Walton leads Miami's class, as Hurricanes aim to rebound
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) Miami got quarterback Brad Kaaya some new weapons to play with.
Running back Mark Walton of perennial Miami power Booker T. Washington High realized his dream of signing with the Hurricanes, with he and highly regarded wide receiver Lawrence Cager from Maryland among the skill-player headliners in the class unveiled Wednesday.
Miami also loaded up on offensive linemen, with six signees there - a group that includes Bar Milo, who blocked for Kaaya at Chaminade College Prep in California, and big-time prospect Tyree St. Louis - averaging 6-foot-5 and 303 pounds.
''We're happy with our class and the needs we met in this class,'' said Miami coach Al Golden, whose team went 6-7 in 2014.
There were some misses; the Hurricanes had more than a dozen players break verbal commitments on the road to signing day, and only seven of the 20 signees that Miami announced hail from talent-rich South Florida, a much-lower-than-average ratio for the Hurricanes and something Golden said he doesn't expect to see again next year.
That being said, Walton wasn't deterred.
He picked Miami long ago, listened to other schools make their pitches and ultimately never really wavered from his plan to be a Hurricane.
''I think we've got potential, with the guys there now and the guys coming in, to be a great team,'' said Walton, who scored 45 touchdowns for Booker T. Washington - a three-time defending state champion.
Walton figures to help Miami move on after record-setting running back Duke Johnson left early for the NFL.
''Mark obviously had a prolific (high school) career,'' Golden said.
Miami had five of the 20 newcomers enroll early, including tight end Jerome Washington, defensive end Matt Patchan and defensive back Jaquan Johnson. Another key addition on defense was cornerback Sheldrick Redwine, a Louisville commit who flipped to Miami.
Miami also signed linebacker Jamie Gordinier from Red Bank Catholic, Golden's alma mater in New Jersey.
There was a bonus arrival Wednesday, with the announcement that former Florida defensive lineman Gerald Willis will transfer to Miami. Willis will sit out the 2015 season per NCAA transfer rules.
Top 25 class: on the bubble.
Best in class: Mark Walton, RB, Miami.
Best of the rest: Lawrence Cager, WR, Towson, Md.; Tyree St. Louis, OL, Bradenton, Fla.; Bar Milo, OL, West Hills, Calif.
Late addition: Sheldrick Redwine, DB, Miami (leaned toward Louisville).
One that got away: Jordan Scarlett, RB, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (committed to Miami, signed with Florida).