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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.


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Bostwick to UF, Thomas to FSU and Kirkland to Arkansas. UM is out of the running for many big-time players. We have some good players committed, but our DL is a major problem. I mean we can't beat out Baylor for a DT!!!

You wonder about the staff's ability to connect with recruits, though DBs are coming in, or if it is just a matter of looming sanctions from the disreputed NCAA investigation?

No doubt, the Kirkland fiasco was the publicly bungled recruitment of this recruiting season. A terribly mismanaged situation. Bostwick's family reportedly felt neglected as well. Not good signs at the UM.

We need something really good to happen today, but I don't think we can match up with UF and FSU at this juncture due to all these factors. South Florida kids are turning away in most cases and Golden needs to start making some reparative connections in the area.

I do believe he is about creating a Penn State of the South, and that style of play, plus apparent bad vibes in the community, could exclude a lot of South Florida kids. Ouch.

Kirkland is no loss, head case for Arkansas to deal with, but Thomas will leave a mark that will be felt for two years minimum. I hope Golden can work some magic and get Grace and Powell.

The northeast sucks at FB. No comparison whatsoever to fka atheletes. Oh. Theyre rated as the best players in new york? Thats like being the skinniest kid at fat camp. It means nothing. We will not get the defensive recruits to come here until our joke of a dc is gone.

im interested to see how good ray lewis's son can be

As much as I want to be the glass half full guy right now, this feels empty. Not sure on what's happened to flip Thomas and Collins, but what a disappointing morning.

AS long as we have looming sanctions, its going to be tough fellas. U need Miami in your heart. And some will rise to the occasion today... However, if you break down each kid in this small class, they are allhighly rated in their state or nationally. ITs really a nice clas(not great yet). Stacy Coley plzzzz dont go to FSU.

We'll have a great season and the kids will come. After we beat UF and FSU they will come. UF has NO offense and FSU lost EJ and have terrible backups, and too many new coaches. Our D will be better this coming season and that was our achilles heal last year.

well, well...that 3-0, I told you....boswick and parents got ignored at UM weekend by golden.....kirkland, well you all know that story....are you bloggers that blind? did you really think these guys would com to UM after all that?

a complete and utter failure...more bad news on the way

butch - coley - mario - kehoe - barrow

lets do it now, while the iron is hot and butch is avalible


Are we still in play for DE Akeem Joffer from Zamunda?


Go 'canes!

Jim. I ll bet ya Golden finishes with a flurry. ITS 945 AM. Hes gonna flip some kids also

Where did Kirkland end up?

OMG. Sarasota cane just made me spit coffee/cry!
Post of the day.

Whats going on here? Maybe its the ncaa investigation or maybe its golden not being a great recruiter after all, but how in the hell do u miss on most of the talent in south florida? This has been a trend for most of the last decade. Sure miami gets a couple here and there but they should be landing most of south florida players. Not really getting the recruiting golden and his staff are doing.

It's looking like one awful day for the Cane family!

I am very disappointed with Coach Golden and his staff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

David Lane---YU football writer

Kirkland said he would have picked Miami had they not played the game with his sholarship. He had tears as he talked.

Thomas said he was turned off by the way UM treated Kirkland. Said you can't trust coaches that do that.

dom your just a complete idiot.....thomas mother said when he put the fsu jersey on with jimbo fisher..."thats the way it should be".....dude read between the lines rather than play with those rating stars....

UM sports writer

Kirkland said he would have picked Miami had they not played the game with his s holarship. He had tears as he talked.

Thomas said he was turned off by the way UM treated Kirkland. Said you can't trust coaches that do that.

kirkland to arkansas...who callled that, lol told ya both kirkland and collins....

We're loaded at LB and Thomas wants to start right away, and our O line is stellar and Kirkland would be riding the bench, this is why we didn't get them. Gallo, REALLY???? Let it go man, it's not happening.

thats crap. Miami needed that scholarship for a reason. We have a late flurry comin in.

#2. If ur a UF fan, go in to your UF BLOG..... Edwards and Duke are goin to make a great combo, all experts predict him as a brusing RB(Remember Steven Maguire, the last great NY rb we had).

#3. GET OVER THE BASHIN........its 950 AM and lots of kids are rolling over to us......

Why all the Gloom & Doom over a couple of recruits
Coach Golden & U staff have done a Great Job, with all the NCAA
GO CANES !!!!!!

