High School Recruiting

A look at recruiting targets for the Miami Hurricanes offense for the Class of 2019

Miami Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier (12) sets up to pass in the third quarter as the University of Miami Hurricanes take on the Wisconsin Badgers in the Capital One Orange Bowl game at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday, December 30, 2017.
Miami Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier (12) sets up to pass in the third quarter as the University of Miami Hurricanes take on the Wisconsin Badgers in the Capital One Orange Bowl game at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday, December 30, 2017. adiaz@miamiherald.com

It’s possible that this is the first recruiting cycle since 2011 that the Miami Hurricanes do not sign an incoming freshman quarterback to a scholarship.

That would change if the Canes can convince four-star Oregon prep star Michael Johnson to come to Miami. But he appears to be a long-shot for the Canes, and there is no obvious backup plan for the 2019 class.

“Unless something drastic changes, Miami may not get a QB in this class,” said Cam Underwood, a recruiting expert for the State of the U website. “I don’t see Miami flipping any of the committed QBs. Maybe they can sign a graduate transfer.”

Underwood added that this is not a good class for quarterbacks, calling the 2019 collection of passers “pretty bad” overall.

Looking back at Miami’s past eight recruiting classes, they signed at least one QB each year: Preston Dewey, David Thompson and Gray Crow in 2012; Kevin Olsen (2013); Brad Kaaya and Rosier (2014); Evan Shirreffs (2015); Jack Allison (2016); N’Kosi Perry and Cade Weldon (2017); and Jarren Williams (2018).

Here’s how the rest of Miami’s 2019 recruiting class is developing as it pertains to players on offense:

Running back: Three-star Marcus Crowley (Jacksonville) is committed, and four-star Kenny McIntosh (University School) is expected to sign.

“McIntosh wants to make his choice before the season starts, and it would be shocking if he doesn’t pick Miami,” Underwood said.

If McIntosh surprises and commits elsewhere, Miami could turn to Carol City four-star Nay’Quan Wright, who has been injury prone.

Wide receiver: Four-star Jeremiah Payton has committed, and two-way star Mark-Antony Richards — if he signs with Miami — could contribute here as well at safety.

Miami lost five-star Frank Ladson (South Dade) to Clemson and four-star John Dunmore (Chaminade) to Penn State.

“That ship has sailed,” Underwood said when asked about possibly flipping Ladson. “Dunmore could be in play if he visits Miami once or twice.”

Tight end: Miami has a commitment from three-star Larry Hodges (Tampa Jesuit), an underrated playmaker in the passing game.

Keon Zipperer (Lakeland) is a four-star recruit who is ranked third in the country at his position. Florida, though, is favored in its battle with Miami for Zipperer.

“Things are going in a good direction with Miami and Zipperer,” Underwood said. “He has visited a couple of times, and he’s Miami’s No. 1 target at tight end.”

Offensive line: Four-star tackle Michael Tarquin and three-star guard Kingsley Eguakun are committed.

Four-star guard Dontae Lucas, who transferred from Miami High to IMG after last season, is an FSU recruit. He is unlikely to flip, but he has visited Miami a couple of times since vowing to sign with the Seminoles.

Miami, though, has a strong chance of signing five-star tackle Evan Neal (IMG), a 6-8, 360-pounder.

“His mom is a big proponent of him coming to Miami,” Underwood said. “He is the truth. He has dropped 30 pounds and is now lighter on his feet.

“He was committed to Alabama at one point, but Miami has gone all out for him.”

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