Mike's Analysis: New LB commit

The Hurricanes landed a commitment from a very good linebacker prospect Monday night. Read on for a full analysis of that commitment from CanesTime's Mike Bakas.

Zach McCloud committed to the Miami Hurricanes last night.

What to Like: At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, McCloud already has ideal size for being just a junior. He has good length and has a frame that should enable him to put on a lot of weight at the college level. He'll likely start school in the 230 range and then still have more room to grow. Athletically, he's very good. He's an explosive tackler and has the ability to play in space. It's hard to find linebackers who can legitimately stay on the field for all three downs at the college level and McCloud seems to flash that type of ability. He'll stick his nose inside and then drop back into coverage with fluid hips and the ability to run with most backs and tight ends. It won't be easy creating coverage mismatches against him. His high school coach calls him the total package, and it's easy to see why when watching him on film. He has the size, the athleticism, and the football instincts to make plays.

What may concern you: There aren't many holes in his game at this stage. The first thing that you notice, and it's the case with many top linebacker prospects at his age, is that you'd like to see him go harder on every play. If the ball's not going his way he has a tendency to coast instead of going full throttle to make the play. He has such an edge on most others on the field in terms of athleticism that he almost looks bored on some plays. That's very correctable. He still needs to work on being better at disengaging from opposing blockers and use his hands more but that's a fundamental thing that can be corrected over time.

Bottom Line: McCloud already started getting SEC level offers and he's clearly one of the top linebacker prospects in South Florida, regardless of his age. He'll likely emerge as one of the state's premier linebacker prospects next year. Scout has him pegged as a 4-star already and he'll likely get recruited like one, despite making this early commitment. He becomes the 8th commitment in what has to be considered the nation's best 2016 recruiting class so far. The other two linebacker commitments -- Michael Pinckney and Shaquille Quarterman -- are more inside guys while McCloud is an outside guy who can do a lot more on that side of the ball. He's a premier prospect and a big commitment for the Hurricanes.

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