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2014 Miami Recruiting Class Analysis
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CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 6, 2014


Miami Hurricanes 2014 ... Head Coach: Al Golden


Miami Hurricanes

2013 Record: 10-3
8/31 Florida Atlantic W 34-6
9/7 Florida W 21-16
9/14 OPEN DATE
9/21 Savannah St W 77-7
9/28 at USF W 49-21
10/5 Georgia Tech W 45-30
10/12 OPEN DATE
10/19 at North Carolina W 27-23
10/26 Wake Forest W 24-21
11/2 at Florida State L 41-14
11/9 Virginia Tech L 42-24
11/16 at Duke L 48-30
11/23 Virginia W 45-26
11/29 at Pitt W 41-31
Russell Athletic Bowl
12/28 Louisville L 36-9


- The 2014 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2014: Shoring up the defense. The ‘Canes stumbled to last year’s finish line by losing four of the final six games. In those four defeats, they yielded an average of 42 points per game. Miami was gashed, both on the ground and through the air, with no one aside from LB Denzel Perryman stepping up consistently. Head coach Al Golden will once again foster a competitive offseason environment in the hopes that it’ll bring out the best in all of his defenders.

The 2014 Class Is Heavy On ... Wide receiver. Sanction threats done, and now it’s time to reap the rewards. There isn’t a Michael Irvin or Andre Johnson in the bunch, but this is a really, really deep good of very big, very talented receivers led by Darrell Langham and Trayon Gray. Running back Joseph Yearby is a shifty back who should fit the offense to a T, while quarterback Brad Kaaya is coming in with the potential to be one of the program’s next great passers. K.C. McDermott and Trevor Darling are two of the nation’s best offensive tackles, and Chad Thomas is a special defensive end and one of the biggest keys to the class.

2013 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 37. That Class Was Heavy On ... Tight ends. The Canes are bringing in some terrific stars led by quarterback Kevin Olsen from New Jersey, who has all the tools and all the abilities to be the next great Miami passer. Receiver Stacy Coley and running back Augustus Edwards made a good class great on Signing Day. Running back Ray Lewis III - yes, his son - will be the big name, but defensive end Alquadin Muhammad and defensive backs Jamal Carter and Artie Burns are expected to be great. The most interesting pickups were at tight end with Standish Dobard an athletic star from New Orleans and JUCO transfer Beau Sandland ready to go right away.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 7. That Class Was Heavy On ... Hope that everything will be fine. Apparently, someone forgot to tell the excellent Miami recruiting class about the Nevin Shapiro situation. While this might not be a special haul, it’s looking like a strong job done by Al Golden to keep bringing in enough NFL caliber prospects to keep the expectations high. Golden wants to upgrade the passing game, and it shows with a load of receivers coming in of all shapes and sizes. At least three quarterbacks are going to be signed, and they’ll be expected to be the main backups behind Stephen Morris sooner than later. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 36. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. New head man Al Golden only brought in four defensive line prospects, but two are among the best in America with Jalen Grimble a shocking get out of Las Vegas, taking him away from any big-time program you can name, and snagging pass rushing terror Anthony Chickillo for one end. The receiving corps got some help with Phillip Dorsett and Rashawn Scott two good-sized speedsters who can stretch the field. Kevin Grooms has No. 1, lockdown corner potential, while Dallas Crawford and Thomas Finnie aren’t far behind.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 18. That Class Was Heavy On ... The defensive back seven. Randy Shannon signed a ton of defensive back talent last year, and there wasn't much of a need for too many safeties. Instead, Shannon upgraded the cornerback talent with four fantastic prospects taking Keion Payne away from Florida, Florida State, and Ohio State, and getting Kacy Rodgers out of ... Texas?! As if Miami doesn't have enough talent in its own backyard, it went and got a ready-for-right-now defender away from Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State. There weren't any superstar linebacker prospects, but the five brought in can run. Offensively, Eduardo Clements is the speed back who'll be a weapon early on.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 18. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive backs. Never at a shortage for quality defensive backs, Randy Shannon is making sure it stays that way with this class. All four of this year’s additions are ranked no lower than No. 40 nationally at their position. S Ray Ray Armstrong is a 6-3, 210-pound beast in the mold of former ‘Cane Sean Taylor. Corners Brandon McGee and Jamal Reid are a couple of top 10 talents, who were hotly pursued by schools in the ACC and SEC.

