Summer is a slow time for college sports. Next week, I'll be writing a week-long feature describing, in vivid detail, all of the times in my life that I randomly saw a Canes football player in public. (No I won't be). For coaches, obviously, it never stops. Unless of course you were Randy Shannon and never bothered to recruit anyone. But I digress. Al Golden has picked up 5 new committments in the last two weeks or so (Miami is now ranked as ESPN's #9 class or 2012), so here's a (small) dossier!
The big name is defensive end Jelani Hamilton. Hamilton (highlights above), out of the factory that is St. Thomas Aquinas, is arguably the best player to pledge to Miami's 2012 class so far. At 6' 5" and 220 pounds, he has prototypical size for his position, and Rivals has him ranked as the #79 overall player in the country. He had offers from Florida, Florida State and the other usual suspects. Along with incoming recruit Anthony Chickillo, he potentially provides Miami with a bedrock pass rushing tandem for years to come.
Hamilton's commitment on June 21st overshadowed one earlier in the day that came from Leesburg, FL (current hometown of my grandparents) WR D'Mauri Jones. Jones projects to be a bit of a project-- Leesburg is not exactly a football hotbed as far as schools in central Florida go, and at 6' 4" and 190 pounds, he has ways to go physically. But his stock was (supposedly) rising, so Miami pounced. Jones had an offer from Arkansas, as well as UCF and USF.
Also prior to Hamilton's pledge was the committment of fellow defensive end Dwayne Hoilett, out of Vero Beach. Whereas Hamilton projects as a two-way end, Hoilett will likely be a pass rush specialst, who might see some time at outside linebacker if defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio depolys a 3-4 defense at times. The Canes have snatched up some skinny and quick ends-- Marcus Robinson, David Perry, Ricardo Williams-- in recent years, and Hoilett, a Rivals three-star, fits that mold.
Completing a defensive end trifecta is Jake O' Donnell, out of Doylestown, PA. O' Donnell may end up being the 2012 class version of Olsen Pierre, a hard-nosed, versatile lineman out of Golden's ex-stomping grounds up in Pennsylvania. O' Donnell, a three-star prospect, fielded offers from North Carolina and West Virginia, as well as Old Dominion, Stony Brook and Bryn Mawr (one of those is a lie). He's a player that can really help a team provided that you have better guys in front of him.
Lastly is Vernon Davis (not that one!), a cornerback from the nerd powerhouse of Coral Reef High in southwest Miami. Davis is another prospect in an increasingly large group of under the radar players who landed a UM offer after a stellar performance at an Al Golden summer camp. Davis, a three-star prospect rated as the #47 CB in the country by Rivals, also had offers from Ole Miss, West Virginia and Louisville, so take that, Charlie Strong! You can have Teddy Bridgewater! *cries softly into Northwestern towel*