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UM picks up verbals from LB Northrup, TE Holifield, 2012 class up to 19 commitments

Al Golden's first signing class at UM has grown over the summer from 16 to 19 players.

His 2012 class? That's already at 19 players and we're still a little more than seven months away from National Signing Day.

Reggie Northrup The Hurricanes picked up two more verbal, non-binding commitments on Tuesday. The first, 6-2, 215-pound outside linebacker Reggie Northrup from Jacksonville First Coast is considered the 26th best at his position according to ESPN. The other, Tallahassee Godby receiver/tight end Brandon Holifield (6-6, 216), just started playing football three months ago and isn't even the best pass catcher on his team.

Such has been the story this summer with Golden's second recruiting class. For every highly-regarded recruit he's landed a commitment from, there's another player recruiting analysts sort of scratch their heads at. Charles Fishbein of Elite Scouting Services said he likes the players UM has offered and received commitments from, but thinks Golden and his staff are "taking a lot of kids they can wait on."

"I don't think they're doing a bad job, I just think they're taking a lot of kids that are going to need time to develop, not instant impact type guys," Fishbein said. "That's not necessarily a bad thing. But when you're losing as many guys as they're losing, you need a few that can play right away. The teams they're trying to catch aren't waiting for kids to develop. They're reloading."

Of the 19 commitments in UM's class, eight are four-star recruits (five are considered ESPN Top 150 recruits) and eight are three star recruits. ESPN ranks the Hurricanes as having the ninth-best overall recruiting class as of June 23rd.

ESPN recruiting insider Corey Long said while UM's 2012 class "isn't going to win the 2012 recruiting national championship, they're loading up on athletes -- and some of them are real good."

"I think in general some Miami fans are wondering what's going on," Long said. "But you look at some of the players they've gotten -- Reggie Northrup is a heck of a player. [Miami Norland running back] Duke Johnson is the best player in the state. [St. Thomas Aquinas defensive tackle] Jelani Hamilton is one of the top three defensive lineman in the state. [Austin, Tex. quarterback] Preston Dewey is a major steal. [South Miami cornerback] Amos Leggett has a hard time staying with schools, but is a talent. [Norland linebacker] Keith Brown has gotten huge. [Norland's] Erick Flowers is a good offensive lineman.

"It might not be the sexiest group of kids, but the guys they're recruiting and getting commitments from players they're seeing up close and have a plan for. They're doing their due diligence. If a coach sees a player and believes he can play at the level they want him to and the level they'll be facing, he'll take them. That's anywhere. Al Golden has his own level of evaluating talent. Every coach sees something different. They're inviting kids to camp, watching them and taking the ones that stand out. That's what they're supposed to do."

Long believes UM will end up signing more than 30 players in its next class. The local must-gets in his opinion for the Hurricanes? Miami Columbus and ESPN Top 150 player Deon Bush (considered the sixth best safety in the country) and either Homestead receiver Herb Waters or Miami Northwestern receiver Amari Cooper.

"Bush has to be their No. 1 recruiting target," Long said. "As for the receivers out there, I like Cooper the most. I've got him as the third best receiver in the state. Waters is good too. Either one of them will make their receiving class better. There is also a lot of local talent in 2013 with [University's] Jordan Cunningham and [Northeast's] Stacey Coley. So maybe they wait for one of those guys."

Both Long and Fishbein like Northrup.

"I saw him at the FSU Camp last week," Fishbein said of Northrup. "He's going to be a 235 pound linebacker, going to run down hill and be a good run stopper. I think he could be a starter in his second year, after playing on special teams his first year. He's a little stiff in pass coverage. He's athletic enough to play bigger, slower tight ends. But I think he's more of a downhill run stopper, kind of like a Darryl Sharpton."

Northrup, who had 108 tackles and seven sacks as a junior, will likely come in and play outside linebacker according to his father. He could also end up enrolling early in January.

