With just days until National Signing Day, the Miami Hurricanes are hosting a big group of players this week. Will the 2018 recruiting class be a top 8-ish group or will it be a top 4-ish group for the Canes? The results of this week’s visits will go a long way to determining that answer.
Miami Hurricanes Official Visits
3-star DT Moro Ojomo. SURPRISE!!!!! After looking like the Katy (TX) rising standout Ojomo wouldn’t make it to campus for an Official Visit, 247sports reported that Ojomo was on campus for a mid-week OV on Tuesday thru Thursday. You can see the location in this tweet from Ojomo after receiving a scholarship offer from Alabama for proof.
A native Nigerian, Ojomo is new to the game of football, but has quickly made a name for himself. He’s also just 16 years old, so his combination of youth, physical development (6’3”, 280lbs) and potential has teams all over the country pursuing him. Getting Ojomo on campus is big, because visits matter. It’ll be interesting to see if anything develops in the next 5 days.
4-star DT Nesta Silvera. The lone commit to not sign during the early signing period, Silvera is one of several Plantation (FL) American Heritage standouts who will be on campus this weekend. Miami needs talented DTs, and Silvera is one of the best in America this cycle. In a down year for DT recruiting nationally, getting a player of Silvera’s caliber would be huge for Miami.
Coral Gables!— Nesta (Jade) Silvera (@NJS_ERA) February 2, 2018
Silvera has visited Florida and Tennessee in recent weeks, but all signs point to him signing with Miami on Wednesday. This visit should fully lock him in with the Canes ahead of NSD.
3-star DT Jordan Miller. The most recent player to commit to the Canes’ 2018 recruiting class, Miller is a 6’4” 330lb DT from Jacksonville (FL) Sandalwood.
Miller was a late riser on the recruiting scene due to having played previously at Palatka (FL) HS, which is in the middle of nowhere and doesn’t have big time recruits, and the fact that he never went to team or other recruiting camps. But, if you watch the highlights (included in the linked piece above), Miller can develop into a nice player at Miami in time. He previously visited Virginia, but by all accounts Miller is locked in with Miami, the biggest program to recruit him.
3-star DT Jamarcus Chatman. A standout DT from Rome (GA), Chatman is a 2-time State Champion and has been a known commodity in the recruiting world for a while. He was a prime target for Miami early in this cycle, and many thought he was even going to commit to the Canes back in the summer. Instead, Chatman and several of his HSFB teammates committed to LSU.
Since then, Chatman has decommitted from LSU, and flirted with Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Florida State. He’s visited other schools, including the last 3 on that list in the last 3 weeks, and by all accounts Chatman is impressionable. Every visit is the best. Every school he sees jumps to the top. Which, for Miami, could be a good thing since the Canes are getting Chatman’s last visit before NSD. In any event, Miami is in a good place for the 6’2” 258lb Chatman, and will look to close the deal this weekend.
5-star CB Tyson Campbell. Here’s a visit that will largely determine the success of this weekend, and this class. Campbell, another Plantation (FL) American Heritage star player, is the prototype at CB. Miami has been chasing him for 2+ years, and it’s easy to see why.
At 6’2.5” 180lbs, Campbell has size, length, and speed. He’s the defending 100M and 200M State Champion on the track, so that proves the speed thing, no? On top of that, Campbell is damn good. He was a U.S. Army All-American and was arguably the best DB at the elite recruit showcase event. Recruiting analysts, coaches, and players all raved about his physical ability and on-field performance. I mean, what else do you want?
While Miami has been the team on Campbell the longest, Georgia is the team that has rocketed to the lead position in his recruitment. Campbell was in Athens a few weeks ago, and has also visited Alabama and Tennessee. The last 2 teams don’t seem like major players in this recruitment for various reasons, so it comes down to Miami coming from behind in this recruitment and beating Georgia for Campbell.
5-star CB Patrick Surtain Jr. The final Plantation (FL) American Heritage player visiting this weekend, Surtain Jr. is the biggest name and, arguably, the best of the group. He, like teammates Silvera and Campbell, was a U.S. Army All-American and has athletic pedigree to boot; Surtain’s father of the same name was a 2nd round draft pick and 11 year NFL veteran for the Saints and Dolphins who made 3 pro bowls and was 1st team All-Pro once (2002) and 2nd team All-Pro once (2003) in his career.
Gables what’s happening???— PS2 (@SurtainJr) February 2, 2018
Back to the younger Surtain, he’s been a top-tier recruit for years, and has all the tools you could ever want in a CB. At 6’2” 200lbs, he’s got height, length, good speed (he is on Heritage’s 4x100 relay team with the aforementioned Tyson Campbell) and nearly flawless skill.
LSU has long been the leader for Surtain Jr’s recruitment. Surtain Sr. is from New Orleans, so LSU is a “hometown” team for Surtain Jr., despite the fact that he grew up in South Florida with his dad playing for the Dolphins. Surtain Jr. has visited Alabama and Clemson in recent weeks, so there are multiple teams vying for his services.
4-star DE Andrew Chatfield (maybe). The 4th player from American Heritage, Chatfield has previously visited Miami, so he can’t take an official visit. He can, however, come to campus on his own dime to hang out with the official visitors, most of which he goes to HS with. This visit isn’t set in stone, but Miami’s coaches have reportedly been pushing for this, and Chatfield doesn’t have any other visits on the books for this weekend at this time, so it’s possible.
The Heritage Connection
Much has been written about Miami’s pursuit of each of the 4 players from American Heritage that I’ve listed in this piece. They are each talented players who would be valued additions to Miami’s 2018 recruiting class and the Canes’ roster.
On top of them all being talented, local players, a connection that Miami is going to push is one that no other team can: their former HS coach, Mike Rumph, is a UM alum and now the CBs coach at UM. He’s known each of these players for years, coached them to State Championships at Heritage before stepping up to the College level.
Now, that connection between Rumph and the Heritage kids isn’t a guarantee that they’ll come to Miami. Each player will make their own choice and do what’s best for them. But, this week’s visit, and a chance to continue their longstanding relationship with Rumph, will be a key for Miami to potentially get multiple players from the Campbell, Chatfield, Silvera, Surtain Jr. group to sign with the Canes come Wednesday.
Miami commit Nigel Bethel, target Marquez Ezzard, and Texas commit Keondre Coburn (whom Miami would love to flip) are all done with visits. They’ll be home this weekend by all accounts. Of the 3, the only uncommitted player is Ezzard, whose decision is reportedly down to Miami and Ole Miss. Bethel is committed and will sign on Wednesday. Coburn is still committed to Texas, though Miami hopes his recent visit, and a coaches in-home visit have given him pause to reconsider that commitment.
DT Moro Ojomo - Oregon. Like I said up top, Ojomo came to Coral Gables for a mid-week Official Visit. That visit had to be mid-week because Ojomo already had a visit to Oregon on the books. So, the talented and young (seriously, a 16 year old SENIOR in high school is very rare) DT will go to visit Mario Cristobal’s Ducks this weekend.
Ok. So that’s the landscape for the final official visit weekend of the 2018 recruiting cycle. Miami has a bunch of elite players coming to campus, and the hope is they’ll be able to get several of them to commit. So, let’s work.
I know you have thoughts, so share them in the comments, and vote in the poll below.
How many of the American Heritage players (Campbell, Chatfield, Silvera, Surtain Jr) pick Miami on Wednesday?
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