Blog Live: UM Free Agent Signers Undrafted or Invited to NFL Camps
The Miami Hurricanes had only one player drafted: defensive tackle Jonathan Ford, in the seventh round by Green Bay.
We’ll update our live blog here as undrafted rods agree to the terms:
Sunday 11:30 am update: Former UM safety and forward Amari Carter will attend rookie minicamp with the Bears. And former Canes offensive lineman Navaughn Donaldson has agreed to attend the New York Giants rookie minicamp.
update sunday 9am: Offensive tackle Jarrid Williams has signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, a source says. He’s started 10 games for the Hurricanes each of the past two seasons after being traded from Houston.
9:02 p.m.: UM defensive end DeAndre Johnson signs with the Dolphins, according to his agent Michael Celli.
Johnson had 26 tackles, including 8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks in his lone season in Miami. Prior to that, he played four seasons at Tennessee and had 10 sacks there.
He completed a “30” visit with Arizona and impressed the Dolphins on their local practice day.
9 p.m. update: Security Bubba Bolden is signing with the Seattle Seahawks, multiple sources say.
Bolden, 6-foot-2, 209 pounds, 22, is from Las Vegas, site of this year’s draft. He told reporters on March 30 at UM’s pro day that he thought he was “the best safety in the draft – hands down,” but that “some kind of injury ruined some things.” He underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder after seven games. He finished the year with 42 tackles, 3 1/2 tackles for loss, a sack, two pass breakups and a rushing quarterback, but was criticized by analysts for often taking bad angles while chasing the ball carriers.
“After the North Carolina game, I was basically playing with one arm,” he said on Pro Day. “After the surgery, it was a long journey. I showed people that I put in this work and I’m coming back good. Coming here and doing the exercises, one of the most important things was, ‘Are Bubba’s hips smooth? Can he move well? I feel like I came here and showed that I can move well.
Bolden had his best season in 2020, when he was named a semi-finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award which honors the best defensive back in the country. He started nine of 11 games and had a team-high 74 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one interception and four forced fumbles, the team-high. His success came despite an ankle injury requiring 2019 season-ending surgery on Nov. 2 in an awkward chest celebration after his first UM interception.
At the NFL Pro Scouting Combine, Bolden ran an impressive 4.47 seconds for 40 yards. On Pro Day, he pressed 15 reps at 225 pounds, which would have been tied for ninth in the combine, according to The Athletic.
At UM, Bolden was seen as a mature leader who was fiercely loyal to the Hurricanes.
Pro Football Network called Bolden “a tough, running-defending safety that is best for making downhill plays. [He] effectively diagnoses the action, stays disciplined with assignments…and strives to defend plays in progress or screen passes. Make way for the ball handlers and finish the tackle.
“Bolden is an aggressive safety who defends the run and acts like a quarterback in the secondary with his leadership.”
Earlier this week, Bolden told the Miami Herald that he refuses to listen to so-called experts, most of whom didn’t include him in their fake drafts. “I’m not worried about any of that,” he said. “I know I’m going to be drafted. You already know the Miami Hurricanes are the best in the league.
8:15 p.m. update: Zach McCloud is signing with the Minnesota Vikings, according to his agent Brett Tessler. He played his first five seasons at linebacker before moving to defensive end as a senior.
8 p.m. update: Former UM quarterback D’Eriq King is signing with New England, a source says. King has spent the offseason working as both a quarterback and a receiver and is willing to play both, as well as work as a returner.
7:50 p.m. update: Receiver Mike Harley Jr. signs with the Cleveland Browns, a source says.
The Hurricanes’ high-strung, fast-paced starting slot catcher was barely mentioned by analysts who released mock drafts, despite a career that saw him finish at UM as the record holder of the school for career receptions (182) and single-game catches (13). But he defied predictions.
He also graduated and is the father of 11-week-old Michael Anthony Harley III.
Harley, 23, finished the 2021 season as the No. 2 receiver with 57 catches for 543 yards and five touchdowns. He finished his career with 182 catches for 2,158 yards and 15 touchdowns, passing Reggie Wayne for his career catch mark.
