Miami Football: All-Time Best Recruit at Each Position
The Miami Hurricanes have a history of recruiting some of the most talented players. From California native Ken Dorsey to Texas native Eric Winston, the Hurricanes have no problems snagging talent outside of South Beach.
Just as they have recruited some of the best players, Miami has also received its fair share of overrated talent. The first one that pops into my head is 5-star recruit and No. 1 linebacker in the country, Willie Williams, from Miami Carol High School. He was supposed to be the next Ray Lewis but ended up spending more time behind bars than on a football field.
Here is a list of the all-time best high school recruits that committed to play football at the University of Miami. Keep in mind that these players weren't necessarily the best players that ever wore the orange and green jerseys, just that they were the most-hyped players recruited onto the team.
Quarterback: Ken Dorsey
Not only was Ken Dorsey one of the most successful quarterbacks to ever sport an orange and green jersey, he finished his college career as one of the best quarterbacks at the collegiate level.
Dorsey finished his Canes' career with a 38-2 record as a starter, including leading his team to a National Championship in 2001. He finished his career at Miami ranked second in completions and attempts and first in yards (9,565) and touchdowns (86).
What you may not know about Dorsey is the fact that he never played organized football until the age of 14. He decided to try out for a spot on the Miramonte Matadors (Orinde, CA) and never looked back.
He would go on to lead the Matadors to back-to-back State Championships while going 24-2 as a starter. In those two seasons at quarterback, Dorsey threw for 4,968 yards and 52 touchdowns. He became an immediate star, earning a USA Today Honorable Mention All-USA selection in his senior year.
Dorsey became heavily recruited and chose to play at Miami in 1999.
Running Back: Duke Johnson
This one was tough to choose. I had to either pick Frank Gore, who was listed as the nation's 18th best player, or Duke Johnson, who was the 29th ranked player. I decided that I couldn't go wrong with either and picked Duke.
Duke was one of the most highly coveted high school football players I have ever seen in Florida. He was recruited by a plethora of large schools, including Florida, Georgia and Florida State. He chose Miami to no surprise. Duke was a Hurricane fan his entire childhood.
In Duke's magical senior season at Norland High School, he finished with 2,867 yards rushing and 29 touchdowns. He also returned three kick offs and one punt for touchdowns. He led his high school team to a 15-0 record and the state championship.
Duke's high school coach, Daryle Heidelburg, knew it after Duke led his team to the state championship.
"The kid believes he could put UM on his back and get them back to prominence," Heidelburg said. "The kid is amazing."
He may be right because Duke dominated his true freshman season at Miami, tallying 2,060 total all-purpose yards, the most in school history by a freshman.
Wide Receiver: Andre Johnson
Everyone knows how great of a wide receiver Andre Johnson was in college and currently is in the NFL, but little is ever said about how great of an athlete he was in high school. The three-sport athlete was a highly touted recruit coming out of Miami Senior High School.
In Johnson's senior season he compiled 931 receiving yards, 15 touchdowns and earned Parade All-American. According to the Hurricanes student newspaper, Johnson was Sporting News' No. 3 ranked wide receiver in the country coming out of high school.
Johnson continued to dominate at Miami, finishing his career ranked No. 5 in school history in receiving yards (1,831) and third in touchdown receptions (20). Johnson also helped the Hurricanes win the 2001 National Championship with 199 receiving yards and three touchdowns in the title game.
Johnson has continued his success in the NFL by being a six-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro in just nine years.
Tight End: Greg Olsen
Greg Olsen catches game winner in the high school playoffs.
Greg Olsen was an absolute stud at Miami, compiling All-American and All-ACC teams in his three years as a 'Cane. But before he was a Hurricane, he was 247sports.com's composite No. 1 ranked tight end in the entire country.
Olsen was a two-way starter as a tight end and defensive end at Wayne Hills High School in New Jersey. According to scout.com, Olsen had a tremendous senior season catching 25 passes for 560 yards and 10 touchdowns while making 91 tackles and 12 sacks on defense.
He completed his high school career catching 73 passes for 1,474 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was also a USA Today All-American and played in the 2003 Under Armour All-American game.
