One of the biggest stories for Miami Hurricanes recruiting over the last 2 weeks was the Canes’ pursuit of 5-star WR Jerry Jeudy. I mean, you can extend that out to the entire cycle, if you like, because Jeudy is a special talent.
After missing on 4-star WR Jeremiah Holloman, I wrote about Miami’s options at WR, which included the aforementioned Jeudy (Deerfield Beach, FL)
Recruiting Radar: 4-star Holloman picks Georgia, but #Canes still have plenty of WR targets. https://t.co/aA2VIfaEXf pic.twitter.com/vo67E31itl— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) December 2, 2016
Despite his commitment to Alabama, Miami did not stop recruiting Jeudy through the entire 2017 cycle. That contact paid off partly when Jeudy elected to take an Official Visit to Coral Gables last weekend. With his plans to be an early enrollee well known, getting Jeudy on campus was a huge development. It meant Miami was in the picture. Not at the front, but in the picture.
Early on Monday, Jeudy tweeted the following, which gave Miami fans some hope that he might flip to the Canes
Thinking hard— JJ⁴ (@jerryjeudy) December 12, 2016
That hope was dashed on Monday evening, however, when Jeudy tweeted that, despite Miami’s best efforts to flip him from commitment, he would be sticking with Alabama.
Next Chapter..... pic.twitter.com/IQVV64h3G8— JJ⁴ (@jerryjeudy) December 12, 2016
Jeudy is the kind of talent that Miami needs on the roster, this year or any year. Pairing him with Ahmmon Richards at WR would have been great and added a dynamic playmaker to the roster.
While this is a loss on the recruiting trail for Mark Richt and company, this really falls back on the Al Golden regime. It has been widely reported that Golden NEVER CONTACTED JEUDY for recruiting purposes. The fact that Miami didn’t contact a player of Jeudy’s caliber, ESPECIALLY one that’s local, when they were throwing out 300+ offers a year is inexcusable. That in and of itself is a fireable offense, in my opinion. But, par for the course for the Golden staff.
Mark Richt and WR coach Ron Dugans did everything they could to get into the game with Jeudy. It didn’t end up paying off with a commitment, but their efforts should be commended, especially when you consider how far behind the previous staff left them.
What’s next at WR?
The WR board is really down to 2 guys as of now: 5-star WR Devonta Smith (Amite, LA) and 3-star WR Mike Harley (Ft. Lauderdale, FL).
Harley is committed to West Virginia, but Miami is making a push for him to flip to the Canes. Harley has said that the winner of the Russell Athletic Bowl will be the team he picks, but I don’t buy it. I’ve said since he finally got offered that Harley would be flipping to Miami, and I’m sticking with that, bowl result be damned.
Smith is the top prospect Miami could get at this position now. He’s very similar to Jeudy in size, speed, and skill. He’s a 5-star player for a reason, and he’d add a similar dynamic element to the roster that Miami could have had with Jeudy. Smith’s recruitment has been all over the place, but Miami is still in the fight, along with LSU and Alabama.
Outside of Harley or Smith, Miami would need to look at new offers or other flips to add to the class at WR. It’s possible they could look to the JUCO ranks, or to a lower tier P5 commit to try and add numbers here, but the Canes likely don’t want to sacrifice quality just to increase quantity at WR in this class.
Failing in the attempt to flip Jeudy hurts Miami, to be sure, but all is not lost. There are WRs committed in this class (Kevaughn Dingle, Evidence Njoku, and ATH DeeJay Dallas could play offense as well), and targets like Smith and Harley would add the kind of depth and talent Miami needs.
Now, it’s up to the staff not to dwell on losing out on Jeudy, and make moves with Harley, Smith, and any other player they’re interested in adding to this class.
Onward we go.