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Canes Basketball Freshmen Will Catch Your Eye

The Miami Hurricanes got two players in the top 100 to commit towards the end of last year. One being Earl Timberlake who has been turning heads for a while and is ranked number 24 in the class. The other being Matt Cross, who has gone slightly under the radar for how advanced his skillset is.

Matt Cross, a 6’6 225 pound small forward, is a four star athlete and ranked number 77 in the class. He played for Brewster Academy surrounded by tons of talent, including the number 4 player Terrence Clarke.

Matt is a lights out shooter from deep and has major range. Even though he is very good with catch and shoot, he seems even more comfortable off the dribble. This is very impressive for a guy his size. Here’s an example of that…

He is also a major threat in the post due to his size and has great footwork around the rim. His rebounding has shown to be towards the top of his strengths after averaging 9.5 rebounds per game last summer during the EYBL season. He also added 23 PPG during that stretch. Take a look…

Matt Cross will be a great compliment to Earl Timberlake this season. Matt can stretch the floor with his shooting ability which will lead to Earl being able to use his strength of slashing. The same goes for Miami’s PG Chris Lykes. Matt will look to play the role that DJ Vasiljevic and Sam Waardenburg have.

When people ask scouts about Matt Cross they usually start with the word toughness. So did Coach Jim Larranaga when he said “Matt is the definition of hard-nosed. He’s an outstanding 3-point shooter, a great team-oriented player and has an extreme toughness that will allow him to compete against the best players in the ACC.” With that said, Matt will look to bring a special fire to this Canes team this season.

Why The Miami Hurricanes Basketball Team Got A Gem

The Miami Hurricanes basketball team got the number 24 player in the class, Earl Timberlake, to commit in early November. He’s a 6’6, 215 pound left-handed wing that plays the game with something that a lot of young guys don’t, heart.

He has a very polished and all around game with his abilities to pass and rebound at such a high level. When he has the ball in his hands, he always looks to play-make to find the best possible shot on the court.

He is a very athletic and explosive player who has the ability to throw it down on you. He has said and shown that he’s not afraid to take it up on anyone he’s up against. Here’s an example…

Earl is never afraid to take the big shot as well. He’s been in many positions where they need a big shot down the stretch of a game, and they all look to him. Like this…

His ability to rebound up at the rim at only 6’6 also is something that is not talked about enough. He’s a very scrappy player who knows how to use his body. His shooting is also lethal at times off the dribble, but will look to improve that this year with Coach Larranaga. He will he watched closely by many NBA teams this year at Miami, and might have a chance to enter the 2021 NBA Draft if he produces.

 

Miami Hurricanes

Miami Hurricanes: Michael Irvin Jr. enters transfer portal

The Miami Hurricanes are losing a player. On Thursday, it was announced that Michael Irvin Jr. would put his name in the transfer portal.

As a recruit, he was ranked the 33rd overall tight end prospect in the class of 2016 and the 90th overall player from the state of Florida per the 247Sports Composite Rankings. In addition to Miami, he also had offers from Bowling Green, Georgia, Idaho, and Michigan.

Tight end position is full for Miami Hurricanes

This marks a tremendous time of roster turnover for the program. Just looking at the tight end position alone, Miami has several options. They currently have five tight ends on the roster. Brevin Jordan is perhaps the most notable tight end at the position for Miami.

Last season, he was able to put together a bit of production in what was a difficult passing year for the team. Jordan was second on the Hurricanes in receiving. With 35 catches for 495 yards and two touchdowns, he certainly made an impact. A 51-yard pass was his longest reception of the season.

Dominic Mammarelli is a freshman that brings a ton of potential to the Miami Hurricanes football program as well. A native of Naples, he was the 15th overall tight end the 2019 class in the 63rd overall player from the state of Florida per the 247Sports composite rankings.

Simply put, the tight end position was a crowded one for the Miami Hurricanes. We have seen the shakeup that Miami is undergoing as a program, and it is possible that Irvin just never fit into the plans the Hurricanes had for 2020.

It will be interesting to see what the Miami Hurricanes can get from their tight ends. There are a lot of mouths to feed at the position, and this wasn’t a position that was overly successful last season. Now with D’Eriq King in the fold, things could certainly change.

Miami Hurricanes

Miami Hurricanes: Four-star tackle Michael McLaughlin commits to program

In what is a huge commitment for the Miami Hurricanes football program, Michael McLaughlin committed to the program on Monday afternoon.

McLaughlin is the 27th overall offensive tackle in his class . He is the 45th overall player in his class from the state of Florida per the 247Sports Composite Rankings.

In addition to Miami, McLaughlin was also recruited by Boston College, Coastal Carolina, FIU, and Florida State.

Currently, the Miami Hurricanes 2021 recruiting class is stellar. It ranks fifth overall nationally and is second in the ACC per the 247Sports Team Rankings.

This is a big get for the offensive line, considering they just lost Zach Dykstra. Not only do they make up for the loss of Dykstra, they brought in a quality player. Dykstra was more of a depth piece. McLaughlin is a player that could be a starter sooner rather than later. It will be interesting to see how much his stock rises over the course of his senior season in the fall.

