Recruiting is weird.
After going for months as a heavy Miami lean — some even rumored that he was a silent (private) commitment to the Canes — 4-star RB Anthony McFarland flipped the script today when he announced a commitment to Maryland.
Yep, it's official. Anthony McFarland announces he has committed to Maryland. What a wild week in his recruitment.— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) January 27, 2017
The video is on snapchat, but I’m not going through the work to screenshot that so you’ll just have to trust me. Somebody sent me a screenshot though:
@TheStateOfTheU journey is over pic.twitter.com/EbFiD1u3YV— Jason Seymour (@jasonseymour24) January 27, 2017
A dynamic 5’9” 209lb RB from Hyattsvile (MD) DeMatha Catholic, McFarland is the kind of multifaceted playmaker Miami needed in this class. After years of signing 1 RB in each class, Miami was looking to bring in 2 RBs in 2017. After getting powerful runner Robert Burns (Miami Columbus HS) in the class, the focus turned to McFarland, who was far and away the Canes’ most desired option to round out the group.
Throughout the cycle, Miami was the rumored and announced leader for McFarland. Multiple times in interviews, he cited his “brotherly” relationship with OC/RB coach Thomas Brown (McFarland’s lead recruiter for 2 years at both Georgia and Miami) as one of the main draws to Coral Gables. Brown and Richt both even went so far as to mention having “2 RBs committed in this class” at various media availabilities, hinting that McFarland had already indicated his future plans to them.
But, words are words and kids change their minds. And that’s what happened here. McFarland was scheduled to announce a commitment — to Miami — on Wednesday. Ahead of that announcement, however, Maryland’s coaches had a in-home visit with McFarland on Tuesday night. That meeting proved to be remarkably substantive, leading McFarland to postpone his previously-scheduled announcement and ultimately decide to pick Maryland in today’s commitment post.
For Maryland, this is a huge recruiting win, keeping one of the Nation’s best and most dynamic offensive players home. For Miami, this is a huge recruiting loss, seeing a longtime silent commitment — multiple recruiting writers have intimated that McFarland was silently committed to Miami for several months — elect to go elsewhere at the 11th hour.
The quest for a 2 RB class will have to wait for another year. Miami had dropped all other RB targets after McFarland’s reported silent commitment, so there aren’t any options available for Miami to make moves on late. Well, there are lower tier options, sure, but nobody of McFarland’s caliber, to be sure.
Miami has a strong class, with plenty of top tier players who will be impact guys for the Hurricanes in the coming years. But, losing McFarland hurts, and there’s no 2 ways about that.