Hello again, friends! It’s time to talk about some Canes Crootin. With the team returning home after trip to VT and ND, Miami will host the 2nd set of official visitors for the 2017 recruiting cycle. This 5-man group has 4 commits and one of the top targets for Miami on the recruiting trail. Let’s meet them:
Welcome to the U
BEFORE we get to this week’s visitors, here’s a late edit.
Last night, LB De’Andre Wilder (Carol City, FL) committed to Miami. Wilder is a 6’2” 197lb backer with speed to burn. Here’s our Welcome to the U piece:
And here’s some info regarding his speed:
Huge get for Miami with Wilder. I'll take that kinda speed on my defense any day. Can't teach that— Andrew Ferrelli (@Andrew_Ferrelli) November 4, 2016
In case you’re wondering, 10.7 in the 100 for a HS kid is very, VERY fast. That’s a State Championship time in many classifications.
More on this later. But now, let’s get to today’s Recruiting Radar updates:
4-star WR Jeremiah Holloman. Much like Anthony McFarland during the first official visit weekend, Holloman is a top target and the only uncommitted prospect visiting Miami this week. This 6’2” receiver is a dynamic talent and Miami could put his talents to great use. As you can see from the cover photo to this article, Holloman is friends with 4-star commit DeeJay Dallas; the two played together on the Cam Newton All-Stars 7-on-7 team for 2 years, and have been friends for longer than that. Miami will obviously look to lean on that relationship to make a move with Holloman.
As far as Holloman’s recruitment, Georgia and Tennessee are widely thought to be the teams battling at the top, with Georgia having an edge currently. A solid visit, and plenty of peer recruiting from Dallas, could see Miami move up the list.
And, if you’re wondering if Holloman is good, he’s a U.S. Army All-American. He’s slated to play in that game before enrolling early at his selected college. Starting LB Shaq Quarterman did the same last year. So, uh, yeah. He’s good. See for yourself.
4-star ATH DeeJay Dallas. You already know this name, I’m sure. Dallas, a multi-talented athlete who could see time on offense and defense in college, is the vocal ambassador for the Canes’ 2017 recruiting class. He wears that title with pride, and is frequently seen on Twitter openly recruiting for Miami. When you consider that Twitter is only a small segment of what Dallas is probably doing for peer-level recruiting, and you can dream about what ELSE he’s doing by talking to players, group texts, and other.
Moving to his football talents, Dallas, an early enrollee, is good. Very good. Damn good. He plays QB in high school, but projects as a skill player in college. RB. WR. CB. S. Return. That kind of thing. In short, he’s a baller and you should be excited that he’s coming here. Check the highlights:
3-star OL Zalontae Hillery. This 6’6” 280lb OT is teammates with Dallas at Glynn Academy in Brunswick, GA. Hillery made a great impression at the inaugural Paradise Camp in July, and committed to Miami on the spot when offered. Obviously, his relationship with Dallas, who was already committed at this time, played a factor in Hillery’s decision to commit.
Hillery has good size and decent skills. He’s not a day 1 starter at Miami, but he has skills and could develop into a good player in time. Blocking for Dallas has worked out for Hillery in HS. No reason to think that won’t continue at Miami...but after Hillery has a mango season or two to develop further. Highlight time:
3-star OL Zach Dykstra. Another early enrollee, Dykstra has been committed to Miami since April. The Spirit Lake (IA) native picked Miami over local schools Iowa and Iowa State, both of whom build their OL with local prospects.
Dykstra played OT in high school, but his future could be at guard. Iowa HS is known for grooming good Offensive Linemen — again, look at what Iowa has done for the better part of 60 years building their OL with local players — and Dykstra fits that bill. Check out the highlights for proof:
3-star TE Brian Polendey. The last player on the visitor list is yet another early enrollee for Miami. Polendey plays at Denton (TX) Guyer, a heavy run team that throws the ball less than 10 times a game. For that reason, Polendey doesn’t have eye-popping stats, but he’s got good size at 6’5” 230lbs, and solid athleticism. He attended the inaugural Paradise Camp and got to work with Jeremy Shockey during drills, so that’s a good thing.
Polendey’s family has moved around the country due to work obligations. Originally from Washington state, the Polendeys moved to TX, and have subsequently relocated to Tampa. Brian is finishing up HS in TX, before enrolling at Miami in January. Highlights are right here:
That’s your group of Official Visitors for this week. Here’s hoping for a Canes win, and a GREAT visit for Holloman to get into the picture moving forward.
Your questions. My answers. Let’s go.
@TheStateOfTheU does devonta smith end up a cane on signing day?— Justin (@JustinPorupski) November 3, 2016
@TheStateOfTheU who do the canes get Holloman or Devonta Smith?— CaneGang (@AndreRoberts9) November 3, 2016
So, we’re talking about WR recruiting. The top 2 targets are Holloman, who is visiting this weekend as previously discussed, and 5-star Devonta Smith. Both are All-American talents, and players who would surely see immediate playing time as freshmen at Miami.
