Some Canes, Dolphins and local radio notes:
The UM recruiting class keeps getting stronger. Sunday night’s oral commitment from four-star New Jersey-based safety Kiy Hester gives Miami 14 oral commitments in ESPNU’s top 200, as well as 14 in the top 300.
ESPN rates Hester 196th among all prospects, and he’ll be the best safety prospect in UM’s class. Hester, who de-committed from Rutgers last month, had more than 20 offers, including Michigan State, Missouri and Arkansas.
UM has now picked up two safety commitments over three days. The other was three-star Palm Beach-based prospect Marques Gayot, who flipped from Louisville on UM on Friday.
And UM remains in the running for several others, including four-star receivers Johnnie Dixon (leaning toward Ohio State, according to his coach) and Travis Rudolph; four-star Immokalee cornerback J.C. Jackson (a UF oral commitment who visited Miami this past weekend and told Canesport.com that Miami is “still in it"); and New Jersey-based three-star receiver David Njoku, among others.
Central running back Dalvin Cook, a UF oral commitment who’s ranked 20th among all prospects by ESPN, also hasn’t publicly ruled out UM.
Meanwhile, Fort Lauderdale Dillard’s Dennis Turner is no longer a UM oral commitment. UM wanted him as a defensive back, and Turner wants to play receiver. Turner had been the only two-star recruit in Miami’s class. Everyone else, according to rivals.com's ranking system, is a three- or four-star recruit or five-star (in the case of Booker T. Washington defensive end Chad Thomas).
Here are the 14 UM oral commitments rated in ESPN’s top 300:
No. 19: Miami Central running back Joseph Yearby
No. 44: Palm Beach Central offensive tackle KC McDermott
No. 70: Thomas
No. 115: Miami Central offensive tackle Trevor Darling
No. 128: California-based quarterback Brad Kaaya
No. 131: Winter Park defensive end Trent Harris
No. 170: Hialeah Champagnat defensive tackle Travonte Valentine (now considering Alabama and LSU as well as Miami)
No. 176: St. Thomas Aquinas DT Anthony Moten
No. 196: Hester
No. 233: Booker T. Washington cornerback Nigel Bethel
No. 246: St. Petersburg-based OT Reilly Gibbons
No. 264: Lantana Santaluces WR Darrell Langham
No. 272: Deerfield Beach athlete Brandon Powell (told rivals.com he hasn’t made a final decision but will this week).
No. 287: OrangePark safety Darrion Owens
UM has 28 oral commitments overall; some of them (perhaps 10 or so) are expected to enroll in January.
To appreciate how well Ryan Tannehill has played, consider:
### He’s the first Dolphin other than Dan Marino with at least 23 touchdown passes in a season.
### In three December games, he has completed 73 of 113 passes for 843 yards, 8 touchdowns, two picks and 103.2 rating.
### He has risen to ninth in the league in yards passing, is tied with Tom Brady for ninth in touchdown passes and ranks 13th in completion percentage (62.4). His 86.6 overall passer rating is 20th.
### For the season, Tannehill’s and Brady’s numbers are comparable, even beyond having the same number of TD passes. Brady has the slightly higher rating (88.1 to 86.6). Brady has thrown four fewer picks (10 to 14). Tannehill has the higher completion percentage (62.4 to 60.9). Both are averaging 7.0 yards per attempt.
### On Sunday, Tannehill had a 139.6 passer rating when blitzed (6 for 9, 1 TD). His 120.6 rating Sunday was the second-highest of his career, behind the 123 in the Jacksonville game last year. "He made some really nice throws, big-time throws," offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said Monday.
### Tannehill has led his team on 17 scoring drives in the final five minutes of a half, and 8 in the final two minutes. Both lead the NFL.
COUPLE OTHER FINS ITEMS
### Because of injuries Sunday, Nolan Carroll ended up playing only 32 of Miami’s 81 defensive snaps, and Brent Grimes played 59.
Rookie Will Davis played 51 snaps and allowed 7 of 9 passes thrown against him to be completed, for 90 yards. Jimmy Wilson, playing boundary corner for the first time all year, allowed 4 of 6 passes to be completed for 35 yards.
Michael Thomas, plucked off the 49ers practice squad last week, played 16 snaps and made two enormous plays in the final minute (including the pick to end New England’s late drive.)
### Linebacker Jelani Jenkins played 29 snaps, and both passes thrown against him were incomplete.
### An ankle injury limited Paul Soliai to seven snaps and required Jared Odrick to play 75 snaps, more than usual. Cam Wake played 71,
Dion Jordan played 27, including 17 as a pass rusher; he didn’t have a sack or pressure.
### Offensively, Marcus Thigpen played only three snaps and caught two passes – including what proved to be the game-winning touchdown.
### Please see the last post for an explanation of why the Dolphins now don’t need help to make the playoffs IF they win their last two games.
With Andy Slater moving from WMEN-640 to WINZ-940, WMEN-640 will audition several former NFL players in the noon to 3 p.m. slot this week: Adewale Ogunleye, former UM standout Brett Romberg, Plaxico Burress and Bryant McFadden. All are candidates for the permanent role, GM Steve Lapa said.