At this point, UM is set to add four new defensive backs to the 2018 squad, and boy are they talented. Al Blades Jr, Gurvan Hall, D.J. Ivey, and Gilbert Frierson are all locked in. They are also all from South Florida where the DB class this year is as deep and talented as it has been in years. Each DB brings a unique skill set and athletic ability to the table.
You have Al Blades Jr, the wiry and rangy CB from St. Thomas Aquinas who just has the instincts needed to be a premier corner in college football. He has room to add a lot of strength over time, but let there be no doubt that he will be able to compete for snaps right away on Greentree.
There’s Gurvan Hall, the hard-hitting safety who, in years where there wasn’t a Jaquan Johnson or Sheldrick Redwine returning, would immediately be in the conversation as a potential true-freshman starter. He has a good frame but can also put on more weight as he looks about 5’11” 180 right now. Starter or not, he will be a factor in 2018 and has the potential to be a long-time starter and All-American when it’s all said and done.
South Dade’s D.J. Ivey has been one of the most underrated recruits in the country this cycle. He is long and lean, listed on 247Sports at 6’1” 171. He isn’t the fastest DB in the world, but he can keep up and is well above average just about everywhere else. He may end up being a supreme lockdown corner very soon, and in the NFL.
Gilbert Frierson, from just down the road at Coral Gables Senior High, comes to campus with some things to figure out position-wise. He has great size right now at 6’1” 185, and he had a really solid year on the high school level. It looks like he wants to end up at CB, but (just like every DB) he will be cross-trained at both CB and S. He, out of all of the commits, has the most potential to move from corner to safety. In a class this loaded at the position, it may not be a bad thing. He also shows promise as a great return man.
With all of this talent, Coach Richt is still targeting some guys to round out what could be the most talented DB class in UM history. Among the cast, five-stars Tyson Campbell and Patrick Surtain, and four-star FSU commit Asante Samuel Jr seem to sit atop the wish-list. Campbell and Surtain, both by way of American Heritage in Plantation, are big and uber-athletic CB’s who could compete for starting assignments in 2018. Campbell, at about 6’2” or 6’3” 180, is a track star in high school. Surtain brings comparable size and speed. Samuel, who is much smaller than the other two, is still incredibly athletic and brings a lot of fight to the field. All three are expected to take official visits to UM in January.
I personally feel very good about Tyson Campbell, and I have for a while. His recruitment has been fairly quiet but I haven’t heard anything especially alarming. It helps that his teammate Nesta Silvera has been in his ear all year and will accompany him when he visits Coral Gables soon. Surtain is a different story. Considered a heavy LSU lean for months now, Miami has just recently re-entered the picture in his recruitment (thanks to this 10-2 season). He is saying all the right things and appears to be very open, but I am skeptical that he actually ends up in orange and green. I won’t feel anything more until he makes that O.V. next month. To me, Asante Samuel Jr is hard to read. He was all FSU for so long but now, for obvious reasons, that situation is dicey. Reports say that he wants to take an official visit, but as with Surtain, I will reserve my feelings until after that moment, if it happens.
Miami stands on solid ground right now with the four they have, but add in Campbell, Surtain, and Samuel, and this group could be outstanding. Miami should have no DB trouble in the near future with the way #Storm18 is looking.
Let’s put that pen to paper boys, and get rolling.