The 2019 Miami recruiting class sits at 12 commitments early in March. The Hurricanes’ most recent commit in the class is Samuel Brooks, a 3-star outside linebacker from Miami Northwestern Senior High School. He announced his pledge Saturday.
Despite holding the largest class in the country, Miami’s class should more than double in size during the next year. The Hurricanes need to load up on the offensive line, defensive line, at linebacker and in the secondary.
Here’s a glance at where things stand for the 2019 class:
Where Miami’s class ranks
The Hurricanes’ Class of 2019 class is ranked No. 1 nationally and No. 1 in the ACC by the 247Sports composite rankings. Two of the commits are 4-star recruits. Miami’s 10 3-star commitments are the most in the country.
The Hurricanes’ commitment to recruiting the Miami metropolitan area is clear and the Hurricanes landed one of the best prospects from Miami on Saturday. Brooks, who was leading Miami-Dade County in sacks during 2017 before a season-ending knee injury, verbally committed to the Hurricanes on Saturday after attending a men’s basketball game against Virginia Tech at the Watsco Center.
In case you missed anything from this week, here are the latest Miami recruiting headlines:
Offers by the numbers
Reported offers: 113
5-star offers: 15
4-star offers: 65
In-state recruits offered: 60
Georgia recruits offered: 17
Texas recruits offered: 6
Tennessee recruits offered: 4
- WR Jeremiah Payton, 4 stars, Duncan U. Fletcher (Neptune Beach, Fla.)
- WR Brieon Fuller, 4 stars, Doral (Fla.) Academy Prep
- T Renato Brown, 3 stars, Palm Beach Central (Wellington, Fla.)
- DT Denzel Daxon, 3 stars, Miami Norland Senior (Miami Gardens, Fla.)
- DE Cameron Williams, 3 stars, Chaminade-Madonna College Prep (Hollywood, Fla.)
- T Brandon Cunningham, 3 stars, St. Martin (Ocean Springs, Miss.)
- RB Marcus Crowley, 3 stars, Trinity Christian Academy (Jacksonville)
- OLB Diamante Howard, 3 stars, Miami Southridge
- TE Larry Hodges, 3 stars, Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.)
- OLB Jesiah Pierre, 3 stars, Christian Home & Bible (Mount Dora, Fla.)
- OLB Samuel Brooks, 3 stars, Miami Northwestern Senior
- G Kingsley Eguakun, 3 stars, Atlantic Coast (Jacksonville)
5 top uncommitted targets
5-star CB Chris Steele, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
Chris Steele is the No. 3 cornerback in the 247Sports composite rankings and a case can be made that he’s the most coveted player at the position in the country. Legitimately a dozen or so teams now feel they have at least a shot to land the 6-foot-1, 176-pound defensive back. He’s locked in official visits with Louisville, Florida, LSU and Oklahoma. He’s already seen Southern California and Oregon. Alabama, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Texas and Michigan think they could secure the fifth visit.
The Hurricanes, however, have as good a shot as anyone to host the No. 29 overall prospect for the last visit. Immediately after earning an offer, Steele said he planned to take an official visit to Coral Gables, Fla. It will be hard to beat USC for a California prospect, but if Miami gets him on campus, the Hurricanes will have a chance.
5-star WR Frank Ladson, South Dade (Homestead, Fla.)
Frank Ladson possesses every tool necessary to star as a pass catcher. The 5-star wide receiver is 6-4, 170 pounds, and has deceptive speed. The combination of size and agility turned him into one of the most coveted prospects in the cycle after he de-committed from the Gators in December. Clemson dished out an offer the next day. Georgia turned up the pressure and cracked the top 5 for the nation’s No. 3 wideout. Auburn is also in the mix.
Miami has been a factor all along, even before the junior backed off from his pledge to the Gators. The nation’s No. 15 player overall, Ladson took a number of unofficial visits to see the Hurricanes in the fall. Miami also has a strong foothold at South Dade High School after signing 4-star cornerback D.J. Ivey and 3-star weakside defensive end Patrick Joyner in 2018.
4-star CB Jaden Davis, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Jaden Davis is the ideal slot cornerback to potentially play in the Hurricanes 4-3 defense, so it’s no surprise he’s one of Miami’s top targets in 2019. The 4-star defensive back is a bit undersized at 5-11 and 170 pounds, although he more than makes up for it with dominant coverage skills. The junior frequently started ahead of 4-star cornerback Al Blades Jr., who signed with the Hurricanes in the Class of 2018, for St. Thomas Aquinas High School.
The chase for the nation’s No. 20 corner won’t be easy. Davis once appeared to be an early Florida lean before coach Jim McElwain was ousted. As he becomes more acclimated to coach Dan Mullen and his staff, Davis could regain a major affinity for the Gators. The No. 204 overall prospect released a loaded top 10 in February that included Miami and Florida. He already has official visits lined up with Oklahoma and Ohio State.
4-star G Evan Neal, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
Offensive line will be a priority for the Hurricanes in this recruiting cycle and Evan Neal is at the top of the list. The 4-star guard started at left tackle for IMG as a junior and has the size to play tackle in college at 6-8, 385 pounds. He’s the No. 2 guard in the country and No. 38 overall.
Miami is out to an early lead on Neal, too. The offensive lineman is a relative of former Hurricanes running back Cleveland Gary and is from Okeechobee, Fla. Most of his family members are Miami fans and Neal’s mother accompanied him on a trip to Hard Rock Stadium in the fall. Florida State, Oklahoma, Alabama and Georgia will do all they can to beat out the Hurricanes.
4-star ATH Mark Richards, Wellington (Fla.)
Mark Richards, the younger brother of star Miami wide receiver Ahmmon Richards, is a 4-star athlete who has reasonably been viewed as a Hurricanes lean. The 6-1, 195-pound rising senior attends just about every Miami game and knows the Hurricanes better than any other team recruiting him.
Miami, however, wants the nation’s No. 4 athlete as a free safety, one of the positions where he excels for Wellington High School. Other teams — including Georgia, Auburn, Oregon and Florida — want Mark Richards for his offensive ability, which he’ll try to prove this summer. Richards, the No. 41 player in the country, already earned running back MVP honors at one camp this offseason.
Here’s a breakdown of the number of commits by position and how many are projected to be signed:
- QB: 0/1
- RB: 1/2 (Crowley)
- TE: 1/2 (Hodges)
- WR: 2/3 (Payton, Fuller)
- OL: 3/5 (Brown, Cunningham, Eguakun)
- DL: 2/5 (Daxon, Williams)
- ILB: 0/1
- OLB: 3/4 (Howard, Pierre, Brooks)
- CB: 0/3
- S: 0/2
- K: 0/0
- P: 0/0
Here’s a breakdown of Miami’s commits by state:
- Florida: 11 (Payton, Fuller, Brown Daxon, Williams, Crowley, Howard, Hodges, Pierre, Brooks, Eguakun)
- Mississippi: 1 (Cunningham)
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