Russell Athletic Bowl
Louisville 36, Miami 9
Basically … Miami had all the momentum early on as Deon Bush tackled Teddy Bridgewater in the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 lead. And then it was all Louisville the rest of the way. Bridgewater threw for a career-high 447 yards with three touchdown passes and a one-yard scoring run as the Cardinals cranked out 36 straight points. John Wallace hit field goals from 36, 43 and 42 yards out, and then Bridgewater went to work finding DeVante Parker from 26 yards out, Michaelee Harris for a 12-yard score, and Senorise Perry for a 25-yard touchdown. The Canes finally got into the end zone on a two-yard Gus Edwards run in the fourth.

- Louisville had the ball for 38:32 to 21:28.
- Third Down Conversions: Louisville 8-of-14 – Miami 0-of-11
- Total yards: Louisville 554 – Miami 174
- Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater completed 35-of-45 passes for 447 yards and three scores, and ran six times for 24 yards and a touchdown.
- Louisville WR DeVante Parker caught nine passes for 142 yards and a touchdown.
- Miami QB Stephen Morris completed 12-of-27 passes for 160 yards
- Louisville MLB Preston Brown made seven tackles with a sack and two tackles for loss.
- Louisville DE Marcus Smith made two tackles with two sacks, a forced fumble and a broken up pass.

Miami 41, at Pitt 31
Basically … Miami jumped up early and got out to a commanding 31-10 halftime lead highlighted by Stacy Coley touchdown catches from 32 and 34 yards out and took off on a scoring run from 73 yards away. Pitt tried to push back in the second half, getting to within ten on a 23-yard Rachid Ibrahim catch, but Asante Cleveland caught Stephen Morris’s third touchdown pass of the day on a five-yard play to put it well out of reach.
- Miami’s Stacy Coley caught three passes for 73 yards and two scores, and ran once for a 73-yard touchdown.
- Pitt RB Isaac Bennett ran 21 times for 141 yards and a score and caught a 19-yard pass.
- Pitt QB Tom Savage completed 24-of-43 passes for 281 yards and two scores with a pick.
- Miami WR Allen Hurns caught nine passes for 173 yards.

at Miami 45, Virginia 26
Basically … Miami set the tone on the first play with Tracy Howard returning an interception for a 19-yard score, and the D came up big in the fourth on a 72-yard fumble return for a touchdown from David Gilbert. Stephen Morris threw two touchdown passes including a 62-yarder to Stacy Coley, and Dallas Crawford ran for two scores. Virginia pulled within one in the second on the second Alec Vozenilek field goal of the first half, but it was all Miami with 17 straight points to put it away.
- Miami QB Stephen Morris completed 13-of-26 passes for 214 yards and two scores with a pick.
- The two teams combined for 17 penalties and six turnovers with Virginia committed ten penalties and four turnovers.
- Virginia RB Kevin Parks ran 26 times for 130 yards and a score.
- Virginia held the ball for 37:49 and outgained Miami 483 yards to 304.

