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Heavy hitters weigh in on UM's recruiting

Spent most of the day today talking recruiting with three respected names in the game -- ESPN's Tom Luginbill, Rivals' Jamie Newberg and South Florida's very own Charles Fishbein of Elite Scouting Services. Some of it will run in my story on how UM's 3-1 start has helped or not helped the Canes recruiting efforts (whenever the story runs). But I'm done holding off the info from you here on the blog.

St. Thomas Aquinas offensive lineman Brandon Linder is a major target for UM in recruiting. Here's what you need to know: Regardless of public opinion that UM isn't getting enough superstars in their own backyard, recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt and most analysts believe UM's next sigining class (currently ranked 18th by Rivals, 19th by Scout.com and just outside of the Top 15 by ESPN.com) will finish strong no matter what.

In fact, where the real boost from the start to the 2009 season will likely come is in 2011. Hurtt told me the Canes have already offered 46 juniors -- more than double what they did at the start of October in 2007, 2008 and 2009 combined. He said the feedback, "has been amazing."

"I would be floored if they don't finish in the Top 10 [in recruiting] because I know they're going to close out this season well," said Jamie Newberg, an ACC and national recruiting expert for Rivals.

"I think in the end, they'll get [St. Thomas Aquinas offensive tackle Brandon] Linder, [Booker T. Washington running back] Eduardo [Clements] and a couple big time receivers from down there and finish with some impact guys from the area.

"But while it will be a good, solid class, some people -- including me -- will think it's somewhat disappointing. With all that talent within a stone's throw of Coral Gables, people are still going to wonder why didn't Lemarcus Joyner or Jeff Luc didn't end up there."

Hurtt has already encountered some of those questions from fans while out grocery shopping. Hurtt, who can not talk specifically about recruits per NCAA rules, said he tells everyone who approaches him about local players and why they aren't being recruited by Miami with "we believe in the way we evaluate players."

"Central, Northwestern, St. Thomas Aquinas are all great teams," Hurtt said. "But people have to understand while we try and take care of our backyard, we try and take the kids we want and we feel fits what we're trying to get done here. And if they don't fit that or we make a mistake, we'll have to live with it."

UM has six players from the Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach area. But only Miami Northwestern defensive tackle Todd Chandler is ranked among the nation's Top 150 recruits according to ESPN or Rivals. Jacksonville Raines defensive tackle Louis Nix is the only other current commitment in the ESPN Top 150.

Luginbill, however, said the Canes shouldn't be judged on what they do locally alone. "Recruiting is a marathon and not a sprint. With their numbers, they have to be selective and be sure of who they take every year," Luginbill said.

"Look at their track record in South Florida. They've been able to keep a lot of those kids at home. One year out of three where a few get away isn't a big deal. The way we rank classes is based on needs. When I look at their class right now, six of their seven recruits are guys up front who can win you games. That's where they need the help and that's what they're getting."

Hurtt said while players they once were recruited have tried to jump back on the Canes bandwagon, he and his staff have been firm in being selective. And the spots they've already given to other recruits, Hurtt said, will not be taken away.

"We've had a lot guys call in now who want to get on the boat, who had the opportunity before," Hurtt said. "But I tell them ‘Now, it's too late because other kids have given us their pledges and decided they wanted to be with us from the get-go.'

"We don't have a ton of spots available. We are to a point where we're very selective on who we're talking to and who we're talking with. We we have our focal points and our needs for the remainder of the class and we plan on meeting them."

UM's big focus areas coming in were offensive line, tight end, cornerback and linebacker. With the commitments UM already has, Hurtt said the Canes have one spot left for a running back, three for receivers, one for a tight end, one for a defensive end, one to two for a linebacker and two to three for offensive linemen.

> Palm Beach Central's Shane McDermott, Davie Western's Jonathan Feliciano, Jacksonville Raines' Tavadis Glenn and Malcolm Bunche, a 2009 signee now at Milford Prep, are four offensive line commitments.

Linder, considered a four-star recruit by both ESPN and Rivals from nationally No. 1-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas, has long been Miami's top target. Most expect UM to beat out Notre Dame and Florida to get him. Aquinas teammate Jermaine Barton, a 6-6, 270-pound, project, would then likely be the last linemen UM takes.

> Aquinas cornerback Keion Payne, rated 26th at his position by Rivals, said the same about the Canes. He likely will become the fourth corner in the class, joining Gainesville High's Devont'a Davis, Pahokee's Raheam Buxton, and Kacy Rodgers of Southlake Carroll, Texas.

