Post National Signing Day: Grading the Miami Hurricanes Recruiting Class Position-by-Position


Wednesday was the biggest day for people that follow high school recruiting religiously. Wednesday is finally the day that kids pledge their commitments to college’s, to the delight or dismay of fans around the country.

For the second straight year, the Miami Hurricanes had a relatively quiet National Signing Day — which is not always a bad thing. Miami landed some big commits on Wednesday, while also losing some to other schools.

With National Signing Day all wrapped up, let’s grade the Canes’s recruiting class, position-by-position.



Dwayne Lawson was committed to Miami for a large portion of the recruiting process, but after Brad Kaaya’s spectacular freshman season, Lawson de-committed to seek early playing time elsewhere. After Lawson left Miami for Virginia Tech, the Canes took some shots at Torrance Gibson and Lamar Jackson to be their quarterback commit in the 2015 class. Unfortunately, both Gibson and Jackson stayed loyal to their previous commitments, to Ohio State and Louisville, respectively.

Vincent Testaverde Jr. transferred to Miami last month, but he’ll have to sit out a year and he’s nothing more than a third-string quarterback, at best.

The player to look for in the coming weeks is Evan Shirrefss. Shirreffs isn’t a household name, but he has exceptional size and unbelievable accuracy on his throws. Offensive coordinator James Coley has a knack of finding under-recruited quarterbacks and turning them into solid players. If Miami offers Shirreffs in the coming weeks, I fully expect him to be a Miami Hurricane in the fall.

Running Back

If we went based on individual talent in this class, Mark Walton will get an “A” because he’s that good. Unfortunately, when you think of the Hurricanes’ 2015 running back class, you can’t help but to think about what Miami failed to get. Early in the process, Miami had four of the top six running back prospects in the state of Florida: Mark Walton, Jordan Scarlett, Dexter Williams, and Jordan Cronkrite. Miami lost both Scarlett and Cronkrite to Florida, while failing to get Williams back from Notre Dame.

With the departure of Duke Johnson to the NFL Draft, Miami was looking for running backs to come in immediately, and make an impact. Mark Walton could be that guy. The Booker T. Washington standout is rated amongst the top-10 at the position by most recruiting sites. In fact, many people thought Walton was the best running back in the class, even when Miami had all four running backs committed.

Despite Walton’s skill, it hurts to see Miami only land one running back in a class that had a lot of good options at the position. Walton will join Joseph Yearby, Gus Edwards, Walter Tucker, and Trayone Gray in the Miami Hurricanes backfield for the 2015 season.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

This is another case of grading the entire class, and not necessarily the talent that was brought in. JUCO tight end Jerome Washington is already enrolled in Miami, and he’s a very athletic tight end, who should be a good one down the road for the Canes. After losing Clive Walford to graduation, the Canes will need to fill that void, and they hope Washington can alleviate some of the pain of losing Clive.

At wide receiver, Miami was only able to land the commitment of 6’5” Army All-American Lawrence Cager. Cager is an extremely talented wide receiver and Miami had to survive a late push by Alabama for Cager’s services. Miami had Terrell Chatman committed since the fourth of July, but after he eliminated Miami, right before he pushed back his commitment ceremony due to stress, the Hurricanes were left with just Cager on the board.

Luckily for Miami, the 2016 class should be loaded at both of these positions, and with the way the 2016 class has begun, the staff will make these positions a priority — especially with Brad Kaaya on the team.

Offensive Line

The injury bug hit the offensive line during the 2015 for Miami — and it really cost them. The staff knew that depth on the offensive line was going to be huge in this class, especially after losing three starters from last year’s team. Miami received six letters of intent’s from offensive lineman on Wednesday. That does wonders to any school’s depth at any position.

More from Miami Football Recruiting

Tyree St. Louis and Bar Milo highlighted the class for Miami. Both St. Louis and Milo are projected to be tackles at the next level, and are the two players who are closest to being ready to contribute out of the rest of the incoming freshman. Jahair Jones is a junior college transfer, and he’s already enrolled in Miami; Jones should find himself in the rotation barring an injury.

Brendan Loftus, Hayden Mahoney, and Tyler Gauthier are the other three Miami commits on the offensive line, and they were three of the most loyal Hurricanes commits throughout the entire process. All three of these guys need some more polishing than say St. Louis or Milo, but all have a lot of skill, and great size. Gauthier is the biggest out of the three with his 6’5” 305-pound frame.

Art Kehoe gets a lot of criticism, but he got Miami quite a haul on the offensive line in the 2015 class.

Defensive Line

For the second straight year, the Miami Hurricanes staff did a nice job at filling some of the desperate needs along the defensive line. Miami missed out on Rasheem Green and Kevin Scott as they both stayed home at USC, but landed two crucial defensive tackle commitments on Wednesday. One came via a NSD announcement, the other via transfer.

