Yes, this is it folks, that time of year where grown men go crazy over high school athletes. As sad as some of it can be, with the obsessive tweeting, threats, etc, the majority of us keep a pretty even keel when it comes to recruiting. Wednesday is a huge, life altering day for these kids, and some mind changing is bound to happen. As a lead up to the day we are all waiting for, here's a brief update on the past weekend and what we can expect come February 1st.
First up, the biggest story of the weekend, the flipping of 3 star DB commit Antonio Crawford. Golden pulled a massive coup here, as most scouts and talent evaluators will tell you that this kid is very much underrated. Not to mention he had been committed to an in-conference rival (Georgia Tech) for a long while, only to switch his allegiance the weekend before signing day. Crawford took his official Miami visit this past weekend, but said he knew before coming to Coral Gables that he was already leaning towards the Canes. His mom was reportedly pushing for GT very hard, but was going to be behind her son 100% regardless of where he chose. What was interesting about this story, and one thing that may have helped his decision along, was the fact that he said GT coaches told him that if he took his OV to Miami, his scholarship spot would be in danger of being lost. I've never understood this tactic, because it is only going to serve to alienate a kid from your program, rather than strengthen his bond. Expect Crawford to come in and compete immediately for a starting job.
Previously, I had written that 4 star WR and Cane commit Malcolm Lewis had said that he was now a solid commit, and might not take a UCLA visit he had in mind after all. Well, it turns out that he did take it, but only to see what it was like out there. In fact, in the middle of said trip, he called Cane coaches to tell them he was even more committed than ever. He says that he can't wait to sign his LOI on Wednesday.
One of the most talked about under-5 star recruits, and probably one of the most frustrating, is RB/ATH Davante Bourque. Originally committed to LSU, he dropped them and re-opened his commitment. This led him to pick Tennessee, although his father is saying now that he is down to the Vols and Canes as his final two, and will decide on NSD. His dad has been pretty vocal throughout the recruiting process, and not all of it has been positive. He recently said that Davante was turning his phone off, because he was tired of coaches from all over calling him. He said that Bourque cancelled his planned trip to Nebraska, and may already know where he is going. The reasons he likes the Canes are because of his friend Jacoby Briscoe (DE commit we have covered ad nauseum), and the fact that the coaches at Miami did not pressure him at all. Word on the street doesn't seem to be all that optimistic with this one as far as Miami is concerned, but lets hold our breath and hope he changes his mind one last time.
Now, come Wednesday, the Canes will be in the hunt for at least 2 big name recruits, as well as a few others. DE Darius Hamilton reportedly had a great time on his OV this weekend, and based on comments from the already-Canes that hung out with him, it appears he is waiting to see how the rest of the Rutgers coaching staff shakes out. The common thread is that he said repeatedly that he could easily see himself at Miami, and would love to play there. That's great news, because most folks have Rutgers and Florida as the only sure fire landing spots for Hamilton, and it now appears as if Miami is very much in the mix. There were multiple other big names on campus this past weekend as well, including CB prospect Tracy Howard. The review from Howard regarding his visit were summed up by him saying "It was alright." Now, before that gets read into by everyone, the response to this by one of Howard's closest friends, Deon Bush (who is committed to Miami), is one of cautious optimism. Bush says that that sort of sentence is typical of Howard, who is a laid back, quiet guy that doesn't like to get worked up over much. Bush thinks he may just be trying to not show his hand on where he wants to go. We will find out on Wednesday where Howard picks, but the consensus here is that Miami has a very good chance. 5 star ATH Josh Harvey-Clemons was also on campus for his final OV, but not a lot is coming from his camp regarding Miami. Most people have him choosing between UGA and UF, and his visit to Miami may have just been a free trip to South Beach. If you want to clean anything from it, it could mean that Miami has an outside chance, but don't count on that one at all. Miami is, however, very much in the running for OL prospect Avery Young, who got a visit from Golden & Co. a few nights back. He doesn't seem to be saying much leading up to NSD, so we will all have to wait and see where he picks. Current Cane soft verbal commit Reggie Northrup took his final OV to Clemson over the weekend, and said that it went well. He is still committed to Miami as of now, but will be picking from 5 choices at 9 a.m. EST on Wednesday, including FSU, Clemson, and UNC. Here's hoping that the Canes' coaches can keep this guy with us.
That does it for this recruiting update, which will be the last one leading up to Wednesday, pending some unforeseen development. T7F will be hosting an open thread on NSD to cover the goings on across the country. We will be providing updates mainly on the guys that Canes fans will be interested in, but will of course be including all the big names and interesting notes throughout the day as well. Come join us for what should be a fun time, and as always, you can keep abreast of Canes news and info through our Twitter page @TheSeventhFloor.