While we’re just 2 days away from the traditional National Signing Day on February 6th, the Miami Hurricanes used Sunday to get a jump on the 2020 and 2021 recruitign classes by hosting the first Junior Day of Manny Diaz’s Head Coaching tenure.
The Canes hosted nearly 50 top players from the 2020, 2021, and even 2022 recruiting classes on Sunday afternoon for the invite-only Junior Day event, and it paid off in a big way.
Manny Diaz’s Canes — still getting used to writing that — were able to secure 5 commitments on the day. Let’s run down the list:
4-star RB Don Chaney Jr (2020). A star player at Miami (FL) Belen Jesuit and top 100 recruit in the 2020 class, Chaney Jr. is a big, big get for Miami. The Canes have been at the forefront of his recruitment since he burst onto the scene as a HS freshmen for Belen (and maybe even before that as he was a well-known optimist star player), and that paid off finally with Sunday’s commitment. Chaney Jr. has long been the #1 target at RB for Miami in the 2020 class, and now he’s finally committed. That’s a good thing.
4-star ATH Ladarius Tennison (2020). A 2-way star from Rockledge (FL), Tennison was recruited by Miami as a defensive back. At 5’9” 193lbs, Tennison is a missle in the secondary who quickly closes down open space and makes opposing receivers and running backs feel his presence.
An incredibly productive player, Tennison filled the stat sheet as a junior. He had 1,055 yards and 12 touchdowns rushing while splitting time with 2019 recruit Jalen Mitchell, and added 124 tackles, 10 sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception on defense to go along with two blocked kicks on special teams. Yeah. That’ll work.
3-star CB Jaiden Francois (2020). First things first: Francois is going to get a ratings bump, so star chasers R-E-L-A-X. The Homestead (FL) South Dade standout Francois had arguably the best season of any SoFLA DB this past season as a junior. Francois had something like 12 interceptions on the year, and was all over the field in every game he played. He 100% played to the level of a 4-star, if not 5-star, recruit, and will likely get a major ratings bump in the near future.
Francois had previously committed to Miami back in July at the Paradise Camp pool party, along with teammate Keyshawn Washington. The pair then decommitted from Miami in December during the interminable losing streak. But, with Manny Diaz on board as HC, Francois felt it was time to get back in the boat with the hometown Canes.
Unrated LB Chamon Metayer (2021). Before you get crazy, very few 2021 recruits have ratings at this time. But Metayer, who stars for North Miami (FL), will be ranked highly when spring evaluation season comes around. He’s already 6’3” 220lbs, and uses his size very well on the field. Metayer should be a very nice fit as one of the inside LBs in Miami’s defense in years to come.
Unranked DE Tyler Johnson (2021). If you think the name is familiar, it should be. This Homestead (FL) South Dade standout is the younger brother of former Canes S Jaquan Johnson. Already at 6’2” 200lbs, Johnson has good size and could end up at either DE or LB, depending on how he develops physically over the next 2 years. For all the people bemoaning other younger brothers of other former Canes going elsewhere, Johnson to The U is a step in the right direction. And, he’s a damn good prospect in his own right, so regardless of who his brother is, he’d be a player Miami wanted to get on the roster.
Getting Chaney Jr., Tennison, and the recommitment of Francois in 2020 plus adding Metayer and Johnson in 2021 — even if they’re not shutting down their recruitments yet — is all good for Miami.
Manny Diaz has breathed new life into what was a very moribund and morose program, and the movement seen from this Junior Day is proof positive of that fact.
There’s a LONG way to go for all 5 recruits, but things are trending in the right direction as of right now.