Kendrick Norton was a huge target for the Hurricanes throughout the process, and Miami landed their guy at about 2:30 on Wednesday when he announced he’d be attending the University of Miami, instead of a large-charging Auburn. About an hour later, Miami announced that it has accepted a transfer from ex-Florida Gator and former five-star recruit, Gerald Willis III. Willis has had a troubled start to his collegiate career as he’s struggled with anger issues and fighting with teammates, but he’s one hell of a talent. Even though he has to sit out a year, I’m counting Willis as part of this class because the news was announced on National Signing Day.

Norton and Willis weren’t the only defensive lineman Miami was able to land in this class. Miami secured the commitment of two defensive linemen from IMG Academy: Ryan Fines and Scott Patchan. Fines and Patchan were solidly committed throughout the entire process, and Patchan is already enrolled in Miami, but he’s still rehabbing a torn ACL he suffered during his first game of senior year. Patchan and Fines are both talented players that should be able to help the Canes out down the road. Both could see a redshirt year, but a good fall camp could get them some playing time with the Hurricanes’ problems on the defensive line.

The fifth commitment Miami received on the defensive line was from Richard McIntosh from Cardinal Gibbons High School. McIntosh was the first person to fax in his Letter of Intent to Miami, and he’s also a freakish athlete. McIntosh is a guy that Miami will utilize both in the middle and on the edges, and they’re expecting a lot of disruptive plays out of the 6’5” 275-pound lineman. McIntosh is going to benefit greatly from a college weight room, and has enough natural talent to see the field early as a freshman.


This is one of the positions that the Miami coaches dropped the ball on. After losing Denzel Perryman and Thurston Armbrister to graduation, the Canes will be scrambling for linebackers to step up during the 2015 season. On Wednesday, Miami landed two letter of intent’s from linebackers, while Charles Perry is already at Miami as an early-enrollee.

Perry is the best linebacker out of this class, and he plays fast and extremely physical. Perry was a good running back throughout his high school career, which displayed his natural running ability. Perry will have to bulk up if he wants to see early playing time, so he’ll benefit greatly from the early enrollment into the University of Miami. Perry is someone to look for during spring practices.

Jamie Gordinier is the second linebacker in this class for the Canes. The linebacker from New Jersey has really good size, and is going at stopping the run. Gordinier comes from a winning program in Jersey, and he’ll try to get some early playing time with his 6’4” 235-pound frame.

Miami was also able to steal Booker T. Washington’s James King from his commitment to FAU on Wednesday. King needs to fill out his 6’1” frame to make any impact at Miami, but he has a lot of really good tools. King has some similarities to current Miami linebacker Jermaine Grace; He plays fast, and aggressive, and could be a steal in this class. If King can fill out his frame, and maintain his great speed, Miami might have a good one on their hands.


The 2015 was stacked with defensive backs in the state of Florida, and coming into Wednesday’s announcements, the Hurricanes only have 2 safeties from their home state. Message board people, and people on Twitter continuously bashed that, and with good reason. Even with the guys that got away from the “fence”, Miami was able to land four really good defensive backs in the 2015 class.

Jaquan Johnson is one of the best safeties in the country, and is already in Miami as an early-enrollee. Johnson is a bit undersized, but has uncanny football IQ, and is just a flat-out playmaker. Johnson was named to the all-Dade in all four of his high school seasons. He’ll play a big role in the Miami secondary as a freshman.

Joining Johnson is his teammate from Killian, Sheldrick Redwine. Redwine is one of the two cornerbacks signed by Miami on Wednesday, and he was a late flip from Louisville. Redwine’s relationship with Johnson ultimately won the physical corner over to the Canes.

The two other defensive backs in this class are: Robert Knowles and Michael Jackson. Knowles was an under-recruited safety because of some early grade issues, but the kid can play. Knowles is a great athlete, and he just loves to hit people from the safety position. Knowles is one of those recruits that three years from now you look down and say “how did nobody recruit him”. Michael Jackson is also a very good football player from Alabama. He’s another lengthy corner, which is what the staff seemed to be looking for in this class.

Miami missed on a lot of local kids, but the four that they were able to land, could find themselves contributing right away.

Overall Grade

All in all, I think this was another good class by Miami. The Hurricanes failed to land some of the bigger recruits in this class, but they definitely filled most of their needs with this class. Miami could’ve done a much, much better job recruiting the “state of Miami”, but they’ll look to do that in a 2016 class that is loaded with talent.

Miami didn’t get a lot of the high-end kids, but they got kids that truly wanted to be Miami Hurricanes, and that goes a long way.