at Duke 48, Miami 30
Basically … Duke gained control of its own destiny in the ACC title chase scoring 20 unanswered points to break open a tight game. Brandon Connette threw a touchdown pass and ran for four touchdowns, and Shaquille Powell caught a 22-yard touchdown pass and ran for a 33-yard score. Miami took a 17-7 lead in the first quarter helped by a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown from Stacy Coley and the first of two Herb Waters touchdown catches. The second, from 50 yards out in the third, and a 31-yard Matt Goudis field goal gave the Canes a 30-28 lead in the third before Duke went on its scoring run.
- Miami outgained Duke 565 yards to 543. Duke ran for 358 yards, Miami threw for 379.
- Duke QB Brandon Connette completed 5-of-9 passes for 81 yards and ran 11 times for 37 yards and four touchdowns.
- Miami RB Dallas Crawford ran 19 times for 115 yards and Herb Waters caught nine passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
- Miami QB Stephen Morris completed 30-of-49 passes for 379 yards and two touchdowns with a pick.

Virginia Tech 42, at Miami 24
Basically … Virginia Tech got four touchdown runs from Trey Edmunds including three in the first half to overcome an 81-yard Stacy Coley touchdown catch for a 21-7 lead. Logan Thomas threw two touchdown passes including a 32-yarder to Joshua Stanford, but Miami stayed alive in the third quarter on an 84-yard Allen Hurns touchdown catch. Up 35-24, Virginia Tech put the game away on Edmunds fourth score.
- Virginia Tech RB Trey Edmunds ran 14 times for 74 yards and four scores, and Logan Thomas completed 25-of-31 passes for 366 yards and two scores.
- Miami QB Steven Morris completed 16-of-29 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns, and Allen Hurns caught four passes for 142 yards and a score.
- The Hokies didn’t turn the ball over and held on to the ball for 39:30, but they committed 11 penalties for 71 yards.
- Without Duke Johnson, Miami finished with 28 rushing yards and a score on 24 carries. Dallas Crawford led the way with 37 yards and a score on ten carries.

at Florida State 41, Miami 14
Basically … Devonta Freeman scored on runs from five and 12 yards out and took a short pass 48 yards for another touchdown, and James Wilder Jr. ran for a five-yard touchdown as Florida State broke open a tight game. Two Jameis Winston interceptions led to the two Miami touchdowns, with Stephen Morris hitting Allen Hurns on a perfect 33-yard strike, and he found Allen Hurns from 14 yards out to pull the Hurricanes within seven late in the first half. FSU scored 20 unanswered points, closing out with two Roberto Aguayo field goals.
- Florida State QB Jamies Winston completed 21-of-29 passes for 325 yards and a score with two picks.
- Miami RB Duke Johnson ran 23 times for 97 yards, but he suffered a season-ending broken ankle.
- FSU RB Devonta Freeman ran 23 times for 78 yards and two touchdowns, and he led the team with six catches for 98 yards and a score.
- The Seminoles outgained Miami 517 yards to 275.

at Miami 24, Wake Forest 21
Basically … Duke Johnson punched it in from one-yard out with under a minute to play as Miami avoided the disastrous upset loss. Johnson scored on a four-yard touchdown run with just under six minutes to play to give the Hurricanes the lead, but Wake Forest answered with a 44-yard Dominique Gibson touchdown catch for a 21-17 advantage. The Hurricanes went 73 yards in a crisp ten plays for the win.
- Miami might be rocky, but it’s still unbeaten. The defense came up with a bad outing against the Wake Forest passing game, allowing big plays late and giving up over 300 yards for the game, but the run defense didn’t allow a thing and never let the Demon Deacon O establish itself when Tanner Price wasn’t throwing. While there were some explosive plays from the passing game, Duke Johnson saved the offense with 168 yards and two scores on 30 carries.
- 7-0 is 7-0 is 7-0. Miami might not be pretty and it might not be dominant, but it’s still unbeaten going into what might be the first of two showdowns against Florida State. To have any shot at the upset, and to get by Virginia Tech and through the manageable finishing kick, the offense has to be more consistent and Stephen Morris and the passing game have to be sharper. The Canes can’t rely on Duke Johnson 30 times a game.

