Re-Evaluating Miami's 2011 Recruiting Class
Headlined by 5-star Anthony Chickillo, the Miami Hurricanes brought in a 20-man recruiting class during the 2011 cycle. According to 247Sports, the 'Canes' haul was the No. 33 group in the nation, and it was sixth in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
As the majority of signees become seniors, how have they fared while continuing their football careers at Miami—or even elsewhere?
While re-evaluating the overall unit, remember Al Golden was hired as head coach in mid-December, leaving the ex-Temple coach less than two months to retain current commits and convince others to join.
Prospects who slipped away will be mentioned when pertinent, but focusing on whether or not Golden and his staff developed their players is more important.
Note: All rankings courtesy of 247Sports Composite. Players will be classified into playing position at Miami, not as recruited.
Who Signed? (0): The old adage goes, "If you have two quarterbacks, you have none."
Well, if you have zero, you also have none.
Re-Evaluation: Since there is no one to analyze, let's look at who the Hurricanes missed.
Local product Teddy Bridgewater was committed to Miami, carrying the No. 5 ranking for dual-threat quarterbacks. But once Shannon was fired, Bridgewater backed off his pledge and eventually headed to Louisville, where he wasn't particularly awful.
Jacoby Brissett, the nation's third-best pocket passer, ignored his mother's wishes and headed to the University of Florida. In 2013, Brissett transferred to North Carolina State.
Kevin Sousa turned down the 'Canes in favor of Wake Forest, and Stephen Weatherford chose Cincinnati.
Who Signed? (1.5): How do you get half of a running back? Dallas Crawford, that's how. To be clear, he will also be half-counted with the defensive backs, too.
Along with Crawford, 4-star Kevin Grooms penned his name on a letter of intent.
Re-Evaluation: Due to grades, Grooms never made it to Miami and is now at Marshall. He was an excellent prospect, and losing the athlete was certainly disappointing. With that being said, the Hurricanes had this junior named Duke Johnson committed, and he's turned out pretty well.
Crawford has been outstanding for Miami in multiple ways. He took a redshirt in 2011 before primarily contributing on special teams the next year.
As a sophomore, Crawford switched to running back and took over after Johnson suffered a broken ankle. He started the final six games, ran for 558 yards and scored 12 touchdowns.
Who Signed? (2): The Hurricanes didn't reach too far for their pair of receivers, bringing in Phillip Dorsett from St. Thomas Aquinas and Rashawn Scott from Melbourne Central Catholic.
Both rated as 3-stars, Dorsett was the No. 52 receiver and Scott came in at No. 129.
Re-Evaluation: Through 32 career games, Dorsett has made 85 catches for 1,261 yards and seven touchdowns. The speedster has also returned kicks and punts, but he did not break a huge return.
Scott appeared in nine games during the 2012 season, tallying 35 receptions, 512 yards and three scores. Otherwise, the 6'2" wideout has only snagged four passes for 40 yards throughout 10 games.
Last year, Dorsett suffered a partial MCL tear, and Scott was limited due to a shoulder/collarbone injury. Ultimately, Miami is hoping for bounce-back years from the seniors alongside sophomore superstar Stacy Coley.
Who Signed? (0): Tight end was not a glaring need during the 2011 cycle. Miami signed four the previous year, including current starter Clive Walford, Asante Cleveland and now-Minnesota Vikings reserve Chase Ford.
Re-Evaluation: Like the quarterback position, who was Miami not able to sign?
Available in-state prospects included Nick O'Leary, A.C. Leonard, Brandon Fulse and Jeff Heuerman, but Miami was never really a player in their respective recruitments.
Who Signed? (1): The No. 128 offensive tackle, Hunter Wells, was the lone signee of the year.
Miami made its noise during the classes on either side, adding Brandon Linder, Shane McDermott, Jonathan Feliciano, Seantrel Henderson and Malcolm Bunche in 2010 and Ereck Flowers, Danny Isidora and Taylor Gadbois in 2012.
