The longest running All-American game for HS athletes, the U.S. Army All-American game takes center stage this week. Following last week's Under Armour All-America game, this is the official end of the 2015 HSFB season, and leads directly into the sprint to National Signing Day 2016.
The game, played annually in San Antonio, TX, will take place on Saturday, January 9th at Noon CST (1PM Eastern) and be televised nationally on NBC. A couple Canes commits, and several other targets, will be playing in this game. And they are:
LB Shaq Quarterman. This talented and physical linebacker has already signed a Grant-in-aid agreement with Miami, and is set to enroll next week. He will bring a great blend of intellect and physicality to both the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and to the University of Miami roster. Quarterman, who has been committed to Miami for more than a year, is as solid a commit as they come. Quarterman will wear #25 for the East team.
Miami-bound Shaq Quarteman out here practicing undertaker-inspired celebrations. https://t.co/NiMrkl6rvy— Rob Cassidy (@Cassidy_Rob) January 5, 2016
CB Tyler Byrd. A player who has seen his stock rise throughout the beginning of All-American Bowl practice week, Byrd is another longtime Canes commit. He's maintained that he's steadfastly committed to Miami, and that's a good thing. He is said to be among the fastest players at the U.S. Army All-American game, and he continues to play to a high level. While some think Byrd's future may be at Safety, he may challenge for immediate playing time at a very thin Cornerback position for the Canes in 2016. Byrd will wear #17 for the East team.
WR Ahmmon Richards. The top target for Miami at this game in my opinion, Richards is a multitalented WR that Miami could desperately use in this class. Richards, who was once committed to Miami, has scheduled an Official Visit to Coral Gables for January 15th. Richards has said that Mark Richt is showing him plenty of attention ($), and I expect that to continue. This will be a recruitment that goes all the way to NSD.
DB Jamel Cook. This gigantic (6'4") DB is committed to Florida State. But, that hasn't deterred Miami from making him a top target to close this class. He, like Richards, will be on campus in Coral Gables for an OV on January 15th. If Miami is going to make a move with Cook, that's the time.
CB Malek Young. One of 3 All-Americans from Coconut Creek HS that Miami is targeting, Young is probably the one with whom they have the best chance. He was committed to Georgia when Richt was their coach, and decommitted shortly after his firing. Miami has a great need for ready-to-play CBs in this class, and while he might not be a superstar from day 1, Young fits that bill. His OV to Coral Gables is scheduled for January 22nd, the same week Canes commit and fellow U.S. Army All-American Tyler Byrd will be taking his visit. Young will also visit Clemson and South Carolina before National Signing Day.
ATH Mecole Hardman. The good news is that the 5-star Hardman has showcased his talents well on both sides of the ball through the first 2 days of practice for this All-American game. The bad news is that he eliminated Miami from consideration, and just named Alabama his leader. So....he's not coming here. Sorry guys.
CB Trayvon Mullen. The 2nd Coconut Creek player in this game and on this list, Mullen is a ready-to-play CB who would undoubtedly see the field from day 1 at Miami. But...Mullen just trimmed his list to 5, and Miami didn't make that cut. So, he's not coming either. Sorry x2.
WR Binjimen Victor. The 3rd Coconut Creek player in this game and a dynamic 6-4 receiver, Victor is as highly pursued as any player in America right now. But, of the teams pursuing the All-American, Miami hasn't been linked with serious interest from Victor's side in quite a while. And, as of now, he isn't likely to visit Coral Gables before National Signing Day. So, he's not coming either. Sorry x3.
WR Donnie Corley. Another receiver on this list, Corley, who only received a Miami offer recently, has changed things in his recruitment. He has canceled his future visits, and is likely to announce a commitment at the U.S. Army All-American bowl on Saturday. Corley is said to be down to Michigan State and Ohio State. So, he's not coming here either. Sorry x4.
CB Lavert Hill. Hill, who is the aforementioned Corley's HS teammate, is a player that Miami has been after for a while. He received his offer nearly 18 months ago after an Al Golden football camp. While Miami is still integrated in Hill's recruitment, he's said to be reconsidering taking his OV on January 29th. But, for now, it's still on the schedule and Miami is going to stay engaged in this recruitment.
DT Raekwon Davis. One of the biggest (and best) players in this class, 6'8" 335lb DT Raekwon Davis is definitely an elite player. He has the size and strength and skills from the interior of the defensive line that make any football fan want them on their team. Davis, an Alabama commit, recently received an offer from Miami. And, he's reportedly considering taking an OV to Coral Gables after the dead period ends. As I mentioned last week, Davis once thought about decommitting from Alabama, so there might be a chance to flip him if his feelings haven't changed.
BUT, before we go getting ahead of ourselves, let's see Davis schedule his OV first. At this point, his only OV on the books for January is a trip to Mississippi State on January 15th, which leaves the 22nd and 29th wide open for Davis to travel elsewhere, maybe even Miami. If he does in fact schedule and take that OV, there's at least A CHANCE he comes here. And, at this point, that's good enough for me.
In the above link Raekwon Davis (6:21) and Ahmmon Richards (13:50) talk about U.S. Army All-American week, recruiting, and more.
There are other players in this game who have been offered by Miami, but they have even less interest/connection than the above listed players who have recently eliminated Miami from contention.
Other Blips on the Radar
This one is slightly complicated, but here goes:
DT D'Andre Christmas-Giles recently received a Miami offer. Then, he put out a top 5 list, and Miami wasn't on it. THEN, he deleted the tweet with his top 5 list and said he was reconsidering everything. THEN he said he was going to release a top 10. THEN, on Tuesday, Christmas-Giles released that top 10, which is in no particular order, and said he'll release his top 3 on the morning of National Signing Day.
The good news is that Miami is in that top 10. And, Christmas-Giles says he's "wide open". But....a top 10 this close to NSD, and the fluctuating nature of these recent announcements is...uh....odd. So, yeah. There's that. If you're wondering why Miami (or any team) would put up with this kind of indecision, I direct your attention once again to Christmas-Giles' HUDL highlights.
Another player Miami is recruiting is Miami High WR Keyshawn "Pie" Young. Recently on a local radio show, Young said that Miami is still in contention.
.@youngpie_1: "I have visits set for Louisville, USC & Tennessee. Also, Miami is on my board."— SFHSSports (@SFHSSports) January 5, 2016
With a need for players at WR, Young's talents could be very welcomed on the Canes' roster. See his HUDL highlights for visual evidence of his abilities
Yup. Still great.
That's it for now.