Miami 27 … at North Carolina 23
Basically … Dallas Crawford filled in for an injured Duke Johnson and ran for two three-yard touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including the game-winner with 16 seconds remaining, to give Miami the win. Down 13-7, Nth Carolina scored 16 straight points with three Thomas Moore field goals and a 20-yard Quinshad Davis touchdown, but Miami took over in the fourth quarter. The Cane offense didn’t get into the end zone until the first Crawford run, getting the first touchdown on a blocked kick for a score in the second quarter.
- Nothing went right for Miami, but the team still came away with the win. Stephen Morris threw four interceptions, Duke Johnson got hurt, and the defense was torn up. Even so, Dallas Crawford carried the offense when needed with 137 yards on 33 carries, barreling to take the heat off of Morris, who threw for 322 yards, but struggled.
- North Carolina’s offense couldn’t convert drives into touchdowns. Thomas Moore did a nice job hitting three field goals, but that was the problem – the final touchdown came early in the second quarter. The opportunities were there to put the Hurricanes away, and the Tar Heels didn’t do it.
- The Hurricane defense went bye bye, but as always, Denzel Perryman came up with a big day. He’s always around the ball and he’s always coming up with the right stop at the right time, making 12 tackles.
- The Tar Heels might have played well, but now they’re 1-5 with the season slipping into the abyss. The offense moved the ball, the defense generated great pressure, and this could be seen as a positive performance going forward. But now the wins have to start coming against Boston College, NC State and Virginia up next.

at Miami 45, Georgia Tech 30
Basically … Down 17-7 after the first quarter, Miami caught fired and answered with 17 straight points as part of a 38-7 scoring run to stun the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech ran for 335 yards, but the Canes struck fast and effectively with three touchdown passes from Stephen Morris and two scoring runs from Dallas Crawford. David Sims ran for two touchdowns for the Yellow Jackets, but three turnovers including an interception for a 39-yard touchdown from Ladarius Gunter late.
- It might be time to start talking about Miami in the big picture. The win over Florida might be every bit as good as Clemson’s victory over Georgia, and now the landmine has been sidestepped. With North Carolina and Wake Forest up next, the Canes will be 7-0 going into the Florida State game if everyone can stay healthy.
- One of the biggest keys to stopping Georgia Tech is preventing the really big pass play. Vad Lee’s longest completion of the day was just 27 yards, and while the running game did its job, there weren’t any home runs to test the secondary. Tim Byerly and Justin Thomas didn’t have a whole bunch of luck, either.
- It should’ve worked. The ground game was effective, and the Miami defense was getting gassed, but even with a few long drives, the Yellow Jackets couldn’t get control of the game. The Canes were scoring too easily and effectively.
- Miami has its healthy stars back. Stephen Morris threw two picks, but he completed 17-of-22 passes for 324 yards and three touchdowns, while Duke Johnson looked like Duke Johnson running for 184 yards on just 22 carries. Defensively, linebacker Denzel Perryman is coming up with a whale of a year. He made 11 tackles with a broken up pass.

Miami 49 … at South Florida 21
Basically … Miami went on a 42 points run after USF tied it at seven early on with a three-yard Marcus Shaw touchdown run. Stephen Morris threw two touchdown passes before getting knocked out for the game with an ankle injury, but the offense kept on rolling Stacy Coley catching two touchdown passes and Dallas Crawford running for two short scores. USF’s defense scored in the fourth quarter on an 11-yard Julius Forte pick six, and the offense scored with just two seconds to play on a 16-yard Derrick Hopkins catch.
- Miami won the game but might have lost the war. With North Carolina and the ACC world kicking in next week, the Hurricanes need a healthy Stephen Morris under center. Ryan Williams completed 8-of-14 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown with a pick.
- Steven Bench and the USF passing game simply can’t move the ball, and they had a nightmare of a time with the Miami speed. Bench completed 13-of-27 passes for 189 yards with a touchdown and a pick, but the offense relied on Marcus Shaw and his 127 yards and a touchdown.
- The Hurricanes were a little sloppy with two lost fumbles and two picks, including the interception for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but they were in control from early on. The defense came up with three takeaways and ramped up the intensity when the game still mattered.
- USF simply has to take on a new attitude. The AAC season starts up next week against Cincinnati, and going forward, relying on the running game and the run defense is a start. The team needs a few breaks, but it has to start making more of its own. It couldn’t ask for much more than four takeaways and the loss of the Miami starting quarterback.

