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All American Games: Miami Tidbits

The latest coming and goings from the All American games. Miami Style.

Jon Bastian/

- Two South Florida guys playing at the games committed today. 1st off is DT Marquedius Bain. Bain is a former Florida State commitment that was heavily recruited by Miami and was thought to be leaning their way earlier in the process. Both parties seem cooled on each other during the season and the rest is history. He is expected to start off at Defensive Tackle for LSU but also has the ability to play along the offensive line.

-The 2nd commitment of the day is RB Tarean Folston who committed to Notre Dame. Folston was a name that briefly popped up on the Miami radar after the Alex Collins decommitment but nothing ever materialized in the way of real interest. He’s a smaller back in the mold of a Duke Johnson which runs contradictory to what Miami is hoping for out of this class. It should open some eyes that both these kids are landing at programs that played in BCS games this year and left from Miami’s nose without much interest from them. I understand the reasoning why that happened, but it’ll be a real test to see if Golden is able to land the guys in their place to justify not really doing after those two guys.

-Jordan Cunningham has long been on Miami’s radar as a backup plan to some of their bigger WR targets but that might not be a backup plan that Miami will want to count on for much longer. On top of considering Stanford his longstanding leader for most of the process, Cunningham has also surprised some by talking about his new interest in Vanderbilt earlier this week. Florida State has also stepped up in their recruitment of Jordan of late. This could be a signal that they don’t feel great about their chances with Stacy Coley, which should excite most Miami fans. More than likely though, it means that their on again-off again relationship with Tony Stevens is coming to an end.

-Denver Kirkland has impressed this week at practices and looks like a potential elite Offensive Guard at the next level. When push comes to shove, I still think there’s a really good chance that Kirkland and his teammate Matthew Thomas wind up as Canes. However, in the case of Kirkland, Miami already has 3 offensive line commitments (4 for those that include Jeremy Kerr) and you have to wonder if Kirkland isn’t at risk of possibly being pushed out if Miami closes better than expected with some of their other top end recruits. It’s an unlikely possibility but the numbers are what they are and there’s a chance that Miami will have to turn down somebody down the stretch.

- Defensive Tackle has been a huge need for Miami throughout the process. The reports about Keith Bryant this week have been less than stellar, both on the field and for Miami’s chances. However, 5* Dee Liner did reaffirm the fact that he is playing to visit Miami within the coming weeks, although he is still strongly committed to Auburn. It’s a long shot but it is encouraging news.

-Just my opinion but anyone that has seen Artie Burns practice this week should be licking their chops at the thought of him getting significant snaps at safety for Miami next year.

- 4* Defensive End Tim Williams is still scheduled to visit Miami the weekend of January 18th (That’ll be a huge weekend folks) and he is still claiming Miami as his leader. It shouldn’t go unnoticed though that Williams also set up an Official Visit to hometown LSU the weekend before NSD. It sure looks to me like LSU is setting him up as a priority fallback option in case they miss on their bigger targets heading into that final week. Regardless, Tim Williams has always been a longshot in my eyes and I’m not sure I ever see that changing.

-Matthew Thomas has been ho-hum about setting up an official visit to Miami but I fully expect him to be here on the weekend of January 18th. He is currently slated to visit USC that weekend but nobody considers them a legit contender and with a busy month ahead, I fully expect him to settle on making the short drive to Coral Gables like Miami coaches have been after him to do.

- Caleb Brantley just decommitted from Florida according to his twitter feed. Assuming this is legitimate and not part of the games these kids play nowadays, Miami absolutely should be checking in on him to see their chances. He’s every bit the player Keith Bryant is and maybe more. This is one of the strangest situations I’ve seen in all my years though. A kid of this caliber decommitting from a longtime pledge this late in the process with no real frontrunners is almost unheard of.

- Speaking of former Gator commits, LB Quinton Powell has been rather open this week about the fact that he will be contacting Miami coaches soon in order to set up a visit. I’d personally have him behind a few other LB targets on our board at the moment.

-One of those other options is Yannick Ngakoue. The former Maryland commit is expected to end up back there when it is all said and done but it looks like Miami and Florida State are both going to have legitimate chances to sway him. He’s currently in the process of setting up his Miami visit.

-I was planning on waiting a little later in the week to do a full article and projection on him, but feel more comfortable now. Barring something unforeseen working out last minute, I’m on board with those that feel Alquadin Muhammed will be choosing the Canes on Saturday.

-One final note, congrats to Cane great and future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis for calling it a career. And a great one it was. Here’s hoping to see him around program more often.