Hurricanes Beef Up D Line With '14 Class
By Sam Super
The Miami Hurricanes were able to generate their best recruiting class in coach Al Golden’s fourth year.
Coming off NCAA sanctions that will result in scholarship loss but no postseason bans over the next three years, the black cloud that had been surrounding the program has finally been lifted.
Miami’s Top 10 recruiting class according to ESPN addressed key areas of need on both sides of the ball. The class is highlighted by Miami Booker T. Washington five-star defensive end Chad Thomas and his pass-rushing teammate Demetrius Jackson. These two stars will provide a formidable tandem on the outside.
Thomas went on official visits with both Alabama and Florida State before signing with Miami. The Hurricanes were able to withstand heavy pursuit from the Crimson Tide to land the prized recruit. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound pass rusher is a budding rap artist and will be a music major on campus. The Under Armour All-American will provide an immediate need on the defensive line.
When interviewed by ESPN’s Mark Schwarz, Golden raved about his improved defensive line: “The front seven was a big need that was filled. Chad and Demetrius from Booker T. Washington are exciting pass rushers. Anthony Moten, Michael Wiche and Courtel Jenkins will fill a huge need on the inside.”
Moten, a 6-foot-4, 292-pound defensive tackle, displays the ability to add size to his already enormous frame. The four-star recruit from powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas has a chance to make an early impact in Coral Gables.
Helping to improve the front seven for Miami, The Hurricanes signed three linebackers. Michael Smith of Miami Northwestern highlights the group. Smith and four-star recruit Darrion Owens out of Oakleaf High School will look to add depth to the position.
The offensive side of the ball will look to get a huge boost with the addition of Joseph Yearby. This talented four-star recruit from Miami Central is already enrolled in school. Yearby and his bruising style of downhill running could fight for early playing time backing up Duke Johnson. Golden can use Yearby to change the pace and give Johnson a breather.
Miami continued to add depth at the quarterback position with Brad Kaaya. Kaaya, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound California native, could one day be the future of the Hurricanes program. Miami was the first school to offer Kaaya after he attended their camp a couple years ago. The Hurricanes were able to fight off schools like UCLA, USC and Boise State for the four-star prospect Kaaya. This pro style quarterback will be joined by three-star recruit Malik Rosier. Rosier who is more a mobile quarterback then Kaaya, will also play baseball for coach Morris.
Wellington native Kc McDermott highlights a deep offensive lineman class that also includes four-star guard Trevor Darling and center Nick Linder. Both McDermott and Linder will look to continue the legacies of their older Hurricane brothers Brandon Linder and Shane McDermott.
Mike Farrell, Rivals.com national recruiting analyst , wrote this on Miami’s recruiting effort: “Keeping Chad Thomas was huge. It got a little suspenseful there. I like what they’ve done in South Dade. Yearby, Thomas, Moten, Jackson will be talented players. That’s what I think they need to do, keep the kids down south, keep them being interested in the U and then recruit elsewhere. A lot of [its success] is made up of South Florida. I think that’s the way back for them.”
Miami’s recruiting class ranked between 10-12 according to Rivals, ESPN, and Scout. It’s a positive note for a team looking to keep pace with bitter rival Florida State. Watching the Seminoles win the National Championship certainly put a bad taste in the mouth of all Hurricanes fans. Miami is hopeful this class will get them one step closer to regaining control of the ACC. Will that ever happen? I guess we will just have to wait and see.