Back Canes Hit Across the Board on NSD

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Canes Hit Across the Board on NSD

By Carlos Pineda
SouthernPigskin.com
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On National Signing Day, Mark Richt and the Miami Hurricanes nabbed 24 players in a solid recruiting class, which included receiver Jeff Thomas, who ranked 55th overall in the ESPN 300 rankings.

On National Signing Day, Mark Richt and the Miami Hurricanes nabbed 24 players in a solid recruiting class, which included receiver Jeff Thomas, who ranked 55th overall in the ESPN 300 rankings.

The Hurricanes, who finished 9-4 and with a bowl victory in Richt's freshman season, finished with a class ranked 11th by Rivals. Of the 24-member class, 16 are from Florida.

Miami filled needs at quarterback after Brad Kaaya announced he was entering the NFL draft. Richt signed N'Kosi Perry and Cade Weldon, who already enrolled at UM. A duel-threat QB, Perry was rated the sixth-best quarterback at his position by 247Sports and helped lead Vanguard to a 10-2 record in his senior year.

Thomas, along with Mike Harley bring explosiveness to a receiver position that lost Stacy Coley but returns  Ahhmon Richards, who had a stellar freshman campaign. Thomas, from East St. Louis was rated the No. 1 player in the state by ESPN. Thomas finished his high school career with 3,532 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. Joining the two four-star prospects are Brunswick, Ga.-native DeeJay Dallas, who enrolled early, and Evidence Njoku, the younger brother of former Hurricane tight end David Njoku.

Another area of need was at offensive line, in which Richt and staff landed five players, including 6-4, 279-pound Kai-Leon Herbert and Dallas's teammate at Glynn Academy Zalon'tae Hillery.

Other signings included a pair of four-star defensive players local product Jhavonte Dean from Homestead and defensive end D.J. Johnson from Sacramento, Calif. Dean was rated the second best cornerback by 247Sports, while Johnson, a defensive end, was rated 62nd in the ESPN 300 rankings. In total, Miami signed four defensive backs looking to fill the hole left by departing senior Corn Elder.

Things are looking promising in Coral Gables as Richt enters his second season coaching Miami. While the big question regarding who will be the starting quarterback come September won't be answered yet, the coaching staff is pleased with its signing.

"We really hit across the board, all the position needs we have," Richt said Wednesday afternoon, "there's at least one guy at every position across the board."

Carlos Pineda - Carlos Pineda is a featured writer for Southern Pigskin. He covered the UCF Knights football team for Florida Today in 2010. Carlos' work has been published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Business Journal. He attended the University of Central Florida. Follow Carlos on Twitter @CarlosFPineda.