Hurricanes look to stay atop the ACC's Coastal Division with help from their last two recruiting classes
After having a top-15 recruiting class last year, the Miami Hurricanes followed that up with an even better showing in 2018.
According to 247Sports, the Hurricanes’ 2018 class was the eighth best in the country. Sports Illustrated also ranked Miami at No. 8.
Mark Richt’s newest crop is made up of 23 signees with 10 of those already enrolled and on campus. With several key players having graduated or off to the NFL, here are five newcomers to watch for during the 2018 season. For this exercise, “newcomer” isn't just limited to true freshmen, it also could include redshirt freshmen and junior college transfers.
N'Kosi Perry, QB
A lot of Hurricanes fans wanted to see Perry play as a true freshman, but head coach Mark Richt stuck with Malik Rosier for the most part. Although Richt said Rosier is the starter heading into the spring, the head coach said he would have to compete for the role.
Coming out of high school, Perry was a top-200 recruit and a four-star prospect according to 247Sports. During his senior season at Vanguard (Ocala, Fla.), Perry recorded 24 touchdowns and completed 64 percent of his passes.
Don't be surprised if Perry is the Hurricanes starting quarterback in their season opener against LSU in Arlington, Texas.
Lorenzo Lingard, RB
With Mark Walton electing to go to the NFL a year early, Lingard could see a lot of playing time early next season. The five-star recruit, along with Travis Homer should make an excellent combination in the Hurricanes’ backfield.
Last season for University High School, Lingard rushed for 1,701 yards, and 26 touchdowns on 204 carries as he was named the Florida Gatorade Player of the Year. In total, Lingard ran for more than 2,500 yards in high school.
Brevin Jordan, TE
With Chris Herndon off to the NFL, the Hurricanes will need to someone to replace his production and Jordan might be that player.
He was rated as the No. 1 tight end in the country by ESPN.com. As a senior at Bishop Gorman High School out in Las Vegas, Jordan posted single-season career highs in yards (1,111), receptions (63) and touchdowns (13).
Despite his size (6-3, 250), Jordan has excellent speed as he recorded a 4.78 in the 40-yard dash.
Nesta Silvera, DL
With RJ McIntosh and Kendrick Norton both leaving, the Hurricanes’ defensive line will have some growing pains early on next season. One benefit to the turnover is it gives younger players like Silvera will get meaningful snaps against quality opponents.
Silvera was rated the third-best defensive tackle, the 14th-best prospect in Florida and the No. 50 overall prospect in the country by ESPN.com. As a senior, Silvera tallied 107 tackles, 31 for a loss, 12 sacks and took a fumble recovery back for a touchdown in the state championship game victory for south Florida prep powerhouse Plantation American Heritage.
Mark Pope, WR
Reliable receiver Braxton Berrios exhausted his eligibility, so the Hurricanes will hope one of their younger players can help fill the void. While Pope is lanky (6-1, 175), he could potentially be a star at Miami.
Pope was rated fifth among wide receivers, ninth in the state of Florida and 28th overall by Rivals. He racked up more than 1,000 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns during his high school career. As a junior, Pope registered 37 receptions for 619 yards and seven touchdowns.
With his speed and excellent route running, Pope is too talented to redshirt in 2018. So, expect him to contribute in some way on offense this fall.
— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.