"He's completed a lot of his requirements already," Northrup Sr. said. "I know he's taking his ACT again, the math portion because he wants to get a higher score. But ultimately what will determine if he goes early is if they take away wrestling in the Jacksonville area. He's a two-time state qualifier, placed third as a sophomore. If they cut wrestling, I'm sure he's going to want to go to college early."

As for Holifield, he's considered a gifted athlete with a lot of upside, but not a whole lot of football experience. He finished third at the state championships in the high jump and caught one pass in his spring game for a touchdown. After camping at UM recently, Holifield added a UM offer to a group that included FAU, Gardner-Webb and Samford. 

"He's on a team with Laith Harlow, a 6-5, 240-pound tight end who is headed to Oklahoma," Long said. "So I don't know how many opportunities [Holifield] is going to get to catch the ball. But he's definitely a talented athlete, not a bad guy to take a chance on. Miami coaches obviously saw something at their camp they really liked."

UM commitments (Ranked in order based on ESPN Player grades, e-ESPN 150)
WR Angelo Jean-Louis, Palm Beach Central, 6-0, 185 (e-No. 7 WR)
RB Duke Johnson, Miami Norland, 5-9, 175 (e-No. 10 ATH)
CB Amos Leggett, South Miami, 5-11, 175 (e-No. 8 CB)
QB Preston Dewey, St. Andrews, Austin, Tex., 6-2, 200 (e-No. 9 QB)
LB Raphael Kirby, Stephenson, Stone Mountain, Ga., 6-1, 215 (e-No. 11 OLB)
LB Reggie Northrup, Jacksonville First Coast, 6-2, 215 (No. 26 OLB)
LB Keith Brown, Miami Norland, 6-1, 215 (No. 27 OLB)
DE Jelani Hamilton, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, 6-4, 245 (No. 35 DE)
DT Trenton Taylor, Lakeland Lake Gibson, 6-3, 245 (No. 26 DT)
WR Jontavious Carter, Crisp County, Cordele, Ga., 6-3, 192 (No. 40 WR)
QB Gray Crow, Clearwater Countryside, 6-3, 220 (No. 34 QB)
OT Ereck Flowers, Miami Norland, 6-6, 288 (No. 61 OT)
DE Dwayne Hoilett, Vero Beach, 6-3, 212 (No. 64 DE)
DE Jake O'Donnell, Central Bucks East, Doylestown, Penn. 6-5, 235 (No. 83 DE)
CB Vernon Davis, Miami Coral Reef, 5-9, 170 (No. 47 CB)
CB Larry Hope, Hialeah American, 5-10, 160 (No. 50 CB)
QB David Thompson, Miami Westminster Christian, 6-1, 195 (No. 89 QB)
WR D'Mauri Jones, Leesburg, 6-3, 185 (Unranked)
TE Brandon Holifield, Tallahassee Godby, 6-6, 216 (Unranked)


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Is the Canes stalker really trying to spin a top ten class that is only going to get better as a bad thing?? Talk about an errant throw....

Posted by: 3G Cane | June 28, 2011 at 04:34 PM

Like their catcher and center fielder, errant throws are their specialty. Quick, who lost to South Carolina last year? Nobody knows, just like nobody will remember the Gators.

There U go thinking again with Ur dark sunglasses and red tipped Cane ... What U don't know is, is that ALL the Top BLUE Chippers blew right by U when considering their College choices ... Hence all the 2 Star reaches...
Not sure if Ur going to be the Notre Dame or Temple of the South... Probably Temple, since atleast the Irish get more than some Top Recruits.

but U'll have a great team G.P.A. and gradUate 90 plus % ... congrats

Posted by: One Step Forward ... One Step Back... | June 28, 2011 at 04:21 PM

Here comes the racist troll, this time attacking smart players as if that was a bad thing. Guy hated smart students because they ruined the curve and made him fail.

Funny how in this same article we read that Miami got the top player in the state, but we have no blue-chippers? ESPN Top 150 players are not blue-chippers?