Harley was a four-star U.S. Army All-American prospect from Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas High School who helped lead the Raiders to a Class 7A state championship his senior year.
“It’s all God does,” said Harley, who ran the 40-yard sprint March 30 at UM’s Pro Day in 4.46 seconds. “I am a competitor. My game speed, course, indoor, slot, wide, I can do it all.
“They tell me go for the shooter, punt return, kick return, I’m going to do it to the best of my ability… I’ve shown a lot of guys that I’m really versatile. My speed is there – game speed probably even faster.”
Mike Sr., a supervisor for Alsco Linen, and his wife Timico, a hairstylist, were in Fort Lauderdale with Mike and their family on Saturday at a draft party hosted by Mike Jr.’s third-grade teacher, Sarah Macci . Mike Sr. and Timico have six daughters, four of whom are adopted, and two sons, including their eldest, Mike.
“Everyone is together today,” Mike Sr. said Saturday morning, noting that his son would prevail no matter what. “Mentally, Mike is the strongest kid in the world. You can try to push him aside, but you can’t break his spirit. He’s a winner no matter what.
“He’ll be fine, and he’ll turn a lot of heads and a lot of teams will regret not having him, believe me.”
Harley said on Pro Day that her family’s support has been a blessing.
“The rest of my family, dad, siblings, mom, son [were there], he said. “That was the motivation, me being on the pitch and looking around the corner and [seeing] my family there. It reminded me of when I was 3 years old playing for the first time. Thank God my parents are still here. A lot of guys don’t have their dad here. I’m grateful to have him in my corner.”
7:20 p.m. update: Receiver Charleston Rambo signs with the Carolina Panthers, a source says.
Rambo, 22, is from Cedar Hills, Texas, outside of Dallas. He had exceptional numbers for UM last season after being transferred from Oklahoma, but his slight frame and lack of straight-line speed during draft practice – he ran within 4.5 seconds during Pro Day from UM on March 30 – have teams and analysts worried about how he would do in the NFL.
“I’m always going to bow you or bow to the cradle,” he told the Miami Herald earlier this week. “You have to know who has the ball in their hands. The speed and acceleration are there. But the way you hold the ball when you run with it changes once you catch it. ”
Rambo, measured at 6-1 and 177 pounds at the combine, was traded from Oklahoma ahead of the 2021 season and broke Miami’s single-season records for receiving yards and receptions in the final game of UM’s regular season against Duke. He finished 2021 with 79 catches for 1,172 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games, averaging 97.7 yards. The records eclipsed Allen Hurn’s 1,162 yards in 2013 and Leonard Hankerson’s 72 catches in 2010.
At Oklahoma, Rambo played in 2019 with 43 receptions for 743 yards and five touchdown receptions and played in the college football playoffs in 2019 and 2020. His production was down in 2020 with the Sooners (312 receiving yards and three hit out of 25 takes). ESPN’s Matt Miller projected that Rambo would be drafted by the LA Chargers 260th overall in the seventh round – two spots behind the final NFL pick.
“Both programs are special,” Rambo said, rarely without a smile, after his transfer from the Sooners. “Both have players in the league. Both have legends. Yeah, I can fill shoes.
“It was an honor to play at the University of Miami,” Rambo said as he announced he was entering the draft, “and to join the prestigious group of legends before me.”
Before Oklahoma at Cedar Hill High, Rambo was a four-star recruit by ESPN and Rivals and a three-star by 247Sports. He was ranked as high as the 97th best player in the country, regardless of position, by Rivals.
NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein described Rambo as a “wide swing lacking in explosiveness but compensating with competitive physicality inside the road.”
“Rambo runs routes with good tempo and sharpness. His hands were better this year, but the easy drops still torment him sometimes. He has an idea of how to compete with the coverage near him, but the Alabama game was concerning because he seemed to lack the strength to deal with a tough press man.
Rambo said he weighed up to 186 pounds last week and was “not stressed about anything” about the draft. He said he would be “that guy” for whoever chose him. “It’s what I’ve worked for all my life. Whichever team gets me, I get my heart. I won’t let them down.”
This story was originally published April 30, 2022 7:27 p.m.