Miami Football: Meet the Hurricanes' 2014 Recruiting Class

Chris BelloContributor IFebruary 5, 2014

Miami Football: Meet the Hurricanes' 2014 Recruiting Class

0 of 27

    The Miami Hurricanes added a lot of talent to the roster with their highly touted 2014 recruiting class.
    The Miami Hurricanes added a lot of talent to the roster with their highly touted 2014 recruiting class.Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

    The Miami Hurricanes have officially announced their 2014 recruiting class and a hearty #WelcomeToTheU for the 26 new members of the U Family.

    Fourth-year head coach Al Golden and staff didn't pull many national signing day surprises, but such is the case when so much heavy lifting is done in the fall. At one point in December, the Hurricanes had upwards of 30 verbal commitments, which by numbers alone will bring some late defections and last-minute additions.

    While some will focus on those who supposedly got away, the fact remains that Miami cleaned up with this class, adding quality and necessary depth to the in-repair program.

    The Hurricanes proved strong in chasing down solid defensive line talent while landing a few potential quarterbacks of the future and some big-time offensive linemen.

    With nine early enrollees already on campus and 17 more fired-up athletes headed to "The U" in the coming months, the Miami Hurricanes are officially working toward another step forward in the fall.

    For now, let's meet the individual members of the 2014 Miami Hurricanes recruiting class.

    Note: All recruiting rankings courtesy of 247Sports.com.

Braxton Berrios

1 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 5'9", 181 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Wide Receiver/42nd Nationally

    High School: Leesville Road, Raleigh, N.C.

    Other Finalists: Kentucky, South Carolina and Oregon

    Commit Date: July 5, 2013

    Analysis: Braxton Berrios is a 4-star prospect out of North Carolina who has been all Canes since his announcement last summer. He is an early enrollee who is coming off a recent ACL injury and won't be able to contribute this spring.

    Should the speedy receiver be healthy by fall, he will immediately bolster a receiving corps that lost the steady Allen Hurns to graduation.

    Miami is also welcoming back Phillip Dorsett and Rashawn Scott, who spent the better part of 2013 recovering from injury and being out of sorts. Malcolm Lewis, who shredded his ankle the previous season, is also looking to regain his form.

    Berrios runs a 4.52 40-yard dash and is one of a handful of recruits who has shown signs of old-school swagger, be it in the recent Under Armour All-America Game or his social media support of Miami.

Tyre Brady

2 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 187 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Wide Receiver/95th Nationally

    High School: South Dade High, Homestead, Fla.

    Senior-Year Stats: 39 receptions, 600 yards, 10 touchdowns

    Other Finalists: Florida State, Florida Atlantic, Central Florida, Kentucky and Mississippi State

    Commit Date: November 15, 2013

    Analysis: Tyre Brady is a 3-star wide receiver from South Dade and another local prospect who grew up dreaming of playing for the hometown Hurricanes. He is a tall receiver at 6'3" and will get a chance to compete this fall due to a lack of depth at the position.

    Miami loses the dependable Allen Hurns, while Phillip Dorsett, Rashawn Scott and Malcolm Lewis all work their way back from injuries and minimal playing time in 2013.

    Brady had more than 20 offers and is a former Kentucky commit who flipped to Miami last November. The lanky receiver has a good combination of size and speed.

Trevor Darling

3 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'5", 330 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Offensive Guard/Ninth Nationally

    High School: Miami Central, Miami, Fla.

    Other Finalists: Florida State, South Florida and West Virginia

    Commit Date: April 4, 2012

    Analysis: Trevor Darling is a local 4-star prospect who has been all Miami from the get-go. He picked the Hurricanes at the end of his junior season and remained steadfast. The 6'5" guard is an early enrollee and has a chance to make an immediate impact since Miami lost a few offensive linemen in the offseason.

    Two years ago, Norland offensive lineman Ereck Flowers showed up in January and was starting by August. This year, Darling looks like that type of hit-the-ground-running player.

