« Canes' 2013 National Signing Day checklist | Main | Broward's top player WR Stacy Coley picks the Hurricanes over FSU, USF »

Canes land RB Edwards, but miss out on Booker T.'s Matthew Thomas, Denver Kirkland

Al Golden was hoping for a big finish on National Signing Day.

So far, it hasn't panned out that way for the University of Miami -- even though the Hurricanes' biggest recruiting battles are happening right in their backyard.

Booker T. Washington All-American linebacker Matthew Thomas, the top player in Miami-Dade County and a consensus five-star recruit, picked Florida State over Miami, USC and Georgia Wednesday morning, a decision announced in front of a national cable TV audience on ESPNU, family, friends, coaches and teammates in the school auditorium.

Five minutes later, All-American offensive lineman and teammate Denver Kirkland announced he was going to Arkanas and passing on UM, which six days prior appeared to be the leader for his services before they pulled his scholarship following the team's state championship parade through Overtown. Two days later, UM invited Kirkland and his mother down to campus to smooth things over and put the scholarship offer back on the table. But it apparently wasn't enough to divert him away from Tallahassee.

Miami, which swayed offensive coordinator James Coley away from FSU last month, was hoping Coley might provide some help in the important recruiting battle. Coley had been Kirkland's and Thomas' prime recruiter for the Seminoles. But FSU and Arkansas -- where former UM coach Randy Shannon is now an assistant -- got the last laughs in the end.

Thomas (6-3 1/2, 210) produced 70 tackles, 10 sacks and two blocked field goals for the Tornadoes en route to All-Dade and All-State First Team honors. Kirkland (6-3, 333) anchored an offense that averaged 416 yards and 49 points a game on its way to a 13-1 record and the Class 4A state championship.

Miami came into the day in the running for seven highly-touted prospects.

Earlier in the morning, the Canes got some good news when Staten Island Tottenville (N.Y.) running back Augustus Edwards, ranked the No. 1 fullback in the nation by Rivals.com, announced he had picked Miami over Florida State.

Edwards, a 6-1, 222-pound three-star prospect according to Rivals, was previously a Syracuse commitment. He visited UM recently and came away impressed. He ran for 868 yards and 10 touchdowns on 107 attempts this past season for Tottenville. He also produced 11 tackles and three sacks on defense.

Tailback was a position of need for UM, which lost out South Plantation blue-chip running back Alex Collins when he committed to Arkansas on Monday. Although the Hurricanes are heading into the 2013 season with Atlantic Coast Freshman of the Year Duke Johnson as the star tailback UM had just three other scholarship running backs on the roster. The Canes are hoping Edwards can provide depth along with senior Eduardo Clements (5-9, 192), redshirt sophomore Dallas Crawford (5-10, 190) and redshirt freshman Danny Dillard (6-2, 225).

About an hour after Edwards' announcement Wednesday, UM lost out on Port St. Lucie Centennial four-star defensive tackle Jaynard Bostwick (6-4, 280). Rated the 286th best prospect in the country regardless of position, Bostwick chose Florida over Miami and Alabama. Bostwick is the cousin of UM linebacker Thurston Armbrister. He tallied 65 tackles and two sacks his senior season.

The Hurricanes have been in dire need of an upgrade at defensive tackle. UM finished 112th in run defense last season out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision programs, allowing 217.92 yards per game. Tuesday, three-star Navarro junior college (Corsicana, Tex.) defensive tackle Terrell Brooks (6-4, 300) passed on the Canes to sign with Baylor.

How much has the two-year long NCAA investigation hurt Miami's class this year? ESPN recruiting analyst Corey Long said he doesn't think it "plays as much of a factor on a day-to-day basis" and some people think.

"I just think they hit on some and missed on some," Long said. 'I'm just really surprised Miami didn't focus more on defensive linemen. Maybe the NCAA forced them to keep their numbers down so they kind of have to pick and choose where they go. But I would have expected more defensive lineman."

UM is still in the running for three more highly-touted prospects -- including one defensive tackle.

The top player in Broward County Oakland Park Northeast receiver Stacy Coley (6-1, 175) is set to announce his decision at 11:05 a.m. on ESPNU. His coach, former UM running back Donnell Bennett, said Coley was choosing between Miami, Florida State and South Florida. Coley, rated the 13th best receiver in the country by Rivals.com, caught 29 passes for 513 yards and 10 TDs his senior season en route to All-Dade First Team honors.

Delray Beach Atlantic defensive tackle Keith Bryant, an Under-Armour All-American and four-star recruit, will announce his college choice at 1:45 p.m. on ESPNU. Bryant (6-1 1/2, 302) was a UM commitment but pulled back on it and has since flirted with South Carolina and Florida State.

Miramar High four-star recruit and U.S. Army All-American linebacker Jermaine Grace, once thought to be a strong UM-lean, will choose between the Hurricanes and Louisville at 2 p.m. on ESPNU. Grace (6-1, 195) racked up 115 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions his senior season.

