Class Of 2014 Growing Fast For Canes
By Ryan Lacey
While recent offseasons have not been too kind to the Miami Hurricanes, with poor recruiting classes and looming NCAA sanctions, the 2013 version has been far nicer.
With the NCAA set to hand down its punishment, the Hurricanes finally can look toward the future, and they are busy adding to their ranks in time for the 2014 season.
Last time we looked at Miami's recruiting haul, there were just a handful of names on the list. Now, in early July, the Hurricanes have a massive list of 20 players that have verbally committed. Of course this can all change: 18-year-olds can be indecisive. But regardless of what happens, an impressive list of athletes should add quality depth.
Let's take a look at the full list of recruits for 2014, sorted by the date they committed. Star ratings are per Rivals.com and 2015 commitments are not on the list.
1. Trevor Darling, OL
Darling has been in the bag for more than a year and is coming off a state title as a junior. Darling is listed at 6-foot-5, 315 pounds and has tremendous upside. A classic pass-blocking tackle.
2. Alin Edouard, QB
Edouard's status is up in the air at the moment, thanks to future recruits coming in, which we will get to later. Edouard is a dual-threat quarterback that might not get an opportunity to get on the field, unless the Hurricanes implement some sort of wildcat package.
3. Joseph Yearby, RB
Originally committed to Florida State in 2012, Yearby switched his commitment earlier this year. The senior rushed for more than 3,500 yards and 44 touchdowns the last two seasons at Miami Central. With Duke Johnson probably headed to the NFL after the 2014 season, Yearby appears to be in the perfect position to carry on the tradition of Running Back U.
4. Nick Linder, OL
The younger brother of current 'Canes guard Brandon,Nick Linder should provide depth at all three interior offensive line positions. Linder is another player with excellent upside, and at 6-foot-1, 265 pounds has plenty of experience playing with top recruits at St. Thomas Aquinas.
5. K.C. McDermott, OL
One of the biggest recruits of the 2014 class, both literally and figuratively, McDermott turned down Ohio State to stay at home and play for the Hurricanes. He is currently the 40th-rated prospect overall on the Rivals 100 and is one of the best run-blocking tackles on the high school level.
6. Reilly Gibbons, OL
Less than a week after landing McDermott, Miami landed Gibbons, another immensely talented offensive tackle. Gibbons is a former tight end and turned down many top college programs, including ACC rivals Clemson and Florida State, in favor of Miami. The Hurricanes should have a formidable offensive line going forward.
7. Dalvon Stuckey, DL
If there is any position Miami needs to make significant improvements, it is on the defensive line. The group has not been able to rush the passer or stop the run on any sort of consistent basis and is one of the biggest reasons why the Hurricanes have struggled. Stuckey is a JUCO transfer from Pearl River Community College and originally committed to Florida State in 2012.
8. Brad Kaaya, QB
Kaaya, who has a year of experience starting at Chaminade, is a pro-style quarterback and is currently ranked 12th positionally. Kaaya should be in a position to compete for the starting job with Kevin Olsen and others next fall if he has a big senior season. This is a big coup for Miami, which has had inconsistency at quarterback during the last decade.
9. Courtel Jenkins, DL
Jenkins is from New Jersey and chose Miami over Rutgers and Pittsburgh. Golden's Northeast connections surely played a part here, which opens up a pipeline to one of the most talented high school states in the country. Jenkins wasn't heavily recruited and should provide depth to a group that needs it.
10. Juwon Young, LB
Young is an interesting prospect coming off a big-time junior year that saw him register 176 tackles and 13 sacks. He lives at the line of scrimmage and is far more comfortable rushing the passer and stopping the run than dropping back in coverage. At 6-foot-2, 228 pounds, Young could have a big impact once he arrives at Miami.
11. Darrell Langham, WR
Langham is the first wide receiver recruit for Miami's 2014 class and did have some offers from big-time schools (Arkansas and Florida State). Langham (6-foot-5) is a classic red-zone receiver, which the Hurricanes don't have on their roster.
12. Darrion Owens, LB
Another sought-after recruit, Owens picked Miami over Ohio State, Michigan and Georgia. The 6-foot-4, 216 pound athlete played safety as a junior, but will move to inside linebacker for the 2013 season. That is where he should find a home in Coral Gables.
13. Mike Smith, DL
Smith is a pass rushing beast, notching 18 sacks — more than the entire Hurricanes team — in 2012 for Miami Northwestern. Although he is a light 210 pounds, Smith is strong for his size and has experience playing linebacker as well.
14. Dennis Turner, DB
Turner's story makes you smile as a Miami fan. A lifelong Hurricane fan, he was heavily recruited as a wide receiver before arriving at a football camp run by Al Golden. After working out with other local products, Turner received an offer to play defensive back for Miami. It didn't take long for him to say yes.
15. Christopher Herndon, TE
Herndon adds to a tremendous amount of tight end depth the Hurricanes currently have. Miami currently doesn't have a fullback on their roster for 2014; Herndon could be in line to compete for time at that position with a strong senior season.
16. Trayone Gray, Athlete
Gray, a quarterback/wide receiver prospect, hasn't seen much time on a high school field as of yet, but he impressed the Miami coaching staff so much during a summer football camp that he didn't leave Coral Gables without an offer.
17. Ryan Mayes, DB
Another Miami Northwestern standout, Mayes should add depth to a porous Miami secondary. Mayes transferred from Dr. Krop High, where he had a major impact on the field. Northwestern sent four Division I defensive backs to college last year, so Mayes will have a chance to get on the field and improve his stock.
18. Malik Rosier, QB
Rosier is in the same position as Edouard, stuck in a crowded battle to become the future quarterback of the Miami Hurricanes. The only difference is that Rosier committed after Kaaya and Edouard and must believe he has a chance to get playing time at some point during his collegiate career. He also is an excellent baseball player. That might eventually be his long-term niche.
19. Demetrius Jackson, DL
Jackson is another interesting prospect with a major upside. He has yet to step on a football field. The all-county basketball player at Booker T. Jackson made noise in a scrimmage and originally committed to Arkansas before landing with Miami. He is a player that the Hurricanes have to keep.
20. Travonte Valentine, DL
The most recent recruit could perhaps be the most important for the Hurricanes. Defensive tackle is an embarrassment at the moment and bringing in a legitimate stud like Valentine should stabilize the position going forward. He is an impressive athlete that should have an immediate impact assuming he alleviates his slight academic concerns.