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2014 Miami Signing Day Snapshot

Monday, February 3, 2014 1:48pm
By: ACCSports.com Staff

Here's an inside look at Miami's 2014 recruiting class. 


Head Coach: Al Golden
Total Number of Expected Signees: 26
National Recruiting Rankings 
Rivals.com: No. 8 (2002), No. 5 (2003), No. 4 (2004), No. 7 (2005), No. 14 (2006) under Larry Coker; No. 19 (2007), No. 5 (2008), No. 15 (2009), No. 16 (2010) under Randy Shannon. No. 36 (2011), No. 9 (2012), No. 20 (2013) under Al Golden. 
Scout.com: No. 4 (2002), No. 6 (2003), No. 3 (2004), No. 12 (2005), No. 14 (2006) under Larry Coker; No. 13 (2007), No. 3 (2008), No. 24 (2009), No. 14 (2010) under Randy Shannon; No. 41 (2011), No. 9 (2012), No. 20 (2013) under Al Golden 
247Sports.com: No. 34 (2011), No. 9 (2012), No. 14 (2013) 
ACC Rankings (Rivals.com): No. 2 (2004), No. 2 (2005), No. 2 (2006), No. 4 (2007), No. 1 (2008), No. 3 (2009), No. 2 (2010), No. 6 (2011), No. 2 (2012), No. 3 (2013)
2014 Miami ACC & National Rankings By Network
ESPN: No. 2 ACC, No. 10 overall nationally 
Rivals.com: No. 2 ACC, No. 12 overall nationally 
Scout.com: No. 2 ACC, No. 11 overall nationally
247Sports.com: No. 2 ACC, No. 12 overall nationally 
Signee Breakdown by Star Rating  
Rivals.com: Five Stars (1), Four Stars (8), Three Stars (17), Two Stars (0)
Scout.com: Five Stars (3), Four Stars (6), Three Stars (17), Two Stars (0)
247Sports.com: Five Stars (1), Four Stars (7), Three Stars (18), Two Stars (0)
States Represented (7): Florida (16), New Jersey (3), California (2), Georgia (2), Alabama (1), New York (1), North Carolina (1)
NOTE: Spring Valley (NY) native Calvin Heurtelou, a defensive tackle who enrolled at Miami in January, came to Coral Gables from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College. 
January (Spring Semester) Enrollees: Braxton Berrios, Trevor Darling, Trent Harris, Calvin Heurtelou, Ryan Mayes, K.C. McDermott, Darrion Owens, Joseph Yearby, Juwon Young
Unconfirmed Academics: Michael Wyche, Terry McCray, Trayone Gray
Breakdown by Position: Defensive Linemen (8), Defensive Backs (4), Wide Receivers (4), Offensive Linemen (3), Linebackers (2), Quarterbacks (2), Tight Ends (2), Running Backs (1)

Top Recruiter

Linebackers coach Michael Barrow has again done a simply outstanding job for the Hurricanes, and this year he may very well get league-wide recognition from the various recruiting networks as the best recruiter in the entire Atlantic Coast Conference. In the 2014 cycle Barrow was directly involved in the recruitment of approximately half of Miami’s class, including nine commitments from Miami and surrounding communities and a couple key pledges from Georgia (linebacker Juwon Young from Albany and tight end Chris Herndon from Norcross). Barrow also did work in north Florida, landing Jacksonville-area linebacker Darrion Owens out of Orange Park (Fla.).

10 Key Misses

Miami (Fla.) quarterback Treon Harris (Florida State), Miami (Fla.) running back Dalvin Cook (Florida State), St. Petersburg (Fla.) offensive tackle Reilly Gibbons (Stanford), Immokalee (Fla.) cornerback J.C. Jackson (Florida), Mesa (Ariz.) defensive tackle Claude Pelon (Southern Cal), San Antonio (Tex.) safety Arrion Springs (Oregon), Dallas (Tex.) defensive end Trey Carter (Oklahoma State), Gardena (Calif.) safety Glen Ihenacho (Oregon), Cochran (Ga.) quarterback/safety Tavon Ross (Missouri), Fayetteville (N.C.) defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard (Georgia)

