In this installment of The Recruit Notebook, we meet a big bodied WR with impressive skills and a particular academic focus: WR Michael Redding III.
It’s not often that a specific major being offered — or not offered — impacts the destination for a blue chip skill position player. Sure, for a backup QB or an Offensive Lineman, that’s been known to happen. But for an All-American WR? Nah. That’s crazy.
A Pensacola, FL native, Michael Redding III wanted to raise his recruiting profile in his sophomore year. To do that, he elected to transfer from Florida’s panhandle to the football factory at Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy. Once there, Redding III did see his play and recruiting profile raise and he went from 3 offers to 26 in the matter of a little more than a year.
Even with his recruiting profile increasing and his play being noteworthy — Redding III earned his way to Nike’s The Opening in the summer prior to his senior year — most thougfht that the local team to his hometown, the Florida State Seminoles, were the leaders in Redding III’s recruitment. But, despite multiple visits to Tallahassee there were other teams, including Miami, who were able to begin to build a connection with Redding III and work on getting him to commit to their school instead of FSU.
Over the course of the offseason following the 2018 HSFB season, yanno, during 7v7 and combine/camp season, Redding III both visited and heard from a bunch of schools. That’s the thing about IMG Academy: they get their kids exposure and will get them on campuses across the country early so the kids can see various places.
One school that stood out on Redding III’s unofficial visit list was Purdue. Sure, they’d had a big win over OSU in 2018, and have signed 4-star WRs in consecutive years, but.....it seemed off for a Floridian such as Redding III. He visited Florida, Florida State, and Miami, Auburn, and Notre Dame (among others), but as the summer approached, Florida State seemed to hold a lead over Miami.
And this is where the “course of study” became a factor.
In a surprise move after checking in at The Opening, Redding III committed to Miami. When asked about the reasons why he committed, Redding III told 247sports’ Andrew Ivins that Miami having his desired major — Aerospace Engineering — was a major factor.
“Actually what’s funny is that Florida State didn’t have the specific engineering that I wanted,” Redding explained to Ivins during an interview. “Miami did so that kind of sparked a positive for Miami.” That also explained the visit to Purdue, a school with a strong Aerospace Engineering program.
As for his performance, Redding III continued to prove himself a top athlete and dynamic player. And, he never wavered on his commitment to Miami (an uncommon ocurrence so I just wanted to bring that up) and will add a big, physical presence to Miami’s WR room when he enrolls in Coral Gables this January.
On the 247sports composite, Redding III is a 4-star prospect, the #29 WR nationally in this class, #25 in the State of Florida, and #167 recruit overall.
Redding III committed to Miami over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and Florida State from his list of 26 scholarship offers.
As a player
A strong and talented 6’2” 195lbs, Redding III has the size and ability that teams all over the country covet. Redding III tested impressively at this year’s The Opening Orlando regional, running 4.56 in the 40, 4.44 in the short shuttle, and jumping 41.4” in the vertical. That will play anywhere.
Redding is a big, strong, physical player at WR, but he still has fluid movement on the field (he’s not boxy and stiff like many players with his level of muscular development). As you see in the first paragraph of this section, Redding III has athleticism that is above average by nearly every metric. Add that with refined skills — IMG Academy is one of the top training programs in the country and prepares their players for college in a way few other “HS” programs can — and you have the makings of a star player.
You’ll see a variety of routes and such in the full HUDL highlights below, but beyond that, Redding III can do things like this.
THE U Miami Commit Michael Redding 3️⃣ @ReddingIII makes INSANE catch #SCtop10 pic.twitter.com/kfJt5O9sFA— BLACK SPORTSCENTER (@VersaceBoyEnt) September 14, 2019
As far as where he fits best, Redding III is a versatile receiver, one who can be equally as impactful playing outside as inside. Want to single him up on a DB at X? Okay. Wanna create mismatches with Linebackers and Safeties by lining him up in the slot? No problem. In any alignment, he has the ability to run solid routes and help the offense move the ball down the field and score points.
- Physical development
- Ability to play multiple receiver positions
- Willingness to play on special teams
- How quickly will he be able to pick up the playbook?
- How much better can he get? IMG guys can, at times, maximize their talent early
Redding III is a big and strong receiver the likes of which Miami doesn’t have in the WR room presently. Sure, there are guys like Dee Wiggins who has height but not bulk. But Redding III has a combination of those 2 that the others do not. Because of that, there’s a chance for Redding III to find his way onto the field. But only if he is solid on special teams, and a good blocker, and learns the playbook.
Chances for a Redshirt: 5/10
I could see this going either way. But with so few returning WRs, my gut tells me that Redding III will earn his way into a rotation role as a freshman.
That’s it for this installment of the Recruiting Notebook.