The Hurricanes came into National Signing Day with 14 commitments as part of its class including five early enrollees (four-star JUCO tight end Beau Sandland out of California; three-star tight end Standish Dobard from New Orleans; three-star pass rushing specialist Alex Figueroa out of Virginia; three-star lineman Hunter Knighton from New Jersey; Three-star offensive tackle Sunny Odogwu from prep school in Virginia).

Of the remaining nine non-binding commitments who were supposed to fax over signed national letters of intent, the school had announced the arrival of seven of them on Twitter as of 9:45 a.m.

Those were: Miami Northwestern All-American cornerback Artie Burns; All-American defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad of New Jersey's Don Bosco Prep; Four-star quarterback of the future Kevin Olsen; Miami Southridge four-star safety Jamal Carter; Cincinnati Moeller three-star offensive tackle Alex Gall; Lake Mary Prep athlete Ray Lewis III, whose father is former Hurricane and recent Super Bowl winner and Butler Community College (Kan.) three-star defensive tackle Ufomba Kamalu.

Those that haven't arrived yet: California JUCO three-star pass rushing specialist Devante Bond and Virginia three-star athlete Ryheem Lockley.

National recruiting analyst JC Shurburtt of 247Sports.com, who ranked UM's class 27th coming into Wednesday, said while the Canes needed to do better in their own backyard Golden and his staff still have put together a solid class.

"They did go get a quality player out of New Orleans in [tight end] Standish Dobard," Shurburtt said. "I like Hunter Knighton a lot. I think Sunny Odogwu is going to be a very good player. Alex Figueroa is a guy I saw in a camp who I thought had tremendous physical upside. Sandland is the top JUCO tight end in the country.

"Kevin Olsen is the perfect quarterback to go in there and distribute the ball to speedy playmakers like Miami always had. They really haven't had a quarterback with his type of upside in quite awhile.

"But then you look and you've got Artie Burns and Jamal Carter holding down the fort as the only South Florida kids and Ray Lewis III, a legacy kid, being the third kid from Florida. If you are Miami you like to see more guys from South Florida."

Charles Fishbein of EliteScoutingServices.com said he thinks the best player in UM's class is Muhammad.

"He's fills a major position of need," said Fishbein, who pointed out UM finished 113th in the country with just 13 sacks last season. "He's somebody who could get pressure on the quarterback. He's probably their top player along with Jamal Carter and Artie Burns. They're probably the most elite of their class. Artie has the potential to be very good. He has size and speed. He has the physical attributes to be a very good corner. If he works hard he has the potential to play at the next level.

"I think Olsen is the best quarterback they've signed in five, six years. He's got a good arm, can make most of the throws, has been brought up in a football family. In Miami's system they don't need the super physical skills. They just need the guy who can get them the ball. He's going to get them in the right plays, make good throws. He's been trained very well."

UM coach Al Golden will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the 2013 signing class.

UM's sports information department is hosting a show with UM assistant coaches on HurricaneSports.com and ESPN3 throughout the morning. The show concludes at 12:30 p.m.

UM is hosting a Fan Signing Day party at Buffalo Wild Wings in Sunset Place (across US-1 from the UM campus) from 5 to 7 p.m.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Go Canes!!!

This kid is going to be a great compliment to Duke in the backfield. Bien venido a Miami Gus!

Awesome, welcome to the U!

He may be the biggest get today. I think we miss out on ALL of our top targets. It's unfortunate

So this dude didn't even rushed for a stack in NY...Man, what the bleep!!

remember canesfan forget about the blogs and all the nonsense, get who we need , corners, like burns and carter, the best tight end in the country in sandaland, a stud full back with hagens to clear it outfor duke, all the services say we already hve the best grop of receivers and o line i the country so no need there, we need dt, when porter has been healthy he has been double teamed all year just watch the tape

Any word on Bostwick?

Bostwick to florida FML

bostwick to UF confirmed on scouts.com....crap, we have one more shot at a DT....

Welcome to you and your family, Gus! Look
forward to you being a great player and addition
to the Canes!

Don't see us getting some of the top South Florida kids and hope I am wrong...Go Canes!

4**** ESPN Top-150 DE Tashawn Bower Auburn commit FLIPS !!!



Well Cane Trash, Jim. 1 down baby. . GO TO THE GATOR BLOG....WE R ON A ROLL TODAY> WELCOME GUS #1 FB IN NATION


Denver Kirkland next !!!

[]_[] NADA

thomas a nole now. lets go get some more though!

It is ok Fellas, He didnt want to b a cane, so we move on.

gus was huge for us. fla st having solid day, gators are a complete joke. just an after thought in sec


We're in serious trouble. We have missed out on everyone. There is no way else around it. This could go down as on the worst NSD's in UM history.

LB was not a position of need. Rb depth, D line, and Dbacks.. and 1 of the WR

No Thank []_[]

Gator Garbage. Same thing every year:

top recruiting. But what has the Gatr Trash record been the last 3 years> 26 - 13. CLASSIC FAIL. UNDERACHIEVING UFAILURE.

