PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Byrce Brown did not sign with Miami today, he is committed and expected to still ink with Miami in the future, therefore he is in this class.
Miami is coming off a tremendous 2008 recruiting class where Dade County was loaded. It appears that class was as good as advertised with Jacory Harris, Sean Spence, Marcus Forston, Marcus Robinson, Aldarius Johnson, Thearon Collier, Laron Byrd, and Brandon Harris making significant contributions as true freshmen. There were still holes to fill in 2009, particularly on the OL, TE, and CB.
2009 FLORIDA TALENT(13): RB Lamar Miller, RB Mike James, OL Stephen Plein, OL Cory White, OL Jared Wheeler, OL Brandon Washington, OL Jermaine Johnson, DE Olivier Vernon, DE Dyron Dye, DT Luther Robinson, CB Brandon McGee, CB Jamal Reid, ATH Ray Ray Armstrong.
Solid, not spectacular haul from the Sunshine State. Washington and Johnson are former Florida players from premier programs who had to go to Prep School. Plein and White are pure projection offensive linemen, both need 40-60 pounds, but have the frames to do it. Wheeler will play inside and is a big, physical mauler type. Reid and Mcgee both have high ceilings, but are raw, and Miami needs one of them to produce early. You won't find a better DE duo in the state, both Vernon and Dye have big-time upside. Armstrong is a complete wildcard, he could play anywhere: TE, DE, LB, or S. He is a tremendous talent. James(power) and Miller(lightning) are a great in-state 1-2 punch. Robinson has some upside on the interior of the defensive line.
Obviously, Bryce Brown is the headliner here and perhaps the top player in the country. With Miller and James, Miami is loaded for the next four years at running back. Bunche has a big fan in Miami OL Coach Jeff Stoudland who considers him top 5 in the country. Porter is the big space-eating DT Miami has been lacking. Kent and Green are Georgia athletes. Highsmith is the son of a Cane legend and had a spectacular senior season.
ONES THAT GOT AWAY:
QB Eugene Smith: Yes Jacory Harris the starter, but this is as good of talent that South Florida will produce at the QB spot. Miami was never really a factor here.
WR Andre Debose: Miami only went after two wide receiver's and Debose was the one in-state target. Miami landed two of his team mates. He had a lot of early interest in Miami. In the end, it was not enough as UF did a tremendous job recruiting him.
DB Kayvon Webster: He was committed for a while to Miami at a need position, but decided to join his team mates at USF(Hopkins and Griffin). Miami may not have shown Webster enough love until too late in the process. Also, it is believed that USF wanted Webster on the offensive side of the ball.
TELL ME WHY
Jayron Hosley: Perhaps the top corner in South Florida based on production, big-time play-maker. He has a similar skill set to Brandon Harris who they went after hard and landed last year. This is not just Miami, none of the 'Big 3' showed Hosley much 'love'. But Miami had the biggest need and when Webster went elsewhere, this looks like a big mistake.
Gabe Holmes: Miami knew they were striking out at TE with six weeks to go until signing day and did not jump on this local product. Many believe that Holmes is the top 'pure' TE in the state.
WOULD HAVE BEEN TREMENDOUS PULLS: WR Reuban Randle, OL Marcus Hall, OL Bobbie Massie
GRADE: B. Miami filled their primary need which was on the OL. With only one in 2008, they landed 6 in 2009 which makes a nice number of 7 over a two year period. Two are from 'Prep School' so they are back on track at the spot, look for three 'freshmen' in 2009 and four players to redshirt. The running back haul is the best in the country. Billy Sanders, a former commit who then was turned to UCLA, came back on signing day. That was huge for Miami to get one pure TE in the class. Plein and/or White could play TE, particularly early in their career. Ray Ray Armstrong flat makes plays, great get for the Canes and now the question is where do you play him? Considering that they only have three corner's on the roster, they probably needed one more in this class, Webster's defection hurt. Already young and loaded at DE, Dye/Vernon/Green seals the deal. Tremendous depth at the spot going forward.
TWO YEAR HAUL
QB(4): Jacory Harris, Taylor Cook, Cannon Smith, A.J. Highsmith
RB(3): Bryce Brown, Lamar Miller, Mike James
FB/HB(2): Pat Hill, John Calhoun
TE(1): Billy Sanders
WR(7): Aldarius Johnson, Laron Byrd, Thearon Collier, Travis Benjamin, Davon Johnson, Tommie Streeter, Kendal Thompkins
OL(7): Ben Jones, Brandon Washington, Jermaine Johnson, Jared Wheeler, Malcolm Bunche, Cory White, Stephen Plein
DE(6): Marcus Robinson, Andrew Smith, Gavin Hardin, Olivier Vernon, Dyron Dye, Shayon Green
DT(5): Marcus Forston, Micanor Regis, Jeremy Lewis, Luther Robinson, Curtis Porter
LB(6): Sean Spence, Arthur Brown, Jordan Futch, Ramon Buchanan, Joe Wylie
CB(3): Brandon Harris, Brandon McGee, Jamal Reid
(3): C.J. Holton, Vaughn Telemaque, Prince Kent
K(1): Jake Wieclaw
A LOOK AHEAD: Miami has two big-time commits for 2010 at DT: Todd Chandler(Miami Northwestern) and Louis Nix(Raines). South Florida, particularly Dade County, is loaded in 2010. It should be similar to 2008 where Miami cleaned up the local talent. Plenty of corner's in the area, so that should be solved one year from today. CB is the biggest need and Miami has to land three pure corners next year......has to. Two other spots that Miami should be active at are TE and LB. Some players who appear to be heavy Miami leans for 2010 are: DE Corey Lemonier(Hialeah), WR/S Willis Wright(Miami Springs), RB Jakhori Gore(Columbus), OL Brandon Linder(St. Thomas), OL Torian Wilson(Miami Northwestern).