The Miami Hurricanes have added another member to the class of 2014, Orange Park, Fla. linebacker Darrion Owens. Earlier in the day, the Canes received a verbal commitment from another linebacker, Mike Smith. Both players are ranked as three-star players and likely face position changes at the collegiate level.
During his junior year at Oakleaf High School, Owens played safety and accounted for 101 tackles and two interceptions. However, this year the 6-foot-4, 220 pounder is expected to move to outside linebacker, a position most recruiting experts think he’ll play in college. There’s a chance he will remain a safety, but in reality, he will probably outgrow the position as he matures physically.
At the high school level, Owens has displayed good range covering the deep half, but doesn’t possess the necessary man-to-man skills to play there for the Hurricanes. Instead, a move to linebacker would accentuate one of his best attributes, playing downhill in the run game. He runs the alley extremely well and is a tremendous tackler in the box. Despite being a taller safety, Owens is able to get low, and tackle with good leverage. He uses his hands well to shed blockers too, something that will benefit him if he moves to OLB. If nothing else, his athleticism will make him a mainstay on the special teams units in Coral Gables.
The Miami defense was among the worst in the ACC in 2012, and let the ‘Canes down in a number of high scoring games. Al Golden and his staff are making a concerted effort to solidify that unit moving forward and signing like these are a step in the right direction.
B.L. is an ACC Football writer for Rant Sports and can be followed on Twitter @coachlip.