UM adds TE to its recruiting class

The Hurricanes added another player to its 2013 signing class today when Ryheem Lockley signed. Read on to learn a lot more about him, and what it means for the Canes.

Ryheem Lockley was offered by Miami less than a week before signing day. He visited the final recruiting weekend. He committed three days before signing day. And after not signing on Wednesday, Lockley to UM became official today.

What to Like:
At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, Lockley has ideal size to play a number of positions. He could be a big receiver, a pass-catching tight end, a strong safety, or an outside linebacker. His athleticism is a major plus. He ran a 4.6 at one of the Nike Camps last spring and jumped over 30 inches. Those are impressive numbers for a player his size. He's also a very talented basketball player and has scored over 1,500 points in his prep career.

On the field, he was ultra productive. He went for over 1,000 yards on the ground, nearly 600 as a receiver, made a lot of plays on defense, and even returned kicks for his high school team. I always prefer players who go both ways in high school. It seems like that's all Butch Davis, the best evaluator in the college game over the last 20+ years, ever recruited -- players who went both ways in high school. They tend to have the ability to play more than one position. That's exactly what Lockley brings to the table.

His film is very impressive. He has tremendous ball skills. Based on how good he is with the ball in the air or in his hands, he seems like more of an offensive prospect. You typically don't like putting kids with those ball skills on defense. He also has a tremendous ability to make people miss in the open field -- especially for someone his size. Few guys can make a defender miss in the phone booth and they're typically 5-foot-10 or shorter. This kid is 6-foot-3 and does it. He can change directions, make people miss, and just create a lot of plays on the offensive side of the ball.

If you look at him defensively, he was athletic enough to play cornerback in high school. Due to his current size, and growth potential, he's likely going to have to be an outside linebacker if he's going to play on defense. He's very athletic, seems to have plus coverage skills, and the only thing you wonder about is how explosive of a tackle he'd be if he played on that side. It's also tough to know what type of instincts he'd have there without much experience at the position. Those are just a few reasons why I expect him to be an offensive player down the road.

There are only a handful of players in Florida this year who have a highlight film as impressive as his -- especially, again, for someone his size.

What may concern you:
Miami didn't start recruiting him until recently. That always raises a question in people's mind. Why wasn't he targeted earlier in the year? Why did the coaches wait so long? Was he a late bloomer? In addition, he wasn't real heavily recruited -- even in his own region. Where were schools like Ohio State, Tennessee, and other schools who actively recruit the state of Virginia?

Because of his size alone, he will likely project as a pass-catching tight end prospect. He doesn't have much experience there. Will he block? How good will he be able to run routes? Those are some things that you really can't answer just yet (if he's going to end up playing that position).

Bottom Line:
The Hurricanes need players. It's a small class, and they really need to make the most of every scholarship. They had a player named Travis Johnson committed for several months. Johnson isn't anywhere close to being as athletic or explosive or versatile as this kid. They still need linebacker numbers, so this kid could ultimately take one of those spots. Virginia produces a lot of quality players every year so it's a good state to break into for recruiting purposes. Lockley is a tremendous athlete with excellent video. His best days seem to be way ahead of him. He looks like the type of player who could be a real difference maker, even early in his career. Despite the fact that UM didn't start recruiting him until late in the process, this is a huge commitment for the Hurricanes. I truly believe he has the tools to become one of the best players in this entire class.

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