Miami's 5-star recruits have produced mixed results over past decade

BY foxsports • February 2, 2015

Recruiting season is much like movie awards season: Everyone wants to see stars.

There is a certain mystique surrounding those few college football players who acquire five-star ratings. With the honor come enormous expectations.

Over the past decade, Miami failed to nab a five-star recruit just twice -- in 2009 and 2013. As of Monday, the Hurricanes do not have a five-star recruit ready to call Coral Gables, Florida, home.

Last season, Miami signed three: offensive lineman Kc McDermott, running back Joe Yearby and defensive end Chad Thomas. All three grew up in South Florida.

Since 2005, many have failed to live up to the hype. A few even transferred. Kenny Phillips, a safety with the Hurricanes in the mid 2000s, remains the last UM player to be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Here is a breakdown of what Miami's five-star commitments from 2005-2014 accomplished as Hurricanes and where they are now ...

2005

Kenny Phillips: Phillips got off to a fast start at UM, earning All-ACC freshman honors after starting 11 games at free safety. As a sophomore and junior, he was named to the All-ACC First Team and second team All-America. The New York Giants selected Phillips in the first round of the 2008 draft. He is the last UM player to be taken in the first round. Over five seasons, he played in 56 games (41 starts), collecting eight interceptions and 200 tackles. He set career highs in 2011, but the Philadelphia Eagles put him on their practice squad in 2013 and the New Orleans Saints signed him to a reserve/future contract in 2014.

DajLeon Farr: Considered one of the nation's top tight ends, Farr played in just 18 games (two starts), catching four passes for 30 yards over his first two seasons. He added another 11 games (four starts) with six catches, 104 yards and three touchdowns in 2007 before transferring to Memphis. As a Tiger, he started five games, collecting 14 receptions for 76 yards and one score. The Buffalo Bills placed him on the practice squad-injured reserve list in 2013. 

Reggie Youngblood: The offensive lineman battled through injuries his four seasons at UM. Youngblood made seven starts as a sophomore. No longer in football, he was named by Nevin Shapiro as one of the players he gave impermissible benefits to.

 

2006

LeSean McCoy: Originally committed to Miami, the running back sustained a major ankle injury in high school that threatened his career. McCoy decided to attend Milford Academy in New York for a year before choosing Pittsburgh. He has played six seasons for the Philadelphia Eagles, amassing 6,792 rushing yards and 44 touchdowns as well as another 2,282 receiving yards and 10 scores.

 

2007

Graig Cooper: The team's leading rusher each of his first three seasons, Cooper sustained a torn ACL at the Champs Sports Bowl and never fully recovered. He finished his time at UM third in program history with 3,864 all-purpose yards and fifth with 2,387 rushing yards. The Eagles signed him as an undrafted free agent, but then released him during their final cuts. Philadelphia did it again in 2012.

Allen Bailey: Known as a unique physical specimen, the defensive lineman made All-ACC First Team as a junior by leading the Hurricanes in sacks (seven) and tackles for a loss (11). He earned second-team honors as a senior. The Kansas City Chiefs picked Bailey in the third round of the 2011 draft. He has played in 55 games over four seasons. His breakout year came in 2014 when he made 14 starts, recording 41 tackles and five sacks. In his three previous seasons, he combined for four starts, two sacks and 45 tackles.

Kayne Farquharson: A junior college transfer, the wide receiver was also mentioned in Shapiro's allegations. Farquharson caught 27 passes for 355 yards and four touchdowns over two seasons. He is out of football.

 

2008

Marcus Forston: A member of Miami Northwestern High's state championship team, the defensive lineman earned accolades as a freshman when he played in 12 games, tallying 18 tackles (4.5 for a loss) with three sacks. During his junior year, Forston sustained a season-ending knee injury. He elected to leave school early (he was also listed in Shapiro's allegations), and the New England Patriots signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2011. Forston made the team and then got waived before re-signing to the practice squad. The same thing happened in 2013. The Patriots waived him in August 2014. Forston has played in three NFL games, recording three tackles.

Arthur Brown: The nation's top linebacker struggled during his freshman year and moved from weakside to inside his sophomore campaign. Brown left the program in February 2010 amidst the impermissible benefits scandal. Once considered a bust, he became an All-American and 2012 Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year while at Kansas State. The Baltimore Ravens took him in the second round of the 2013 draft. He played in 14 games as a rookie, totaling 15 tackles, 0.5 sacks and one forced fumble. Brown appeared in just four games in 2014, failing to record any stats. He recently underwent hernia surgery and was placed on the injured reserve list.

