While this Sunday's U-Day event has had many names, but the intent is the same: get many of the top local talents on campus together, meet them, show them around, have them attend practice, and let them interact with some commits and build relationships that (hopefully) turn into commitments.
Without further preamble, let's look at the list of players who will be in attendance. And, remember, everything is subject to change.
Uncommitted Targets/Targets committed elsewhere
LB Tevon Coney, Palm Beach Gardens HS, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
The top target at LB, and one of the top players at this position nationally, Coney recently named his top 3 schools of Florida, Notre Dame, and Miami.
The Canes, long thought to be running far behind, made a move up into the top 3. The bad news? Coney has said he won't take an Official Visit to Coral Gables, and this weekend's visit will be his last to Miami. Whether he sticks to that or not remains to be seen, but with an announcement date tentatively scheduled for September, the hope is that he reconsiders.
OL Bar Milo, Chaminade Prep, West Hills, CA
If the name of the school isn't familiar, it should be. Freshman QB Brad Kaaya and K Matt Goudis both attended this school. And Milo, who blocked for Kaaya a season ago, seems like the next player from Chaminade to join the Canes. Milo's visit is being paid for by Commit Hayden Mahoney's family ($), and could easily include a commitment.
TE Devonaire Clarington, Booker T. Washington (?), Miami, FL
Clarington is a South Florida HSFB nomad. He's been to 4 schools in 2 years. Started at Southridge, then moved to Westminster, then Champagnat, now Booker T. Washington. All that transferring is sure to cause the NCAA to closely examine his transcripts come clearinghouse time. There was a rumor that he has yet to complete his transfer to BTW, so that bears watching as well.
You can't mention one without the other when it comes to this pair of elite players. The teammates, good friends, and Alabama commits, will be on Campus this Sunday. There have been rumblings that they could be reconsidering their commitments to Bama, but nothing definitive to this point. But, like with most players, getting them on campus is a positive for Miami. The real test will be getting the pair to return for an official visit in the future.
LATE EDIT: ATH Torrance Gibson, American Heritage HS, Plantation, FL
Torrance Gibson says he's going to U day at the University of Miami on Sunday.— Safid Deen (@Safid_Deen) August 9, 2014
Well, this one is surely a surprise. Torrance Gibson will be attending U-Day as well. Could this be a reaction to one of his former coaches (Kevin Beard) being on the staff now? Maybe. Could this signal that he's starting to consider playing a position other than QB?
I, and others, have been on record saying that Gibson's best and future position is Wide Receiver. He has ridiculous talent at that spot, and he hasn't even dedicated himself to it. Gibson is an All-American, future first round NFL draft pick at Receiver. And, if he's finally considering that possibility, Miami would be a great place for him to learn and ply his trade.
While it is too early to tell what exactly is going on in this situation, many eyes will be focused on this visit, and subsequent developments.
UPDATE: Apparently, Gibson may not be able to make it to U-Day
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Torrance Gibson, who earlier told me he was planning on visiting UM Sunday, texts he doesn't know if he'll be able to attend U Day.</p>— Safid Deen (@Safid_Deen) <a href="https://twitter.com/Safid_Deen/statuses/498226356904136705">August 9, 2014</a></blockquote>
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More updates as they're available.
DB Carlton Davis, Norland HS, Miami, FL
This talented playmaker from South Florida is high on the wish list for Miami. He is a good and physical player who could play Corner or Safety at the next level. And, with no DBs currently committed, Davis could be the first player on the board at that position for this class.
CB Antonio Howard, Norland HS, Miami, FL
No, the school isn't a typo. Howard shares the defensive backfield with Davis. Coming fresh off his commitment to West Virginia on Friday night, Howard will visit Miami on Sunday. He is a player with outstanding speed, having clocked hand-timed 4.28 in the 40 repeatedly, and winning the fastest man competitions at Miami, Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Auburn, and others this summer.
Howard was previously committed to Cincinnati, so, while his commitment to WVU happened recently, he may not be 100% solid.
ATH Jalen Julius, West Orange HS, Orlando, FL
Going to visit UM tomorrow with Dex— J2 Airlines (@AG_Pitbull) August 9, 2014
Julius, a one-time Florida commit, will be coming down with teammate and Canes commit RB Dexter Williams. There has been talk that Williams is trying to get the staff to take a flyer on Julius. It's possible that Julius could commit if offered this weekend.