Marques Gayot

4 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 205 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Safety/79th Nationally

    High School: Park Vista Community, Lake Worth, Fla.

    Senior-Year Stats: Four interceptions

    Other Finalists: Louisville, Arkansas, Bowling Green, Cal and Central Florida

    Commit Date: December 11, 2013

    Analysis: Marques Gayot is a 4-star safety who was originally committed to Louisville but flipped to Miami in early December. His head coach Brian Dodds of Park Vista raved to Christy Cabrera Chirinos of The Sun Sentinel months back about the future Hurricanes' safety:

    He’s been a great player for us for four years, starting as a true freshman. He had nine interceptions as a freshman and we knew he was a special player. He’s the right size, 6-foot-2, 205-pounds, to play at the major college level. He’s got all the intangibles. He’s worked hard. He’s really a well-rounded young man.

Trayone Gray

5 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 210 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Athlete/51st Nationally

    High School: Carol City, Opa Locka, Fla.

    Other Finalists: Appalachian State, Cincinnati, South Florida and South Alabama

    Commit Date: June 23, 2013

    Analysis: Trayone Gray is a 3-star athlete who played wide receiver and safety and was a dual-threat quarterback for the Carol City Chiefs in Miami. He would like to play quarterback at Miami and grew up a Hurricanes fan but seems destined to play receiver at "The U".

    His athleticism and Miami's need for depth at wide receiver could open the door for some playing time this fall.

Trent Harris

6 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 231 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Defensive End/29th Nationally

    High School: Winter Park, Winter Park, Fla.

    Senior-Year Stats: 69 tackles, 14 sacks

    Other Finalists: Alabama, Ohio State, Florida and Florida State

    Commit Date: July 29, 2013

    Analysis: Trent Harris is a 3-star defensive end, an early enrollee and the type of player who can have an immediate impact on Miami's depleted defensive line. He grew up a Gators fan and took hard looks at Florida, Ohio State, Florida State and Alabama before choosing "The U".

    "I’ve made that transition. I’m a UM fan all the way," Harris told the Orlando Sentinel last summer after committing. "I have no regrets with my decision. I’m proud to be a Hurricane."

    Miami lost defensive ends Shayon Green and David Gilbert this offseason and lack overall depth at the position. As an early enrollee, Harris will get a jump-start on the competition and has a good shot at seeing the field in fall.

Chris Herndon

7 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 230 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Tight End/46th Nationally

    High School: Norcross, Norcross, Ga.

    Senior-Year Stats: 33 receptions, 543 yards and six touchdowns

    Other Finalists: Mississippi State, Western Kentucky, Charlotte and Kennesaw State

    Commit Date: June 19, 2013

    Analysis: Chris Herndon is a 3-star tight end out of Georgia who helped his Norcross squad bring home a state title last season. Miami returns Clive Walford and Beau Sandland at the position but loses Asante Cleveland.

    Herndon is an H-back, so his versatility could work him into the equation on some level this fall.

Kiy Hester

8 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'0", 200 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Safety/30th Nationally

    High School: St. Joseph Regional, Montvale, N.J.

    Senior-Year Stats: 56 tackles, five interceptions, 17 receptions, 379 yards, four receiving touchdowns

    Other Finalists: Arkansas, Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State, Pitt, Vanderbilt and West Virginia

    Commit Date: December 12, 2013

    Analysis: Kiy Hester is a 4-star safety out of New Jersey who decommitted from Rutgers in December and chose Miami, after visiting with high school teammates and Hurricanes signee, defensive tackle Courtel Jenkins. For Hester, the U family atmosphere sold him late in the process.

    "It was just the players, the coaches being from Jersey, the family atmosphere," Hester told NJ.com months back. "Al-Quadin Muhammad (class of 2014 Don Bosco recruit now at Miami), he played a huge role. I've known him since I was in eighth grade, so he was huge. And Courtel was, too."

