Canes offensive coordinator James Coley, who has been a great asset in UM’s recruiting efforts, wasn't available to the general media on National Signing Day but shared some thoughts on this recruiting class with UM’s web site (hurricanesports.com):
### On quarterback additions Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier: "Neither one of them ever said, ‘Well, the other guy is coming.’ And you get that a lot," Coley said. ‘Tell me about the other guy that’s coming.’ That says a lot about the guy that’s coming. Those guys never said that.”
Coley said "Kaaya is a guy early who didn’t have a lot of offers but we knew he was going to be a guy that would be the best in the country and would get a lot of attention.
"We went into Mobile and went after Malik Rosier. I know he was a special player. He had a lot of toughness and understands the game. He has the ability to run and be a threat running but he can throw the ball.
"Two tough guys who are big-time competitors,... who are extremely smart. You want them to come here as freshmen and walk in with a little swagger, a feeling of, 'I can play here.' I think we did that."
### On offensive linemen KC Dermott, Trevor Darling and Nick Linder: "We felt those three are guys that can come in and not only play right away,… but they can go from being guards to tackles and smart enough to play center. They are flexible. We went into Dade and felt we got the best, went into Broward and felt we got the best, went into Palm Beach and felt we got the best."
### On the new receivers: "It just happened to fit that they all play three different positions. Rarely do you have the luxury to take the guys you feel are the best at those positions.
"We took a big X in Darrell Langham, 6-5. He came to our camp… and was moving and playing fast. We took a Z in Tyre Brady. At 6-3, a big Z. We feel he can do a lot of different things, great change of direction, great burst.
"Braxton Berrios… can play the slot. But he’s so smart,… he’s not limited to the slot. He can be an outside guy and hold his own. He’s got enough savviness to understand how to play against different players and how to play a little possum. We filled our need. It’s going to be fun watching those guys compete."
### He said four-star running back Joseph Yearby "is built similar to Duke Johnson, very versatile just like Duke. When he’s out there, he’s got a different look in his eye."
Coley said “Duke looks great coming out of his injury.” Al Golden said neither Johnson nor Yearby is healthy enough to participate in spring football following their leg injuries.
### By the way, UM slid to 12th in Rivals.com’s final recruiting rankings, compared with 10th for ESPN. Both are very good but would have been better if Travonte Valentine, Nigel Bethel, Brandon Powell and Reilly Gibbons hadn’t bolted.
What hurt UM in the rivals.com rankings was lack of four-star recruits (eight), compared with teams ahead of them, including FSU (13) and Florida (12). In Rivals.com’s top 18, only Clemson had fewer four-star recruits. UM had one five star recruit (Chad Thomas).
Overall, UM finished behind FSU (fourth) and UF (8th) in the Rivals rankings. But Miami was fifth among non-SEC schools, behind only Florida State, Ohio State, USC and Notre Dame, which is pretty impressive.
### CBS’ Jason LaCanfora posted a generally negative piece on the state of the Dolphins this week, aside from pointing out the team’s enviable cap position. (As we’ve reported, Miami will have between $30 million and $34 million in space, depending on tenders to some bottom-of-the-roster players. But Brent Grimes could take up another $11 million of cap space if he’s franchised.)
LaCanfora offered one news nugget in the piece, noting that Joe Philbin was “professing his belief in Matt Moore to several of the GM candidates and demanding more from Ryan Tannehill."
"He definitely wants to push Tannehill more," one source who has spoken to Philbin about the quarterbacks told LaCanfora. "And if he doesn't see improvement he said he might go to Moore at some point. He definitely has a lot of faith in Moore, and they're paying him a lot of money."
Moore will make $4 million this season, with a $5.5 million cap hit.
The view here: Unless Tannehill is awful and the Dolphins are losing a lot partly or largely because of him, it’s short-sighted (many would say downright foolish) to bench him next season considering: 1) Tannehill has more upside than Moore; 2) Tannehill made considerable progress this season (10th in yards, 11th in completions) despite a dreadful offensive line; and 3) The Dolphins must determine this year if he’s their quarterback of the future, which they remain hopeful about.
LaCanfora does generally good work and breaks stories, but in assessing the Tannehill report, we should note that he was both right and wrong in covering the Dolphins’ machinations of the past month, incorrectly reporting that one of the finalists (Lake Dawson) was no longer under consideration and that Stephen Ross’s upcoming trip to London and possibly China could sidetrack the GM search for a week. (The Dolphins insist Ross already had gone to London by that point, never went to China, and the three days didn’t sidetrack the search.) None of this is noted to rip the hard-working LaCanfora, but perspective is needed on these types of eyebrow-raising reports.
### Please check back later for the Sunday buzz column, with lots of Dolphins and Canes, plus Heat.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz