Mark Richt’s Hurricanes are off to an elite start on the recruiting trail. With the 3rd rated class in America, this could be an elite group, and the highest rated class for Miami since 2008. To continue to build the 2018 recruiting class, Miami will the first Junior Day of the 2018 cycle on Saturday.
Recruiting Radar: Offensive Targets in 2018
We’ve looked at the numbers in 2018 and the commits, now it’s time to look at the targets for the Miami Hurricanes 2018 recruiting class.
Junior Days are on-campus events where top talents get to interact with coaches, see the campus, meet with academic advisors, and generally begin to build the mental picture of them being a Cane. This is the first of several planned Junior Days throughout the spring, and is undoubtedly the biggest Junior Day at Miami in recent memory.
With The U being in the absolute best recruiting hotbed in all of America, Miami has the ability to get more top players on campus than anyone else. This is big for Richt and company this year, as they continue the work to rebuild the cache of Miami and, more importantly, A MIAMI SCHOLARSHIP OFFER with top tier players from South Florida.
Junior Days are usually invite-only events, where all the prospects are hand selected by the staff to be in attendance. An invite, like a UM scholarship offer, is not something everybody gets, so this event already has an air of exclusivity.
The list of players who are said to be in attendance for the initial Junior Day is impressive. This list, while impressive, is in no way meant to be fully comprehensive. There will be more players there for Junior Day than the ones I’m listing. But, here are the most noteworthy players (in my opinion) who will be in Coral Gables on Saturday:
NOTE: Click the player’s name to see their HUDL highlights. I tried also to put at least a short note for every player.
Miami is reasonably and obviously turning the focus heavily to the 2018 recruiting class, and the group of players visiting this week is a who’s who of top targets and talents.
BEFORE Y’ALL GO CRAZY, 5-star RB commit Lorenzo Lingard isn’t coming this weekend. He, his 2020 S cousin/fellow UM commit Avantae Williams, and 3 top players from IMG Academy — QB Arthur Sitkowski, WR Joshua Moore, and 2020 WR Donnovan Moorer — are all reportedly visiting Coral Gables NEXT WEEKEND. So, No need to react. Lingard is still committed, and coming to campus for a visit soon.
5-star RB James Cook (Miami Central HS; FSU commit; Dalvin’s brother)
3-star RB Chris Curry (Lehigh, FL; Najeh Davenport’s cousin)
4-star WR Mark Pope (Miami Southridge; top Canes target)
4-star WR Xavier Williams (Chaminade-Madonna; Alabama commit)
4-star WR Warren Thompson (Elite talent from Armwood)
4-star WR Elijah Moore (Speedster from St. Thomas Aquinas)
3-star WR Anthony Schwartz (Even faster speedster from American Heritage)
Unranked WR Corey Gammage (Delray Beach Atlantic; will be 4-star, 20+ offer kid very soon)
Unranked TE Chris Carter (Keys gate Charter; good size for this position)
Unranked TE Daniel Barker (Boyd Anderson HS; has said he would love Canes offer and could commit on spot)
4-star OT William Barnes (Apopka LT)
3-star OL Delone Scaife (Recently transferred to Miami Southridge; Miami commit)
Unranked OG Ed Montilus (plays next to Barnes at Apopka; has Miami in front)
4-star DE Jarrett Jackson (Palm Beach Gardens; teammate of Amari Carter)
4-star DE Andrew Chatfield (American Heritage. BEAST)
3-star DE Gregory Rosseau (Champagnat Catholic; Jumbo athlete could end up at WR/TE/DE/LB or S)
3-star DE James Head (Starter on Southridge’s State Championship defense)
3-star DE Dennis Briggs (Orlando Sentinel ranks Briggs 2nd in Central Florida area, behind 5-star RB Lingard)
3-star DE Randy Charlton (starts opposite Head on Southridge’s defense)
3-star DE Davontae McCrae (Miami Northwestern standout)
3-star DE Jason Mercier (Boynton Beach)
3-star DE Davoan Hawkins (Chaminade-Madonna standout)
3-star DT Nesta Silvera (American Heritage; Miami commit)
3-star LB Jaquan Beaver (Miami Booker T Washington; a bit undersized but can play)
5-star CB Patrick Surtain Jr. (American Heritage; son of former NFL CB of same name; top 10 player in America in this class) — track meet may keep Surtain from attending
4-star CB Tyson Campbell (top end talent from American Heritage; #1 CB on 99% of HSFB teams in America, but CB2 at Heritage bc of Surtain Jr.)