    Hester made headlines after Miami's bowl loss to Louisville, when he took to Twitter and announced, "I'm coming crazy next year taking spots" as the Hurricanes defense was getting picked apart by Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

    Miami returns Deon Bush, Rayshawn Jenkins and Jamal Carter at safety, but Hester has some bounce in his step and is headed to Coral Gables intent on earning early playing time. Based on his talent and attitude, it would be a shock if he didn't see the field early.

Calvin Heurtelou

9 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 304 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Defensive Tackle/14th Nationally (JUCO)

    High School: Trinity-Pawling School, Spring Valley, N.Y.

    Senior-Year Stats: 59 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, four sacks and two fumble recoveries

    Other Finalists: Rutgers, Tennessee, Missouri and Arizona State

    Commit Date: December 23, 2013

    Analysis: Calvin Heurtelou is a 3-star defensive tackle from Scottsdale Community College in Arizona. A JUCO transfer, he will be 21 years old when he suits up for Miami in the fall, and his experience and man-weight will be huge for a depleted Hurricanes defensive line.

    Miami lost Curtis Porter, Justin Renfrow and Luther Robinson this offseason and failed to land Travonte Valentine late. As a result, expect Heurtelou and fellow JUCO transfer Michael Wyche to make their presence felt this fall.

Demetrius Jackson

10 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 220 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Defensive End/15th Nationally

    High School: Booker T. Washington, Miami, Fla.

    Senior-Year Stats: 73 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and seven sacks

    Other Finalists: Arkansas, Louisville, Florida International 

    Commit Date: December 9, 2013

    Analysis: Demetrius Jackson is a 4-star defensive tackle out of Miami's Booker T. Washington. A raw talent with a basketball background, he didn't start playing football until his senior season but quickly found himself on the radar of many powerhouse programs. Tornadoes head coach Tim "Ice" Harris raved about Jackson's potential and upside to The Miami Herald last June: 

    People may not know much about him right now, but they will. He’s a freak talent who played plenty of football growing up. He just turned his focus to basketball in high school. But he knows his best way to a scholarship is football. A lot of schools who saw him this spring were impressed.

    Jackson needs to add some weight to his frame but should still compete for playing time at defensive end this fall, as Miami lacks depth and talent at the position.

Courtel Jenkins

11 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 294 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Defensive Tackle/64th Nationally

    High School: De Paul Catholic, Jersey City, N.J.

    Other Finalists: Alabama, Pittsburgh, Ohio State, Rutgers and West Virginia

    Commit Date: June 6, 2013 

    Analysis: Courtel Jenkins is a 3-star defensive tackle from New Jersey, and due to a lack of depth and talent at the position, he has a chance to see some playing time this fall. He visited Miami last summer and hit it off immediately with defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio. Jenkins told The Orlando Sentinel:

    Right off the bat when I first met him I could tell he was a loyal guy, trustworthy.He stuck to his word...He said he wasn’t sure I was going to get an offer, but he promised me, that if I came down to the camp and worked as hard as they’d seen me and do things well in Miami that they would offer. I went down there and did that and they did offer.

    Jenkins was described in the same article as "an impressive nose-tackle-type of defensive lineman who can weigh down the middle, but an also shed blockers and get to the quarterback."

    A solid student who takes his education seriously, he also talked to the Sentinel's Chris Hays about his overall game.

    "I’m a tough, physical player. I’m smart. I know the game of football," Jenkins said. "I try to have good technique more than anything else. I’m just a hard-working football player. I try to wear down my competition."

Brad Kaaya

12 of 27

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 215 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Pro-Style Quarterback/Eighth Nationally

    High School: Chaminade, West Hills, Calif.

