The Miami Hurricanes are getting ready to start the 2011 season with a new head coach and hopefully a new attitude in Coral Gables.
The 'Canes hired former Temple coach Al Golden to try to turn around the team's fortunes, after finishing out of the top 25,
The 2011 class has had alot of people de-commit from the the program, and they have also lost out on big names such as Tate Forcier and Jacoby Brissett.
Alot of people are withholding judgement on the 'Canes 2011 recruits as with as many people moving toward and from the program, it is hard to gauge how good the class really could be.
Here are five recruits who are very important to the success of Coach Golden and his staff in Miami.
Safety Thurston Armbrister, coming from Hollywood Hills High School, is yet another late signee to the 'Canes 2011 class.
He is a highly touted prospect, listed at 6'3", 195 and has a 40 time in the 4.5 range. Here is what his high school coach, Scott Barnwell, said about Armbrister: "He's a very big, long, rangy kid, very fast" and "he has very great range across the field, really closes well on the ball, hits very hard and has great hands."
The Hurricanes have produced some NFL stars at safety, most notably being Ed Reed, the late Sean Taylor and Brandon Meriweather.
The 'Canes have another prospect they think can deliver some long-missed stability at the position that hasn't been seen since the early 2000's.
The first third-generation player for the Hurricanes, Anthony Chickillo was the first defensive lineman to commit to the 'Canes for 2011.
Here is an excerpt from his ESPN.com recruiting profile:
"Chickillo is a physical and active defensive end who comes from a family who has had some success at the college level. He has good size and the frame to be able to add more good bulk as he gets into a college weight program and continues to physically develop. On film he appears to also have a good wingspan for his build. He gets off the ball well, showing flashes of real good initial quickness. He is tough versus the run as he uses his hands well. He consistently comes out of his stance and shoots his hands and uses his reach to his advantage. He creates and maintains separation and keeps solid pad level and is able to take on blocks and hold his ground."
The 'Canes filled a need with this signing by adding youth to a defensive line that should be among the ACC's best in 2011. If his father and grandfather are any indication, then Miami will have yet another stud defensive lineman following a list that consists of: Warren Sapp, Dwayne Johnson, Vince Wilfork and Russell Maryland.
Miami has had some stud wide receivers come through Coral Gables, FL in the past two decades. The list includes: Michael Irvin, Reggie Wayne, Santana Moss, Andre Johnson and Devin Hester.
After losing Leonard Hankerson in the draft, a hole was created in the receiving corps. In comes Phillip Dorsett of St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Here is a portion of his recruiting profile from Scout.com:
"He's a smart route runner that knows how to finds the holes in zone coverage. A competent blocker who gets a lot of reps blocking the edges. He's tough and spends a lot of his time going across the middle. Comes back to the ball well on the curl route and doesn't wait for the ball to get to him. Catches the ball well in traffic because he's not afraid to take a hit. Not afraid of the moment and confident in making the tough catch."
Miami already has some quality receivers in LaRon Byrd and Aldarius Johnson, and they will look to continue producing at high level. If Dorsett is anything like the UM receivers before him, then Miami will arguably have one of the top WR groups in the ACC.
There was controversy surrounding this particular prospect. Thomas Finnie was all set to sign with Steve Spurrier's South Carolina Gamecocks, and at the last minute the Hurricanes scooped him up and add him to the 2011 class.
Finnie was supposed to leave for South Carolina, and a last-minute move by Hurricanes' Coach Al Golden persuaded the young man to de-commit from SC and join the 'Canes.
The addition of the Miami Central defensive back adds depth to the Hurricanes' defense, looking to offset the loss of CB Brandon Harris.
There have been some outstanding corners who have played for Miami, such as Antrel Rolle, Sam Shields (senior year), Phillip Buchanon, Mike Rumph and Kenny Phillips.
Here is an excerpt from his scouting report from Scout.com:
"At 5-foot-10, he is one of the fastest kids around. He can turn and run with any receiver you put in front of him. He was the best player in a very good secondary that helped win a state title. He can be aggressive at times, too, and brings a lot of upside."
The Hurricanes have always had stellar play from their cornerbacks, and I believe that Finnie will prove to be a solid pickup for the young 'Canes.
The ninth committed prospect for the 2011 recruiting class, Ricardo Williams de-committed from North Carolina and committed to play for the 'Canes. Miami has had alot of recruits commit and de-commit from the program and this one was no exception.
Williams is listed at 6'5" and 210 pounds and is considered small for a defensive end. A lot of analysts believe he needs to add bulk in order to not take a beating on the defensive line.
Here is a portion of his scouting profile from Scout.com:
"At 6-5 and 210 pounds, he will need to add some weight but the kid has a tremendous amount of athleticism. He has a good take off and makes a lot of plays as a pass rusher. He’s athletic enough to play outside linebacker in a 3-4, too."
Williams is explosive off the line and should add some depth to a defense looking to rebound not only as a team, but also in the ACC and the country. He will have the tall task of vying to replace the departed Allen Bailey.