With the Class of 2018 now locked in, it’s time to look ahead to the potential 2019 Miami recruiting class. We here at DieHards have spent much of this week setting the stage for what the Hurricanes can do in the Class of 2019, and I’ll let you guys fire off some of the most pressing questions for what Miami can put together a year from now.
As always, you can either hit me up on Twitter at @DBWilson2 or email me your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I typically do a Facebook Live every Tuesday, too, although if you missed it this week you’re in luck: I’ll be talking about the Hurricanes on Thursday at 7 p.m. Tune in!
On to the mailbag:
Who will be highest-rated player Miami will pull this year? (@JLValero81 via Twitter)
Miami is in the mix for about 10 prospects ranked inside the top 100 of the 247Sports composite rankings. The highest-ranked player the Hurricanes sign will largely depend on where everyone falls in the final rankings.
The top-2 prospects Miami is pursuing are 5-star running back Trey Sanders and 5-star tackle Darnell Wright, although at this point the Hurricanes are relative underdogs. Sanders will be maybe the most sought-after recruit in the country, and running back won’t be as significant a priority for Miami as it will be for others. Wright is one of the only out-of-state prospects the Hurricanes are targeting and it’s always tough to consider Miami a front-runner for such a player.
The safest bet for this honor is probably Mark Richards. The 4-star athlete from Wellington (Fla.) High School is the younger brother of star Hurricanes wide receiver Ahmmon Richards, and he has let Miami become a constant presence in his recruitment. He’ll consider others — Florida, Georgia, Auburn and Oregon are just a few others in the mix — but as long as the Hurricanes and Richards figure out where on the field he’ll play Miami should be a favorite.
A few other top-100 prospects the Hurricanes are probably at least a slight front-runner for are: 4-star wide receivers Frank Ladson and Jeremiah Payton, 4-star athletes Josh Sanguinetti and Tyrique Stevenson and 4-star guard Evan Neal. From that group, Neal and Payton are the ones I think Miami has the best shot to land. Ladson and Stevenson will have about every power in the country chasing them. Sanguinetti’s final decision could come down to the Hurricanes and Stanford.
What out-of-state prospects do we have a chance with in 2019? (Rob Cole via email)
Miami will rarely even offer an out-of-state prospect unless the coaches think they have a chance to land him. In the Class of 2018, 4-star tight end Brevin Jordan was basically the only early priority. The Hurricanes, obviously, were able to land him. They pushed for some Georgia prospects, but only toward the end of the cycle. Georgia will probably be Miami’s No. 2 recruiting state as long as coach Mark Richt is at the helm.
The top priority as far as out-of-state prospects go seems to be Darnell Wright. The Hurricanes offered the 5-star tackle from Huntington (W.Va.) High School during January and have already visited him a handful of times. Offensive line is a priority this cycle — particularly tackles — and it’s hard to do better than Wright.
Jaylin Simpson could be another name to know, although the 4-star athlete hasn’t visited Coral Gables, Fla., since the summer. The rising senior from Frederica Academy in St. Simons, Ga., named Miami to a top 5 during November. Clemson, another school in the top 5, is the only school he’s visited since releasing his list.
It also seems inevitable the Hurricanes will find their 2019 quarterback somewhere other than Florida. The state doesn’t consistently produce elite quarterback talent and this year’s crop doesn’t include a blue-chip prospect. Miami’s only four quarterback offers out are to Phoenix’s Spencer Rattler, North Carolina’s Sam Howell, Oregon’s Michael Johnson and New Jersey’s Zamar Wise. Only Johnson and Howell are uncommitted.
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