    Senior-Year Stats: 225 completions, 3,853 passing yards, 27 touchdowns and six interceptions

    Other Finalists: UCLA and Boise State

    Commit Date: April 16, 2013

    Analysis: Brad Kaaya is a 4-star quarterback who flew a bit under the radar before Miami came calling. The California product soon earned offers from local powers UCLA and Southern Cal while taking a January trip to Boise State, but in the end, he stuck to his commitment and signed with the Hurricanes.

    Kaaya texted 247Sports.com days back to quell any rumors of a decommit and officially signed with Miami on Wednesday morning.

    "I've informed them (Boise State) I plan to stick with Miami," Kaaya wrote. "Miami has always been the best possible place for me to develop athletically and accomplish what I want academically."

    He was the most important pickup for the Hurricanes offensively with this class. The quarterback position is lacking depth and appears to be a two-horse race this fall, with senior transfer Ryan Williams and redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen battling it out for the starting job.

    With Williams seen as a safe, serviceable option and questions about Olsen's maturity, Kaaya has a legitimate shot to insert himself into the race and be a true contender this fall.

Darrell Langham

13 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'5", 190 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Wide Receiver/65th Nationally

    High School: Santaluces Community, Lake Worth, Fla.

    Senior-Year Stats: 20 receptions, 326 yards and five touchdowns

    Other Finalists: Florida State, Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi State and Massachusetts

    Commit Date: June 9, 2013

    Analysis: Darrell Langham is a 3-star wide receiver who made a name for himself at one of head coach Al Golden's summer camps. Thanks to his 6'5" frame, Langham is said to have great ability in getting up to catch the ball at its peak, according to Lt. Philip Nolan of SB Nation.

    Good speed and route running, coupled with a lack of depth at receiver, should give Langham a chance to complete for some quality minutes this fall.

Nick Linder

14 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 273 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Center/75th Nationally

    High School: St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

    Other Finalists: Florida State, Duke, Cincinnati and Rutgers

    Commit Date: March 6, 2013

    Analysis: Nick Linder is a 3-star center and was the first Hurricane to send his fax in on Wednesday morning. The younger brother of recently graduated Miami offensive lineman Brandon Linder, the freshman center chose the Hurricanes last spring and never wavered, as reported by StateOfTheU.com last summer:

    I came out when I committed saying I'm a solid commit, and sure enough that is what I am. Most colleges know that, but I still get mail and stuff, but nothing serious; I'm all Cane—I'm real happy to be a part of this class, it definitely has some major talent in it. I think we are definitely putting together a stellar class, it's real exciting.

    Linder is expected to be on campus by the summer and will start competing for playing time.

Ryan Mayes

15 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 180 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Cornerback/50th Nationally

    High School: Miami Northwestern, Miami, Fla.

    Other Finalists: Boston College, Florida Atlantic, Florida International and Syracuse

    Commit Date: June 24, 2013

    Analysis: Ryan Mayes is a 3-star cornerback from Miami Northwestern and is already on campus as an early enrollee. Last summer, his coach Stephen Field shared his thoughts on Mayes with Manny Navarro at The Miami Herald:

    Ryan's not a kid who was being recruited by everybody yet, but he did have solid offers from Rutgers, Syracuse, Western Kentucky and FAU. He's a tall, physical kid who has been working hard with our coaches everyday since he got here. He went down to the Miami camp and showed the coaches there what he's learned. To me you can't really evaluate kids just on what Rivals or some website says. There's no better recruiting tool than what you see with your own eyes. Ryan is going to be another solid D-I defensive back.

    Mayes is another under-the-radar kid who shone brightly at one of Al Golden's summer camps, which earned him the scholarship offer.

    Miami needs bodies at cornerback, and as an early enrollee, Mayes has a solid shot at learning the system and seeing playing time this fall.

Terry McCray

16 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 215 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Inside Linebacker/43rd Nationally

    High School: Blanche Ely, Pompano Beach, Fla.