Andrew Ivins of InsideTheU, 247sports’ Miami Hurricanes site, had Smith, not Holloman, in his October article projecting the final version of the Canes’ recruiting class. With Smith’s previous commitment to Georgia — yes, you guessed it, when Mark Richt was the Bulldogs’ coach — and Holloman’s strong connection to Georgia right now, there is a foundation for that thought.
However, I’m going to go with Holloman due to the strong connection with DeeJay Dallas, and the immediate playing time Miami can offer. I could be wrong, but gun to my head, I’m saying Miami gets Holloman in this class and not Smith.
@TheStateOfTheU what is the situation with burns and do you think his status affects McFarland's decision— bigboi (@Canefan4life505) November 3, 2016
I’ll give the quick recap on Burns: 4-star recruit, UnderArmour All-American....and has less than 20 carries in the HSFB season. He’s been held out of games with injuries, and other games for no disclosed reason. When asked about Burns’ status, his HS coach has routinely ended interviews by curt statement, or simply walking away.
A player of Burns’ caliber should not have less than 20 carries and 4 kickoff returns as the entirety of their senior year production. For McFarland, who broke his leg in his team’s preseason classic, a lack of stats makes sense. For Burns, not so much.
To the second part of the question, I think that McFarland and Burns are independent variables in this recruiting class. They will decide what is best for them in a vacuum. McFarland has a longstanding relationship with Mark Richt and Thomas Brown from their time at Georgia, and several of Burns’ former HSFB teammates and a coach (staffer Jorge Baez) are all at Miami now. They don’t need to look at each other for reasons to — or not to — pick Miami.
@TheStateOfTheU Boss any chance we land slaton? We need these oline BAD— champainpaki (@champainpaki) November 3, 2016
4-star OL Tedarrel Slaton is a local player (American Heritage) that Miami could surely use. He recently said he’ll take official visits, but not to Miami. Now, before you get super upset, Slaton lives about a 45 minute ride from Coral Gables, so he could visit unofficially at any time. But, lacking plans to OV is not a good sign in general.
As of now, with the way things stand, I don’t think Slaton is coming here. But, I openly hope that I’m wrong on this one.
I wrote about this before, and you can check that piece out here. That piece is from May, so some of the names on there are no longer committed.
My answer, however, remains the same: DT Jon Ford is the most underrated player in this class. He’s 6’5” 275lbs with active hands and aggression. He’s better than his ranking.
Others for consideration:
- DE Jonathan Garvin, who had a senior season of 97 tackles, 59 tackles for loss, 18 sacks, and several forced and recovered fumbles. IN 9 GAMES.
- QB N’Kosi Perry. Yeah, he’s a 4-star talent, but all he’s done is lead Ocala (FL) Vanguard to the #2 ranking in the 6A classification, broken multiple records set by Daunte Culpepper, been compared to Usain Bolt, and has Vanguard in the conversation for the best team in the State. That’ll work.
@TheStateOfTheU commit you are most concerned about losing right now? Kids we are recruiting hard but don't hear a lot about?— Zach Neilson. (@zneilson20) November 3, 2016
Most concerned about losing 4-star OT Navaughn Donaldson. Not that there’s a team that’s certainly put themselves in position to flip him, my apprehension comes from the fact that Miami DESPERATELY needs OTs on this team. We have none.
Donaldson is a beast, and would almost certainly start at one OT spot next year. Need to keep him in this class.
I don’t have information about that 2nd question so I won’t make stuff up just to sound smart.
@TheStateOfTheU how much help can we expect from this class on the o-line?— Chris Wright (@ckwright5110) November 3, 2016
Good follow up to the previous question.
The amount of help depends on the class. Donaldson will start as a freshman at an OT spot. There are other targets Miami is working on — UF commit Kai-Leon Herbert, Tedarrel Slaton, and LSU commit Austin Deculus (who just said he’ll take an OV to Miami in the future) — who would be upgrades along the line.
Get one or more of those guys to go with Donaldson, and you’re cooking with fire. The other OL commits in this class — Hillery and Dykstra, both of whom are visiting this week — could be in the conversation, but they profile as players who will need time to get game ready. That’s no shade, by the way. Most OL need development time when jumping to CFB from HS.
And, don’t forget about LSU transfer George Brown, Jr. He’s on campus and will be eligible next year. That’s another 4-star caliber player being added to the OL group next year. That’s big, too.
So, as for now, let’s say there will be some help on the OL, with more potentially coming further down the line if Miami can hit on some of the other targets on the board or get Herbert or Deculus to flip.
That’s it for today’s recruiting radar. Here’s the last OV preview with mailbag (that mailbag was one of the best I’ve ever done. You should read it).
Keep the conversation going in the comments below.