Miami recruiting: The Hurricanes’ 2019 class is starting to take shape

Miami recruiting-Denzel Daxon-Mark Richt

Miami is on its way to one of the best recruiting classes in the nation, and David Wilson and the DieHards.com team are in the eye of the storm to help you track the Hurricanes. Read daily notebooks here at 10 a.m. ET Monday through Friday and follow us on Twitter for the latest Miami recruiting news.

Miami lands pair of 2019 commits

Saturday was surprisingly busy in the world of Miami recruiting. The Hurricanes landed a pair of commitments before beating Syracuse 27-19.

Neither of the two commits Miami landed at Hard Rock Stadium is likely to make many waves nationally, but both give a sense how things could unravel for the Hurricanes during the next couple cycles.

Denzel Daxon, an unranked defensive tackle from Miami Norland Senior High School in Miami Gardens, Fla., received an offer a week before committing. The 6-foot-3, 305-pound junior said the Hurricanes are his dream school.

Daxon is the second or third defensive lineman committed to Miami in the Class of 2019, depending on where 3-star lineman Renato Brown winds up. The Hurricanes also have a commitment from 4-star strongside defensive end Derick Hunter, who likely will wind up at defensive tackle in Coral Gables, Fla.

Miami will need to replenish its defensive tackles during the next few seasons. With two junior starters and one senior backup, the Hurricanes will have three new defensive tackles in the rotation by the time Daxon arrives on campus. He’s a prospect at the level of 4-star senior Nesta Silvera or Hunter, but he’ll help round out Miami’s depth.

The more wide-ranging effects could be at fullback. Unranked fullback Zac Smith, who also plays inside linebacker and defensive end for Braden River High School in Bradenton, Fla., announced his plans to join the Hurricanes as a walk-on fullback Saturday. It could change both the short- and long-term plans for Miami.

The Hurricanes also are pursing Abraham Alce, a 3-star running back from Immokalee (Fla.) High School. Some schools want Alce as a traditional running back, but at Miami he likely would have to play some fullback. Adding a walk-on fullback shouldn’t deter the Hurricanes from signing Alce, who is a member of the Class of 2018, but it makes the back less of a priority.

Check back at DieHards during the next couple days while we spotlight these two athletes, both of whom had been under-the-radar prospects until the past few days.

Miami misses out on 2019 legacy DL George Karlaftis

Miami did miss on one game-changing potential defensive tackled in the 2019 class. George Karlaftis, a 4-star strongside defensive end, committed to Purdue on Friday, choosing the Boilermakers over the No. 8 Hurricanes.

Karlaftis is an interesting prospect. The defensive lineman had never played football until he moved to the United States in eighth grade. Before that, the junior was a water polo player.

Still, Karlaftis wasn’t quite a project. The defensive end was the most productive defensive player for West Lafaytette (Ind.) High School and decided to stay home rather than follow his father to Miami.

“It’s going to help recruiting other people in my class since I am doing it so early,” said Karlaftis, who also plans to compete in track and field. “I’m going to try to recruit players and help the coaches as well and get a great thing going.”

I’m not sold on Karlaftis’ commitment being final, even if he says he’s 1,000-percent committed to Purdue. Karlaftis told DieHards last month he was hoping to visit Miami Gardens, Fla., this fall. He attended camp with the Hurricanes during the summer and if he gets back down I think Miami could sway him. The Hurricanes landing another defensive tackle this week, though, could signal they’re nearly done at the position for next year.

Gurvan Hall plans return trip to Miami

Maybe concerns about Gurvan Hall flipping away from Miami were overblown. The safety, who once called his commitment to the Hurricanes “50-50,” already has plans to return to Miami Gardens, Fla., less than a month after his last visit. The 4-star safety told DieHards he’ll be back at Hard Rock Stadium on Nov. 11 when Miami plays host to Notre Dame. Hall took an unofficial visit Oct. 14, when the Hurricanes beat Georgia Tech. He also attended Miami’s season-opening win against FCS Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 2. This most recent experience impressed him – specifically the fan support.

“I love the fans,” Hall told DieHards after he received his honorary Under Armour All-America jersey Friday. “The fans never gave up. Even if it rains.”

With three unofficial visits this fall – plus a yet-to-be-scheduled official visit – the Hurricanes’ odds to come away with Hall seem better than 50-50. The only other major suitor left is Alabama, which Hall plans to visit for a game this fall. He also took an unofficial visit to Louisville last month.

The No. 1 Crimson Tide is surprisingly thin in the secondary and trying to load up on defensive backs in this class. However, Chris Kirschner, who covers Alabama for our sister site SEC Country, doesn’t see Hall as one of the top priorities for the Crimson Tide. Alabama is primarily focused on cornerbacks Patrick Surtain Jr., Tyson Campbell and Kelvin Joseph. If the Crimson Tide is likely to flip a Miami commit, the bigger threat is 4-star cornerback Josh Jobe.

Miss a previous edition? Find every post of DieHards’ daily Miami recruiting notebook right here.

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