    Senior-Year Stats: 101 tackles and 19 sacks

    Other Finalists: Alabama, LSU, Cincinnati and West Virginia

    Commit Date: July 23, 2013

    Analysis: Terry McCray is a 3-star linebacker and Sunshine State prospect who grew up with an affinity for the Miami program, as he explained to Manny Navarro at The Miami Herald last July.

    "I always liked Miami, always liked the school," McCray said. "I really feel like the team they’re putting together is going to be one of the best in the country. I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity for that and to play with my favorite college team."

    Navarro's article also stated that Miami recruited McCray because of his ability to get after the quarterback as well as provide pass coverage in a 3-4 scheme.

    While Miami returns senior Denzel Perryman at linebacker, the position took a hit last spring when three key players were kicked off the team. The Hurricanes have some youth in Alex Figueroa and Jermaine Grace ready to step up, as well as junior Raphael Kirby, but the door is wide open for McCray to battle for playing time immediately.

KC McDermott

17 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'6", 301 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Offensive Tackle/Fifth Nationally

    High School: Palm Beach Central, West Palm Beach, Fla.

    Other Finalists: Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida, Ohio State, Oklahoma and LSU

    Commit Date: March 17, 2013

    Analysis: KC McDermott is a 5-star prospect who chose Miami over Notre Dame last spring in a down-to-the-wire recruiting battle. He explained to Dieter Kurtenbach at The Sun Sentinel that proximity was key for the Palm Beach native: 

    "Everything Miami offered, Notre Dame offered," McDermott said. "I just couldn't be that far away from my family and my girlfriend."

    The 6'6" prospect—and brother of Miami's Shane McDermott—is an early enrollee who will compete for playing time in the fall and is quick to credit head coach Al Golden as a big reason he wound up a Hurricane.

    "I agree with him 1000 percent," McDermott said in the same Sun Sentinel piece. "If you go through all the tough times he's been through—he had chances to leave, but he chose Miami and he's turned it around."

Anthony Moten

18 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 292 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Defensive Tackle/22nd Nationally

    High School: St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

    Other Finalists: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Ohio State

    Commit Date: July 20, 2013

    Analysis: Anthony Moten is a 4-star defensive tackle who is Miami's crown jewel at the position—especially when Travonte Valentine flipped to LSU late in the process.

    Dieter Kurtenbach and Christy Cabrera Chirinos of The Sun Sentinel explained the Moten effect back in November:

    Moten, who was a Sun Sentinel Super 11 selection, can play as a three-man-front defensive end or as a pass-rushing defensive tackle in a four-man-front. He was committed to Florida from April to July, but once he opened his commitment, Miami looked to be his top choice. That relationship only strengthened when the Hurricanes beat Florida in September, with Moten looking on from the sidelines.

    Moten's size and versatility could make him an immediate-impact player upon reaching Coral Gables. He still has to sign a National Letter of Intent on Feb. 5 to make the commitment official. St. Thomas Aquinas does not allow for early college enrollment.

    He will compete for a starting spot on Miami's depleted defensive line this fall.

David Njoku

19 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 220 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Athlete (Tight End)/98th Nationally 

    High School: Cedar Grove, Cedar Grove, N.J.

    Senior-Year Stats: 40 receptions, 981 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns

    Other Finalists: Boston College, Ohio State, Rutgers, Penn State, Connecticut and Temple

    Commit Date: December 15, 2013

    Analysis: David Njoku is a 3-star tight end out of New Jersey and a multi-talented athlete who also played basketball and ran track. He is expected to put on some weight and play tight end at Miami and took to Instagram days back to announce his pledge to the Hurricanes, per The Palm Beach Post.

    “After a long search I am proud to be Miami Hurricane,” Njoku posted. “I thank God for giving me the chance to play at this level. Gotta do this for my fam and everyone back home. I do this for my city!!”

    He has great speed and versatility, and while Miami is set at tight end with Clive Walford and Beau Sandland this season, the incoming freshman could see some time at receiver in certain sets.

Darrion Owens

20 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 216 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Outside Linebacker/15th Nationally 

    High School: Oakleaf, Orange Park, Fla.

