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Mike's Analysis: UM's 2017 Recruiting Class

Read on for a complete analysis of Miami's recruiting class.

THE GOOD:

* UM did a great job of meeting their needs. Coker, Shannon, and Golden all had classes that offered terrible balance in terms of numbers. Not only did this staff do a good job meeting their needs but the overall balance in terms of numbers is very good.

* Lots of speed. Robert Burns (4.5), Jeff Thomas (4.38), WR Mike Harley (4.5), and Trajan Bandy (4.5) were the headliners in terms of overall speed. The tackles have good feet, the ends have good quickness. DeAndre Wilder runs really well for an OLB. Overall, it was a good class in terms of team speed.

* Unlike many recent classes here, UM did a good job of keeping most of the early commitments. They dropped some of them (Ahman Ross, Nick Roberts, Billy Gibson, Kavaughn Dingle, etc) and lost some (CJ Henderson, Brian Edwards, etc) but they kept most of them (N'Kosi Perry, DJ Johnson, Navaugn Donaldson, DeAndre Wilder, Trajan Bandy, etc). 

* There are some really, really good players in this class. Jeff Thomas (if he gets into school) can potentially be a much-needed game changer at WR. I can see him becoming the team's No. 2 WR by the end of next season. UM thought John Ford was the best DT they saw all year. DJ Johnson was recruited by everyone and seems like a potential impact player. Trajan Bandy is an old school type, a true baller. Navaughn Donaldson is a big time OL prospect who I think will have a chance to push for a starting job in the fall.

THE BAD:

* Not being able to close on some kids UM once felt good about down the stretch. Those players include RB Anthony McFarland (Maryland), S Brian Edwards (Florida), and CB CJ Henderson (Florida). Sure, they landed 3 kids late but they weren't as heavily recruited as the three I just mentioned. Jeff Thomas (who didn't take any other visits), Mike Harley (who picked UM over UCLA, a school he didn't even visit), and Tay Dean (chose UM over Arizona State and Utah) could be good additions but it was tough losing McFarland, Edwards, and Henderson the way they did.

* There are still too many local kids getting away. Jerry Jeudy (Bama), Travon Grimes (Ohio State), TJ Slaton (Florida), Vandarius Cowan (Bama), Jordan Wright (Bama), Henderson, and Edwards are just some of top tier kids who left. I understand why UM is losing kids down here to Alabama and Ohio State. Those kids can go and compete for a national championship from day one. But Florida? They came down here and plucked 3 top tier kids away from UM late. If UM wants to return to the top, they need to put a stop to that.

* The only nationally recruited kid they landed from outside the state is DJ Johnson. Sure, DeeJay Dallas and others had nice offer sheets but Richt had previous ties with them from his days at UGA. Johnson was the only true top tier pluck from another area. You'd like to get more than one of those, especially considering how many homes of kids from outside the state they sat in down the stretch.

BOTTOM LINE:

It's a solid class, probably a top 15 group. It's one you would expect after going 9-4. It was never going to happen overnight but losing close games like they did vs FSU, UNC, and Notre Dame has an affect. Had UM won those 3 games, played for a conference title, etc it would have been in a much better spot to keep some of the top tier kids at home. However when you go 9-4, losing a bunch of local kids to other major programs will happen. If UM can start winning 10, 11+ games then these recruiting losses won't happen as often. I've been telling you guys for 15 years now that the best kids want to go to the best programs because it gives them a chance to win, play in the NFL, play on national TV, and generally be in the spotlight. UM doesn't quite offer that yet. Hopefully this class will help get them closer to that.


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