Mike's Take: Miami OL commit

The University of Miami landed a commitment from offensive lineman Hunter Knighton earlier this week. CanesTime's Mike Bakas breaks it down.

What to Like: The first thing that jumps out to you about Hunter Knighton is his size. At 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, he has ideal height, arm length, and a frame that should enable him to carry 300+ pounds at the college level after spending a couple years in the weightroom. He's a pretty athletic, too, especially for someone his size. Anytime a player receives BCS-level offers on both sides of the line, he brings in a lot of versatility. Knighton is a skilled defensive lineman as well, and even had 10 sacks as a junior last season. Boise State, West Virginia, and others wanted him on defense. That shows you the type of athlete they think he is. And he plays the offensive line with a defensive mentality, and really gets after people. He's fairly light on his feet, can get to the second level, and runs really well.
Knighton also comes from a premier academic school so he's a very good student in the classroom. Whenever you talk to him about the game, you immediately get the impression that he has a good football IQ and understands the game really well. I also really like how he came to camp, so Art Kehoe was able to work with him and see what type of intangibles he brings to the table as far as work ethic, coachability, etc. That's always important, especially for offensive linemen.

What may concern you: Like most kids at that size, he needs to add strength. Physically, he's not ready to walk into a college program and be able to compete right away. It will take time, and a redshirt is likely. He's probably two years away, physically, from being able to handle the load. However, that's common for major college offensive line prospects. He will also need some time adjusting to the speed and physicality of the major college game since the competition he played against on a regular basis at The Hun School isn't what it's like for players in Miami or Atlanta or Philly. Finally, he wasn't real actively recruited by the top programs in his region. Especially for offensive linemen, that rarely matters but it's something worth noting. Miami beat out Boise State and Purdue in the end.

Bottom Line: Knighton started getting recruited by Miami early in the process. He was invited to camp, showed up, performed very well, and was offered a scholarship soon after. He's one of the tackles Miami's coaches seemed to want the most in this recruiting cycle. He gives the Canes a second offensive line commitment for the 2013 class, joining Ohio's Alex Gall. Denver Kirkland and Josh Outlaw remain major targets for the coaching staff as we head down the stretch.

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