Miami Recruiting Storylines 

  • Miami’s nine January enrollees in the 2014 class is the most mid-year enrollees to come to Coral Gables in a single class at any point in history, and the most of any school in the Atlantic Coast Conference this recruiting cycle. The ‘Canes brought in seven January enrollees in the 2012 class and five more in the 2013 class as the program under Golden has worked to bring in players who could come in and participate in spring football and get an academic semester under their belt before their first collegiate season. Among the newcomers to the Miami roster includes a wide receiver (Braxton Berrios), two defensive linemen (Calvin Heurtelou and Trent Harris), two offensive linemen (Trevor Darling and Kc McDermott), two defensive backs (Ryan Mayes and Darrion Owens), a running back (Joseph Yearby), and a linebacker (Juwon Young). 
  • After signing a whopping 25 Florida natives in its massive 33-man 2012 signing class, the Canes signed just three Floridians in 2013, the fewest Sunshine State natives signing with Miami in a single class since Rivals.com and Scout.com began putting together recruiting rankings in 2002. The 2014 recruiting class is more in line with Miami’s typical recruiting, as the Canes have signed 16 Florida natives, including more than 10 prospects from in and around Miami. But even with Miami’s emphasis on recruiting at home, the Canes also had success in Al Golden’s native state of New Jersey, as well as California. This marks the second straight recruiting class that Miami has two signees from California, though East Los Angeles College defensive tackle Michael Wyche is still awaiting enrollment at UM due to an ACC rule requiring Junior college players to spend three consecutive semesters before transferring to a league school. The additions of New Jersey residents Kiy Hester, a defensive back from Wayne and tight end David Njoku of Cedar Grove makes five Garden State natives to sign with the Hurricanes in its last two classes. 
  • It’s not atypical for Miami’s signees to arrive on campus with familiarity with one another from their high school days in South Florida. That’s especially the case in the 2014 class, as Miami is bringing in multiple sets of teammates from within Dade and Broward counties. Among the Miami-area commitments are a pair of pledges from Miami Central High School (running back Joseph Yearby and offensive lineman Trevor Darling), two from Northwestern High (cornerback Ryan Mayes and linebacker Mike Smith), and two from Booker T. Washington High (defensive ends Chad Thomas and Demetrius Jackson). “I personally don’t see how they (Miami) can do a better job recruiting South Florida than they already are,” said head coach Chris Merritt of Miami’s Columbus High School, which produced current Miami defensive back Deon Bush, to the Miami Herald. “You’re talking about the most recruited, talent-rich area in the country. There’s no way you’re going to get them all.”
  • Miami signed just 19 prospects in the 2013 class, due largely to the program’s scholarship numbers at the time and anticipating possible NCAA scholarship reductions due to the Nevin Shapiro scandal (the NCAA ultimately took away nine Miami scholarships). It was the third time in five years that Miami signed 19 commitments, as the Canes also signed that many in 2009 and 2011.  2014 marks the fourth time in seven recruiting classes that the Canes have over-signed (bringing in more than 25 prospects), which includes three signing classes out of five (2008, 2010, 2012) in which Miami signed 30 or more prospects. The Hurricanes will be allowed to count some of its January enrollees toward the 2013 scholarship numbers, allowing them to enroll everyone that academically qualifies. 

A Closer Look At ...