"Hence all the 2 Star reaches"? 19 total verbals, 8 are 4 star, 8 are 3 star, that means 3 MIGHT end up 2 star by the time they finish their senior year. Not likely, and not alot of two star reaches, the way the KKK spindoctor wants to make it out to be.

By current Rivals rankings we have 7 four star and 10 three star, leaving TWO unevaluated players:

Brandon Holifield -- "He finished third at the state championships in the high jump and caught one pass in his spring game for a touchdown. After camping at UM recently, Holifield added a UM offer to a group that included FAU, Gardner-Webb and Samford. ... [H]e's definitely a talented athlete, not a bad guy to take a chance on. Miami coaches obviously saw something at their camp they really liked."

Jontavious Carter -- "The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder caught 49 balls for 650 yards and seven touchdowns last season. His rare combination of size and speed is what Miami likes about him." He won the MVP of the Golden Camp, so he is obviously doing pretty well.

In both cases, players with excellent physical skills and basketball experience but less playing experience, caught by the Canes before the other schools noticed. BTW, Missouri and GT are after Holifield now, and Carter by committing 100% to the Canes is keeping the others at bay.

Those are our two "2 star reaches". Not as bad as you make them out to be, and likely to be four stars soon enough. Just because Miami spotted them with their red cane before your OC finished his third breakfast of the day doesn't make them bad players, just makes our camp coaches harder workers.

i believe that the way golden is recruting he is setting up for a 5-6 season. I dont buy the hype The U aint, is not going to do anythng. It took the fat man 13 days to post this at the Herald, he must be busy checking out the buffets in town. Welcome to being just another college football team, you UM fans. The "U" does not have anything going for it.

Posted by: Manny Navarros 2nd chin. | June 29, 2011 at 01:25 AM


Herald Gator blog hasn't been updated since May 20th (that's 39 days).
Sun Sentinel doesn't even HAVE a Gator blog.
Post Gator blog hasn't been updated since June 12th (that's 17 days).

So, perhaps you shouldn't throw stones, we got fresh good news, you have bad news that is being hushed up, transfers, mind-boggling losses, and trolls being shut out of blogs left and right.

So, attacking Manny for putting up a post, while Mike McCall has quit, and Jason Lieser seems to have done the same, just shows how desperate you hypocrites are.

So, based on your lack of knowledge in other areas, your opinion of UM and your vacuous suggestion that they will go 5-6 in a 12 game season lacks any value, sicko namechanging racist troll.

How pathetic. the blog turd does not have the nads to come on here again and talk smack...

"Gator Nation" says that gator fans dont live in the past. Yeah? then why do youall call each other title town when your last "title" was 3 years ago already?

I recall in 2006 You all were telling us that we lived in the past.

You all are just a bunch of hypocrites. And I hate to revel in a team's loss, but you leave me no choice. Gator fans are THE most annoying, smuggest, nastiest and most annoying fans anywhere. They act like they have a dynasty. They act like theyve gone undefeated. They act like they have won 5 national ch. they act likethey have the most players in the probowl. they act like theyahev the most players in the NFL channel's top 100 NFL players list.

Oh wait... They don't Thats the U.

UFelony, arrogance of ND with the tradition of Bowling Green.

And you, Pig/Arty/Real Soldy, are a fat coward. Does your supervisor at Costco know you are a fat coward?

It's always good to see 5 stars coming into a program. I think Coach Golden is a developer of players and TEAM. This approach may not turn out immediately, but it will produce solid teams with time. They are looking for athletic kids with characte and determination.

And, Manny, you do a great job for us. Don't let the turkeys get you down, brother!

I only hate that Golden will probably leave for the NFL after 4 years and 2 championships.

Miami 9 Fla. & FSU 4, Ships. Together they can't top us. Throw baseball out of the equation and it's still 5 to 4. We rule the state and even though we've been in slumbersville the last 10 years, you pukes still can't catch us. We gave you a chance and now we're on the march back to the promised land.

