Barry Jackson

Here’s how a recruiting analyst assesses the Hurricanes’ impressive 2020 class so far

Belen athlete Don Chaney, Jr. at Media Day

Belen sophomore Don Chaney, Jr. talks Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, about the upcoming season and that the University of Miami is his front runner among college choices.
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Belen sophomore Don Chaney, Jr. talks Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, about the upcoming season and that the University of Miami is his front runner among college choices.

Though it’s early, UM already has assembled an outstanding nine-member 2020 recruiting class, a group that’s ranked third nationally by Rivals.

“It’s a top tier group,” recruiting analyst Larry Blustein told me. “They’ve gotten off to a really good start.”

Blustein weighed in on UM’s nine non-binding commitments:

Miami Belen four-star running back Don Chaney Jr.: “He’s as big time as you can get. Poweful, quick runner, as athletic as you can get. Definitely on the Lorenzo Lingard level. [Lingard was a five-star recruit in UM’s 2018 class.]

“With Asa Martin, Lingard, Cam Davis, and Chaney, that would be as good a running back group as any group in the country. Davis [who impressed for UM late last season] has always been the underdog but will play in the NFL. You can never have too many backs.”

Four-star South Dade cornerback Jaiden Francois: “Ball hawk. Always around the ball. Long arms, not the tallest but as good a ball hawk as I’ve seen. Wherever the ball is, you will always see his number. Plays the run well too.”

Three-star Rockledge athlete Ladarius Tennison: “Different level kid. He can play on both sides. He can play five different positions. High-level athlete. And played well against Southridge.” He likely will play safety at UM.

Four-star Naples tight end Dominic Mammarelli: “His dad was a kicker at South Broward. He’s like Duke Johnson in that he committed way early. He committed in his 10th grade year, the first commitment in this class. He will keep the UM tradition going at that position. He catches extremely well but is a really good blocker too. He used to play on the defensive side.”

Four-star Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna defensive lineman Willie Moise: “If there has been an underrated kid [for 2020], it’s him. I watched him every game. Great tackler. Plays defensive tackle, offensive guard. Solid player. Difference maker. Very strong.”

Four-star Carol City defensive end Samuel Anaele: “He’s behind as far as the fact he wasn’t a youth football guy. I stood next to him for an hour at Under Armour underclassman [practices]. He’s a physical [specimen]. Very strong. When he learns, he’s going to be great. He will get a lot of college coaching. Strong, big, quick, agile. [But] behind as far as football knowledge.”

Four-star Bradenton IMG defensive end Tre’von Riggins: “Very physical guy. Will add depth early on. He’s not like [UM 2019 early enrollee defensive end] Jahfari Harvey, who is going to be tough to keep out of the lineup this year. But Riggins will be like that some day.”

Three-star Miami Southridge receiver Marcus Fleming: “Another Mark Pope, Jerry Jeudy type. Fast, stretches defenses, tremendous hands.” Pope (UM) and Jeudy (Alabama) were elite recruits.

Four-star Palm Beach Central receiver Bryan Robinson: “Another big-time player. Elite talent. He shows up at different events and you walk away saying wow.”

If UM can hold to Chaney, Francois, Fleming and Robinson, that would be four times as many Miami-Dade recruits as UM had in the 2019 class (one).

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Barry Jackson has written for the Miami Herald since 1986 and has written the Florida Sports Buzz column since 2002.


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