An analysis of Rivals.com’s top 100 players from 2006 to 2009 reveals that 42 percent of the nation’s top prospects became busts, meaning they failed to either play in 40 games, start 20 games or have one above-average season in their college careers.

Lots of white noise from the trailertrash varmints.

Nkdemiche punks UFailure on National TV. Arkansas punks UFAilure on National TV. Louiville punks UFAilure on National TV.

This is a trend. The burning dumpster fire that is UFailure.

deer are u retarded? got 2 of the best cbs in country. got best fb in country. top 5 qb in country.

Well at least Kirkland didn't choose FSU, thats a win in my book lol

Hey so we missed out on everyone so far. At least we have more scholllies available for more slow kids from New Jersey.
"The University of Miami should win a national championship every year with the talent in its backyard" -Tommy Tubberville

no no no no Dom... hang in there, he just announced FSU, but in 10 mins as he walks to the fax machine he'll change his mind and sign with that Recruiting gUrU Golden.

yeah we already knew kirkland wasnt coming here. good to see him go be a nobody in sec

Ok we still have plenty left, we still have a decent class and remember gang, it's SMALL.

The defensive line coach and Defensive coordinator are terrible. They have acquired good defensive tackles over the last two years and they have dine jack squat with them. Its no talent or strength as most of the defensive tackles bench 400 or more but the coaching. Golden needs to get off bringing in his friend like D'Onorifo and the defemsive line coach and g=go with winners.

ppl you have to realize coaches can talk all they want to these young men about there programs but in the end its always different with these kids now a days because they think they have it there way or no way but the mighty U will prosper with what we have you can not always win but you can always build to get to that point and thats what the great coaches at the U are currently in the process of doing.

coley and bryant the 2 big ones left , we need the wr badly

WE got the #1 FB in the nation, rated #1 on rivals under our list for a need position, be happy......Thats not missin out on everyone. SANCTIONS LOOMIN EFFECT US................

WE are loaded with young LB's.....its not a loss, he wasnt a committ.

BE HAPPY WITH EDWARDS, THeres a #1 ranked next to his rank on the rivals list of canes committs. SOLID PICKUP.

Tracey Howard got a cousin ?

So Far we got Espn elite 11 qb olsen, #1 FB in nation Edwadrds,#3 DE in Nation Muhammed, top 2 DB's in So Fla Burns and Carter, top 20 Prep Olineman , Juco top 100 kamalu at DT. everyone is highly ranked.

We need Jermaine Grace, hopefully Bryant, and 1 of the 2 Wide Receivers...

I hope ice harris gets run over

dom the sanctions are all but gone now, we might lose a couple sch, but no more bowl bans. ncaa messed it up and that is huge for us

Willie. Donofrio is not a great coach.

Golden and crew blowing it big time.

who we got, Tracy howards teammate at Miramar is 4 star Jermaine Grace. announcing later today. We just need him , 1 of the Wr's, and 1 DT

Landing the #1 FB in the nation is a need position

Stealing NFL prospects from your own backyard. How does the Spear taste? Welcome to FSU big 6!

The staff Randy Shannon is on now (Arkansas) may end up with more South Florida blue-chippers than Miami does today.

Remember, Driskel was the #1 QB recruit in the country and he SUUUUUUUUUUUCKS.

Take 1/3 of the Gatr Trash class and toss it in the trash after the transfers and arrests.

It happens every year. The burning dumpster fire in TRailerville is a pit.

The ncaa is tearing miami down. They want us in the position not to compete so thag we will move to a lowky division or quit all together. No mention of Alabama and the deer spray at all in the media. Miami is making head lines dailey and coaches are having success using this as a lure.

Total washout. Where is D'Nofrio in the recruiting wars? Cant coach & apparently cant recruit. You go into this thinking you need DT's & get zip. UM will be mediocre for as long as the DC is here. Hope Golden doesnt go down with the ship (his DC).

cane4ever those are about over now and everyone recruit knows that. another solid class by golden. our offense should be fun to watch next year. be fun hammering garbage fsu and all there confused new coaches.

It's the defensive recruiting. When you get out recruited in your own territory you need to seriously self anaylize the way you are recruiting. I guess the Mario & Coley recruitingf help didnt materialize. We better get right on the 2014 Nigerian recruits!!!!!

New York Final state Rankings. Edwards on Rivals rated the #4 overall player regardless of position. TOP 4 PLAYER. ..along with #1, #2 NJ Players Olsen an Muhammed, I think thats a nice coup....3 of the top 4 players in the Ny/NY area


Guess Booker T High coach has written Miami off from here on out, dont blame him, its the Miami entire coaching staff. Golden doesnt get the south miami connection, period.

sure herbert, what a complete idiot u portray yourself to be

Herbrt, Miami must have known he was goin to ARkansas, so they pulled it.

WE are even with FSU today, They wanted #1 Rb edwards, and we got him. Our Downhill runner rated higher than collins as a Bruiser....they got thomas.

Lb was not a need, we have like 10 LBs all young.....We do need 1, Grace, Coley or Cunningham, and Bryant. Those are the key people today.

1 2 3 4 5 »

The comments to this entry are closed.