Football: Miami lands impressive recruiting class

After a quite depressing football season and what seemed like a recruiting class that would not help in solving the problems, the University of Miami coaching staff has given Hurricane fans a little something to be excited about.

National Signing Day has passed, most of the recruits have signed, and the experts have chimed in with their opinions. The final verdict: The Hurricanes have landed themselves a very respectable recruiting class. As for most of the major scouting websites, has the ‘Canes class as No. 9 overall, has the ‘Canes class as No. 13, and has the ‘Canes class as No. 18.

“We wanted to go out and find high quality people,” Head Coach Randy Shannon said. “We wanted to find guys who had great character, were good kids in the community. Secondly, we wanted to find a guy who was a solid student-athlete. The next thing is, we tried to find athletes, big time athletes. The next thing we went and found was winners.”

After getting off to a slow start, due to the multiple problems faced by former Head Coach Larry Coker, Shannon and his staff haven’t missed a beat in terms of recruiting quality players.

“We are excited about this class,” Shannon said. “I’m not going to get into details about who is what and what is what, but I know one thing, from top to bottom, we filled our needs.”

Although this 18-man class may not be one of the bigger recruiting classes, it is, based on pure talent and Miami’s needs, one of the best classes in the nation:

Daniel Adderley: A 6 foot 6 inch wide receiver with exceptional speed, who could be a major sleeper since he did not begin playing organized football until his sophomore year of high school.

Allen Bailey: One of the nation’s most highly recruited defensive players. He is a big, bruising linebacker who patterns his play after Ray Lewis and is someone with the versatility and skill to potentially dominate as a defensive lineman.

Damien Berry: A speedy player who has football instincts and is a hard-noised player. He will be helping UM fill gaps in the secondary.

Jared Campbell: The brother of UM defensive end Calais Campbell is a physical defensive back who has great football instincts.

Lee Chamber: An all-purpose running back who, with break-away speed and great football intelligence, possesses Reggie Bush-like running and receiving abilities.

Graig Cooper: Mr. Football in Tennessee his senior year is an extremely talented running back who possesses a lethal combination of athleticism, speed, great hands, cut back ability and the ability to monopolize ESPN’s Top 10 highlight reels.

Orlando Franklin: A dominating offensive lineman who, with his natural athletic ability, long arms, quick feet and good footwork, has the abilities to come in and be productive on the line.

Harland Gunn: A highly recruited offensive lineman who has speed, quickness, great strength, the ability to knock defenders off the ball and the ability to come in and make an immediate impact.

Leonard Hankerson: A tall wide receiver with speed, the knack for coming up with a big play and the skill set to propel him toward being a great player.

Tyler Horn: A talented and versatile offensive line prospect who has tremendous upside and could be a sleeper among the Hurricane recruiting class.

Robert Marve: Florida’s Mr. Football in 2006, a pro-style quarterback, who has good mobility, a quick release and can throw off the run. He is Miami’s quarterback of the future and may even be able to challenge Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman for a starting job.

Jermaine McKenzie: A wide receiver with great vision, speed and leaping ability. He is a threat to score every time he touches the football.

Shawnbrey McNeal: An exceptionally fast running back who is a flat-out playmaker as he is agile, has quick feet and the ability to get downfield.

Joseph Nicolas: A big defensive back who possesses size, speed, athleticism and the versatility and explosiveness to make a big play.

Adewale Ojomo: A fast, aggressive and athletic defensive lineman who has quick ball-chasing abilities and a great deal of upside and potential.

Chris Perry: A quick, explosive defensive lineman who displays a hard-nosed style of play and has the ability to dominate opposing offensive lineman.

DeMarcus Van Dyke: A defensive back who possesses height, speed, toughness, athleticism and the ability to be the next Devin Hester.

Doug Wiggins: A tough, gritty, intelligent and talented all-around athlete, whose versatility makes him a defensive back who could give an opposing quarterback fits.

Pravin Patel may be contacted at