Posted: 10:37 am Wednesday, February 6th, 2008
By Post Staff
Randy Shannon has had a few extra helpers in securing the Canes’ 2008 draft class.
Namely, the five players from Miami-Northwestern High who graduated in December, enrolled at UM in January and have been pounding the phones for UM as hard as any paid recruiter.
“It helps when you’ve got kids, especially at Northwestern, the high-end kids who just want to go back and help restore the roar so to speak, and obviously they’re on the phone recruiting for Miami,” said Jamie Newberg of Scout.com. “They just need to close well and it will top off an outstanding class.”
It’s only 10:30 a.m. on Signing Day, but already the Canes are closing well.
In addition to the five Northwestern recruits enrolled – including Marcus Forston, the top-ranked defensive tackle in the country, and QB Jacory Harris, the EA Sports National Player of the Year – the Canes nabbed four more Northwestern Bulls on Wednesday.
The prize is receiver Tommy Streeter, a four-star recruit with 6-6 height. He joins Northwestern teammate Aldarius Johnson, Glades Central’s Travis Benjamin and Miami-Booker T.’s Devon Johnson as the newest Canes receivers – though they still have plenty to prove.
“It’s like every year. They always have these good receivers, but no one makes a play,” says longtime recruiting analyst Larry Blustein.
The Canes were a disappointing 5-7 in 2007, but a new era begins this year with the team moving to Dolphin Stadium. Their 2008 recruiting class should help Canes fans forget about the final miserable seasons at the Orange Bowl.
The Canes usually have two or three early enrollees, but this year already have eight, including Arthur Brown, the top linebacker prospect in the country. The Canes had 13 four- and five-star oral commitments, and had about 25 guys locked up before Signing Day.
Most are from Florida – 16 from Palm Beach, Broward and Dade counties – though Randy Shannon was able to pull kids from Tennessee, Texas, New Jersey and Illinois.
Palm Beach recruits include DT Jeremy Lewis (PB Lakes), DL Micanor Regis (Pahokee) and WR Benjamin.
“I’ve always said Miami has it better than any school in the country because they have more talent in their backyard than any place else,” Newberg said. “They’re just had an outstanding year in those three counties, Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. Michael Barrow might be one of the top recruiters of the year.”
The Canes shed themselves of Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman for 2008, but could have another quarterback controversy. Redshirt freshman Robert Marve, the 2006 Florida Mr. Football who missed last season with a broken hand, is likely the favorite to land the job.
But Northwestern’s Jacory Harris, who owns every Miami-Dade passing record, Cannon Smith and Taylor Cook could push him for the job.
“I think it’s Marve’s to lose,” Newberg said, “just because he has the advantage of having been there.”
Blustein said one of the biggest surprises of the day was Miami’s signing of Melbourne-Palm Bay DB Ramon Buchanan. That’s a big coup for Miami, and a big loss for Florida.
“Even though he was committed, I thought he was kind of shaky,” Blustein said. “Palm Bay has no history with Miami. Everybody whose ever gone from Palm Bay has gone to Florida or Florida State, like Joe Cohen or Reggie Nelson.”
Before the day is done, Newberg expects the Canes to have the No. 2 recruiting class in the country. Bluestein agrees, but says that won’t necessarily translate to more wins in 2008.
“People have to understand that Miami won’t win for another two years,” he said. “They’re gonna be 6-6 or 5-7 again next year. You can’t rely on 10-12 freshmen in the lineup. But they’ll get better slowly.”