Coach Mark Richt ended his first season at the University of Miami with five straight wins. He has now finished his first recruiting campaign at UM with a top-15 class. Twenty-four players, 16 from Florida, have officially signed to be members of the Hurricanes football program starting this fall.
“I’m very excited to announce our class today,” Richt said at Wednesday’s press conference. “We really hit across the board – all the position needs that we had. I thought we nailed it, and I am very excited about this class.”
Miami primarily addressed the quarterback, wide receiver and offensive line positions on offense.
N’Kosi Perry, from Vanguard High school in Ocala, is widely regarded as one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country and will be fighting for the starting spot. Wide receivers Jeff Thomas and Mike Harley are both expected to become integral parts of the passing game early, as they will give the team the speed it has been looking for on the edges.
DeeJay Dallas, who played four different positions in high school, is known for his all-around athleticism and could possibly play wide receiver in the near future according to coaches. Offensive linemen Navaughn Donaldson and Kai-Leon Herbert will add to Miami’s depth and fill in holes when needed, especially those left by seniors.
“We got a great defense, so we need to help out from a scoring standpoint,” offensive coordinator Thomas Brown said. “Being to be able to come in and be productive consistently will be important moving forward.”
On defense, the Hurricanes spread out the recruiting at the defensive line, linebacker and defensive back positions.
D.J. Johnson, from Sacramento, Cal., is Miami’s highest-ranked defensive recruit. Amari Carter and Jonathan Garvin are expected to make an impact early on in the season to replace the holes left by senior defensive backs Corn Elder, Rayshawn Jenkins and Jamal Carter.
“I think that is now the challenge for all of them; it’s not so much what you can do talent-wise, it is really more about your mental make up to see how quickly you can acclimate yourself to the speed and the demands, mentally and physically, of the college game,” defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said.
“We know we need them to come in and do it right away. There is not a mentality to bring these guys in and [have them]sit the bench and redshirt. And, for sure in the backend, we need these guys to come in with the mentality that they can crack our lineup and make an impact right away.”