Welcome to Wednesday, guys! Here’s your Miami Hurricanes news
Chicago Bears eyeing Brad Kaaya
This has previously been reported, but another insider report by Matt Miller of Bleacher Report has the Chicago Bears doing heavy research into Miami Hurricanes QB Brad Kaaya.
I was in the secondary press box with the various NFL scouts who were in attendance for Pitt-Miami 2 weeks ago, and can confirm that the Bears had a scout there. The Bears have sent representatives to other Miami games as well, and continue to evaluate the junior QB.
As of today, Kaaya has made no decision whether he will stay at Miami for his senior year or leave early to the NFL draft. When asked about this on Tuesday, Miami coach Mark Richt said that he doesn’t talk about draft prospects with players until after the season is over.
Now, there’s always an element of skepticism when NFL draft evaluations come into play. Teams routinely mislead about which players they are heavily interested in. For the Bears to have been this transparent in their evaluation of Kaaya seems off to me. But, that’s admittedly my personal bias coming into play.
Either way, Kaaya will have a choice on his hands in the near future about his 2017 plans. And it seems that, like all Canes fans, the Chicago Bears will anxiously await news of that decision once Miami’s season has concluded.
Canes Hoops set to land 5-star G Lonnie Walker?
So, if you haven’t noticed, Miami Hoops coach Jim Larrañaga is the man. He’s just closed the best recruiting class in Canes Hoops history last year, getting 5-star F Dewan Huell, 4/5-star G Bruce Brown, 3-star C Rodney Miller (from powerhouse HS program Oak Hill Academy) and 3-star G Dejan Vasiljevich. That’s a great haul in recruiting for nearly any team, and a top 15 class overall.
Moving to 2017, Miami has already secured LOIs from 4-star PG Chris Lykes and 4-star C Deng Gak, with 3-star F Sam Waardenberg from New Zealand coming to Miami in January (he’ll RS this year and be in the mix next season).
But wait, there’s (potentially) more.
According to Jerry Meyer of 247sports, Miami is a finalist along with Arizona for 5-star SG Lonnie Walker.
Lonnie Walker recruitment is tight between Arizona and Miami. https://t.co/7eK8M9vJqY— Jerry Meyer (@jerrymeyer247) November 15, 2016
Walker previously named Miami and Arizona among his 5 finalists with Kentucky, Villanova, and Syracuse.
Getting Walker in this class would be Coach L’s greatest masterpiece in recruiting. Yeah, the 2016 class had local star Huell and dynamic combo guard Brown, but Walker is a consensus top 20 player in this class, and has elite skills. And, if you were to add him to the recent commitments in the last 2 years, Miami would be in a very, VERY good spot roster-wise. Some tweets:
Yo. Miami is in a head to head recruiting battle for a 5-star guard with Arizona.— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) November 15, 2016
L closes that one? Lifetime contract. 100% dead serious.
Just dreaming here, but Miami could have a 2 year recruiting haul of 5-star Walker, 5-star Huell, 4/5-star Brown, 4-star Gak, 4-star Lykes— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) November 15, 2016
And, that's on top of 3-star Miller from Oak Hill, and 3-star Waaardenberg who is THISCLOSE to 4-star status.— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) November 15, 2016
And, I didn’t even get to Vasiljevich, a dead-eye shooter from Australia. Or, yanno, 4-star G Ja’Quan Newton, who signed with Miami 3 years ago and is the starting PG on this team. Or, Anthony Lawrence, himself a 4-star last year. Or transfer Michael Gilmore, sitting out this season after coming over from VCU. Or Ebuka Izundu, who has already made strides and is the starting Center. Or.....
Now, back to Walker, if he’s going to sign with a school during the early-signing period for basketball, he’ll have to do so TODAY. Walker may be close to a decision, but that’s yet to be seen.
Now, take this for what it’s worth, but here’s a tweet about Walker’s choice:
Grain of salt. Mountain of salt. Pump the brakes. All of that. That would be HUGE IF TRUE, but, as the tweet itself said, it’s not official so....relax.
Our SBNation brothers at A Sea of Blue — the Kentucky site — wrote this about Walker potentially picking the Wildcats. And, here’s an article from an Arizona site that believes — as do 87% of the Crystal Ball predictions for Walker’s commitment — that he will be headed to the Wildcats of Tucson.
I’m sure you’re wondering what all the fuss is about and why I just gave you 300 words about Lonnie Walker. Well, wonder no more. Just watch the highlights and you’ll see why he’s so highly coveted.
We could have an answer about Walker’s collegiate destination today. He’s maintained for quite some time that he would like to make a decision and sign with a school in the fall during the early signing period. But, if he doesn’t pick a school and sign today, he’ll decide where he’ll be taking his talents later this season.
So, stay tuned.
Miami, Texas A&M finalizing deal for Football series
There was a report late last night that Miami and Texas A&M are finalizing a deal to play a home and home football series.
As Jackson said in the report, Miami is on the verge of securing their marquee non-conference game for 2022 and 2023 should this deal get finished.
AD Blake James has continued to do great work, and this would be another example thereof. Good stuff.
Spider 2 Y Banana. (But never Banana Pudding. That’s trash.)
Ricky Paolillo is back with another installment of ACC Power Rankings. Canes are....well, you’ll see when you click it.
Daniel Tummeley wrote about Miami going streaking, in a good way this time.
Who graded out as the 2nd best CB in the NFL in week 10? ProCanes CB LaDarius Gunter, that’s who.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald had this pack of Canes (and other) notes, which included the report of the Canes-aTm football series, and more.
Jackson had this earlier report on Tuesday that was Canes Football centric.
Matt Porter of the Palm Beach Post wrote about Mark Richt’s belief that most underclassmen can improve their NFL draft stock by staying in school
Porter also wrote about Miami’s preparation for NC State, and Richt’s thoughts on Butch Davis to FIU.
Christy Cabrera Chirinos of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel had this piece with plenty of notes from Miami’s Tuesday practice.
Cabrera Chirinos also wrote about Gus Edwards’ resurgence.
Miller Degnan also had this practice report from Tuesday with the Canes.
Lastly, Ahmmon Richards. Pretty good at football.
Miami’s Ahmmon Richards is averaging 21.53 yards/catch, 4th-best in nation & highest by a freshman since TY Hilton (24.71) in 2008.— David Hale (@DavidHaleESPN) November 15, 2016
If you missed yesterday’s News and Notes, the link is right below:
That’s it for today. Plenty to read and discuss. So, have at it, guys.