Leonard Taylor commitment adds to one of best Miami Football recruiting classes in decades

MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 19: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 19: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Manny Diaz and the Miami football coaching staff are on absolute fire right now after the Hurricanes secured a commitment from five-star defensive tackle Leonard Taylor on Thursday.

Miami football fans got the news they were hoping so bad for when five-star elite defensive tackle Leonard Taylor announced he was staying home in Coral Gables. Taylor announced the decision live on CBS Sports HQ Thursday afternoon. The hometown Miami Palmetto star picked the Hurricanes over the Florida Gators.

Florida was the anticipated favorite for the past several months, as the hype built to Taylor’s decision day. The 2021 Miami football recruiting class now ranks as the second-best in the ACC, only trailing national powerhouse Clemson. It also checks in as the eighth-best recruiting class nationally per the 247 Sports Composite rankings.

Taylor’s commitment is the latest addition to an already loaded 2021 Hurricanes class. Miami surprised many when five-star athlete James Williams re-committed to the Hurricanes on July 21. Williams who is projected as a linebacker or safety was Miami’s first five-star defensive back commit since Tracy Howard in 2012.

The Taylor commitment makes the 2021 Hurricanes class the best since 2018. Taylor and Williams are the first pair of five-stars in the same Miami recruiting class in 12 years. It doesn’t end there for Miami.

Miami snagged four great homegrown talents from Miami Northwestern High School. Four-stars commits wide receiver Romello Brinson and safety Kamren Kinchens, as well as three-stars tight end Khalil Brantley and cornerback Tim Burns Jr.

Miami has also secured two of the best Miami Palmetto High School talents in Taylor and four-star DT Savion Collins. The Hurricanes coaching staff can look back and say they dominated the recruitment game in their own backyard compared to other teams within the state. In many recent years, that hasn’t been the case.

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Miami’s path to greatness in the 1980s, ‘90s, and 2000s, was built from outstanding recruiting of great players in South Florida. It is too early to compare those times to these. But to see Manny Diaz successfully succeed in taking the same approach as many of his predecessors is an incredibly encouraging sign for the future.