Tuesday, April 29, 2008

First Look at 'Canes 2009 Recruiting Class

From talk of Hurricanes drafted in last weekend's draft, to talk of those whose names will be called in 2012. It is never too early to begin acquainting yourself with your school's future. And in that spirit we take a first glance at the Miami Hurricanes' verbal commitments for the 2009 recruiting class.

The undisputed stud of the class so far is Wichita, Kansas five-star RB Bryce Brown. Brown is the #1 overall prospect according to scout.com and brother of Canes 2008 #1 linebacker signee Arthur Brown. Brown had offers from UF, FSU, USC, Ohio State, and Oklahoma, among dozens of others. Besides having excellent vision, and explosive breakaway speed, he is a small (6 feet if you're generous) but powerful back in the mold of WVU's Noel Devine. He is also by all accounts a fantastically quirky and eccentric character (at this year's UM spring game, Bryce showed up in a tuxedo T-shirt revealing his freakish strength for a 16 year old; additionally, he is an outspoken advocate of yoga).

Besides Brown, the Hurricanes have received an early oral commitment from Miami American High's Olivier Vernon, a 6-2, 225 lb. four-star defensive end. Vernon dominated the Miami Nike Camp, and boasted offers from Alabama, Auburn, and USF before ending all speculation and picking the Canes. He runs a 4.53 forty, according to scout.com.

The Hurricanes also fortified their interior defensive line by picking up tackle Luther Robinson today. Robinson, from Ft. Pierce Westwood High, is 6-2 and 270 lbs. He visited just this weekend and was sufficiently blown away that he decided to end all suspense about his recruitment. The Canes also have picked up TE Billy Sanders of Phoenix, Arizona. He has great size, hands, and blocking ability, and received offers from Washington, Washington State, 2008 Orange Bowl champion Kansas, and Arizona. Finally, the Canes received a legacy pickup - Ft. Bend, Texas' A.J. Highsmith, the son of Hurricane legend Alonzo Highsmith and cousin of recent LSU standout LB Ali Highsmith. A.J. is considered a dual threat quarterback, but he is tiny for his position (6-0, 186) and will most likely find himself playing defensive back at the next level.

It is heartening to see that Randy Shannon has not rested on his 2008 stellar recruiting class laurels. There is much work to be done. They still need cornerbacks and offensive linemen badly. They will need such help if the 2009 recruiting class will be considered in time as another integral stop in the official Hurricanes Comeback Tour.

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