With Miami debuting the new premier recruiting event this weekend, I just have 3 words to say:
Welcome to Paradise!!
The brain-child of New Canes Head Coach Mark Richt, who started Dawg Night at Georgia several years ago, Paradise is a premium recruiting event for elite players. These players are largely hand selected and invited by the Canes coaches. There will be top-tier players from the 2016 thru 2020 classes on campus to compete against each other, interact with each other and get to know the Miami coaching staff.
According to the Mark Richt Football Camps website, here are the itineraries for Paradise, which will run Friday for underclassmen, and Saturday for Upperclassmen and selected underclassmen.
Friday Paradise Itinerary (Subject to change)
|12 Noon-1:00 PM||Registration & Testing (Height, Weight, Wingspan, 40, Broad Jump)|
|1:15 PM||Camp Meeting|
|1:20-1:40 PM||Offense Agility Drills / Defense Form Running|
|1:40 PM||Water Break|
|1:45-2:05 PM||Defense Agility Drills / Offense Form Running|
|2:05 PM||Water Break|
|2:10-2:40 PM||Fundamentals by Position / Group Routes on Air|
|2:40 PM||Water Break|
|2:45-3:05 PM||One on Ones|
|3:20 PM||Camp Meeting|
|3:30 PM||Camp Concludes / Lunch available at dining hall|
Saturday Paradise Itinerary (Subject to Change)
|5:00-6:45 PM||Registration & Testing (Height, Weight, Wingspan, 40, Broad Jump)|
|6:50 PM||Camp Meeting (CMR/Michael Irvin)|
|7:00-7:20 PM||Offense Agility Drills / Defense Form Running|
|7:20 PM||Water Break|
|7:25-7:45 PM||Defense Agility Drills / Offense Form Running|
|7:45 PM||Water Break / Segment Meetings with NFL guest coaches|
|7:45-8:15 PM||Fundamentals by Position / Group Routes on Air|
|8:15 PM||Water Break|
|8:20-8:40 PM||One on Ones|
|8:55 PM||Camp Meeting (CMR/Ray Lewis)|
|9:00 PM||Camp Concludes / Pickup Box Snack|
Friday will be good, and several upperclassmen will be arriving to Coral Gables. But the main event is Saturday. As I speculated after the announcement of Paradise, several former Canes players will be guest coaches at this event. As you can see from Saturday's itinerary, Michael Irvin and Ray Lewis will be guest speakers. Miami has started the announcements of the other former Canes who will be joining that pair at Saturday's camp, with the first name revealed to be former 1st round pick TE Jeremy Shockey.
Excited to announce one of our guest coaches for Saturday's PARADISE Camp. Nat'l champ & 1st rd TE Jeremy Shockey! pic.twitter.com/JOWhIzZUUE— Mark Richt (@MarkRicht) July 12, 2016
Now, the itineraries and coach announcements are good, but Paradise is a recruiting event, so obviously the players attending this camp are the most important part. And, from all accounts, this first-of-its-kind event in Coral Gables will be loaded with talent. Actually, let me say that again: Paradise is going to be L-O-A-D-E-D with talent.
How loaded is the tentative list of attendees? Take a look for yourself.
*lists of attendees per 24/7, Rivals, Scout, and CanesInSight reports
|Position||Name||Height/Weight||School||Commitment (if any)|
|QB||N'Kosi Perry||6'4" 180lbs||Vanguard (Ocala, FL)||Miami|
|QB||Cade Weldon||6'2" 220lbs||Jefferson (Tampa, FL)||Miami|
|RB||Robert Burns||5'11" 210lbs||Gulliver Prep (Miami, FL)||Miami|
|RB||Anthony McFarland||5'8" 192lbs||DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, MD)|
|RB||Darrian Felix||5'10" 170lbs||Fort Myers (Fort Myers, FL)|
|RB||Bentavious Thompson||5'11" 190lbs||Southridge (Miami, FL)||Miami|
|WR||Jerry Jeudy||6'1" 190lbs||Deerfield Beach (Deerfield Beach, FL)|
|WR||Devonta Smith||6'1'" 190lbs||Amite (Amite, LA)|
|WR||Evidence Njoku||6'4" 185lbs||Wayne Hills (Wayne Hills, NJ) *just transferred*|
|WR||Kevaughn Dingle||6'1" 180lbs||Carol City (Carol City, FL)||Miami|
|WR||Rodney Scott||6'1" 190lbs||Southridge (Miami, FL)||Miami|
|WR||Mike Harley||5'10" 160lbs||St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)||West Virginia|
