Recruiting can be a weird business. And, another instance of that weirdness happened on Thursday when 4-star RB Jordan Stevenson was denied admission to the University of Wisconsin.
This came a month after Badgers Coach Paul Chryst said that Stevenson would be fully cleared for fall camp, and potentially challenge for playing time in 2015. And, while it happens from time to time, having a player academically denied by any institution is a red flag that other teams will have to clear before moving toward bringing that player to their institution and team.
Stevenson, a 5'9" 200lb RB from Dallas, TX, was a top 20 recruit at his position in the class of 2015. He is a dynamic player who was dominant over the course of his HS career. Stevenson ran for more than 5,300 yards and 60 touchdowns over the course of 3 varsity seasons. And, as impressive as those numbers are, more impressive is the fact that 4500 of those yards and 49 touchdowns came in Stevenson's junior and senior seasons.
More of a speedy, shifty, and elusive runner than a physical powerhouse, Stevenson is at his best when he's in the open field. He has great balance and vision, and made defenders at the high school level look foolish when tasked with tackling him in space.
Stevenson has said that he wants to decide his collegiate destination by the end of next week, and enroll by the beginning of August, so he's on campus for the start of Fall Camp. That means that the Canes, and many other teams in pursuit of this talented playmaker, will have to make a push quickly to secure his services. Alabama, Miami, South Carolina, Nebraska, Louisville, Tennessee, and Florida are among the teams who have reportedly contacted Stevenson after his release. Stevenson has said he hopes to speak to all interested teams within the next 24 hours.
For Miami, after going through the majority of the 2015 recruiting cycle with 4 RBs committed, the only one who made it to campus was Mark Walton. And, while Walton is an incredibly talented player who figures to be in line for playing time as a true freshman, adding a player of Stevenson's caliber to the RB position group can only be considered a positive.
While adding Stevenson could help add depth to the 2015 class (and the Hurricanes roster), adding him to the team could potentially impact the RB position for the 2016 class. As I previously wrote, Miami has a conundrum at RB in this class similar to what we faced last year, with 4 RBs currently committed. If Stevenson were to choose to enroll at Miami, it stands to reason that one, or more, of the 2016 RB commits decided to look elsewhere for his collegiate destination.
In my opinion, Miami should put the full court press on Jordan Stevenson. His potential to add depth and talent to the roster is too great to pass up on the possibility of players coming in the future.
Of course, you're wanting to see Stevenson's abilities for yourselves. I've included high HUDL highlights below for your viewing pleasure. (Look at the move he pulls at 30 seconds and laugh. He's so good)
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