McLaughlin should be asset to Miami Hurricanes

What does McLaughlin bring to the program? For one, he is excellent in pass protection. When I watched his highlights, I saw him quite literally bully his man. He was able to set his feet, and execute his block. That type of rough play style McLaughlin brings will also be helpful with creating running lanes. Measuring in at six-foot-seven, 255 pounds, McLaughlin can very easily gain the upper hand on his man, and give the backs running room.

This was a huge get for the Miami Hurricanes. This only adds to the notion that they have been extremely active and successful on the recruiting trail. This offseason in particular, we have seen Miami really focus on getting quality players. After what was a difficult season last year, this is something that they definitely needed to do.

If they can continue to churn out solid recruiting classes, that will only mean good things for the program moving forward.

Miami Hurricanes

Miami Hurricanes: Zach Dykstra leaves football team

The Miami Hurricanes are going to be down an offensive lineman. According to a report from Andrew Ivins, Zach Dykstra has left the football team.

Dykstra did not play at all this season. He appeared in one game back in 2018 playing against Savannah State.

Whether or not Dykstra will transfer to another school is unknown. According to the report, his name was not in the transfer portal late Wednesday, so  whether he decides to transfer or not is unclear.

This is a blow to the offensive line depth for the Hurricanes. He was the nation’s No. 61 overall offensive tackle prospect according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. He signed with Miami in 2017.

Normally, losing a depth player would not be an issue. However, the Miami hurricanes really need a good season from their line. They are coming off the year in which they give up a ton of sacks. Giving up 50 sacks overall, that was the largest amount out of any Power Five school. There are some returners in the fold, as well as help on the way.

Looking at the 2020 recruiting class, Miami does have some line prospects at their disposal. Jaelyn Rivers and Chris Washington are two enrollees who could find their way onto the playing field. Rivers was a four-star prospect while Washington was a three-star prospect. Both of them have potential to make an impact on the line.

This hurts Miami from a depth perspective. Nevertheless, they should be able to make up for it on the line. Six returning players played in at least one game on the line last season. They are going to need to have a big season if Miami wants to succeed.

Especially with a revamped quarterback position, good production could lead to success offensively. In a crowded ACC, things need to be firing on all cylinders.

Miami Hurricanes

Miami Hurricanes: Program lands explosive RB in Thad Franklin

The Miami Hurricanes continue to build their program. On Tuesday night, they landed the top 247Sports running back in Thaddeus Franklin.

Franklin comes from Chaminade-Madonna Prep and is a native of Hollywood, Fla.

He is the 11th overall running back in the 2021 class, and the 25th overall player in the state of Florida per the 247Sports Composite Rankings. In addition to Miami, Franklin held offers from Auburn, Baylor, FIU, and Florida.

Prior to his commitment on Tuesday, he recently received an offer from Texas A&M on January 23. In addition, he attended the South Carolina Junior Day on January 18.

What can he bring to the Miami Hurricanes? The answer is, he can bring a little bit of everything. Measuring in at 6 feet, 185 pounds, he is an interesting mix between a power and speed back. He runs hard, and is very difficult to tackle. Once he misses an initial defender, he is off to the races. That hard type of running style will certainly fit well with the Miami offense. The Miami Hurricanes want to be explosive and Franklin fits the bill. He has the opportunity to be a big-time playmaker.

Looking at the Miami Hurricanes 2021 class

Currently, the 2021 class is stacked. It is ranked fifth overall nationally and second in the ACC per the 247Sports Team Rankings. Franklin, a four-star running back, headlines a great class. In addition, guard Laurence Seymour, defensive tackle Savion Collins, and outside linebacker Chamon Metayer also hold a four-star distinction.

Franklin is a huge get for Miami as they look to continue building their program . He is a player that the program can build around. It will be interesting to see what other additions occur for the 2021 class. Miami is already building a solid group,  and it would be beneficial for the program to continue trying to add as much talent as they can to the class.

Miami Hurricanes

Miami Hurricanes: Program expected to name Rob Likens as WR coach

The Miami Hurricanes are going to get a new wide receivers coach. Rob Likens is expected to be named the new wide receivers coach.

The past two seasons, he has been the offensive coordinator at Arizona State. The role of wide receivers coach is not something new for him. He has also served the role at Arizona State and Temple. Arizona State was second in the entire PAC-12 in points last year. The program was also second in first down conversions with 233. Tied with three other teams, Arizona State had a 91% red zone conversion percentage.

Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels ranked fifth in the conference with 245.3 yards per game. Running back  Eno Benjamin also performed well last year. Rushing for 90.3 yards per contest, that ranked him third overall in the conference.

Likens brings experience to Miami Hurricanes

Likens certainly brings with him a bevy of experience to Miami. The Pac-12 as a conference is very fast-paced.  Miami could definitely use that type of offense. The conversion numbers and the amount of points scored by Arizona State is also a positive trend for Likens. Although he will be dealing with entirely different personnel, it bodes well for a Miami Hurricanes team that has reloaded this offseason.