Re-Evaluation: Wells has done exactly what was expected of a recruit with a 2-star billing: take a redshirt season before playing on special teams for two more.
Now a junior, he is battling with Alex Gall for a backup role on the interior. He has an outside shot at starting in 2015 after McDermott and Feliciano graduate, but he will likely be a career backup.
Who Signed? (7): Converse to the men on the opposite side of the line of scrimmage, Miami made a clear effort to sign defensive linemen.
As mentioned earlier, Chickillo was the star, tabbed the nation's 22nd-best prospect. Jalen Grimble was the only 4-star while Olsen Pierre, Ricardo Williams and Corey King were 3-stars.
Rounding out the unit was JUCO transfer Darius Smith and 2-star Junior Alexis.
Re-Evaluation: This seven-man haul had the makings of a stellar group, and it was especially impressive considering Golden's situation. Three-and-a-half years later, the Hurricanes are nearing a strikeout.
Chickillo earned a starting spot as a true freshman, tallying 5.0 sacks. Though his production has been consistent, Chick has yet to develop into the elite lineman Miami wanted him to be.
Pierre has been a notch above average, but his 2013 campaign was a step back from the previous year. After taking a redshirt and spending two years as a deep reserve, King will be a part of the rotation this season.
While Smith was perfectly mediocre (21 games, 14 starts, 32 tackles, 2.0 sacks) for two seasons, the remaining three transferred elsewhere. Grimble left for Oregon State, Williams went to Marshall, and Alexis wound up at Portland State.
Who Signed? (5): Miami grabbed four outside linebackers, each of whom were given a 3-star rating, in Denzel Perryman (No. 21), Gionni Paul (No. 38), Eddie Johnson (No. 85) and Antonio Kinard (No. 3 prep).
Additionally, the 'Canes signed an unranked then-safety, Thurston Armbrister, from Hollywood, Florida.
Re-Evaluation: Perryman was named a Freshman All-American, struggled through his sophomore year and rebounded in a big way as a junior. A first-team All-ACC member in 2013, Perryman racked up 108 tackles and is heralded as one of the nation's top inside linebackers.
Johnson and Paul were key contributors in 2012, but disciplinary actions ended both Miami careers prematurely. Kinard never made it to Miami, and he is still looking to join a major program next year.
Armbrister, on the other hand, will continue to play a significant role for the third consecutive season. Granted, he is battling Alex Figueroa for a starting position.
Who Signed? (1.5): Along with the part-time defensive back in Crawford, Golden signed local cornerback Thomas Finnie. The Miami Central product was the No. 59 player at his position.
Re-Evaluation: Finnie participated in 11 games as a true freshman before winning a bigger role, starting six of 12 games in 2012. That year, he accounted for 30 tackles, three pass breakups, one interception and one fumble recovery.
However, Finnie was kicked off the team after theft charges and eventually transferred to Bethune-Cookman.
During his redshirt season, Crawford was named Scout Team Defensive Player of the Year and is now competing with incumbent starter Rayshawn Jenkins. He is sure to see the field, whether on defense or special teams, where he intercepted a fake-punt pass in 2012.
Most importantly, Crawford has epitomized what a selfless leader should be for all three units over the last three seasons.
Who Signed? (2): The 2011 cycle brought kicker Matt Goudis and punter Dalton Botts down to the University of Miami. Golden flipped Goudis from Michigan, and Botts headed to "The U" from a junior college in California.
Re-Evaluation: Goudis redshirted right away, sat behind Jake Wieclaw in 2012 and won the starting job last season. He set a Miami record with 57 straight extra points in a season, and Golden will have him for two more years.
Botts was immediately named the starting punter, averaging 41.5 yards per kick in 24 games. As a senior, he also held kicks for Wieclaw, the field-goal specialist.
This was the Hurricanes' most successful positional unit, and that's the most important takeaway from the 2011 class. Some solid talent was signed, but the group was an overall disappointment.
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