at Miami 77, Savannah State 7
Basically … Savannah State got a 75-yard touchdown run from DeQuan Daniels in the third quarter, but even that wasn’t any fun as Miami’s Stacy Coley returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for a scroe. Miami did whatever it wanted as Stephen Morris hit Allen Hurns on an 80-yard touchdown pass in the first, and Dallas Crawford ran came up with two short touchdown runs and a five-yard scoring catch. Ryan Williams threw two second quarter touchdown passes for the Canes.
- It could’ve been even worse. Miami put up 77 in three quarters and could’ve hung 100 if it wanted. Even with the dogs called off, the offense still worked.
- Stephen Morris, Ryan Williams and Gray Crow all got some nice live reps. They combined to hit 20-of-23 passes for 313 yards and four scores. Not every play was explosive, but they didn’t need to be. It was a good practice to help develop the depth.

at Miami 21, Florida 16, Sept. 7
Basically … Florida turned the ball over five times to ruin a terrific game from the defense. Miami took advantage of the mistakes with two Stephen Morris touchdown passes, including a 52-yarder to Phillip Dorsett, and Duke Johnson ran for a two-yard score for a 21-9 lead, but the Gators tried to come back. Jeff Driskel led the way to a quick late touchdown drive on a 21-yard touchdown to Solomon Patton with just over two minutes to play, but the offense didn’t do anything with the ball in the final moments deep in its own.
- The formula almost worked. Great defense, check. Miami came up with just 212 yards. Time of possession, check. Florida had the ball for 38:20. Great special teams, check. The Gators came up with a blocked field goal. Power running game, not really, but the offense owned third downs and moved the ball. Turnovers … problem. The five giveaways killed the chances.
- Give the Miami defense credit for holding up well. It got beaten on, but it swarmed around the ball and forced big mistake after big mistake. Matt Jones was held to just 47 yards on 18 carries, and Mack Brown ran for a mere 29 yards on ten runs.
- Jeff Driskel played better than he’ll get credit for. He made two bad decisions – two very, very bad decisions – on picks, but he threw for 291 yards and he kept the offense moving. On the flip side, Miami’s Stephen Morris only completed 12-of-25 throws for 162 yards and two scores with a pick.
- Denzel Perryman had a whale of a game for the Canes with a huge, dramatic forced fumble – blasting the ball out of Matt Jones’ arm – while leading the team with 13 tackles.

at Miami 34, Florida Atlantic 6, Aug. 30
Basically … It was the Duke Johnson show as the Miami star tore off 186 yards and a score on 19 carries, highlighted by a 53-yard scoring dash, but he wasn’t alone. Stephen Morris threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Clive Walford late in the second and Herb Waters ran for a 63-yard score in the third. FAU only managed two Mitch Anderson field goals.
- The Miami defense still might be the big question mark going into the season, but it came up big in the opener with five sacks and allowing just 250 yards of total offense.
- Stephen Morris and the Miami offense didn’t exactly take many chances; they didn’t have to. They ran the ball and let the defense do the work.
- Pass protection was FAU’s problem, but Jaquez Johnson hung in there completing 11-of-20 passes for 83 yards. Greg Hankerson didn’t fare much better, but he got loose a little bit when he took off.
- Miami averaged eight yards per carry, FAU averaged 3.1.

