That's all you can say when you look at the success that 2016 Canes commits had in their preseason kickoff classic games this weekend. All over the state of Florida, players committed to Miami put up gaudy numbers, and amazing plays that are sure to end up on their HUDL highlights at the end of the season.
Who stood out, and what did they do? I'm glad you asked. Let's take a look:
QB Jack Allison
With the running game and special teams dominating early, it looked like the Palmetto Tigers weren't going to need QB Jack Allison (who has already signed a Grant in Aid Agreement with UM) to throw a pass.
But, with the team up 21-0 early in the 2nd Quarter, the future Canes signal caller got his chance to shine. Allison threw 2 TDs in a 4 minute stretch to close out the first half, then took the rest of the night off as his team cruised to a 45-7 win over Sarasota Booker (highlights in link).
RB Zack Moss
Moss and the Hallandale Chargers played their kickoff classic on Thursday night. And in that game, Moss wasted no time showcasing his skills against tougher competition than he played at his previous school.
On the first possession of the game, Moss ran for a 20 yd TD. Then, he threw up The U
On the next possession, he caught a short (5 yd?) TD pass from QB Tyler Huntley, a Utah commit, on a wheel route out of the backfield.
With his size and inside running ability, making plays from medium distance and catching the football show that Moss has developed over the past year. Which, yanno, is a good thing.
RB Travis Homer
I've said it before and I'll say it again: this kid is ELITE. And, on Friday night, he proved just that. Although his team lost their kickoff classic, Homer had a huge night, highlighted by this 99 yard TD run that shows a variety of skills. Power. Vision. Elusiveness. The ability to break tackles. Balance. Cutback ability. Oh, and the speed that makes him the weapon that he is.
See it for yourself.
Yeah. That'll work.
WR Sam Bruce
Already named to the U.S. Army All-American game, Sam Bruce is a player who has been well known in the recruiting world for years. And for good reason: you can't cover him, and he's explosive every time he touches the ball. In St. Thomas Aquinas' kickoff classic victory, Bruce had touchdowns of 44 and 49 yards, which you can see below.
And here's the end of the longer TD, with Bruce diving into the endzone from around the 5 yard line.
All told, Bruce had 10 catches for 120 yards and 2 TDs on the night. He played longer than I expected, as it took into the 3rd quarter for St. Thomas to pull away from Dillard. But....yeah. Sam Bruce is kinda good.
WR/TE Michael Irvin II
While Bruce and 2017 WR Trevon Grimes were putting up the biggest numbers in the St. Thomas Aquinas passing attack that totaled more than 350 yards, Irvin II was a solid secondary contributor for the Raiders.
He had several catches and some nice gains on the interior of the Dillard Defense. He was also a willing and dutiful blocker in running situations for St. Thomas.
WR Ahmmon Richards
And if you thought Bruce's numbers were gaudy, wait until you see Richards'.
In Wellington's kickoff classic, the 4-star WR went bonkers, ending the night with 5 catches for 202 yards (that's a 40.4 yards per catch average), 3 TDs, and an interception on defense. Here's the recap from the Palm Beach Post.
Game highlights (including a SIIIIICK catch that was called out of bounds) are below:
<iframe src='//www.hudl.com/embed/athlete/1693604/highlights/280725651' width='640' height='360' frameborder='0' allowfullscreen></iframe>
LB Shaq Quarterman
Quarterman, who like Jack Allison has already signed a Grant in Aid Agreement with Miami, had a stellar night. He lead his Jacksonville Oakleaf Knights to a blowout victory on Friday night.
And, he didn't just do that by stopping opposing players from getting into the endzone. He did that by getting into the endzone himself, opening the scoring for his team on the year with a pick-6!
Oakleaf was up 33-0 nearing halftime, and with lightning in the area, the game was called. But, Quarterman had several tackles, an interception, and a touchdown in less than a half of work, so we'll consider that a full day at the office for the highly touted linebacker.
CB Tyler Byrd
Byrd is going to play defense in college, but in high school he's playing both ways. And, he's doing it very well.
In Naples' kickoff classic, Byrd had 2 catches for more than 100 yards (both TDs), and 2 interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown, on defense.
LB Zach McCloud
Unfortunately, this last update isn't a happy one.
McCloud's Santaluces Chiefs got blown out by Palm Bay 34-0. But, the thing that caught my attention was the fact that McCloud seemed not to be playing much.
Miami verbal commit Zach McCloud (Santaluces HS LB) played the Chiefs first D possession of the 2nd half. Doesn't look hurt. @pbgametime
— Josh Hyber (@JoshHyber) August 21, 2015
So we waited to see what the deal was. Shortly after the game ended, we found out.
Santaluces loses preseason game 34-0 to Palm Bay. Miami commit Zach McCloud didn’t play the 4th quarter after an unsportsmanlike penalty.
— Josh Hyber (@JoshHyber) August 21, 2015
Anyone who plays or has played a sport knows the feeling of losing big. And, quite honestly, it sucks. Unfortunately for Zach McCloud, he handled that situation poorly. He did, however, apologize for his actions.
Last night I let my emotions get the best of me and let down my team. Lesson learned, I'll never let that happen again.
— Zach McCloud (@chief__20) August 21, 2015
Unsportsmanlike penalties with ejections are never a good thing. But, McCloud seems to be contrite about his actions, and hopefully will learn from this incident going forward.
And, just so we're clear, I am not advocating that we pull McCloud's scholarship, or anything of that sort. We all make mistakes in life, and hopefully this is one that McCloud can learn from and use as a stepping stone to healthy and consistent anger management.
All told, #Swag16 commits had more than 1,000 yards of total offense, and a dozen touchdowns on opening weekend of the HSFB season. And, that's with more players still to hit the field.
The trio from Gulliver Prep, WR Dionte Mullins, DE/TE Joseph Jackson, and S Cedrick Wright (and their 2017 teammate and Cane commit Robert Burns) will hit the field tonight. As well as Reginald Henderson from Clewiston (an underrated recruit due to missing 2 years of his HS career with academic issues) not having a preseason classic.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'll take this group of commits regardless of rankings. Because, they have the talent to dominate games (as they have shown this week), and project well to the next level.
This is the first of many weeks where Canes commits will dominate the headlines.
And, in the coming years, they'll do that domination wearing the Orange and Green of the University of Miami.