The Hurricanes are making the most of the offseason by recruiting harder than ever. Although Miami’s class is rated eighth nationally by 247 Sports, even more, impressive is the number scheduled to enroll early. Currently, Miami has 21 commitments and 12 are on pace to graduate high school a semester early. Even more, is the fact that Miami’s four highest-rated commitments will be participating in spring football. With that, we will be assessing Miami’s 2020 recruiting class.
This edition will focus solely on the offensive side of the ball. For those that remember, upon being appointed head coach, Manny Diaz, dismissed all of the offensive coaches. For that reason, it’s been impressive the quality of commitments the new staff has secured. Every position group has at least one commitment and the top five players committed are on offense.
The Skill Players
New offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Dan Enos worked quickly since arriving at Miami. One of his first tasks was securing the commitment of four-star quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, who hails from Suffield Academy high school in Connecticut. Van Dyke has already taken on the task of recruiting others to come play alongside him.
The highest rated player in Miami’s class is five-star running back Don Chaney Jr. who is also from Miami. As the only five-star in the class, his recruiting battle was with several powerhouses of college football. Chaney has been a name to know since the eighth grade but put the state on notice rushing for over 1400 yards as a sophomore. In addition to football, he’s also won multiple state championships in the high jump in track.
Many wondered how the ‘Canes would fare at the wide receiver position in recruiting. New coach Taylor Stubblefield has done a relatively good job despite being new to coaching in the southern region. The commitment of Michael Redding stunned many that believed he was headed to Florida State. Van Dyke also played a role in his recruitment as he’s been staying in his ear about Miami.
One of the more underrated players in the entire class is Xavier Restrepo. Many doubt Restrepo due to his size but his ability to make contested catches proves otherwise. He also has the ability to flip on defense and play in the secondary, which may be a route Miami may explore. He is also on special teams both in the return game and also blocking punts.
Stubblefield was fortunate to walk into the job with Marcus Fleming already committed to Miami. However getting him to remain committed was a victory in itself, as Fleming is one of the fastest wideouts in South Florida. Fleming is another gifted commitment that has won state championships in track, winning both the 100 and 200 meters. Fleming projects to be a player that can instantly be a factor on special teams returning kicks and punts.
One of Miami’s longest standing commitments has been from Dominic Mammarelli. The tight end from Naples, Florida has been with the Hurricanes since his sophomore season. Even with the dismissal of the coach that recruited him, there has been unwavering commitment. Mammarelli is another prospect that will be on campus for the spring and projects to be a future starter at the tight end position.
One of the big areas of improvement from this staff has been the recruitment of the offensive lineman. New offensive line coach Butch Barry has already secured the commitment of three offensive linemen for Miami’s 2020 recruiting class. The most noteworthy is Jalen Rivers, a six foot six 330 pound offensive tackle from Jacksonville. He is the second highest rated prospect in Miami’s class and a big win for the Hurricanes that have been on recruiting radars since the 9th grade.
Antonio Smith is a prospect that projects to play center at Miami and could be a player that has the luxury of sitting for a season or two. In that same mold is Chris Washington, a prospect that Miami found while watching him announce a draft pick during the NFL Draft. Barry believes in his potential and thinks he could be walking an NFL podium in a few years. At six foot seven and 270 pounds, Washington has the frame to add more mass. An interesting comparison has been Erik Fisher, a former number one overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft that was also coached by Barry. The Hurricanes hope to add Washington and continue to develop his body and when he is ready, allow him to be a future starting tackle.
Miami’s 2020 recruiting class is in a good position with the quality of talent they’ve been able to secure. With the majority of the class enrolling early, it allows the Hurricanes to know which talent will be ready to compete and who may need to redshirt. This also shows that Miami is moving in the right direction in terms of recruiting trends. Last recruiting cycle Alabama had 15 early enrollees and Clemson had 17 of them. Diaz is attempting to do the same with 12 players set to join the team a semester early.