Draft Analysis -- Recruiting south Florida

21 players from south Florida were drafted this past weekend and only one signed with the Hurricanes out of high school. Even worse, only five were even offered scholarships by the Hurricanes. CanesTime's Mike Bakas breaks it all down, and helps better understand why the Canes have struggled on the field in recent years.

Quarterbacks: Teddy Bridgewater

Bridgewater was recruited nationally. He committed to the Hurricanes under Randy Shannon but switched to Louisville after Al Golden took over.

Running Backs: Tre Mason, Devonta Freeman, and James White

The Hurricanes didn't recruit Freeman until Golden got the job. By then, it was too late -- especially since he was a mid-year guy at Florida State. The Canes never actively recruited Mason or White.

Wide Receivers: Kelvin Benjamin and John Brown

The Canes recruited Benjamin but not real hard. Brown was a local player (Homestead High) but grades forced him to a small school (Mars Hill) first before transferring to a Junior College and then Pittsburg State.

Tight Ends: None

Offensive Linemen: Brandon Linder, Kevin Pamphile, and Demetrius Rhaney

Linder was a 5-star recruit, and Miami was able to keep him home. Pamphile, a Miami Central kid, was not recruited by Miami. He signed with Purdue as a defensive end and grew into an NFL caliber offensive tackle. He only played one year of high school football. Rhaney was a Broward kid who didn't have the grades coming out of H.S. He went to Tennessee State and did really well.

Defensive Linemen: Ed Stinson and Ken Bishop

The Canes never offered Stinson, who went on to play a lot of games at Alabama. Bishop signed with Bethune Cookman out of H.S. but enrolled at a Junior College instead. He didn't have the grades for Miami. He ended up at Northern Illinois.

Linebackers: Ryan Shazier and Randell Johnson

Miami recruited Shazier but not terribly hard. He signed with Ohio State and had a tremendous career there. Johnson played at North Miami but was not actively recruited by Miami. He went on to star at FAU.

Defensive Backs: Lamarcus Joyner, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Dezmen Southward, Nevin Lawson, Keith Reaser, Brandon Dixon, and Jabari Price

Joyner was recruited nationally but never considered Miami too much. Jean-Baptiste was a Juco kid coming out and later had a strong career at Nebraska. Southward played at St. Thomas and then Wisconsin, and is a kid Miami never recruited. Lawson was very lightly recruited, and played at Utah State. Reaser played at Killian but Miami never recruited him. He wound up at FAU. Dixon played at Coconut Creek but grades forced him to Juco. Price was never recruited by Miami out of Ely and went to North Carolina.

Specialists: Pat O'Donnell

The Canes never recruited O'Donnell, who went to Cincinnati before transferring to Miami for his senior season.

Final Analysis: There were 21 players drafted from South Florida. Of the 21, only one signed with Miami out of high school while just four others (Bridgewater, Freeman, Benjamin, and Joyner) were offered. 11 others were never even offered a scholarship by the Hurricanes, including eight that went to other BCS programs (White, Mason, Pamphile, Stinson, Shazier, Southward, Price, and O'Donnell). The three biggest sleepers in the group turned out to be Johnson, Lawson, and Reaser. In hindsight, at least one of those three should have been offered by the Hurricanes. The remaining five (Brown, Rhaney, Bishop, Jean-Baptiste, and Dixon) didn't have the grades to get recruited hard by Miami in high school.

The Hurricanes have struggled on the field in recent years. This year's draft is a classic example of why -- only one of the 21 players drafted came here and three of the four others UM really wanted ended up helping FSU win a national championship.

However, it goes deeper than that. Sure, the Canes missed out on their top targets from this group. However, eight BCS-level recruits were never even actively recruited by the Canes. If the evaluations were good, a lot of those kids would have become Hurricanes and things would've been much different on the field the past few years.

Keeping the top talent home every year is always a challenge, and probably more than ever. However, making good evaluations is still the lifeblood for UM because of its home recruiting base. Randy Shannon was terrible at it, and this Draft Class is a great example of it. The jury's still out on Golden's evaluation skills but making good evaluations will be absolutely paramount in determining whether UM can return back to the top of the college football world.


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