Yaaaaaay SEC. I love the SEC. Go SEC. Even if d'Gatards can't win, I can still play the loser card and cheer for my conference. Yaaaaay, SEC.

What do you say, Arty?

Cram it, you idiot Pig. I hope you die a gruesome death soon.

Gatards suck. SEC is a wasteland of corruption and public diploma mills.

You are a multiple ID loser. Pig that.

I don't post here often, but am truly confused by recruiting comments from canes fans (I ignore people who aren't canes fans and obviously have a life you wouldn't want):

1. The rivals star system is at best imperfect and I know it doesn't measure "Cane heart", which we know is what we want
2. Golden has had success developing modest talent at inferior football schools
3. Golden has set up the camp system where he can actually see the kids play, as opposed to watching little jonny zoom past a kid of unknown quality on a piece of film.
4. Golden obviously is bringing people on who projects to perform at different times. If a guy just started playing football he may be a great get--- a red shirt year, a special teams year and then a big time player.
5. Golden saying and doing all the right things and looks and sounds like a great representative for the U.

I for one will judge his recruiting and development in a few years. If it were just picking stars we could have Willie W, Lance L, the Browns and a whole collection of lazy 5 stars whose athletic life peaked at age 17.

I like what Golden and staff are doing recruiting wise. They are taking speed and Talent! The reaches are kids with huge upside and athletic ability. You know you aren't going to land every player you want so when you have 27 or more Scholies you can take kids and develop them during a redshirt year, like it used to be. It will pay off in the long run to have kids who have been around for 4 years. My sons HS had at least 4 guys that didn't play football but would be better than those that did that were highly recruited. Recruiting is part intuition also fellas.

Lets give South Carolina a big shout out for choking the GAYtors to sleep! Sorry about Finnie SC that was business.

"Deon Bush & P.J Williams" will come to the U. Bush says that Miami is in his top 3. He's definitely not going to Fl.State because they have enough safties already. why go somewhere and be redshirted while u can come to da U and get some early playing time. Come on to da U and be apart of history.

Rather recruit 3 to 4 star guys and have a coach who can develope those players into 4 to 5 star performers. Cause over the last 4 to 5 years we have turned 4 star and 5 star recruits into 2 to 3 star players.

So how many stars is a ESPN Top 150 recruit?

two great gets. im a huge fan of bball players becoming te's/wr's. they always have a huge upside, and learn alot of useful skills playing bball that translate to fball. positioning, high-pointing the football, leaping ability, body control, catching, etc. northrup is a big get too. north florida prospect, heavily recruited, and an extremely talented LB. keep it up AG

jra, my man I could not have said it any better myself. For the first time since Butch left we have our selves a real head coach. Thank U to our administration for not making us endure one more year of misery under Shannon.

All I know is that school up in Blacksburg gets 3 stars with few 4"s here and there, yet it kicks our butt every year!

golden will leave room for a few studs yet to be evaluated. he's systematic... the only guy i know to come to an interview with his own book intead of a resume.... exstremely methodical, organized....

Just came back from Coach Golden's camp. A lot of talent and a great staff of UM veterans coaching and evaluating including Ken Dorsey, Michael Barrow, Ray Bellamy, Andrew Swasey, Hurley Brown and Art Kehoe who is back in championship mentality. Top tier talent is the talent that performs and makes plays, not just the ones that add asterisks to their names.

The perfect comparison is TCU. Ranked #2 in the country. If we go back four or five years I guarantee they were not in the top 100 in recruiting. But their coach did the smart thing he recruited athletes and put them at their position. I see some of that with coach Golden. Not every player is going to be 5, 4 or even 3 stars. Look at the intangibles. Thats what determines potential and I believe thats what coach Golden is doing. Its not about stars, its about intangibles and I believe thats what we are going for. I cant wait for the season to start!

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