|ATH||DeeJay Dallas||5'10.5" 195lbs||Glynn Academy (Brunswick, GA)||Miami|
|ATH||C.J. Cotman||5'10.5" 175lbs||Catholic Central (Clearwater, FL)|
|TE||Brian Polendey||6'5" 230lbs||Guyer (Denton, TX)||Miami|
|TE||Kemore Gamble||6'3" 220lbs||Southridge (Miami, FL)||Florida|
|OL||Navaughn Donaldson||6'6" 330lbs||Central (Miami, FL)||Miami|
|OL||Zach Dykstra||6'4" 285lbs||Spirit Lake (Spirit Lake, IA)||Miami|
|OL||Marquis Hayes||6'6" 320lbs||Pattonville (Pattonville, MO)|
|OL||Kadeem Telfort||6'7" 300lbs||Booker T. Washington (Miami, FL)||Florida|
|OL||Alex Leatherwood||6'6" 327lbs||Washington (Pensacola, FL)||Alabama|
|OL||Adrian Ealy||6'7" 290lbs||University Lab (Baton Rouge, LA)|
|OL||Zalon'tae Hillery||6'6" 275lbs||Glynn Academy (Brunswick, GA)|
|DL||Deonte DJ Johnson||6'5" 240lbs||Luther Burbank (Sacramento, CA)|
|DL||Bryan Jones||6'5" 240lbs||Madison Prep Academy (Baton Rouge, LA)||Ole Miss|
|DL||Owen Carney||6'4" 230lbs||Central (Miami, FL)|
|LB||Christopher Allen||6'4" 234lbs||University Lab (Baton Rouge, LA)|
|LB||Waynmon Steed||6'0" 220lbs||Central (Miami, FL)||Miami|
|LB||Bradley Jennings Jr||6'2" 218lbs||Sandalwood (Jacksonville, FL)||Florida State|
|LB||De'Andre Wilder||6'2" 190lbs||Carol City (Carol City, FL)|
|CB||Christopher Henderson||6'1" 190lbs||Columbus (Miami, FL)||Miami|
|CB||Trajan Bandy||5'9" 190lbs||Columbus (Miami, FL)||Oklahoma|
|CB||Marco Wilson||6'1" 170lbs||American Heritage (Plantation, FL)|
|CB||Brad Stewart||6'0" 185lbs||McDonough 35 (New Orleans, LA)|
|CB||Randall Haynie||6'0" 175lbs||Cardinal Gibbons (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)||Vanderbilt|
|CB||Antwan Collier||6'3" 180lbs||Southridge (Miami, FL)|
|CB||Shawn Davis||6'0" 190lbs||Southridge (Miami, FL)|
|S||Billy Gibson||6'1" 190lbs||Southridge (Miami, FL)||Miami|
|S||Amari Carter||6'2" 175lbs||Palm Beach Gardens (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)|
|S||Brian Edwards||6'3" 170lbs||St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Laduerdale, FL)|
|S||Derrick Smith||6'3" 190lbs||Trinity Catholic (Orange Park, FL)|
Of the 2016 attendee list, there are 13 players currently committed to Miami. Of those committed players, DeeJay Dallas is the vocal leader, and expect him to be recruiting the uncommitted or otherwise committed guys very, very hard throughout this weekend.
To my mind, the top targets of the non-Canes commits on the above list are:
- 5-star OL Alex Leatherwood (Bama commit; probably a longshot)
- 4-star CB Trajan Bandy (teammates with Christopher Henderson and self-professed lifelong Canes fan)
- 4-star CB Marco Wilson (Father Chad played CB at Miami; brother Quincy plays CB at Florida)
- 4-star WR Jerry Jeudy (should be 5-star soon; elite player)
- 5-star WR Devonta Smith (was committed to UGA when Richt coached there; elite like Jeudy)
- 4-star RB Anthony McFarland (Canes on him hard; close with RB coach Brown; with Maryland and Bama in top 3)
- 4-star DE Deonte DJ Johnson (very good player from California has Canes in front; loves adidas and has said he wants to play for an adidas-sponsored school in college)
- 3-star CB/S Brian Edward (height, length, fluid hips in coverage; underrated IMO)
|Year||Position||Name||Height/Weight||School||Commitment (if any)|
|2018||QB||Casey Thompson||6'1" 184lbs||Southmoore (Moore, OK)|
|2020||QB||Max Johnson||6'2" 165lbs||Oconee County (Bogart, GA)|
|2018||RB||James Cook||5'11" 190lbs||Central (Miami, FL)||Florida State|
|2018||RB||Camron Davis||5'11" 191lbs||Carol City (Carol City, FL)||Oregon State|
|2018||RB||Christian Turner||5'10" 188lbs||Buford (Buford, GA)|
|2018||RB||James Graham||6'1" 180lbs||Fitzgerald (Fitzgerald, GA)|
|2018||RB||Lorenzo Lingard||6'1" 185lbs||University (Orange City, FL)|
|2019||WR||Nayquan Wright||5'8" 185lbs||Carol City (Carol City, FL)|
|2018||WR||Warren Thompson||6'4" 185lbs||Armwood (Seffner, FL)|
|2018||WR||Mark Pope||6'1" 160lbs||Southridge (Miami, FL)|
|2018||WR||Elijah Moore||5'11' 170lbs||St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)|
