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Miami Hurricanes Recruiting Radar: Early Signing period will be a boon for the Canes

For the first time, there is an early signing period for football recruiting, and it will be a huge win for the Canes.

247 Sports

After being passed by the NCAA rules committee early this year, the first early signing period for Football Recruits runs from December 20-22, 2017. This early signing period mimics the one that has been in place for basketball recruiting for many years, and gives teams the ability to lock down their recruits a month and a half before the traditional “National Signing day”, traditionally on the first Wednesday of February (February 7th this upcoming year).

While many teams are inevitably pushing for their current commits to sign early — thereby ending their recruitment and locking them in with the chosen school — you would be hard pressed to find a school who is set to benefit more from the early signing period than the Miami Hurricanes.

It is no secret that the Canes’ coaching staff has been working tirelessly for more than a year to get and keep a diverse and talented group of recruits in the 2018 recruiting class. Ranked in the top 5 classes by all major recruiting outlets, Miami has done a good job to this point, and looks to begin a strong finish by getting the majority of the currently-committed players to sign next week.

Make no mistake about it: Miami wants all the commits to sign early. There’s no downside to that, from the school’s perspective. Once a player signs, they’re locked in with the school. So, of course, the schools all want that to happen.

There are many players who will sign early, but others who won’t. Don’t overreact to that. This is brand new, so nobody really knows what “normal” is with this early signing period.

Who’s signing early?

So now that I have your attention, let’s look at the commits, and see who will or won’t be signing their National Letter of Intent (NLI) during the early signing period next week:

  • QB Jarren Williams - the most recent 2018 commit, the U.S. Army All-American is set to sign early. Williams will be an early-enrollee at Miami, so this makes sense.
  • RB Lorenzo Lingard - the highest ranked 2018 commit, this 5-star U.S. Army All-American will also sign early. Lingard has been the vocal leader of this recruiting class, and there’s no reason to believe that he will pass up the chance to be a Cane as early as conceivably possible.
  • FB Realus George - he’s big, he’s strong, and he’s gonna be a Cane. The latest GA-native commit to be very vocal about his love of Miami on social media, George is set to sign during the early period in December.
  • WR Mark Pope - yet another elite skill position player, Pope is a smooth operator at WR and should sign early. This U.S. Army All-American will be an early enrollee at Miami.
  • WR Brian Hightower - yes, ANOTHER elite skill position player, Hightower is on track to sign early. Also a U.S. Army All-American, Hightower will be an early enrollee at Miami.
  • WR Daquris Wiggins - Pope’s HS teammate at Miami (FL) Southridge, Wiggins is a player with a lot of talent who is flying under the radar. He, like Pope and Hightower, is set to sign in December and be an early enrollee at Miami in January.
  • TE Brevin Jordan - One of the most talented players at his position in this recruiting class, Jordan is a dynamic athlete at TE. This Under Armour All-American is set to sign in December, but won’t enroll early, a his HS doesn’t allow for it.
  • TE Will Mallory - The other half of Miami’s “two headed monster” at TE in this recruiting class, Mallory will also sign in December. Like Jordan, however, Mallory won’t enroll until May due to HS policies.
  • OT John Campbell - A recently minted State Champion in Florida’s largest HSFB classification (8A), Campbell will sign early. He will be an early enrollee to Miami in January.
  • OL Delone Scaife - teammates with Pope and Wiggins at Miami (FL) Southridge, Scaife will sign early in December as well. The Under Armour All-American Guard will also be an early enrollee to Miami in January.
  • DE/OLB Gregory Rousseau - Another State Champion (in Florida’s 2A classification), Rousseau is set to sign early in December. He will also be an early enrollee to Miami in January.
  • LB Patrick Joyner - another recent commit after flipping from Florida State, Joyner is set to sign early during the December signing period.
  • S Gurvan Hall - A physical playmaker at the Safety position, Hall will sign early during December. Another Under Armour All-American, Hall will enroll early at Miami in January.
  • DB Gilbert Frierson - A tall and lanky DB, Frierson will sign in December. He’s taken visits to other schools, but by all reports is locked in with Miami. He’s set to enroll early at Miami in January.
  • DB D.J. Ivey - A talented player whose ranking is rising after a stellar senior season (he missed most of his junior season with an ankle injury), Ivey is set to sign in December. He is also on track to enroll at Miami in January.
  • K Bubba Baxa - The nation’s best kicker per Kohl’s Kicking (the industry leaders in Kicking training and evaluation), Baxa will sign during the December signing period. He’s got a booming leg (routinely good from 60 yards) and will step into the void left by Michael Badgley’s graduation

What about Jobe?

