Miami football defying odds as non B1G or SEC with top 5 recruiting class

The Miami football program has defied the odds as a team outside the Big 10 or SEC by signing the third ranked 2024 class.

Nov 4, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal looks on
Nov 4, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Mario Cristobal looks on / Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 Miami football class is the only program that signed a top eight class that will not be in the Big 10 or SEC beginning next season. Florida State has the ninth-ranked class. Going further down the list, 18 of the top 22 programs will be in the Big 10 or SEC that will begin in the 2024 season.

The only other programs that signed 2024 classes outside the Big 10 or SEC in the top 22 are 10th-ranked Notre Dame and number 12 Clemson. Miami signed a top 10 class for the second straight recruiting cycle. The 2023 Miami class finished seventh in the 247 Sports Composite rankings.

The opening day of the Early National Signing Period was an exhilarating roller coaster of emotions for Miami football fans. Miami began the day as expected. Most of the players who were committed to Miami signed early in the day. The drama emerged in the middle of the day with flips and an unexpected development.

Miami lost four-star running back Kevin Riley who flipped to Alabama as expected. On Monday, Miami flipped RB Jordan Lyle from Ohio State. Miami maintains its depth at RB in the 2024 class with Lyle signing on Wednesday. While losing Riley in the 2024 class, Miami had two of its own flips on Wednesday.

Miami has been building momentum for four-star linebacker Adarius Riley. The momentum came to a crescendo when Hayes flipped to Miami from Florida on Wednesday. More drama emerged as five-star wide receiver Jeremiah Smith got close to his commitment ceremony. Miami was gaining ground late on Ohio State, per reports.

Smith committed to Ohio State but did not send his National Letter of Intent. With the signing ceremony in the middle of the day, reports built throughout the day speculating why Smith did not send his NLI in. It took until 9:02 PM Eastern Time before Ohio State officially announced that Smith signed his NLI.

Miami continued its momentum in the 2024 class with five-star defensive lineman Armondo Blount flipping back to Miami from Florida State. Blount committed to Miami in September and flipped to Florida State in October while reclassifying from the 2025 class to 2024 before signing with the Hurricanes on Wednesday.

The recruitment of Blount was one of the most topsy-turvy of the 2024 class. Blount's signing with Miami moved the Hurricanes from the seventh-ranked 2024 class to third. Perennial powers Alabama and Georgia are the only 2024 classes higher ranked than Miami. Mario Cristobal has delivered on his reputation as an elite recruiter.

Cristobal told Joe Rose on WQAM on Thursday morning that the Miami roster is only 50 to 60 percent of where he wants it to be eventually. Miami had the 12th most talented roster in the country in 2023 per the 247 Sports Team Talent rankings. After signing consecutive top 10 classes, Miami should move up those rankings in 2024.

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Expect Cristobal and his staff to continue adding elite talent. Miami has the 17th-ranked 2025 class with only three commitments. In his first year as a full-time college assistant coach, Jason Taylor finished as the fourth-best recruiter in the country. Wide receivers coach Kevin Beard was 17th in his first year back on the Miami staff.