The Miami Hurricanes need offensive linemen — badly.
And that’s exactly what they got Tuesday, when 6-3, 275-pound senior lineman Corey Gaynor of Parkland Douglas High flipped his commitment from chilly Minnesota to the warmth of home at the University of Miami.
Just after 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Gaynor sent out this tweet to the delight of Hurricanes fans: “I’m staying home! #Squad17.”
Gaynor, projected as an interior lineman, took an unofficial visit to the Duke game at Hard Rock Stadium last Saturday, where he was offered.
“They can be as good as they want to be,” Gaynor told CaneSports.com. “Mark Richt is a genius, and if they put it all together they’ll be great.”
Gaynor is rated as a three-star player by 247Sports.com, which cited his 106 pancake blocks this past season for Douglas (6-4). He is rated a two-star by rivals.com, but has gotten offers from Pittsburgh, West Virginia, South Florida and UCF, according to 247Sports.
UM is graduating right guard Danny Isidora and center Alex Gall. Junior center Nick Linder is out for the rest of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery and redshirt junior tackle Sunny Odogwu missed most of the season with a broken lower leg. The game-ready backups have been sparse, and Richt talked at length about the offensive line being “the position that’s probably the toughest to project” during his Sunday teleconference.
Richt noted that O-line signees are critically needed at UM and said that, “Sometimes you’ll have a guy that’ll dominate the competition at his high school level and just maybe not be able to do that same type of thing” in college. “He doesn’t quite develop into that type of guy at this level. You might have a tall, lean guy, very athletic, very tough. He’s 6-4, 6-5, 260, which is still fairly slim. But that guy, if he grows into a 310-pounder and still keeps his athleticism, you might have a monster — where you might also bring that guy in and he can barely get to 275, and he’s just not big enough.
“You try to project what a guy will grow into and a lot of times that doesn’t happen.”
Gaynor becomes the 21st Hurricane commit for 2017, a class that includes four-star offensive tackle Navaughn Donaldson of Miami Central, and three-star tackles Zack Dykstra of Spirit Lake, Iowa, and Zalon’tae Hillery of Brunswick, Georgia.
Rivals now ranks Miami 11th-best in national recruiting class for 2017, and 247Sports ranks it as the No. 13 class.
ACC ROOKIES OF YEAR
The Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association announced its Atlantic Coast Conference Rookies of the Year on Tuesday, with Florida State redshirt freshman quarterback Deondre Francois voted the ACC Rookie of the Year and Clemson freshman tackle Dexter Lawrence voted the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Miami freshman wide receiver Ahmmon Richards and Wake Forest defensive back Jessie Bates tied for fourth in the overall ACC Rookie of the Year balloting, behind Duke quarterback Daniel Jones.
Miami linebacker Shaquille Quarterman was fourth in the defensive voting, with defensive end Joe Jackson sixth.
Justin Fuente of Virginia Tech was voted the ACC Coach of the Year.