Lots to get to, so let's get to it.
Jordan Scarlett standing firm with the Canes
For a while, there was talk that Scarlett was wavering on his commitment. But, things may have changed. According to Peter Ariz of CanesInSight.com, this visit "couldn't have gone better" in regards to Scarlett. The biggest factor: Scarlett's connection with his host this weekend: Brad Kaaya.
The Man around the city pic.twitter.com/2XxfMJQroe— Manchild (@Famousscarlett) January 17, 2015
Brad Kaaya’s relationship with Scarlett could end up keeping him in the class. I’m more confident than I was heading into the weekend— Peter Ariz (@PeterAriz) January 18, 2015
Before this visit, I said switching the narrative and the momentum for Scarlett was the thing I would be watching most carefully. I am exceedingly pleased with this development.
Other commits still strong, too
Keeping commits at this point of the cycle is as important as getting new commits. Several players who were said to be firmly committed following this weekend: OL Tyree St. Louis, OL Tyler Gauthier, OL Hayden Mahoney, RB Mark Walton, DT Ryan Fines, newly committed DB Robert Knowles, and LB/DE Jamie Gordinier.
Official visits over. Had an amazing time in Miami! Can't wait till summer!— Ryan Fines (@RyanJFines) January 18, 2015
We Squaded Up At The On Our Official Visit To TheU pic.twitter.com/WaSQsf41Th— Mark Deuce Walton Jr (@F5_DEUCE) January 17, 2015
(Above picture (L-R): Davante Davis, Jordan Scarlett, RB coach "Ice" Harris, Antonio Callaway, and Mark Walton)
Canes now leading for Marcus Lewis
Lewis, an Under Armour All-American from Washington, D.C. loved his visit to Coral Gables. Lewis recapped the weekend in an interview with InsideTheU.com ($) and said that Miami now stands as his leader. Here's another article from the Washington Post after Lewis' visit to Coral Gables.
MIAMI LOVE— Marcus Lewis (@THE_NUMERO_UNO) January 17, 2015
MIAMI WAS ALL LOVE!! APPRECIATE THE GREAT TIME! MAYBE W'ELL MEET AGAIN #MIA✈️DC— Marcus Lewis (@THE_NUMERO_UNO) January 18, 2015
Lewis has already visited his other finalists Kentucky and Washington State, and isn't scheduled to take any other visits. That could change, however, now that Michigan has hired Jim Harbaugh. Lewis was once committed to the Wolverines, and could potentially take a visit there in the coming weeks. Lewis himself has said that this is not a certainty, but it remains a development worth watching.
Canes trending up for DT/OG Kendrick Norton
One of the most important targets remaining in this class, Kendrick Norton definitely enjoyed his visit to Miami.
— Kendrick Norton (@norton_kendrick) January 17, 2015
Norton is said to be thinking about committing to the Canes, but his parents have told him to continue the process so that he's sure of his decision. At this point, it's fair to think that Norton will end up in this class.
Moves coming at LB?
Outside of LB/DE commit Jamie Gordinier, Miami hosted 2 other LB prospects this weekend: OLB Saleem Brightwell (Paramus, NJ) and Kansas State OLB commit Mohamed Barry (Loganville, GA). Brightwell, a tall and thin athlete at 6'3" 205lbs, was pleasantly surprised by his visit to Coral Gables. Having only recently been moved up the recruiting board, Brightwell had not been to campus before this weekend. He enjoyed his weekend and could very well commit to the Canes.
Barry, who is committed to Kansas State, may be ripe for a flip.
It's bin a AMAZING visit at the U ! Lots of beautiful places and beautiful people! pic.twitter.com/0d2zxOmMBC— Mohamed Barry (@BarrySwavey) January 18, 2015
Obviously, saying 100% that he's going to flip is premature, but with a positive visit in a large recruiting group (who would presumably be your classmates on campus) could pay off in a few weeks.
Other blips on the radar
Quick hits from this weekend's visits, both to Coral Gables and elsewhere
- Booker T. Washington CB Davante Davis visited campus, but in all likelihood will end up elsewhere. He's currently committed to Texas, but like Tim Irvin before him, Davis may be considering a flip to Auburn.
- A late riser on the recruiting trail, DT Kevin Scott (Los Angeles, CA) was visited by Al Golden on the first day of the contact period, was given a scholarship offer, and scheduled an official visit to Miami for next weekend. The 6'5" 280lb Scott is being hotly pursued by several teams. Like most kids from LA, USC is thought to be the leader. A strong visit to Coral Gables may change that.
- WR commit Lawrence Cager visited Alabama this weekend and enjoyed it, but left still committed to Miami. Cager will be coming to Coral Gables for a visit next weekend.
- There's talk that WR commit Terrell Chatman may be close to flipping from Miami. He's my personal favorite WR in this class, so I hope that those rumors are unsubstantiated. Chatman is scheduled to visit Coral Gables on January 30th.
- After the decommitment of Dwayne Lawson, Miami has been looking for a QB in this class. And, after doing some searching, may have found one. Coming for a visit next weekend will be Evan Sherriffs (Jefferson, GA), a 6'6" 195lb player with great height and good developmental skills. As I said previously "don't be surprised if a lower ranked/unknown player from outside FL is the take for this class." Should Sherriffs, whose only current offers are Columbia and Virginia Military Institute, earn an offer and commit, that would most definitely be the case. But, before you go all doom and gloom, watch Sherriffs' highlights. You'll see some things you'll like.
- WR target Daylon Charlot (Patterson, LA) visited Alabama. Widely considered a heavy lean to the Tide, Charlot left uncommitted. He did, however, drop this cryptic tweet during his visit
Seems like everything is coming together— Daylon Charlot (@D_4Charlot) January 17, 2015
So, we'll see what that means in the future. Charlot is scheduled to visit Coral Gables on January 30th.
- Former RB commit Dexter Williams visited Notre Dame and greatly enjoyed his visit ($). Williams says he is still high on both Louisville and Miami, in addition to Notre Dame. If he wants to play with friend Jalen Julius, the pick will be Louisville. If he wants to be close to home, the pick will be Miami. If he wants to go with the late charging school, the pick will be Notre Dame. In short, I have no idea which way Williams is going as of this moment. But, with a renewed sense that Jordan Scarlett will be in this class, Miami's pursuit of Williams isn't as important as it was a few days ago.
- DE Arden Key is on campus for his OV today. He is scheduled to make an announcement on February 2nd. But, in my mind, his recruitment will go until NSD.
- Targets LB John Houston and DT Rasheem Green, both 5-star players and teammates from Junipero Serra HS in Gardena, CA, visited Southern Cal this weekend. Each player brought multiple family members with them (Houston was said to have brought his grandparents along for the visit) and were on campus with 9 USC commits. I think that Houston is 100% USC, while Green is still in play for Miami.
- DL target Austrian Robinson enjoyed his visit and moved the Canes up his leader board. Even with that positive move, Maryland still leads. In the end, I see Robinson signing with the Terrapins come National Signing day.
- DE target Russel Ude isn't likely to end up in this class. He's committed to Cal and will visit the Golden Bears next weekend. That visit should effectively end his recruitment.
- DL commit Richard McIntosh switched his OV to Miami from January 16th to January 23rd.
- Recruits who visited this weekend were able to see some of the new Adidas jersey designs that are being considered for next season. Reviews were positive for the designs, but no details could be released (obviously, Adidas is waiting for a scheduled unveiling at a later date for all uniforms and gear).
- Miami is scheduled to have 11 more official visitors in the coming weeks: 6 on January 23rd and 5 on January 30th. Further coverage of those visits and recruiting news as National Signing Day approaches