    Senior-Year Stats: 59 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks, four fumble recoveries and one interception

    Other Finalists: Ohio State, Michigan, Auburn, Boston College and Georgia

    Commit Date: June 22, 2013

    Analysis: Darrion Owens is a 4-star linebacker and early enrollee who told CaneInsider.com in December, "I'm 100% committed to Miami." He went on to explain the pledge in depth:

    “Growing up my brother wanted to go to Miami, but ended up going to FIU. When I went down in June on my visit I feel in love with everything, and I knew then, I wanted to come play at Miami.”

    At 6'3", Owens is another large linebacker in this Hurricanes class who made a name for himself at an Al Golden summer camp last year. As an early enrollee and due to a lack of depth at the position, he has a great shot at seeing the field this fall.

Malik Rosier

21 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 205 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Dual-Threat Quarterback/30th Nationally

    High School: Faith Academy, Mobile, Ala.

    Senior-Year Stats: 129 completions, 1,888 passing yards, 1,275 rushing yards and 32 total touchdowns 

    Other Finalists: Southern Mississippi, Western Kentucky, Arkansas State and Northern Illinois

    Commit Date: June 25, 2013

    Analysis: Malik Rosier is a 3-star dual-threat quarterback out of Alabama, as well as a talented baseball player. He attended an Al Golden summer camp last year and committed soon thereafter.

    Faith Academy head coach Rusty Mason praised Rosier's head for the game and ability to learn, based on quickly picking up a brand new offense last fall. He told Manny Navarro at The Miami Herald:

    He played way above any expectations I could have had for him. He just continued to get better. From Week 1 to Week 10, it was like night and day. We knew what he was physically - he looks great. But you never know mentally how a kid is going to react.

    When you roll him out, he's as good as I've ever had and maybe as good as I've ever seen in terms getting his shoulders square and hitting a receiver on the run. We'll put more on him this year, more checks. A lot of our stuff is run-pass switches, and he'll have a chance to do more of that.

    Rosier is a dual-threat quarterback, while fellow signee Brad Kaaya is a prototypical pro-style passer. Both will complete for playing time as senior Ryan Williams and redshirt freshman Kevin Olsen remain unproven.

Mike Smith

22 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 210 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Outside Linebacker/22nd Overall

    High School: Miami Northwestern, Miami, Fla.

    Other Finalists: Arkansas, Florida State, Louisville, Clemson, Wisconsin and UCLA

    Commit Date: June 22, 2013

    Analysis: Mike Smith is a 4-star linebacker out of Miami Northwestern and could be one of the hidden gems in Miami's 2014 class.

    FUEL Recruiting's Corey Long gushed about Smith's ability and upside in the past to The Miami Herald: "Mike's going to come in and chase the quarterback. I haven't really seen him in any pass coverage. But I do think he's good at stopping the run and getting to the quarterback. I have to see how he is in pass coverage before we talk NFL potential."

    Smith is a lifelong Hurricanes fan who is now playing for the hometown team. The outside linebacker will compete for playing time this fall.

Chad Thomas

23 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'5", 240 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Defensive End/Third Nationally

    High School: Booker T. Washington, Miami, Fla.

    Senior-Year Stats: 72 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and eight sacks

    Other Finalists: Alabama, Florida State, Arkansas, Louisville, Notre Dame and LSU

    Commit Date: July 20, 2013

    Analysis: Chad Thomas is a 5-star defensive end who was all Canes from the get-go but gave Miami fans a panic attack on Wednesday morning when he arrived late to his Booker T. Washington press conference. He is coming off back-to-back visits to Florida State and Alabama and raved about his recent experience to Tuscaloosa.

    In the end, the talented musician and freakish athlete chose Coral Gables and explained the decision to Christy Cabrera Chirinos at The Sun Sentinel:

    I’m a man of my word. If I say something, I’m going to do it. I was just thinking, everyone comes to that point in their life when they have to think about something and make a decision. I just thought about it a lot over this past month and it still came down to UM. I guess I made the right decision at the beginning last summer.