|2018||WR||Brian Hightower||6'3" 195lbs||IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)|
|2018||WR||Lawrence Keys III||5'11" 160lbs||McDonough 35 (New Orleans, LA)|
|2018||WR||Daquris Wiggins||6'2" 180lbs||Southridge (Miami, FL)||Miami|
|2019||WR||Breion Fuller||6'1" 170lbs||Doral Academy (Doral, FL)|
|2018||ATH||Justin Watkins||5'11" 165lbs||Vanguard (Ocala, FL)||Florida State|
|2018||ATH||Amari Burney||6'2" 205lbs||Catholic Central (Clearwater, FL)|
|2018||ATH||Kearis Jackson||6'0" 191lbs||Peach County (Peach County, FL)|
|2018||ATH||Tre Turner||6'4" 175lbs||Northwest Guilford (Greensboro, NC)|
|2019||ATH||Jashawn Sheffield||6'2" 175lbs||Frederica Academy (St. Simons Island, GA)|
|2018||OL||Blaine Scott||6'5" 300lbs||Sciotoville (Sciotoville, OH)|
|2018||OL||Delone Scaife||6'4" 270lbs||Killian (Miami, FL)||Miami|
|2019||OL||Keiondre Jones||6'3" 265lbs||Callaway (Callaway, GA)|
|2018||LB||Donovan Georges||6'1" 228lbs||Champagnat Catholic (Hialeah, FL)|
|2019||LB||Jesiah Pierre||6'2" 207lbs||Mount Dora Christian (Mount Dora, FL)||Miami|
|2018||CB||Gilbert Frierson||6'1" 185lbs||Coral Gables (Coral Gables, FL)||Miami|
|2018||CB||DJ Ivey||6'0" 175lbs||South Dade (Homestead, FL)||Miami|
|2018||CB||Tyson Campbell||6'2" 180lbs||American Heritage (Plantation, FL)|
|2018||CB||Al Blades Jr.||6'0" 170lbs||St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)|
|2018||CB||Asante Samuel Jr||5'9" 170lbs||St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)|
|2018||CB||Stanley Garner||6'3" 180lbs||Coconut Creek (Coconut Creek, FL)|
|2018||CB||Miguel Edwards||6'0" 160lbs||Coconut Creek (Coconut Creek, FL)|
|2018||S||David Reese||6'2" 210lbs||Central (Ft. Pierce, FL)|
|2020||LB||Jesus Machado||6'0" 180lbs||Champagnat Catholic (Hialeah, FL)|
This list of underclassmen is as loaded as, if not more loaded than, the list of seniors who will be attending Paradise. A number of guys, like Pope and Frierson and Garner and Watkins and Burney and Thompson and Hightower figure to be among the top players at their position in the coming years.
Obviously, I have to mention Al Blades Jr. His father of the same name played at Miami from 1997-2000 and was the vocal leader of the Canes. Blades Sr. passed away in a car accident in 2003.
Blades Jr. has the talent to be one of the best players in his class, as evidenced by the fact that he won DB MVP at Deion Sanders' Prime 21 camp, a showcase for elite underclassmen.
Great talent at Prime 21 today. Congrats to my guy Al Blades Jr n Ahmad Anderson representing Staten Island with MVP awards— Caz Kosciolek (@3KFBCoachCaz) July 10, 2016
The younger Blades was once committed to Miami but decommitted after Al Golden's firing. He has repeatedly said that he's open to all schools and the fact that he has his father's name does not mean he's a lock to be a Hurricane. I get where Hurricanes fans want to push him to uphold the legacy of his famous family, but as a young man looking to make a name for himself, I understand Blades Jr's desire to forge his own path, wherever that may lead. In short, let him make his own choice and don't pester him on social media just because of his name. Please.
Outside of Blades, there's just a ton of underclassman talent coming to Paradise, the majority of which figures to be rated 4-stars or higher when they're seniors. That's impressive.
For Mark Richt and the Hurricanes, they're bringing in nearly 100 elite players to showcase their talents, experience campus, and bond with each other and the current team members. This is, without a doubt, the biggest single recruiting event Miami has put together in more than a decade.
Hopefully, the commits will be solidified even more, and a couple other players decide they want to join the family.
We'll see how this plays out through the course of this weekend. But I, for one, am all in with CMR and Paradise.
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