"Payne would definitley be an upgrade at a position of need," said Charles Fishbein of EliteScoutingServices.com. "You look at their roster and they need guys who can play on the field next year with Brandon Harris and Demarcus Van Dyke. Payne could probably play right away."

> At linebacker, the Hurricanes already have three commitments. Gainesville High's Kevin Nelson is rated the No. 3 inside linebacker in the country by ESPN. Washington (D.C). Dunbar's Javarie Johnson (6-4, 215) is considered an elite outside linebacker.

"I love Nelson," Herald recruiting expert Larry Blustein told me. "Florida is going to be kicking itself it blew it with that kid."

UM is in position to yank in at least one more, if not two. Winter Park Lake Howell's Christian Jones (once a Florida State lean) would be the biggest catch with his 6-4, 220-pound size and mix of speed. Norfolk (Va.) Lake Taylor's Travis Williams (6-2, 190) and Pahokee's Zach Allen, currently a Wake Forest commitment, are also possibilities. Miami's interest in Jeff Luc has evaporated. 

> Defensive end, hampered by injuries this season, is deep with young talent. The Canes would be happy with either Hialeah High's Corey Lemonier (6-5, 223) or Fort Lauderdale University's David Perry (6-6, 230).

> With seniors Jimmy Graham, Richard Gordon and Dedrick Epps leaving after this season, tight end is a position of need. But there simply might not be much available.

Ivan McCartney Unless the Canes can convince Palm Beach Dwyer's Gerald Christian he'll get more playing time at UM instead of Florida, Clive Walford, a 6-6, 225-pound project from Belle Glade Glades Central, and Andrew Tallman, a 6-5, 237-pound defensive end from Boston, will be the best UM can reel in. Tallman will likely end up playing offensive tackle.

"It's just not a great year for tight ends," Luginbill said.

> Without a senior receiver on its roster, there is no pressing need for pass catchers. But UM could still end up signing quality targets for the future.

Miramar High's Ivan McCartney, an ESPN Top 150 recruit, said his interest level in UM went up "from 50 percent to 75 percent'' after the 3-1 start and says the Canes are serious contender along with West Virginia and Florida. Jacksonville Raines' Sean Tapley, who has teammates headed to UM but is currently a South Carolina commitment, said the Canes have his attention.

Ditto for Miami Northwestern's Michaelee Harris (6-1, 180) and Carol City's Allen Hurns (6-2, 180). Hurns is currently the only player UM feels confident they'll get.

"If they're going to take that next step toward winning a championship, they need to start getting those guys," Fishbein said. "Miami's strength has always been that next group -- after those first 22 -- to put them over the top.

"When they had [Jeremy] Shockey, they had [Kellen] Winslow behind him. When it was [Clinton] Portis, they had [Willis] McGahee behind him. Those are the type of players that could come in and be that next player -- behind the starter to help them get to the elite level."


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Nice post Manny.

Team chemistry is important, Canes will be better off getting players that fit rather than hype.

Good work Manny. And well said Homefries! Chemistry and coachability are the main things we need moving forward. Guys that want to get to the next level and be solid student athletes are the priority. We've got the coaches to help the hungry canes get there. Keep up the good work.

Will the UCF game be televised?

do we have a shot with JR Ferguson?

I bet the recruits love that the Canes take the bus to games, just like high school teams.

You cant spell bUs without da U!!!

"I know that Central Florida's going to be a sold-out game in Orlando, it's a night game and that's something we love playing in," quarterback Jacory Harris said. "We're going to go up there, just have fun and endure this three-hour-long bus ride."

I wonder if the U can afford some spinning rims or neon lights on da bus.

Can't spell bUs without da U!!!!

Love the info Manny! My only question is... Could you get the U in trouble by putting those quotes in the blog by "UM scouts"?

go canes

Is there a more frutier name than Chaz Reinhold???

Dooooohhhh!! You got us "D" Bag...I mean chaz! Are U suggesting that if UF played UCF, they would fly a charter in? Even U are not that stupid chaz!

Go 'canes!

Any updates on our injuries?

Posted by: stanky 33 | October 12, 2009 at 03:47 PM


Rumors are running rampant that linebacker Jordan Futch sustained a serious knee injury against FAMU.
-- jorge milian


Will the UCF game be televised?

