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Analyst assesses all of UM’s 2024 commitments on offense. And a roster update

For feedback on the Miami Hurricanes’ two-dozen-plus nonbinding commitments for the 2024 class, we solicited input from recruiting guru Larry Blustein, who has watched all of these players in person or on tape.

In Part 2 of a two-part series, here are Blustein’s thoughts on the commitments on offense, who can sign as early as mid-December:

QUARTERBACK

Three-star Georgia based Judd Anderson is UM’s only QB commitment. He’s set to join Emory Williams, a likely veteran starter to be culled from the transfer portal and perhaps Jacurri Brown, who will start UM’s Dec. 28 bowl game against Rutgers at Yankee Stadium.

“I just watched his tape from Warner Robbins,” Blustein said of Anderson. “He doesn’t have a big arm but throws good intermediate balls and seems like a leader. Not afraid to check down, has good size. He’s going to have to bide his time.”

Roster update: Williams is returning; Brown might return; Anderson will join the class; and one or two veterans will be plucked in the portal.

UM is pursuing multiple quarterbacks in the portal. Among the top options: Washington State’s Cam Ward, Mississippi State’s Will Rogers, Kansas State’s Will Howard, Ohio State’s Kyle McCord, UCLA’s Dante Moore, Oklahoma’s Dillon Gabriel and Vanderbilt’s AJ Swann.

UM is believed to have reached out to several of those. A source confirmed UM’s interest in Washington State’s Ward. Miami reportedly also is among a handful of schools being considered by UCLA’s Moore, though the Canes prefer a more veteran option, per 247 Sports. And Miami is also said to like Rogers (Washington is considered the favorite for him) and Howard.

RUNNING BACK

UM has nonbinding commitments from Alabama-based Kevin Riley, 247 Sports’ No. 5 running back in the 2024 class, and three-star Hollywood South Broward High’s Chris Wheatley-Humphrey.

“I saw Kevin Riley in a camp and watched him on film and he’s a major kid, potentially the best back they’re getting,” Blustein said. “Has a burst of speed and great vision. His running style reminds me of Marcus Allen — not to compare [his talent] to Marcus Allen.

“No one comes up and just bangs him and gets him down. He has got that instinctive vision and can get to the hole really quickly and gets in the open field. He’s like TreVonte Citizen [who missed his first two seasons at UM recovering from an August 2022 knee injury]. I don’t think people realize how good Citizen is.”

Blustein said Wheatley-Humphrey offers something in between the power of Mark Fletcher Jr. and speed of Chris Johnson, the two freshmen backs in UM’s 2023 class.

Wheatley-Humphrey is “really good,” Blustein said. “He got bigger. They used him in a lot of positions at South Broward. Didn’t just run him from the line of scrimmage. He can catch; Miami may run him in motion or on wheel routes. His ceiling is very high, but he’s still a work in progress.

“He’s not going to be Mark Fletcher. Very few people are; that kid was [college] ready by his sophomore year. Fletcher will be in the NFL in three years.”

Roster update: Don Chaney Jr.’s decision to enter the portal leaves UM with the two oral commitments, Fletcher, Johnson, Citizen and veterans Henry Parrish Jr. and Ajay Allen.

WIDE RECEIVER

The Canes have three very good commitments:

Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna four-star prospect Josisa Trader, Georgia-based four-star receiver Ny Carr and Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas four-star prospect Chance Robinson.

Blustein, on Trader: “Love him. He probably could start at corner or wide receiver. Big-time kid, elite Power 5 type of guy that Alabama or Ohio State would be happy to have aboard. Gets open, athletic, not blazing speed. He knows how to run routes and is very intelligent.

“He’s going to be an outside guy, probably not a [full-time] slot, though they may put him inside [some]. He’s got some quickness. Tough kid. More of a Jacolby George type.”

Blustein, who also has watched Robinson a lot, said: “I don’t think he’s had a great year, but that’s because St. Thomas was ahead in a lot of games and never got in flow. They had other kids they threw to, and a premier running game.

“But Robinson is potentially an elite kid because he has good size and can run. There’s a learning curve for him. If he gets with [UM wide receivers coach Kevin Beard] and Kevin works on his game, he can be an elite kid.”

Roster update: George and Colbie Young are expected back. We’ll see what happens with Xavier Restrepo, Brashard Smith (who possibly could find more playing time elsewhere), Isaiah Horton and two who seldom played — Michael Redding III and Shemar Kirk.

There has been speculation that Restrepo could accompany Van Dyke to a new school, but that’s unclear; an associate said he is working on a second degree at UM, likes going to school here and his family is here. Frank Ladson is entering the transfer portal.

TIGHT END

Four-star Las Vegas-based Elija Lofton could immediately compete with projected starter Elijah Arroyo and Riley Williams for playing time.

Lofton is “a beast,” Blustein said. “I watched their title game last week at Allegiant Stadium. He had two TD receptions and ran one in. He’s a different level dude. A little bit more athletic than Brevin Jordan [the Houston Texans tight end who also came to UM from Las Vegas]. He’s a premier player.”

Roster update: Arroyo and Williams are expected back, joining Lofton. Jackson Carver comes off what was largely a developmental year. Jaleel Skinner entered the transfer portal this week.

OFFENSIVE LINE

UM has commitments from several three-star 2024 linemen: Kavion Broussard, Juan Minaya, junior college player Markel Bell, Nino Francavilla and Deryc Plazz.

Plazz, an interior lineman from Jacksonville, is a “big time kid,” Blustein said. “Alex Mirabal does such a good job [developing] linemen. You don’t learn more from the position from anyone else.”

Broussard, a tackle from Louisiana, “moves really well for a big kid. Also has quick feet,” like Plazz does.

Minaya, a tackle from New Jersey, is a “technical freak. He has had a lot of teaching; you can tell. He can make a huge impact down the line. He’s coming in early.”

Bell, a Cleveland-based tackle prospect, has “great size,” Blustein said. “Some major powers were looking at time because of the combination of size, footwork and athleticism.”

Roster update: UM hopes center Matt Lee will bypass the NFL Draft and return to school, but that’s very much in question. If Lee opts to return, the Canes would be set at four positions on the line, with Lee, left tackle Jalen Rivers, right guard Anez Cooper and right tackle Francis Mauigoa.

Matthew McCoy will compete to replace NFL-bound Javion Cohen. UM loves freshman Tommy Kinsler.

The futures of several backups must play out.

Here’s Part 1 of the series with Blustein’s analysis of every UM 2024 commitment on defense.