BUT, there's a small issue that will loom large throughout this season: Julius reportedly wants to play offense. Miami would be interested in having him play defense. This was a sticking point with Dennis Turner in the last class. Will it matter to Julius? Will that keep us from offering? Could we change our tune, offer him on offense and move away from one of the current WR commits in favor of Julius? Only time will tell.
DE Jason Strowbridge, Deerfield Beach HS, Deerfield Beach, FL
With Jamie Gordinier, Richard McIntosh, and Scott Patchan currently committed at the DE position, there isn't much more room available in this class. However, Strowbridge is one of few players on the short list who could be added to that group.
He, like McIntosh, has a wide frame that could support more weight moving forward and transition to a pure 3-4 Defensive End. And, he has very good strength and uses his hands well at the point of attack. Would add both size and skill to this group, if committed.
OL Jalen Merrick, New Smyrna Beach HS, New Smyrna Beach, FL
Merrick, who visited Miami for a camp earlier this summer, is an interesting prospect. Many like him more than some of the players we have committed at this position currently and hope he joins this class.
A few weeks ago, following visits to South Carolina and Florida State, there was heavy chatter that he would commit to Florida, his presumed leader, at their Friday Night Lights camp. When that didn't happen, all his finalists, Miami included, felt their chances had increased dramatically. We'll definitely be on commit-watch for Merrick this upcoming weekend.
LB/S Rodrick Archer, South Plantation HS, Plantation, FL
Archer, whose cousin RB Jordan Scarlett recently committed to Miami, will be looking for a committable offer from Miami. He's a perfect hybrid defender with great speed and good instincts.
Currently committed to FAU (as was his cousin), Archer is the best player in their class at the moment. But, the picture below was taken before Scarlett flipped and Bruce committed. Can this weekend's event make it 3 for 3 from the picture? It's a possibility
— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) June 27, 2014
WR Freddie Pinder, Southridge HS, Miami, FL
One of the top receivers in the class of 2016, the 6'5" Pinder is being heavily recruited by the Hurricanes to round out their 2016 WR class. Yes, there are others (Michael Irvin Jr., Darnell Salomon, Binjimen Victor), but none are being as heavily pursued as Pinder. While he may not commit this weekend, he's a name that you should get to know and follow for the next couple of years. An elite playmaker.
CB Trayvon Mullen, Coconut Creek HS, Coconut Creek, FL
This tall corner (6'3") is one of the most highly sought after 2016 players in the country. He is already committed to play in the U.S. Army All-American game in 2 years (with 2 of his teammates, including the aforementioned Victor), and was a top performer at a number of camps, showcases, and combines this offseason. Another player whose name you should get to know.
DE Shavar Manuel, Blake HS, Tampa, FL
Manuel is another 2016 player, and arguably the best of the 3 listed. The 6'3", 262lb specimen has already been a productive high school player, compiling 36 TFLs and 29 sacks over his FRESHMAN AND SOPHOMORE seasons. And, for those who may be thinking "Yeah, but he plays against lower level/terrible competition", that isn't true. Blake plays 6A football (Florida's 3rd highest classification), and shares a District with perennial powerhouse Armwood. And, while his team may not be good, and opposing teams target Manuel with double and sometimes triple teams, he's found ways to be incredibly disruptive, as evidenced by the previously mentioned stats.
Manuel has offers from Alabama, Florida State, Florida, Clemson, and others, and will be highly pursued in recruiting.
He has the game to fit into the Miami 3-4 defensive scheme, and with his level of talent could see the field early on in his collegiate career. He's a 5-star talent, and ranked #2 in the country and #1 in Florida for the class of 2016. Yeah, he's kinda good.
- RB Jordan Scarlett
- RB Mark Walton - Has he reclassified? Is he still 2016? I've heard both, and, at this point, IDK.
- RB Dexter Williams
- WR Sam Bruce (2016)
- WR Emonee Spence
- WR Dredrick Snelson (2016)
- TE Bowman Archibald
- OL Brendan Loftus
- OL Tyler Gauthier
- OL Hayden Mahoney
- OL Tyree St. Louis
- DE Scott Patchan
- DT Ryan Fines
- LB Charles Perry
- LB Michael Pinckney (2016)
- K/P Drew Galitz
- QB Jack Allison
- RB Jordan Cronkrite (School event, don't overreact)
- S Tim Irvin (Ditto what I said about Cronkrite)
- S Jaquan Johnson - No, I don't know why not. Yes, he recently named FSU his leader. No, I can't tell you how to feel.
- LB Claude George
- WR Terrell Chatman