    He is the third-ranked defensive end in the nation and the cornerstone of Miami's defensive class. The lack of defensive ends should put the ultra-talented Thomas on the field early this fall.

Michael Wyche

24 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 315 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Defensive Tackle/10th Nationally (JUCO)

    High School: East Los Angeles College, Monterey Park, Calif.

    Senior-Year Stats: 26 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and one interception

    Other Finalists: Alabama, Florida, Auburn, Florida State, LSU, Oregon and Southern Cal

    Commit Date: December 28, 2013

    Analysis: Michael Wyche is a 4-star defensive tackle and JUCO transfer who deserves the "spirit award" for this year's crop of recruits. Due to an obscure ACC rule that JUCOs must spend three consecutive semesters at a college, Wyche's path to Coral Gables almost derailed.

    A frustrated moment led to a decommitment last week but was quickly followed up by a recommitment. Wyche will do one more semester at East Los Angeles College and will trek to Miami soon thereafter.

    "Yeah, I was just frustrated," Wyche told Matt Porter of The Palm Beach Post. "I really wanted to be a Hurricane. I kind of felt like it was going downhill. There was a lot of frustration. I’m just happy its going through right now and I cant wait to be a Cane."

    Miami welcomes true freshman defensive tackle Anthony Moten, as well as JUCO Calvin Heurtelou with Wyche, and all three will compete for playing time this fall.

Joseph Yearby

25 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 5'9", 180 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Running Back/Ninth Nationally

    High School: Miami Central, Miami, Fla.

    Senior-Year Stats: 177 rushing attempts, 1,700 yards and 19 rushing touchdowns 

    Other Finalists: Alabama, Florida State, West Virginia and Central Florida

    Commit Date: February 26, 2013

    Analysis: Joseph Yearby is a 4-star prospect and the lone running back in this year's class. Miami lost Brandon Powell to Florida late, while local product Dalvin Cook went with Florida State weeks back.

    Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, Yearby is coming off a late-season injury and won't be available for spring football, but he will compete for playing time in the fall due to a lack of depth. He isn't the big-bodied back that Miami was looking for, but he is a top prospect and a great get.

    A former Florida State commit, Yearby flipped to Miami last February and has been solid ever since. Hurricanes offensive coordinator James Coley deserves thanks by pulling Yearby to the Seminoles, but the back chose to stay home when Coley left Tallahassee for Coral Gables.

    When healthy, Yearby will compete with Dallas Crawford and Gus Edwards for the No. 2 spot behind Duke Johnson next season.

Juwon Young

26 of 27

    247Sports.com

    Height/Weight: 6'2", 228 pounds

    Position/Ranking: Outside Linebacker/28th Nationally

    High School: Albany, Albany, Ga.

    Senior-Year Stats: 118 tackles, 39 rushing attempts, 303 yards and six rushing touchdowns 

    Other Finalists: Ole Miss, Appalachian State, North Carolina, Ole Miss and Western Kentucky 

    Commit Date: June 8, 2013

    Analysis: Juwon Young is a 4-star linebacker and an early enrollee who is already on campus and competing for a starting job this fall. He committed on the spot last June after receiving an offer and has been all Miami since.

    "The school is great, the atmosphere is great and the coaches are great," Young texted last summer, as reported by The Orlando Sentinel. "I love the way they were straight up with me and not sugarcoating things. The school and the players are a great fit for me."

    He will complete for a starting job this fall, getting a jump-start on some other incoming freshmen.

247Sports.com's Top 200 College Football Recruits of 2014

27 of 27

    Take a minute to check out the detailed Top 200 College Football Recruits of 2014, courtesy of 247Sports.com—featuring all the talent hot beds and committed versus uncommitted top-ranked talent.