Spring Analysis

Why To Get Excited … the ‘Canes should boast the Coastal Division’s most potent offense. Stephen Morris is on the verge of blossoming into a next-level quarterback, and almost all of last season’s starters are back for another year in South Florida. RB Duke Johnson is a breakout star, and the O-line is steeped in experienced blockers.

Why To Be Grouchy … the ill-fated NCAA investigation still hovers above this program like a storm cloud. Everyone associated with Miami figured the school would know its punishment by now. Uh-uh. The NCAA has been exposed as a kangaroo court, which has prevented head coach Al Golden and his players from moving forward. The open-ended saga has had a negative impact on the kids, those on campus and those thinking about becoming ‘Canes.

The Number One Thing To Work On Is … shoring up the D. The Hurricanes finished 2012 ranked 116th nationally in defense, a breakdown of historical proportions. Miami couldn’t rush the passer or stop the run with any consistency. It has to improve at the point of attack after getting routinely mauled by ACC opponents that were a step quicker and considerably stronger in the trenches.

Team Concerns For 2013: With 20 starters returning, the Canes don't have too many holes to fill other than kicker with Jake Wieclaw gone along with punter Dalton Botts. Experience needs to translate into production for a defense that got roasted time and again with no pass rush and little production against the run. The offense should be terrific, so if the D can do anything remotely well, the season could be special.

The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Tight ends. The Canes are bringing in some terrific stars led by quarterback Kevin Olsen from New Jersey, who has all the tools and all the abilities to be the next great Miami passer. Receiver Stacy Coley and running back Augustus Edwards made a good class great on Signing Day. Running back Ray Lewis III - yes, his son - will be the big name, but defensive end Alquadin Muhammad and defensive backs Jamal Carter and Artie Burns are expected to be great. The most interesting pickups were at tight end with Standish Dobard an athletic star from New Orleans and JUCO transfer Beau Sandland ready to go right away.

2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 7. That Class Was Heavy On ... Hope that everything will be fine. Apparently, someone forgot to tell the excellent Miami recruiting class about the Nevin Shapiro situation. While this might not be a special haul, it’s looking like a strong job done by Al Golden to keep bringing in enough NFL caliber prospects to keep the expectations high. Golden wants to upgrade the passing game, and it shows with a load of receivers coming in of all shapes and sizes. At least three quarterbacks are going to be signed, and they’ll be expected to be the main backups behind Stephen Morris sooner than later. 

2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 36. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. New head man Al Golden only brought in four defensive line prospects, but two are among the best in America with Jalen Grimble a shocking get out of Las Vegas, taking him away from any big-time program you can name, and snagging pass rushing terror Anthony Chickillo for one end. The receiving corps got some help with Phillip Dorsett and Rashawn Scott two good-sized speedsters who can stretch the field. Kevin Grooms has No. 1, lockdown corner potential, while Dallas Crawford and Thomas Finnie aren’t far behind.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 18. That Class Was Heavy On ... The defensive back seven. Randy Shannon signed a ton of defensive back talent last year, and there wasn't much of a need for too many safeties. Instead, Shannon upgraded the cornerback talent with four fantastic prospects taking Keion Payne away from Florida, Florida State, and Ohio State, and getting Kacy Rodgers out of ... Texas?! As if Miami doesn't have enough talent in its own backyard, it went and got a ready-for-right-now defender away from Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State. There weren't any superstar linebacker prospects, but the five brought in can run. Offensively, Eduardo Clements is the speed back who'll be a weapon early on.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 18. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive backs. Never at a shortage for quality defensive backs, Randy Shannon is making sure it stays that way with this class. All four of this year’s additions are ranked no lower than No. 40 nationally at their position. S Ray Ray Armstrong is a 6-3, 210-pound beast in the mold of former ‘Cane Sean Taylor. Corners Brandon McGee and Jamal Reid are a couple of top 10 talents, who were hotly pursued by schools in the ACC and SEC.


 
 

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