Miami Football: Hurricanes' 2014 Recruiting Recap

Al Golden Is Pleased With 2014 Class

2/6/14 in NCAAF   |   Nick_Kaminsky   |   29 respect

Al Golden is all smiles today.

Jan 2, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Team Nitro defensive end Chad Thomas (99) gets introduced before the game at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsThe Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes are locked in at 10th-ranked recruiting class (according to ESPN) and have addressed major needs of the program.

It’s also important to point out that this was the first season that Golden didn’t have to deal with the NCAA cloud over his program. For the past two seasons, negative recruiting was at an all-time high against the Hurricanes. But now, Miami is back on a level playing field.

The most obvious need for the Hurricanes was the defensive front seven. The biggest recruit Golden pulled in was five-star defensive end Chad Thomas (No. 3 DE). The coaching staff did receive quite a scare, with Thomas having a great visit to Alabama last Saturday. He seemed to be torn, but stuck with his commitment.

The other big-time member of the class is defensive tackle Anthony Motten (No. 15 DT). Golden believes that Moten can make an immediate impact and has a chance to start as a true freshman. The Hurricanes also received commitments from Calvin Heurtelou (No. 9 DT), Michael Wyche (No. 10 DT) and Courtel Jenkins (No. 62 DT). Miami needed some big bodies and the coaching staff did a great job at addressing the need.

The defensive backfield was also a major concern for the Hurricanes, especially in terms of depth. Four-star defensive back Kiy Hester (No. 8 S) and Marques Gayot (No. 64 S) should give Miami a few more bodies at safety. Golden is most excited about how physical the two play; Hester seems to resemble former Hurricane safety, Kenny Phillips.

Miami made a statement earlier in the year in terms of getting talent on the offensive line. Both KC McDermott and Trevor Darling have made an impression on Golden, enrolling early and should be great run blockers. It’s possible that early enrollee running back Joseph Yearby could be running behind the two linemen next season. He did sustain a broken leg during his high school playoffs, but coaches are thrilled with his effort in the weight room.
 
One of the biggest pieces of the class is quarterback Brad Kaaya (No. 7 QB). Many believe that he’s one of 
June 30, 2013; Beaverton, OR, USA; Brad Kaaya, of West Hills, California, goes through drills during the morning session of the Elite 11 at Nike World Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports
the most underrated players in the country and other schools were making a late push to sway him away from the Hurricanes (UCLA, USC, and Boise State).

Miami fans have been waiting for the next Ken Dorsey for many years now. I believe that Kaaya could be the answer.

Golden praises the quarterback for being a winner and champion. He stands tall in the pocket at 6-foot-4 and has a rocket arm. He seems to be very bright and has all the physical tools. Hurricane fans will be hoping that Kaaya could be starting right away, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him redshirt his freshman year and learn from senior quarterback Ryan Williams. Then again, he could end up competing for the starting role this July.

The trend in Miami is that the Hurricanes are beginning to build depth, while also adding guys that can make an immediate impact. This leads to huge amounts of optimism for the coaching staff and Golden. Miami is back to grabbing players that everyone else wants. Golden stated that this was easily his best class since arriving in South Beach. Hopefully this 2014 group can translate to immediate help on defense, which should lead to more wins. The sky is the limit for this talented class; it’ll be up to the coaches to develop it — and quickly. 

But as for today, Golden should kick back and relax. He deserves it.
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