'Canes class solid, but unikely to add top names on National Signing Day

BY foxsports • February 3, 2015

Don't expect many surprises come National Signing Day in relation to the University of Miami's Class of 2015.

Five commits -- tight end Jerome Washington, offensive lineman Jahair Jones, defensive end Scott Patchan, linebacker Charles Perry and defensive back Jaquan Johnson -- have already arrived on campus as early enrollees.

According to Scout.com, the Hurricanes rank 34th nationally with their recruiting class. Though head coach Al Golden and his staff remain in play for a few top guys, they don't appear to be frontrunners for them. Of the crucial areas the Hurricanes could use help in, they acquired talent in a few.

Quarterback: Miami lost Ryan Williams and Jake Heaps to graduation. That leaves just Brad Kaaya, Malik Rosier, who also plays baseball, and Gray Crow left on the roster.

Torrance Gibson, a five-star recruit from Plantation American Heritage School is committed to Ohio State. He did go to Coral Gables this past weekend for his final visit. Vincent Testaverde, the son of former University of Miami Heisman Trophy winner Vinny, has already transferred from Texas Tech where he was a walk-on player. Evan Shirreffs from Georgia is deciding between the Hurricanes and several Ivy League options.

Running back: How do the Hurricanes replace the production of all-time program leader Duke Johnson? Joe Yearby and Gus Edwards will likely split the primary load with Trayon Gray set for more production in 2015. Who will be part of the next wave?

With Jordan Scarlett choosing Florida over Miami and Florida State, Mark Walton is the lone backfield commit. Walton was a teammate of Chad Thomas and Demetrius Jackson at Miami Booker T. Washington. His former coach, Tim "Ice" Harris, is in charge of UM running backs. Dexter Williams, a four-star recruit from West Orange High in Winter Garden, will choose between Miami and Notre Dmae.

Offensive line: Three mainstays for this unit -- left tackle Ereck Flowers, center Shane McDermott and right tackle Jon Feliciano -- are now gone. They had 103 starts between them over the past three seasons. Various injuries to Kc McDermott, Alex Gall and Taylor Gadbois exposed a lack of depth.

Six of the 17 commits are O-linemen. Leading the pack is Bar Milo, Kaaya's former high school teammate. Bradenton IMG Academy's Tyree St. Louis is committed to UM, but could switch. His other options are Florida and Tennessee. Two of his teammates, Patchan and Ryan Fines, are part of the 2015 class.

Wide receiver/Tight end: Phillip Dorsett and Clive Walford combined for 80 catches, 1,547 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2014. Those numbers account for 35 percent of the receptions, 48 percent of the yardage and 65 percent of the touchdowns. Everyone else returns, but playmakers must emerge.

Lawrence Cager (Maryland) and Terrell Chatman (Louisiana) are wideout prospects scheduled to sign with the Hurricanes. Another two, Antonio Callaway (Booker T. Washington) and Daylon Charlot (Louisiana) have yet to decide. Both have the Hurricanes as finalists.

Defensively, Miami will need help at the linebacker position with the departure of Denzel Perryman. Perry is an early enrollee. Jamie Gordiner of New Jersey is committed to help out the corps. In the secondary, four-star recruit Jaquan Johnson of Miami Killian High is already on campus.

A few defensive players will make their decisions on NSD: tackles Kendrick Norton (three stars, Jacksonville) and Kevin Scott (three stars, California) as well as backs Marcus Lewis (four stars, Washington D.C.) and Antonio Howard (three stars, Hialeah-Miami Lakes).

KEY ANNOUNCEMENT TIMES

WR Antonio Callaway: 9 a.m. at Miami Booker T. Washington (Miami, Florida, Florida State)

RB Dexter Williams:: 11 a.m. at West Orange in Winter Gardens (Miami, Notre Dame)

DB Antonio Howard: 11 a.m. at Hialeah-Miami Lakes (Miami, UCF, Marshall)

DT Daylon Mack: 12:30 p.m.at Gladewater High School (Texas) (Texas A&M, Texas, LSU, TCU, Miami)

DT Kevin Scott: 4 p.m.at Los Angeles, California, Bishop Mora Salesian (Miami, Ole Miss, USC)

WR Daylon Charlot: TBD at Patterson High (LA) (Arizona State, Alabama, Miami, LSU)

DT Kendrick Norton: TBD at Jacksonville Trinity Christian (Miami, Auburn)

DB Marcus Lewis: TBD at Washington D.C. (Gonzaga) (Miami, Kentucky)

You can follow Christina De Nicola on Twitter @CDeNicola13 or email her at cdenicola13@gmail.com.


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