Why all the Gloom & Doom over a couple of recruits
Coach Golden & U staff have done a Great Job, with all the NCAA
GO CANES !!!!!!

love the canes...hate the jersey boys is all....I support the kids 120%...but facts/stats tell the truth

kirkland - arkansas
collins - arkansas
coley - fsu
thomas - fsu
bryant - fsu
bostwick - florida
grace - louisville

NSD is gonna be a bad day for UM....its unfortunate and sad

Posted by: Jim Gallo | February 04, 2013 at 09:46 PM

unless your an idiot or live in a cave we already knew neither of those guys were coming here. act a little smarter than this fellas. golden has done solid job. and the sanctions arent looming anymore, ncaa ruined there case. we get cradit for 3 bowls already passed on. might lose a couple sch, nothing else to come. getting top 2 cbs, best fb, top 5 qb, best juco te, 2 top ol what else u want

youwillseedonofriooutcoached are you even a U fan go troll somewhere else dont need your negativity if a kid doesnt sign with Miami its alot going on with miami getting bad pub and sooner or later it will go away.

U got it u305, Stop bashin the nigerians, rivals moved ogdawu to #20 on the rivals prep 25, and espn moved DT Komalu to #77 over all on the JUCO 100. These are hungry players, the types that MADE THE U, not primadonnas like thomas.......EFF HIM. U dont want to play for your hometown, EFF U....... Edwards will b bettter than collins........WE STOLE HIM FROM FSU

gallo is basically a retarded rock

HEres the top 5 at RB Edwards position, WHOM WE STOLE FROM FSU. we are even with them this morning


sorry....recruits dnt trust golden....I knew it all along....he destroyed kirkland...pissed everyone off...jimbo fisher / bret bielema are trusted coaches...thats why they are getting these recruits...everyone sees what golden did with the casualites...ray-ray etc....word gets around via social networking......unethical actions by UM spalshed all over the media....sacrificing kids like a commodity....

as a extemely loyal fan...its time to make a change...this aint gonna work...NO WAY

Sarasota Canes,

Looks like we have Zamunda locked up. In fact, a leading DT who just learned that you can throw a football, and not just kick it into a net, may be leaning our way!

Friends, the doom and gloom is about not landing any top Florida DTs, LBs or front 7 kids from South Florida. They have turned their backs on us.

Glad we got who we have, but there is cause for concern. Unless that Zamunda kid commits. Stay tuned to ESPNAfr!

Quality not quantity is the key. NO DT's & no defensive studs. Another trip down mediocrity lane! To Brooke RE Randy Shannon. He may be on the staff At Hogville but he didnt recruit well here as a HC so why all of a sudden would he the reason for their recruiting well! And Golden will be history after this year also.

All you upset so called fans this is life get off the coaching staff back they are doing there best dealing with this NCAA mess and coaches from other colleges are using it to there advantage you just have to roll with the punches winning comes and goes and sooner or later. Kids try and play games with this recruiting thing is you look back over the years see how many played this national signing days have become stars not to many stars dont mean crap go back to the 2000-2001 team and look up the stars them players had coming into the U its called heart you train hard and you see results you train medicore you get medicore results coaches have to also help develop players. Players have to listen to the coaches and dont they know everything. The U will be ok with who we got Fear the TIE

FSU has like 11 recruits from Florida and Miami has......2. Why do you come to the most talent rich area in the world for football players and recruit New Jersey? So you can be like the almighty Rutgers? They can't even get local kids at positions of need like DT with family members on the team (Bostwick). How do you ignore the kid when he's on campus when DT is a GLARING need? The Kirkland mess really scared off the other recruits as well. What a joke. I like Golden but he has done some stupid stuff recently. I think Kirkland and that ICE dbag couch made mistakes too but it's on the Miami coaches to be clear about what's going on and it's clear with the numerous conflicts with local coaches that these guys just don't get it.

Also whoever is in charge of recruiting D-lineman needs to be castrated.

yup gallo admitted hes dumb as a retarded rock. have fun being a garbage noles fan

Posted by: Jim Gallo | February 04, 2013 at 09:46 PM

What a dipshit you are...I mean I am. "Hate the Jersey boys?" I guess you hate:

1. Greg Olsen;
2. Greg Mark;
3. Danny Stubbs

just off the top of my...I mean your, head you ignorant prick.