Posted by: ATLKane09 | October 12, 2009 at 07:00 PM


The network holds multi-media rights for conference USA …
CBS College Sports Network is available on cable systems across the country, including Verizon FiOS, Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Cablevision, Charter, Insight, Bright House Networks, Mediacom, RCN, Advanced Cable, and Bresnan. It is also available on DirecTV's Total Choice Premier Package Channel 613, Dish Network's America's Top 120 Package Channel 152, & Sky Angel IPTV's Family Package Channel 323.
-- wiki


UCF is going to be hyped to play us. It will be their Superbowl

Posted by: stanky 33 | October 12, 2009 at 03:47 PM


UCF coach George O’Leary said on Monday that the school expects Saturday’s game to be sold out.
-- jorge milian



Randy & Co. rectuit 4-5local kids they coveted that qualify academically
and 2-4 outside they state that are mostly hand picked

top 10 recruting class based on needs

Thanks Manny. Very informative post!

Hey Manny, Why dont you ask the UM scout how Buxton and Walford's film looks. LULZ at the sour grapes

As usual, excellent work Manny.

What about Greg Dent out of Belle Glade?

I like what RS is doing with the recruiting process. I remember at the "U" when one player was leaving, another one was behind him. That's how the "U" won back to back championships and was always in the running year, after year, after year. It's called reloading. Now, is RS going to recruit any QB's that want to wait their turn and play at the "U"? Say what you want, but Coker depleted all of the Hurricanes resources and made the "U" a mediocre team at best. Give RS credit, he knows what he's doing for the "U" and that's all that matters. GO CANES!!!!!

Alot of kids today have big ego's and don't want to wait their turn like Winslow & McGahee.

Great work Manny!! Par for the course. Does anyone know what channel the CBS College Sports Network is on Comcast. I have the complete sports package (I even get ESPN U and the Big 10 network), but I do not seem to have the CBS College channel.

Great post. UM has won back-to-back Big East Championships, but we have never won Back-to-Back national championships. We came close in 1992, but lost to Alabama in the Sugar Bowl (George Teague, stripping Lamar Thomas) and in 2002 when we got robbed by OSU and Terry Porter (that game also had Maurice Clearet stripping the late Sean Taylor after an interception).

If anyone is headed up for the UCF game (and I hope there are many) give me a post here if you need help with directions. I live 10 minutes away and will be at the game. we came down to Miami last year and had a great time. It would be great to get Miami fans there to tailgate.


miami is going to be fine for a long time. its not that hard to get kids to go to miami. Who wouldnt want to play football in the greatest city in the united states. go canes!

Futch,Hill,and Dye are out for the season.

So, does this mean that Prince Kent is no longer of interest? I thought that he didn't qualify, but planned to be part of the 2010 recruiting class... We need DBs!

I don't think Prince Kent wanted to take the JC route. But I hear CJ Odom is still trying to get his grades up to come play at UM.

Cant wait to hear the haters on this one.

Wat do they mean by Jeff Luc is a coach killer?

He doesn't listen to coaches and has a huge ego

I love the facts the Miami is not recruting on hype, but on the players they need to be winners. I like see players like Mike James who is willing to play fullback and do whatever for the team. I dont get caught up in the stars by the players but more of the mindsight of the players. In the way they building is will will create scucces.


Nice way to try to spin the lackluster Canes recruiting into a positive. KOOL AID.

Good job on that info , Manny

Shannon can't recruit. he luikes bums like Romeo Davis & Glenn Cook, but not Jeff Luc? Ok Randy. He's lucky he hired Mark Whipple or Shannon would be out collecting food stamps.

I don't fully believe that the Hurricanes are turning down top rated players that have called to rekindle their interest. Whether their willing to admit it or not, college football has become a business, and in a business, you always want the best employees. I wouldn't doubt that they turned down a guy or two, but I bet you if guys like Dunkley, Joyner, or Christian called, the
Canes wouldn't hang up.

Well well, all this hub bub about recruiting. It is a great read, and Manny your doing a great job, however remember folks it is a long time till Feb. I advised recruits on this blog a month ago, if your plans are to play at MIAMI do not wait till the bus is packed then ask for a ticket. For those kids with dreams but choose another school or in the case of "PK" and Mr. Brown sorry the bus does not make a return visit. Only a choice few will get the oppertunity to get a second chance. The players that Miami really wants have been notified I'm sure, hesitate and your chance to play will vanish like a good magic trick. DO NOT WAIT TILL FEB. GET YOUR NAME ON THE DOTTED LINE..... Now on to the next game. One game at a time till we finish 12 then maybe with luck we play 13 and a nice bowl to finish the year. LET'S GO MIAMI.......Thanks

I wonder who the next 3 star recruit Miami will sign. It is coming.

dah U home of the 3 star recruit!!!

