Before we begin, it is our pleasure to say we have SBNation Recruiting Manager Bud Elliott and former State of the U Manager Lt. Phillip Nolan joining us this year's final predictions. We owe them a big thank you for everything they have done to help our growing community here. Without further adieu:
Harris is probably the biggest name on the board for Cane fans. The longtime Florida State commit took visits to Florida, Auburn, and Miami during the final 3 weekends leading up to signing day. He claims to be solid to Florida State but his actions paint a different picture. The mobile QB is understandably looking for the best fit for him but family ties to Miami could also play a huge factor in the end.
The current Missouri commitment received late offers based off his outstanding senior film. Miami, Georgia, and Alabama all came strong for him late in the process with Georgia and Miami receiving his two remaining open official visit dates. Working in Miami's favor is the fact they are recruiting him to play RB while everyone else wants him as a DB. He took his final official to Missouri this past weekend. He's a kid that doesn't do much media so he's incredibly difficult to get a read on.
A long time Alabama commitment, Bo took an unofficial visit to Miami a couple of weekends before National Signing Day. The Canes hoped to bring him back on an official this past weekend but it appears an in-home from Nick Saban prevented that from happening. This is arguably Miami's biggest longshot on the entire board.
Having just turned 17, it's easy to see the appeal of this massive target for most coaches. Miami discovered him catching passes for their ballyhooed QB recruit Brad Kaaya. Miami worked hard to get Lenius on a visit but unfortunately that never took place between them and this Canadian native. Washington looks like the stiffest competition here.
Worton's brother JJ is a current standout WR at UCF which has long kept that program in the running. However, since his decommitment from Florida State, the leader for his services has been considered the program where his eldest brother Cody played at: The Florida Gators. Miami pushed for an official visit late and has recruited him on and off throughout the process. He grew up a Hurricane fan but it looks like this one will be tough for Miami to pull off.
Valentine's decision on Wednesday will mark the 4th commitment for him the cycle. The only question that remains is whether he picks a 4th team or rejoins the Canes. LSU came on strong at down the stretch and looks like the clear front runner for his services. Given the fact he's already decommitted from Lousiville, Florida, and Miami, nothing would surprise anyone in this recruitment but having him skip out on last weekends scheduled official visit to Miami is certainly not what fans wanted to see. Bringing Valentine back in the fold would be a huge boost to Miami's class.
Gaillard is living proof that persistence pays off. Miami has long been after Gaillard with very little to show for it. And then Charlie Strong took the Texas job. Dominoes started to fall and the end result was both of Gaillard's lead recruiters at Georgia left the program and left this longtime UGA commit looking for answers. He has since met with new UGA DC Jeremy Pruitt but still decided to take a visit to Miami despite the fact he has said the right things publicly. That is a big deal for Miami. He took a trip to Miami this past weekend with one of his HS coaches who is firmly in Miami's corner. There's some buzz building for the Canes here and some concern growing for Georgia but this one will come down to the wire. Will just "Georgia Bulldogs" tattoo keep him committed to UGA or will be join the likes if Rueben Foster, Marlin Lane, and Chester Brown as recruits who have tattoos for schools they never actually attended?
This is probably the most "out of the blue" option for Miami to finish with. The Canes recruited Featherston for much of the process but that contact died down in the fall and he ended up choosing Florida State instead. Fast forward to about a week ago and Featherston suddenly calls up the Miami staff. A 15 hour car ride with his family later and an official visit to Miami is suddenly taking place. Everything is so new and happened so quickly that it's hard to get a good read on what exactly Miami's chances are. One thing is for sure, if there's one candidate to pull a massive shocker in favor of the Canes, Featherston is the one showing all the signs of it.
Could Jackson be the 1st recruit to commit to all of the big 3 in recently memory? Cane fans certainly hope so. Jackson originally committed to Florida State before flipping to the Gators. Now, after 6-7 trips to Miami since the start of fall, the Canes are feeling pretty good about their odds. Jackson's father is firmly in Miami's corner but a last minute trip to see the Gator this past weekend leaves room for doubt. Al Golden was able to get in home with Jackson after the Gator visit which bodes well but as with any Immokalee kid, you never know until the ink is dry.