So, this is a thing that’s at the forefront of any conversation about Miami Hurricanes recruiting. Everybody wants to know what in the world is up with 4-star DB commit Josh Jobe?

There have been rumors and chatter for a WHILE the Jobe is interested in or about to flip his commitment from Miami to Alabama. Jobe has gone largely radio-silent to interview requests, and recruiting writers have been unable to get a good read on the situation because of that.

Jobe, who transferred to Cheshire (CT) Academy for his senior year after aging out of eligibility in Florida, has been not-so-subtly posting tons, and I mean TONS, of pro-Alabama content on his twitter account. As of now, Jobe is scheduled to take an official visit to Tuscaloosa this weekend instead of Miami. That would be his only trip before the Early Signing period, which he reportedly plans to utilize.

Miami, however, has sent S coach Ephraim Banda to see Jobe in Connecticut, and is trying to get him to visit this weekend, when the lion’s share of 2018 commits will be on campus. But, TO ME, this feels like too little, too late.

Jobe’s dad is on record with Miami’s Rival affiliate site saying that he is blaming the fans on social media for a potential flip. I think that’s bullshit, and someone just looking for an excuse. Fans have been fully supportive of Jobe since before he committed. The ire, which is low level if at all, is due to the continued wavering and antagonizing done by Jobe himself on social media.

Jobe’s father went on to say that “academics” were a thing potentially driving the U.S. Army All-American toward Alabama over Miami which is LUDICROUS. Go look up the rankings on U.S. News and World Report or any other outlet. Miami is a DEMONSTRABLY better education than Alabama, and that’s just a fact. FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m a Miami alum so I take things like this seriously. Miami is a better school than Alabama and that’s a fact and if you disagree then you can fight me about it.

So, back to the focus of this piece, will Josh Jobe sign during the early signing period? I believe so, yes.

Will Josh Jobe sign with MIAMI during the early signing period? Unless a major comeback effort on the recruiting rail happens in the next 9 days, I don’t think so.

UPDATE: Jobe tweeted this afternoon that he indeed will be visiting Alabama this weekend.

I’m not sayin’.....but I’m sayin’..........

What about the rest?

If the above-listed players sign, that would mean 16 (or 17 with Jobe) of Miami’s current 21 commits would sign early. That’s really, REALLY good.

Who are the players not thought, at current, to sign early? Glad you asked:

  • RB Cam’Ron Davis
  • OL Cleveland Reed
  • DT Nesta Silvera
  • CB Al Blades Jr.

Blades Jr. was thought to be signing early, but said in a recent interview with 247sports that he will likely sign in February instead.

Silvera is reportedly strong in his Miami commitment, but he’s being pursued by other teams. With American Heritage not allowing for early enrollees, Silvera is taking his time before signing, because he can’t get on campus early anyways. Miami is putting a full-court press on Silvera and all the top tier recruits from American Heritage, which we’ll talk more about later.

Davis is RB2 in this class, but make no mistake that he’s damn good. Miami will probably try to get Davis on campus this weekend with all the other commits and see if they can’t get him to change his mind and sign early.

Reed is a good player — he’s an Under Armour All-American — but I haven’t seen any talk about him in recruiting for a while. At 6’3” 327, Reed has great college ready size at a position of great need for the Canes. If there’s anything to be done to get him to sign early, Miami should do it.

Even if the 4 holdouts don’t sign early, Miami figures to get a big boost from the players who choose to utilize the new early signing period. But don’t let that fool you into thinking the recruiting job for this class is done. But, we’ll talk about that soon enough.

Love the new early signing period? Hate it? Hop in the comments and let me know your thoughts.

Go Canes