Last week, the Under Armour All-America game took center stage. This week, the U.S. Army All-American game moves to the forefront. With over 100 of the top HSFB players in America converging on San Antonio, TX, the U.S. Army All-American game is the longest running and most prestigious All-American game.
The Army All-American game has been very good for the Miami Hurricanes in past years. Players like LB Shaquille Quarterman (2016), WR Lawrence Cager (2015) and DE Al-Quadin Muhammad (2013) — among others — starred in the game before signing with Miami.
In 2017, Miami has no committed players playing in this game, but there are a couple recruiting targets for the Canes and their fans to keep an eye on through this week.
#77 OL Tedarrell Slaton. This 4-star OL hails from Ft. Lauderdale (FL) American Heritage HS. Slaton is a beast, standing 6’5” 360lbs. Many see Slaton as a very good prospect at Offensive Guard, but Slaton has recently stated that he prefers playing Defensive Tackle. Because of that, Kentucky and Florida have moved to the forefront of his recruitment, as they’re the 2 schools recruiting Slaton to play defense.
Personally, I believe Slaton is a better prospect on offense than defense, but he has the pedigree to succeed at either spot. Miami has work to do to catch Florida, Slaton’s named leader at current.
#5 WR Mike Harley. This 3-star WR hails from Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the preeminent HSFB programs in America. Harley is committed to West Virginia, but recently received a scholarship offer from Miami. Last week, Harley stated that he was shutting down his recruitment (i.e. no more communication or visits) to stick with West Virginia.
So, why include him? On Monday, Harley told 247sports that a visit to Miami was still possible. Yes, that’s contrary to the “shutting things down comment”. Yes, that’s the circuitous nature of recruiting. Harley and his parents may visit Coral Gables the weekend of January 13th. Miami needs WRs and needs speed, and Harley could provide that in spades. We’ll see what happens.
#9 DE Hunter Echols. This Los Angeles (CA) Cathedral star is committed to USC, but that hasn’t stopped Miami from engaging with him late in the 2017 recruiting cycle. Echols has real interest, which he has detailed in several interviews recently. The 6’3.5” 231lb DE would be another nice addition to the DL group at Miami.
Echols is scheduled to visit Miami on January 13th, and USC — to whom he is committed — on January 20th. Due to the fact that Echols is committed to USC, Miami obviously has a tall task in front of them to get him to flip. But, DL coach Craig Kuligowski is one of the best in the country, and his resume speaks for itself. He’ll do his best to get the talented Echols away from the hometown Trojans.
#27 WR Devonta Smith. The last name on this list is arguably the most important for Miami. Smith, a 5-star WR from Amite (LA), is an electric player at a position of desperate need for the Hurricanes. He has good size at 6’1” 170lbs, with elite athleticism and playmaking ability.
I’ve said this in previous articles, but Smith was once committed to Mark Richt at Georgia. Since then, his recruitment has been opened up, with many teams working to get Smith to their team. Along with Miami, who Smith will visit last on January 27th, Smith will visit LSU on January 13th and Alabama — the overwhelming favorite in Smith’s recruitment at current — on January 20th.
Alabama is notorious for not allowing committed players to take visits to other teams. So, it will be interesting to see if Smith actually makes it to his scheduled UM visit on Jan 27th. A silent commit to Alabama or just the crazy nature of recruiting could preclude this dynamic player from taking his OV to Coral Gables. For Miami, every effort must be made to ensure Smith travels to Miami for his scheduled visit ahead of his National Signing Day announcement.
Those are the players to watch in the U.S. Army All-American game for Miami. Let me know what you think in the comments below.