I'm a bit disappointed with the recruiting class this year. I know it's not over, and I expect a strong close, but all I heard about during the 2008 season was how loaded S FLA was in 2009. The top FLA guys: Luc, Joyner, Elam, Christian, Riggs, and all these top WR's, and they've all either committed somewhere else or they don't seem to even have Miami on their radar. Than there was other guys like Ogeltree, Mathis, Torrian Wilson, Gholston that were supposed to be Cane leans, but their all headed somewhere else. On the bright side, it does appear that the Jr class is loving what they see with Miami.

good info manny.

what about prince kent, willis wright, chris dunkley, greg dent, jr ferguson, and jakhari gore though?

does that running back spot include the silent commit? if so, does that mean we are still recruiting another running back? if thats the case would gore go here by any chance? isnt he welcome to join UM if he so chooses?

It has been a little disappointing missing out on a lot of those top guys but a lot of the three star recruits are solid. I'm pretty sure Jacory and Mike James were three star recruits, and there was that story not too long back that mentioned Ed Reed was a three star recruit. I think Byrd and Telemaque may have been too? It's about how hard they work and how the coaches help them develop.

byrd, jacory, and telemaque were all 4 stars.
james was 3.
and i dont know about reed.

look at all the 5 stars coker brought in and now look where they at. NATE HARRIS, WILLIE WILLIAMS,BOBBY WASHINGTON. I dont know any of them personally, but look where they at now

Sorry, they were all below an 80 grade on ESPN and I just assumed, which you know where that gets you, that meant a three star recruit.

*check that, james was a 4 star too.

I wish people would stop beleiving in the hype of "Stars"! C'mon Man!!! If you are sooooo in to the stars, field a colledge team with these 2 & 3 star players since 2002 according to Rivals & Scouts:

Cooper - 3
Figueroa - 3
Franklin - 2
Futch - 3
Jacory Harris - 3
L. Byrd - 3
Benjamin - 3
Collier - 3
P. Hill - 3
Sinorice Moss - 3
Merriweather - 3
Wollschlager - 3
Kevin Everitt - 3
Ali Highsmith (went to LSU) - 3
C. McCarthy - 3
Bosher - 3
Gunn - 3
Hankerson - 3
Ojomo - 3

Another example to let the "Star" hype go...
Cannon Smith on Rivals was a 3 star recruit & he was higher than Tyler Cook who was a 2 star!


Oh BTW. Didn't ESPN have Tyler Cook rated higher than Jacory Harris?

Thanks for posting this Manny, I've been wondering why we look so average in recruiting right now. I have to admit though to not being worried and am putting faith in the words of the UM coaches that we're getting OUR guys and getting guys on need. Let's just take Arthur Brown as an example this kid was the best LB in the nation a year ago and I can't remember seeing him play against FAMU this past weekend?? I think 2011 looks like a big year for us with very good kids coming out of Northwestern and Central in Miami. Also look for next year to be a big time QB searching year. I'd love to see the kid from Northwestern come in and take over for Harris.

PREDICTION (or who i think we should/need to get):
eduardo clements(probably the silent commit)
jakhari gore
gerald christian(UF commit)
*3 out of these 6*
chris dunkley
ivan mccartney
willis wright
michaelee harris
allen hurns
sean tapley(SC commit)
brandon linder
jermaine barton
J.R. ferguson
christian jones
travis williams
keion payne

im glad were not going after luc. he has no upside.


Harris 4 star
Futch 4 star Top 10 LB in the country
Benjamin 4 star
Gunn 4 star
Cooper 5 star

I dont go by stars, i go by film. Miami needs to step it up in recruiting. We took our commits to early instead of waiting for the big dogs. We settled for a lot of backup plans. I grade this class a C. What does anybody see in Kevin Nelson?

We barely have any scholarships for 2011. With this class looking so average, we shud save the scholarships were next year, looks great.

We need to go full forcce after Joshua Shaw, Christian Jones, Dunkley, Lemonier, Arie Koujiando, Latwan Anderson. We got Linder and McCartney in the book IMO.


What I posted came from Scout or Rivals. One may have had them at 4 or 5. The other had them at 3. I was posting the lowest rating to prove a point. FORGET THE STARS! TRUST THE COACHES!

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