You really are a moron!!! First of all proof read your stuff! Kirkland didnt go to FSU! Secondly if you had any sense youd know RS didnt recruit anyone after the first class here! He was lazy and didnt follow up. So if RS is laughing at Pigsknuckle U its because he is the same loser he was here. PS -We still win B/C he is not here. Why do you do a UM blog anyway? Such a UM hater!!!!!

You guys are a bunch of cry babies. Quit crying, and support your team. Go Miami!! Regardles of who we get Miami will always have the play makers.

go canesssssssssss

look golden is not getting rid of dnofrio for 2014...even his close buddy fisch bailed on him...

al golden or butch davis?

its a simple question....butch said last week he wants back in....he is availible as of this post....shouldnt the AD/shalala at least reach out to him maybe thru greg schiano?

Today proves one thing...Ice Harris is no friend of the "U"'s and should be treated as such.

Alex Collins signing with Arkansas makes sense based on Duke being the best back in the country and his history with the Wisconsin crowd that are now Hogs.

But, Denver Kirkland's situation points to a kid that is clueless. For those who critisized the "U" for pulling their offer to the kid you can hopefully now see that our coaches learned this kid was on his way to Arkansas, which probably came via our new offensive coordinator, Coley.

Dom. Please stop saying edwards is a #1 rb. Hes not. Hes not playing rb at miami hes playing fb. He will not be a tandem with duke. And ive been a miami fan since i can remember. But i refuse to sit here and spit the nonsense bs that you guys are regurgitating. Im a realist. If you think for a second that every other coach isnt bashing donofrio to these kids youre crazy. This is miami. Not penn state. We dont want goldens jersey kids and donofrios scheme. The coaches and the players of south florida have it figured out. Why go to a school where the dc has the worst acheme and then when the press asks why its not working...the head coach says it bc you suck. Yeah tough decision. We need someone who understands south florida.

Hate to say it but after this huge let down Golden has some explaining to do. Lock down Miami-Dade County? What the fu..? These kids are from our own back yard. What the fu..? I know sanctions are looming but this team won the ACC Coastal and should have played in the ACC Championship game. What the fu..?

I dont think people realize the impact Golden has made on S.Florida and its not good. I know the ncca crap hurts, but there is no reason to continue to hurt yourself with recruiting by making look like u cant be trusted. Golden ur not at Temple anymore! U shouldn't have to settle on just filling scholarships..

Gary, we have the #3 DE in the nation in ALQ Muhammed, THE TOP 2 DB's in so Fla in Burns and Carter, Highly ranked juco D Players in Bond and Kamalu..... I mean, no defensive help??? Muhammed looked the best in the army all american game.... Bond is rated #58 on rivals Juco 100, Kamulu is #77 on Juco 100, ITS 10 Am. give it time. we got alot of good Defenders so far

Posted by: youwillseedonofriooutcoached | February 06, 2013 at 10:11 AM

I guess the 2008 recruiting class loaded with So. FL talent got us a championship. Oh....wait.....

Hey Manny-How does Stacy Coley make all-Dade when he played in Broward @ Northeast High?

Shannon couldnt develop players but he locked down south florida. And when we won our 5 titles...they were south florida boys.

Yeah Gallo it's over man, lets just CLOSE the University and drop football all together. I mean F it right.

Let's just shyt-can the WHOLE program and be done with it right??? Then everybody will be happy right???

I mean what's the point right, Golden stinks, our D stinks, the recruits don't come here anymore, so what the hell, jsut shut down the U. There are you HAPPY NOW, you blithering IDIOT!!!!

i like duke alot...but he needs alot more developing...he nowhere near the best back in the country:

#1 Ka'Deem cary (soph)1929 yards/23 TD's - 148.38 yd per game - 10 games
# 11 Giovanni Bernard (soph) 1228 yards/12 TD's - 122.80 per game - 10 games
#66 Duke johnson (fresh) 947 tards /10 TD's - 78.92 yd pergame - 12 games

Agree with your comment. Diehard Canes fan and not a pessimist by nature, the reality is we are getting beat and are unlikely to land any of the big-time players who have been the subject of UM-FSU-UF-Louisville debates.

Butch would be a big upgrade for us...I also like Cristobal, a South Florida guy. He and Coley need to wake these northeast guys up. D'Onofrio is unfortunately a liability, and I question his capacity to connect with recruits and players alike. Maybe a good LB coach at best...

Signs of concern here and I hope UM pulls off a few surprises today beyond our Zamundian (SOUTH Zamunda, by the way) prospect. (thanks to Sarasotacane for this idea)

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