4-star DB Josh Jobe (Miami Columbus; Miami commit; likely headed to prep school for 2017)
4-star DB Gilbert Frierson (Coral Gables HS; Miami commit; Frank Gore’s cousin)
4-star CB Al Blades Jr. (St. Thomas Aquinas; Canes legacy; will be SHOCKED if he’s not a Cane in the end)
4-star S Gurvan Hall (Palm Beach Lakes; top target at S; Canes reportedly lead this recruitment)
3-star CB Demetrius Ivey (Miami commit; sophomore HL’s bc missed junior year with foot injury; called “little Artie” for his build/play resemblance to Artie Burns; underrated)
3-star CB Marquis Williams (recently transferred to Deerfield Beach; height/speed combo)
3-star S Jamien Sherwood (Big player at S; FSU leads recruitment but Miami involved)
3-star S Randy Russell (hard hitting safety; widely respected by peers [matters because they wouldn’t respect him if he wasn’t good])
3-star S Cameron Jonas (Top S from Palm Beach Dwyer may be first player to sign Miami from that school in YEARS)
Recruiting Radar: Recruiting class numbers in 2018
Let’s start to lay the framework for Miami’s 2018 recruiting class.
This is as big a list in terms of impact as the 2018 visitors, if not moreso. For top end recruits, the process of building a relationship and getting them to (insert school) is a multi-year endeavor. Miami is seeing the 2 year relationships starting to pay off in a big way for 2018 kids, and 2019 recruits will have had 3 years to connect with the staff. While some think that the classes beyond the current year are extraneous and shouldn’t be looked at or thought about, I couldn’t disagree more. Including top 2019-20 kids is just the kind of power move that Miami should use a junior day for, and what Miami was lacking under the previous coaching staff.
5-star CB Akeem Dent (Miami commit; top rated CB in his class)
5-star LB Owen Pappoe (Youngest player to ever be invited to Nike’s The Opening; Grayson (GA) superstar)
4-star RB Noah Cain (Denton Guyer RB; 2x All-American; teammate of 2017 EE Brian Polendey at Guyer)
4-star RB Kenny McIntosh (RJ McIntosh’s brother)
4-star ATH Trey Sanders (Alabama commit; IMG Academy)
4-star WR Brieon Fuller (Doral Academy; one of top WRs in his class)
Unranked WR Frank Ladson (Champagnat Catholic; will be highly rated after spring evals)
Unranked WR Kalani Norris (Miami Columbus; Like Ladson, will see ranking rise quickly in spring)
4-star OL Evan Neal (IMG Academy; Freshman HL’s but this kid is a beast up front. A top 10 OL in his class for sure)
4-star DE Nolan Smith (Georgia Commit; recently transferred to IMG Academy)
Unranked DE Jeramy Passmore (Recently transferred to Miami Columbus; dominated underclassman day at Paradise Camp and showed well at the upperclassman day vs top FBS recruits)
Unranked OLB/DE Mikel Jones (Mater Academy; 4-star player very soon)
5-star LB Diamante Howard (Miami commit; one of MANY FBS recruits at Miami Southridge; cousin of the late Sean Taylor)
4-star LB Ge’mon Eaford (Deerfield Beach; key player on State Semi-Finalist defense)
4-star DB Keontra Smith (Chaminade-Madonna; top 10 player at his position)
4-star DB Kenyatta Watson II (Next great DB from Grayson (GA))
4-star DB Jaylen McCollough (From Georgia; plays both ways — RB and S — in HS; don’t know much about him, but wooooo that HL tape is niiiice)
Unranked DB Tyrique Stevenson (South Dade HS; teammate of 2018 commit Demetrius Ivey)
Unranked CB Demetries Ford (Recently transferred to Miami Columbus; will be national recruit)
WR/TE Leonard Manuel (Ocala Vanguard; teammate of 2017 QB signee N’Kosi Perry)
RB Don Chaney Jr. (Miami Belen Jesuit; future 4-star/5-star type back; ELITE)
Look at that list of elite talent. LOOK AT IT!!! Miami is doing a great job getting top players on campus, and this isn’t even everybody. Yeah, it’s going to be the most packed Junior Day at Miami in years, maybe ever.
In previous years, Junior Days yielded several commits for the Hurricanes. This could very well be the case from tomorrow's event as well. And, even if it doesn't, a solid day for these top players on campus could start to have Miami become a more prominent school in their collective and individual recruitments.
So, as per usual before a big recruiting weekend or event, I’m setting the Over/Under for commits at 0.5. Feel free to discuss your thoughts/opinions/hopes? for this number in the comments below.
That's it for now. Hopefully, I'll be back this weekend and/or Monday with some good commit news for you, if all goes well on Saturday.