running back Thaddius Franklin, rated by Rivals as the 13th-best running back and 205th-best overall prospect in the 2021 class. He decommitted from UM on Dec. 9 but now feels encouraged about the program’s future and recommitted in mid-February. UF remains in pursuit.
▪ Three-star Miami Northwestern receiver Kalil Brantley, the 83rd-ranked receiver in the 2021 class, according to Rivals.
UM envisions him playing tight end, with Brantley standing 6-2 and 208 pounds and still growing. Miami will need to stave off Oregon and West Virginia, among others, to hold onto him, and he could play as a freshman if Brevin Jordan turns pro after the 2020 season.
▪ Four-star Miami Central offensive lineman Laurence Seymour, the eighth-best guard in the 2021 class, per Rivals. LSU, Georgia and Oregon are pushing hard.
He told Canesport: “I’ll still be committed; it’s nothing [for UM] to worry about.” But UM will still worry until he actually signs. He could compete for immediate playing time in 2021, with Navaughn Donaldson entering his final season of eligibility this fall.
▪ hree-star offensive tackle Michael McLaughlin, from Stoneman Douglas in Parkland. “Great pickup,” recruiting guru Larry Blustein texted. “Reminds me of Eric Winston when he came out of high school. Long and lean. Not to say he will be what [Winston] was but that’s who [McLaughlin] reminds of.”
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▪ Three-star Miami Northwestern defensive end Ja’Corey Hammett, rated by Rivals as the No. 25 weak-side defensive end in the 2021 class. He could end up playing linebacker at Miami. Tennessee and Rutgers continue to pursue him, but Hammett told Rivals that he’s solidly committed to Miami.
▪ Three-star Miami Northwestern cornerback Tim Burns. He had five interceptions last season and might be undervalued by recruiting services because of his height (5-10).
Auburn, West Virginia and Tennessee — among others — keep pursuing him, but Burns has said he’s solid to UM, partly because of a very strong relationship with cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph.
▪ Three-star Homestead South Dade High defensive end Tyler Johnson, rated by Rivals as the nation’s 32nd weak-side defensive end in the 2021 class. The younger brother of former UM star safety Jaquan Johnson, Tyler Johnson committed on junior day on Feb. 3, choosing UM over offers from UF, FSU, UCF and Georgia, among others.
▪ Four-star Miami Central defensive end Chamon Metayer, rated by Rivals the 40th best weak-side defensive end. Like Johnson, he committed during junior day last month, bypassing offers from UF and FSU.
▪ Four-star Miami Southwest defensive tackle Savion Collins, the No. 19 defensive tackle. He has offers from Alabama, LSU, Oregon, Penn State, UF and FSU but committed to UM last September.
But he told The Athletic that he hasn’t spoken to UM coaches in the past month and visited UF during the weekend. He could fall off the commitment list.
Kicking commitment: Two-star Chaminade Madonna kicker Andres Borregalas, who in 2021 will succeed his brother (FIU grad transfer Jose Borregalas) as UM’s kicker. Andres chose UM over Louisville, FIU and Southern Mississippi. He’s considered the top kicker in the 2021 class and last season hit seven of nine field-goal attempts, including one from 47 yards.
There are a bunch, but the hope is to land at least one or two of the elite undecided South Florida prospects.
Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties have five 2021 players in the Rivals top 100: the nation’s No. 1 outside linebacker (Terrence Lewis); elite defensive backs James Williams and Corey Collier, the No. 2-ranked receiver in Jacorey Brooks and cornerback Jason Marshall.
UM is in play, but not perceived to be a favorite, for Miami Palmetto’s Collier, rated the 14th-best player in the 2021 class by Rivals. He’s visiting UF, LSU and Clemson this month. UM, FSU, Oregon and North Carolina are among others reportedly drawing consideration from Collier, who attended UM’s junior day in February.
UM is believed to have a good chance to land four-star Miami Booker T. Washington receiver Brooks, rated the 15th-best player in the 2021 class. He’s also considering UF, Alabama, Georgia, Florida State, LSU and Texas A&M. A projected early enrollee wherever he signs, he had 86 catches for 1,187 yards and 16 touchdowns last season.
Four-star Plantation American Heritage safety James Williams, rated the 18th-best player in the 2021 class, decommitted from UM last May. He told Canesport on Sunday that Miami is still alive but running fourth, behind Alabama, Clemson and Georgia.
Miami has ground to make up with four-star Chaminade Madonna outside linebacker Lewis, rated 19th among all 2021 prospects. He has spoken of having UF, Nebraska and Texas A&M among his undisclosed finalists, with Oregon and Penn State also of interest to him.
UM is in the mix for four star Miami Palmetto cornerback Marshall, the 61st-best prospect in 2021. He has a tough decision among finalists, including UM, UF, Georgia, Alabama , Clemson, FSU and LSU. At 6-1, he has the size and athleticism that the top college programs covet.
Palmetto defensive tackle Leonard Taylor, rated 115th, is another high UM priority but the Canes are considered a heavy underdog. He plans to visit UM, Oregon, Texas A&M, UF and LSU. Taylor told Canesport he wants to see UM win a lot of games this season, but that Miami isn’t in his top five.
South Florida’s highest-rated 2021 offensive tackle, Davie University School’s Marcus Tate (138th) previously committed to Clemson.
UM has also offered several other local players, including Columbus left tackle Ryan Rodriguez (Miami is the front-runner); Plantation four-star receiver Jacolby George (previously decommitted from UM but still considering the Canes) and Chaminade Madonna defensive tackle Allan Haye, who has Miami in his top two, with Iowa State also in pursuit.
And UM has drawn at least some attention from a bunch of top 250 players outside South Florida, including Plant City receiver Mario Williams (rated 16th among all 2021 players), Jacksonville inside linebacker Braden Jennings (47th, brother of UM linebacker Bradley Jennings), IMG Academy receiver Agiye Hall (88th; reportedly hopes to visit UM in April), West Virginia-based cornerback Isaiah Johnson (94th; attended UM’s junior day); New Jersey-based defensive end Aaron Armitage (113th) and Maryland-based receiver Jalil Farooq (184th).