Olsen had multiple team's interested in him, including Michigan, Stanford, and Notre Dame. Greg's older brother, Chris, was a quarterback for the Irish, so Greg decided to enroll there . He ended up leaving Notre Dame before the fall semester to go to Miami.
Olsen left Miami after three years and was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 2007 draft.
Offensive Line: Seantrel Henderson
Not only was offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson scout.com's No. 1 offensive line, but Henderson was also the No. 1 rated player in the entire country in 2010.
Henderson was an absolute beast in Cretin Derham High School (St. Paul, MN), destroying defensive linemen at will. Here stood a kid that was 6'8", 338 pounds and could move like a tight end.
According to 247sports.com, Henderson never gave up a sack in 250 pass attempts his senior year of high school. Henderson was recognized as Minnesota's 2009 Player of the Year and also named the 2009 USA Today High School Offensive Player of Year.
Henderson originally signed a letter of intent to play for USC, but after the NCAA allegations against the Trojans arose, Henderson wanted out, and Lane Kiffin allowed the releasing without penalty. Just days later, Henderson decided to join Miami.
Henderson's time at Miami has been a love/hate relationship. Henderson has been in trouble multiple times from Al Golden and hasn't lived up to expectations.
Defensive Line: Marcus Forston
According to 247sports.com, Marcus Forston was the No. 1 ranked defensive tackle and the No. 11 overall player in the country. The state champion out of Miami Northwestern High School capped off his senior season with 92 tackles and an amazing 20 sacks.
He was recruited by every major college in the country but decided to stay home in Miami. He had a very good start at Miami, being named to multiple All-American Freshman teams.
The reason Forston never lived up to the lofty expectations was because of the injury bug. Forston missed 18 games the next three years (after sophomore year, he earned medical redshirt) and decided to forgo his senior year for the NFL.
Forston currently plays for the New England Patriots.
Linebacker: Arthur Brown
Wait a minute: Is this the same Arthur Brown that tore it up for Kansas State last season? Yes, it is. For those who don't follow college football that much, Brown actually was recruited by Miami and spent two years as a 'Cane.
He decided to transfer after playing primarily on special teams over the course of his time at Miami. He made the move to Kansas State and excelled, earning the 2012 Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year award and named to the first-team All-American and first-team All-Big 1 team's.
Before his college years, Brown dominated the high school circuit with athleticism and intelligence. He was off the charts on the field, earning him the No. 1 linebacker and No. 8 overall on 247sports.com.
Scout.com said this of Brown.
Brown may be the best linebacker in his class. He is very explosive of initiating contact with the ball carrier as he is taking the hand off. He is outstanding in pursuit, moves as well laterally as any linebacker in the nation. Great read and react backer with a very quick first step. Can cover well and can handle man-to-man coverage assignments on running backs and tight ends. Brown is a finisher. When he hits you, you go no further.
In the end, everything worked out for Brown. It's just too bad that he didn't finish his career at Miami instead of Kansas State.
Brown recently got drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the second round.
Defensive Back: Kenny Phillips
Besides Seantrel Henderson, there may not have been a more highly recruited player that came to Miami than Kenny Phillips.
Phillips was an absolute terror his senior year, with 84 tackles, six interceptions, three fumble recoveries and four defensive touchdowns.That senior season earned Phillips a plethora of awards, including a spot on the Parade All-American team and the USA Today Defensive Player of the Year award, along with being named the No. 1 prospect out of the state of Florida by the Orlando Sentinel.
After watching him in high school, it seemed as though he was destined to be the next Ed Reed. He always seems to be around the ball.
Scout.com said this of Phillips.
Phillips could play either safety position but he's better suited to play strong safety at the next level because he supports the run so well. Phillips is a big hitter and physical. He runs very well and has a nose for the ball. Phillips has good coverage skills at this stage. He has a great break, hips and field awareness and is good enough to play cornerback. Phillips is very much a true student of the game, always working harder to get better in every phase of his game.
Phillips had a great career at Miami, as he was named to most freshman All-American teams, All-ACC teams twice and was also an All-American in both his sophomore and junior seasons.
He would be drafted by the New York Giants in the first round of the 2008 draft.