2012 Class Analysis: Offensive Linemen

The Hurricanes needed a few offensive linemen in this past recruiting class and they finished with three of them. Lets take a closer look at the 2012 offensive line class.

Coming Back: The Hurricanes return 11 offensive linemen from the 2011 season -- two seniors, four juniors, four sophomores, and one redshirt freshman. They return one pure center, five tackles, and five guards. Seniors Benjamin Jones (OT) and Jeremy Lewis (OG) have rarely played throughout their careers. The projected starters going into the spring are Seantrel Henderson and Malcolm Bunche at tackle; Brandon Linder and Jon Feliciano at guard; and Shane McDermott at center. Junior guard Jared Wheeler, junior tackle Jermaine Johnson, sophomore tackle Jermaine Barton, and freshman guard Hunter Wells are the backups who will be competing for spots.

Ones who got away: Avery Young is the only other offensive lineman who made an official visit to Miami and he ended up signing with Auburn. Ryan Brodie (NJ) canceled a scheduled visit to Miami in January and ended up signing with Rutgers. So did guard Joshua Garnett, who signed with Stanford. A few others -- including guard Evan Goodman (Arizona State) and tackle Jim Cashman (Boston College) -- made unofficial visits to Miami and had scholarship offers from the Canes but ended up elsewhere.

Best part about this class: Getting Taylor Gadbois back from a semester at prep school was key. He signed with the Canes out of Georgia last year, choosing Miami over UGA and Georgia Tech. He didn't quality and getting him back for spring was big. With Ereck Flowers, they signed the best offensive line prospect in Dade/Broward. And with Danny Isidora, they signed a massive offensive guard prospect that really isn't on the roster right now. Two of the three (Flowers and Gadbois) were able to enroll early for the spring semester and will get a head start on weight training and will get to go through spring drills with the team.

Most concerning thing about this class: The Canes brought in just one offensive lineman in last year's class and so they now have a total of four in Al Golden's first two classes. That number may be a bit low but time will tell.

Ereck Flowers
On the field: Flowers played his junior season at Dr. Krop High before transferring to Norland for his senior season. Playing left tackle for the Vikings and blocking for incoming running back Duke Johnson, Flowers helped lead his team to a state championship. He was outstanding on the edge all season and was an all-state selection following the season.

The recruiting process: Flowers landed several spring offers, including one from Miami. He committed a short time later. Some of those early offers included West Virginia, Vanderbilt, South Florida, Purdue, Florida State, and Illinois. He took official visits to Illinois, Purdue, and FSU in addition to the Canes. He was recruited like a four-star prospect.

As a prospect: At 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds, Flowers has a tremendous amount of ability. He already has ideal size for a major college line prospect. He has the footwork, length, and overall athletic ability to stay at left tackle at the next level. During his senior season he can be seen making blocks 30 and 40 yards downfield. He fires off the ball and plays with a lot of passion and energy. He's a talented kid who knows the game and really wants to get better, a coachable player. He has as much upside as any O-Line prospect in the entire state for the 2012 class.

Taylor Gadbois
On the field: Gadbois played high school football in the state of Georgia before playing this past season at Fork Union Military Academy. He started five games at left tackle and missed a few others due to a concussion that he suffered during the season.

The recruiting process: Gadbois was one of just three offensive linemen in the state of Georgia to have offers from both the Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets coming out. He also had offers from schools like N.C. State and Kentucky, a school he also took an official visit to. He committed to Miami soon after Al Golden got the job. He was one of the first players Golden and his new staff targeted. After going to prep school, he never wavered or visited any other schools aside from the Canes.

As a prospect: At 6-foot-8 and 300 pounds, Gadbois has played mostly left tackle until now but projects as more of a right tackle at Miami. He's a big kid with a lot of strength and power. He knows the game really well. He really gets after people in the running game. He plays with a nasty streak and loves to finish. He's a very good right tackle prospect.

Danny Isidora
On the field: Isidora played left tackle for a good Cypress Bay team that ended up making it into the state playoffs. He was an all-state selection after the season.

The recruiting process: Isidora landed several spring offers, including Miami, West Virginia, Wisconsin, South Florida, and more. He committed to the Canes during the season and never took any other visits or strongly considered any other schools.

As a prospect: The Canes needed a bulldozer of an offensive guard added to its roster and Isidora gives them just that. At 6-foot-3 and 340 pounds, he will play inside in college. Once he locks on to a defender, it's usually over. He has shown the ability to just maul people on the interior. He comes from a good prep program is well-schooled on playing the position. He's also very flexible, especially for someone his size. He's a very good guard prospect for the Canes.

Looking Ahead: With just four offensive linemen in two years, the Canes will likely make this position a priority with the 2013 class. Several early offers have already gone out. One top local prospect to keep an eye on is Booker T's Denver Kirkland (6-4/315), a talented prospect who has an offer and has a lot of early interest in the Canes. The state's top O-Line prospect appears to be Lake City Columbia's Laremy Tunsil, a 6-7 phenom who happens to be very close friends with incoming defensive line recruit Dequan Ivery. The Canes, and everyone else, have already offered him.


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