It will be interesting to see if the Miami Hurricanes offense will have a Pac-12 feel to it. They certainly need to improve in many areas. They are taking steps to improve and are heading in the right direction. Just a look at the fact that the D’Eriq King is coming to the program. That says something right there.

The program has been rebuilt in what feels like a matter of weeks. The turnaround has been quite impressive. Now, we’ll have to see if all the pieces are able to form a fluid, cohesive unit on the field next season.

Miami Hurricanes: Ed Reed to join program as Chief of Staff

A familiar face is coming back to Coral Gables. The Miami Hurricanes have hired Ed Reed as  Chief of Staff for the program.

According to the program’s official press release, Reid will serve in an advisory role to head coach Manny Diaz. Reed will take on duties that include strategic planning, operations, quality control, and player evaluation and development. He also serve in an athletic mentor role and help recruit players as much as the NCAA allows.

A smart move for the Miami Hurricanes

This is certainly an impactful move for the program. Reed was one of the best Miami Hurricanes players of all-time. Playing from 1997-2001, he was part of the most recent golden age for the program. He led the nation with nine interceptions in the 2001 season and was named the 2001 co-Big East defensive player of the year. He was undoubtedly the heart and soul of those great defensive teams. That is certainly saying something when you consider who else was on the roster.

Reed was a  first-team All American in 2000 and 2001. Those Miami Hurricanes teams posted a 23-1 record. They were at the pinnacle of the college football mountain. Some still talk about that 2001 Hurricanes team to this day, and they are continually in the conversation as one of the best college teams of all time.

Having Reed on the recruiting trail would be  tremendous for Miami. When you consider his body of work both at Miami and at the professional level, there is no denying he was successful. A Pro football Hall of Famer in 2019, he has been successful everywhere he has went. His role with the program certainly checks off many boxes. It will be interesting to see where he contributes most.  Just having his name attached to the football program is a huge win for the Miami Hurricanes.

Miami Hurricanes: Jarren Williams to transfer from program

A member of the Miami Hurricanes is entering the transfer portal. Quarterback Jarren Williams has decided to move on from Miami according to a report from Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated.

,Williams played quite a bit last season. He threw for 2,187 yards, 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions. His best game came against Louisville. In what was a 52-27 win on November 9, Williams went 15-of-22 on the day throwing for 253 yards and six touchdowns. A 67-yard throw was his longest of the afternoon.

Williams finishes his Miami career throwing for 2,204 yards, 19 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.

King changed quarterback room for Miami Hurricanes

With D’Eriq King now in the fold, this does not come as much of a surprise. King should figure to be in the starting quarterback conversation when the Hurricanes take on Temple in the season opener on September 5. With the commitment of King, the quarterback room got a lot deeper, and the dynamics changed quite a bit. Based on what he did in Houston last year alone, King certainly looks to be primed for the starting role. Last year for Houston, King threw for 2,982 yards and 14 touchdowns. He rushed for 674 yards and 14 touchdowns.

N’Kosi Perry will also be part of the quarterback room as well. Last season, he threw for 1045 yards, eight touchdowns, and three interceptions.  There is an option for Miami there as well. However, there is no reason to think that the job would not go to King.

The outlook of Miami’s  offense is certainly a bit different than even a couple of weeks ago. It will be interesting to see how the new-look offense performs during spring ball . As different pieces get adjusted, Miami will certainly have a lot more work with than they did at this time a year ago.

 

 

Miami Hurricanes: Program picks up commitment from Keyshawn Smith

The Miami Hurricanes picked up another commitment on Tuesday. This time, it was from 2020 three-star wide receiver Keyshawn Smith.

Smith is the 152nd overall wide receiver in his class and the 84th overall receiver in the state of California per the 247 Sports Composite Rankings.

In addition to Miami, other teams were vying for his services. Washington State, Boise State, Colorado State, and Fresno State all extended offers his way. He received 15 in total. It has been a wild recruiting process for him over this to past month or so.

He took an official visit to Washington on December 6 and committed to the program on December 12. He officially signed with Washington on December 18. He then  decommitted from Washington on Tuesday, electing to start fresh with Miami.

As a senior for Lincoln High in San Diego last season, he scored 13 total touchdowns. He caught 46 passes for 808 yards and a touchdowns as a receiver. He also rushed the ball 16 times for 188 yards and three touchdowns.

Smith brings speed to Miami Hurricanes

What can he bring to the Miami Hurricanes? Measuring in at 6 feet, 185 pounds, Smith has tremendous hands and speed. Furthermore, he is not afraid to leap up and make difficult catches. He should be another weapon for Miami in what is  already a crowded receivers room. Spring ball  will be a good first-look in regards to the position. Miami has several playmakers at its disposal.

With this commitment, Miami only has two spots left in this recruiting cycle. Currently, there 2020 class ranks 16th nationally and second overall in the ACC per the 247 Sports Team Rankings.

Miami has done very well in recruiting over the past couple of weeks. Time will tell how they will use those remaining two spots on the roster in this recruiting cycle.