Analyzing This Class: D-Ends

The Hurricanes just finished its first recruiting cycle under new coach Al Golden so it's time to take a closer look. In this installment, we look at the efforts at the defensive end position.

When Al Golden took over as Miami's coach in mid-December, the Canes had one defensive end commitment -- 5-star Anthony Chickillo, whose family was very familiar and friendly with former coach Randy Shannon.

When Golden took over, his number one priority was to make sure Chickillo remained a Hurricane. Despite the five-star taking a few other visits and looking around a bit, he inked with the Canes in the end so Golden and his staff accomplished the top priority here.

They weren't done there, obviously. One of the first moves they made was offering a scholarship to Temple commitment Olsen Pierre, a lightly recruited defender from Fork Union (prep school). He accepted Miami's new offer immediately.

Just a few days after getting the job, Golden had a solid commitment from Pierre and a soft one from Chickillo. He wasn't done there. Several players say that's when Golden and his staff started coming after them hard.

One of the first new offers that went out was to Homestead's Ricardo Williams, a local standout who has lots of upside as an edge pass rusher. Williams visited Miami in early January and committed to the Canes around that same time.

Still, with the need for defensive linemen and Chickillo's status still up in the air at that point, the coaches were still recruiting others.

Two Georgia standouts -- Ray Drew and Mason Harris -- seemed to be major targets. Both received in-home visits from Golden and both took visits to Miami. However, Drew inked with UGA and Harris South Carolina. It didn't help that neither player was being actively recruited by Miami under Shannon. It was an uphill battle for the new staff and that showed in the end.

California's Greg Townsend and New York's Ishaq Williams were two players Golden saw personally but neither player was brought in for an official visit -- probably because of how low the chances were that either would become a Hurricane. Townsend signed with USC and Williams inked with Notre Dame.

The Hurricanes ended up landing three -- two of the state's most heavily recruited ones and the top player from Temple's commitment list. It's a very good class, although it could have gotten a little better had one of the four other kids mentioned above signed with the Canes.

Overall Grade: A-


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