Every offseason the Miami Dolphins host a media day for high schools all across Miami-Dade and Broward county. With over 100 high schools taking the podium, and over 500 athletes speaking to writers and broadcasters alike, many Miami Hurricanes targets were the stars of the show.
2017 Running Back Robert Burns 5-11 209 lbs: Out of all the prospects in Miami’s 2017 recruiting class Robert Burns may be the most intriguing. At 5-11 209 lbs, Burns shows as much versatility as any running back out there, but after suffering an injury that kept him from playing last season, his national stock dropped. Burns went from being one of the top 5 running backs in the country to number 22 on 247 sports.com, and many question his future progression. Burns said he was excited to begin the season, and although he said it wasn’t about redemption, Burns believe this is his time to shine.
“Just to stay healthy, just to win everyday, that’s my personal goal,” Burns said when discussing his outlook on the season. “I know as long as I’m healthy I’ll get to maximize my opportunities and be successful.”
Burns is confident that as long as he is healthy he will make an impact, and if that’s the case, he should climb the rankings once again. He stressed his love for Miami during the interview, and he views living up to past Miami greats as an honor.
Burns has been committed to Miami since early in the process, so at this point his intentions remain clear. Burns loves Miami’s running backs coach Thomas Brown and the staff, so it should only be a matter of time until he makes an impact.
2017 Wide Receiver Kevaughn Dingle 6-1 195 lbs: Out of the crop of receivers Miami is bringing in during the 2017 recruiting cycle, I believe Dingle is the one of the most underrated. At 6-1 Dingle presents the size to be an outside threat, and with Stacy Coley graduating after this season, Dingle could provide much needed depth to a position of need. The Hurricanes could use him in 2017, and after speaking with him at media day, his commitment is 100% solid.
“ When I first committed he already told me ‘If you’ll be loyal to me I’ll be loyal to you’,” Dingle said when speaking about the coaching staff. “Coach Richt plays a major impact on the ‘Canes and I see what he is doing, and one thing I like about him is he says he is going to bring that swag back.”
2017 defensive lineman Jon Ford 6-5 250 lbs: As Miami’s first defensive line commit for the class of 2017, Ford holds an important place in the ‘Canes recruiting class. Despite being ranked as a three star commit on ESPN, Ford’s intangibles make him a must get for the ‘Canes. Although parts of his game have been critiqued, Ford should provide an added boost to a defensive line which figures to start a lot of underclassmen in 2016.
“I just love the defensive scheme and coach Diaz, me and coach Diaz, are really connecting,” Ford said to me when speaking about what sticks out about Miami. “And coach Kool, we talk everyday, so it’s like a new beginning with Miami.”
Due to his love for the coaching staff and Miami’s scheme, ‘Canes fans are happy about him moving forward. After connecting with Miami’s staff, Ford’s commitment remains “solid”, and he figures to be a part of the class come signing day.
2018 Offensive Lineman DJ Scaife 6-4 270 lbs: As an incoming junior, Scaife is an intriguing prospect on the offensive line. At 6-4 270 lbs, Scaife has imposed his physicality upon opponents thus far throughout his high school career. Scaife leaves a lot of potential for his coach future coach to mold, and is a nice piece for Stacy Searels to build upon. Scaife says he is “90% committed” to Miami, and it has been his dream to be a ‘Cane since his 9th grade year.
“Ever since my ninth grade year [I’ve wanted to go there],” Scaife said. “Because I had Sheldrick Redwine and Jaquan Johnson going as teammates.”
Scaife views himself as an “aggressive lineman”, and could improve his national rankings with back-to-back solid seasons at Killian high school.
2018 Wide Receiver/Cornerback Xavier Williams 6-0 180 lbs: As a five star prospect according to 247 sports, Williams is at the top of nearly every major college’s list. According to Williams, Florida, Miami, Florida State, Clemson, Alabama, and Georgia are all giving him attention entering the year. Williams is entering his junior season, and with only half of his high school career over, Xavier is keeping his options wide open.
Williams stressed that he will not name a top 3 or 5 school list until after the season, but did say Miami has made him a top priority.
“I love this new staff, they’ve shown much love,” Williams said to me when speaking about his collegiate options. “The first week they got hired they actually came to the school and made me one of their top priorities.”
Williams is highly touted for not only his production on the field, but also for his intangibles and versatility. Williams stated that he would “play anything” his college wanted him to do, whether that is offense, defense, or special teams. Williams wants to play receiver, and with the ‘Canes starting many young players at that position, Xavier believes he can get playing time early. As a matter of fact, the opportunity to play early on is why Williams said Miami is high on his list.
2017 Defensive Back Shawn Davis 5-11 190 lbs: Davis is an interesting prospect to watch moving forward for the Miami Hurricanes, and he is currently an athlete for the talent heavy Southridge Spartans. Southridge has been an interesting school for Miami throughout the year, with multiple players decommitted and several players interested in joining the ‘Canes. Safety Billy Gibson is a player currently committed to Miami at Southridge, and while he is solid to the ‘Canes, Davis’ status is uncertain to say the least. When speaking to me Davis mentioned Florida and Miami were his top two, but many believe he will select Florida. According to 247 sports’ crystal ball predictions, Davis is 94% to the Gators and 6% to the ‘Canes. Despite many people’s belief that Davis is Gainesville bound; however, Shawn did say he loved Miami’s coaching staff.
“I’m loving the coaching staff, it’s a great coaching staff,” Davis said while speaking about Mark Richt and his assistants. “Coach Banda is very good, Coach Richt is very good, and Coach Rumph; I like how he plays.”
Regardless about what Davis is thinking about regarding his college decision, fans won’t have to worry for very long. On August 4th, Davis tweeted that he plans to commit on the 26th of this month.
2019 Wide Receiver/Running Back Mark-Anthony Richards 6-1 185 lbs: Out of Wellington county in Palm Beach County, Florida, Richards steps into his sophomore season with big shoes to fill. University of Miami freshman receiver Ahmonn Richards is Mark-Anthony’s brother, and with his departure, Mark-Anthony will use what he learned from Ahmonn to help him moving forward.
“He’s a very good role model,” Richards said to me when speaking about his brother. “To see him work hard in the classroom, on and off the field, to see him do everything in high school from little league, it has motivated me to do better.”
From a young age Mark-Anthony and his brother have shared a close-knit bond, and with Ahmonn at the University of Miami, Mark-Anthony is definitely intrigued by the ‘Canes.
“It would be an honor [to play with my brother],” Richards said at the annual media day. “I would actually like to do that some day.”
Richards currently wields an offer from the Hurricanes, and while Mark-Anthony stated that he also has interest in several SEC schools, one can only hope his connection with Ahmonn reels him in.
2018 Cornerback Stanley Garner 6-3 180 lbs: On Saturday at media day, Garner was a targeted interview for writers covering the sport. But while autocorrect messed up his last name, and changed it to Gardner on my initial tweet, Stanley Garner is a talent not to be messed with. At 6-3, Garner provides the size necessary to make an impact at the collegiate level, with his game shouting potential to those watching.
The University of Miami offered Garner early on during his recruiting process, and Stanley has felt their love ever since.
“They are showing me a lot of love, I feel like they need me to play corner at their university,” Garner said when speaking about his position. “It’s really important because some schools want to recruit me for safety, but I play corner. I’m an aggressive corner because I like to put my hands on people.”
Garner views himself as a corner at the next level, and he uses his physicality to his advantage on the field. Garner stressed it is too early for a decision, but the schools at the top of his list right now are “Clemson, South Carolina, and The U.”