Keeping top talent home has been the obvious recruiting task for Mario Cristobal since taking over at Miami and another step in that direction was met Friday night with the pledge of local linebacker recruit Vincent Shavers.
The Miami (Fla.) Central standout, who prepped at Monsignor Pace prior, elected to commit to The U over some two dozen scholarship offers to his name, including Georgia, Florida and Florida State among others.
The Hurricanes added speed and modern three-down ability to their future linebacker corps as Rivals takes a closer look at Shavers’ game.
Like many Power Five ‘backers from south Florida, playing in space and with speed is a key strength of Shavers’ varsity tape. He is particularly swift when working vertically or downhill towards the ball carrier, where his large stride makes up more ground than his 6-foot-1 frame casually suggests. It shows up while the junior works along the edge or stand-up and off the football.
The speed is evident, but the short-area burst may be better. On top of being an instinctive player and willing blitzer, Shavers can explode through his hips to get a blocker off balance and certainly to disrupt the ball carrier. It’s even more effective with a full head of steam, which he showed improvement from last fall.
Shavers works well with contact in general, from re-routing a slot receiver to shedding blocks when his power isn’t overwhelming, there is a control and precision he displays in the phone booth. It translates to comfortable pass coverage, too, where there is early evidence of his ability to flip his hips, turn and run with an inside passing threat or back out of the backfield. Even in trail position, the speed and overall effort proves impressive on tape.
Areas for Improvement
The freedom Shavers worked with before his move to Central High School this spring is something that confused offenses he faced previously. Moving around the front-seven allows for calculated risks when cutting off blockers, rushing the passer and blitzing — all strengths. But in a more traditional scheme, especially if projected as a weakside linebacker or a sub defender, Shavers has room to clean up his leverage both pre and post snap.
The additional strength of working well off the edge and in closer quarters is also limited when projecting to the collegiate game, where Shavers will almost certainly work off the ball exclusively. Stronger lateral samples and scraping technique will round his his game for early downs and against spread looks.
The lack of coverage snaps could also be looked into further, though Shavers’ athleticism could make underneath zone ability or spying a quick study once settled at the collegiate level. The same can be said for his relatively slight 205-poud frame, though it won’t soon be an issue in an ACC strength, conditioning and nutrition program beginning in January.
John Garcia Jr., National Recruiting Analyst