Brandon Harris: Twice named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, the defensive back started 32 of 39 games in three seasons. Harris recorded 132 tackles, nine tackles for loss, four interceptions, five forced fumbles, two sacks and 28 pass breakups. The Houston Texans picked him in the second round of the 2011 draft. He has played in 31 games, tallying 29 tackles but no interceptions. He appeared in every game in 2013. This past season, he collected 11 tackles and three passes defensed in 11 games with the Tennessee Titans.

Aldarius Johnson: It started out good for the sure-to-be NFL star: The wideout was the team leader in receptions (31) and yards (332) as a freshman. But he suffered a sophomore slump with just 16 catches and then 15 as a junior. Head coach Al Golden suspended him indefinitely for a violation of team rules as a senior. He is out of football.

 

2009

NONE

 

2010

Seantrel Henderson: Named the second-best recruit in the country, his collegiate career provided plenty of drama. When the NCAA banned USC from postseason play, the offensive lineman wound up in Miami. Henderson started nine games as a freshman yet just two as a sophomore. As a junior, he was named an All-ACC honorable mention and made All-ACC Third Team in 2013. At last year's Senior Bowl he admitted to marijuana use, which was responsible for a few of his suspensions. Henderson, taken in the seventh round (237th overall pick) by the Buffalo Bills, started all 16 games at right tackle in 2014.

 

2011

Jalen Grimble: The defensive tackle saw action in 15 games as a reserve over two seasons, registering six tackles (all as a sophomore). Grimble was not listed on the depth chart entering camp. He transferred to Oregon State and sat out the 2013 season per NCAA rules. In 2014, he managed just six tackles with no sacks in six games (three starts) because of back and knee injuries.

 

2012

Tracy Howard: Considered the nation's top cornerback prospect, Howard made just one start as a freshman, finishing with 17 tackles and four pass breakups. That changed in 2013 as a sophomore when he started 12 games, tallied 35 tackles and intercepted a team-high four passes to garner an All-ACC Honorable Mention honor. But Howard took a step back in 2014 with 20 tackles in 13 games (one start) with one forced fumble, one pass breakup and one interception.

Duke Johnson: The nation's top running back recruit finished his UM career in three seasons (33 games) as the program's all-time leading rusher (3,519) and all-purpose yards leader (5,526). He ran for a Miami freshman record 947 yards and 10 touchdowns and set a single-season record with 892 kick return yards and two scores, compiling 2,060 all-purpose yards for the second-best mark in program history. Despite a season-ending ankle injury in 2013, Johnson still managed All-ACC accolades. He rushed for 920 yards and six touchdowns in eight games, adding 396 yards on kick returns. As a junior, Johnson ran for 1,652 yards and 10 touchdowns, adding another 421 receiving yards and three scores in 13 games.

Anthony Chickillo: Miami's first third-generation Hurricane didn't live up to the hype, perhaps because of the defensive scheme that forced him to take on linemen to free up his teammates. The defensive end started all but three of his 50 games, recording 170 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks. He never topped the five sacks he notched his freshman year. Chickillo, who also forced two fumbles, recovered five fumbles and broke up five passes, awaits the NFL Draft after impressing at the Shrine Game.

 

2013

NONE

 

2014

Chad Thomas: Ranked the second-best defensive end in the Class of 2014, Thomas chose the Hurricanes over Alabama and Florida State. In 12 games (no starts), he recorded seven tackles and one tackle for loss. He made his debut in the season opener at Louisville, making a tackle. Thomas missed the Nebraska game with an injury. He tallied three tackles against North Carolina and his career-first TFL came in the Duck Commander Independence Bowl.

Kc McDermott: The younger McDermott came to Miami as the state's top player at his offensive tackle position. He also joined his older brother, Shane, on the Hurricanes roster. After sitting out the season opener at Louisville, McDermott played in the next three games, mostly on special teams. But a knee injury against Duke in late September forced him to undergo surgery and miss the remainder of the season.

Joe Yearby: A two-time high school state champion, Yearby came to Miami as an early enrollee and rehabbed back from a fractured left fibula. As Johnson's primary backup, he ran 86 times for 509 yards (5.9 average) and one touchdown in 12 games. He also caught seven passes for 92 yards and one touchdown. Twice he ran for 100-plus yards in a game, showing off his dangerous speed. Yearby and rising junior Gus Edwards will compete for the starting job in 2015.

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


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