Chad Thomas, DE (6-5, 240) Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington
Rivals.com Ranking:  (No. 22 overall nationally, No. 2 weak-side defensive end, No. 4 in Florida)
Scout.com Ranking:  (No. 11 overall nationally, No. 2 defensive end, No. 2 in Florida)
247Sports.com Ranking:  (No. 29 overall nationally, No. 3 weak-side defensive end, No. 3 in Florida)
Lead Recruiter(s):  Michael Barrow, James Coley
A consensus five-star recruit and top 30 national prospect by all three major networks, Thomas has a chance to provide immediate assistance to Miami’s defensive line, which was in need of an infusion of talent given some of the offseason departures. Over his final two seasons of competition at Booker T. Washington High School in Miami - going against some of the top prep competition in the nation week in and week out - Thomas totaled 126 tackles, 12.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries, three pass deflections, earning a spot in the Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando (Fla.) in January. “Thomas is your classic edge defensive end that has size, speed and quickness. He has long arms and good length. Thomas gets off the ball well and has good flexibility. He has very good strength and a bull rush over some quality offensive tackles. He shows the ability to chase the ball laterally down the line of scrimmage. He has good short area quickness also shows the ability to play well in space,” said Scout.com national analyst Jamie Newberg of Thomas.
Trevor Darling, OL (6-5, 325), Miami (Fla.) Central
Rivals.com Ranking:  (No. 143 overall nationally, No. 13 offensive tackle, No. 23 in Florida)
Scout.com Ranking:  (No. 94 overall nationally, No. 8 offensive tackle, No. 13 in Florida)
247Sports.com Ranking:  (No. 109 overall nationally, No. 9 offensive tackle, No. 16 in Florida)
Lead Recruiter(s):  Art Kehoe, Hurlie Brown
Along with Kc McDermott, Darling is a huge part of Miami’s future plans at offensive tackle. Both newcomers could be in position for early playing time given their January enrollment and participation in spring football with the Hurricanes. Darling was named Florida Class 6A All-State by the Tampa Bay Times following a storybook senior season. He anchored a Central High offense that averaged better than 44 points per game and scored 40 or more points 10 times in the fall of 2013. Central High went on a 12-game winning streak this past fall, going 13-1 overall and winning Florida’s Class 6A state championship for the second straight year. ”Darling has good size and long arms. He shows pretty good feet and can slide side to side in pass pro. Darling bends well and has a solid base. Darling appears to be further along in pass pro than run blocking. He doesn’t appear to be an overwhelming drive blocker at this point and plays a little high. He certainly has plenty of time to develop his skills and has a lot of upside,” said Scout.com of the future Hurricane lineman. 
Joseph Yearby, RB (5-9, 180), Miami (Fla.) Central
Rivals.com Ranking:  (No. 62 overall nationally, No. 9 running back, No. 8 in Florida)
Scout.com Ranking:  (No. 21 overall nationally, No. 6 running back, No. 7 in Florida)
247Sports.com Ranking:  (No. 130 overall nationally, No. 9 running back, No. 18 in Florida)
Lead Recruiter(s):  James Coley
Yearby, a teammate of Trevor Darling at two-time 6A state champion Miami Central, rushed for 1,248 yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior in 2012, averaging nearly seven yards a carry as the Rockets went on an 11-game winning streak and claimed the state crown. He broke his leg in the 2013 state quarterfinals, but finished his prep career as the second all-time leading rusher in Dade County history with 5,593 rushing yards. Yearby was selected for the Under Armour All-American Game, but the leg injury kept him from playing. He enrolled at Miami in January. “Yearby is a back who is tough to find, tackle, and stop. He has great balance. He just knows how to keep his feet and that has a lot to do with his low center of gravity. He has some extremely quick feet and he moves so well in tight spaces. He moves very well laterally as he has a light bounce in his step. He knows how to avoid the big hits and he does a great job of adjusting his body in traffic. Not a burner, but plenty quick,” said Scout.com’s Chad Simmons of Yearby. 

 Why They Chose Miami

My family is all Miami fans, root for the Dolphins, Heat, Hurricanes. My family, they think I'm a pretty good fit for Miami. It's like family over there. Coach Golden said he wants me to be part of the tradition, that he thinks I can be the next big-time (defensive lineman) at the school. I see a lot of tradition out there, all the coaching - they're doing a lot of good things. And the academics are strong.
---Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) defensive tackle Anthony Moten to CaneSport.com
I like that UM is not too crowded, it's not a big school so I won't get lost on the way to class. I like that the students actually interact and have relation with the professors. The professors actually take time to get to know the students.
---Norcross (Ga.) tight end Chris Herndon to Scout.com
I decided to stay home and go to the U. It's a great university, an up-and-coming football team. I really like the atmosphere at Miami," McDermott said. "And, like my brother (Miami offensive lineman Shane McDermott), I like to go fishing every weekend.
---Wellington (Fla.) offensive lineman Kc McDermott to CaneSport.com
I already knew some of the other (Miami) commitments. I played with them (in youth league) so it’s like we already knew each other. We play against each other every year in high school. All the top players from around the area are going to UM, so that should be good.
---Miami (Fla.) linebacker Michael Smith to Scout.com