While National Signing Day for the 2021 class still has to happen, I’m going to start previewing some of the 2022 recruiting targets for the Canes. This is a very intriguing class, with plenty of extremely talented players for Miami to go after, especially in the South Florida area.
The first 2022 player that I want to talk about, one of the biggest targets for Miami, 4-star cornerback Earl Little Jr. out of American Heritage in Broward County. In a recruiting class with so many talented South Florida players on defense, Little stands out as someone who is at the top of the list.
Junior Season Highlights (Have a Look) - https://t.co/G41Y7n26BR— Earl Little Jr (@EarlLittleJr1) December 20, 2020
Little is well-known to the Miami program as well as Canes fans, as his father, Earl Little, played for UM in the 1990’s, before spending 7 seasons in the NFL. Now, Manny Diaz and his staff will try and keep Jr. in South Florida as well.
It’s a #CANES THANG, you wouldn’t UNDERSTAND. #Family #Canes4LIFE pic.twitter.com/h0Xnhnd9qO— Earl Little (@Earl20201) September 26, 2020
Little has emerged as one of the top South Florida players in the 2022 cycle, as well as one of the best cornerbacks in the entire country. He ended his junior season at American Heritage by capturing a state championship, playing on a defense that is absolutely loaded with stars.
Number !— American Heritage (@AH__Athletics) December 19, 2020
This past year, American Heritage’s defense included 2022 names like Little, edge-rusher Marvin Jones Jr., and defensive back Jacolby Spells. It also featured 2021 UM signee James Williams.
Two names Cane fans gonna know for 2022.— Caneville (@caneville305) November 21, 2020
Earl Little JR CB
Marvin Jones Jr DE#CribTalk
247 Sports has Little ranked as the #12 cornerback for the 2022 cycle, #11 player in the state of Florida, and #98 overall player nationally for that class. Given his junior year, even with missing 4 games due to injury, I fully expect him to make a leap in the recruiting rankings.
Earl Little Jr. saves a touchdown by punching the ball out of a receiver’s hands. Gibbons will go for the short field goal on fourth down. @EarlLittleJr1 @AH__Athletics pic.twitter.com/pOgpMJlOo4— Adam Lichtenstein (@ABLichtenstein) October 31, 2020
Little received an offer from Miami in October of his sophomore season.
After a great game tonight, I am Blessed and Honored to have received an offer from The University of Miami! @CoachRumph16 @Andrew_Ivins @larryblustein @psurtain23 @247Sports pic.twitter.com/jMMKlO1tkC— Earl Little Jr (@EarlLittleJr1) October 5, 2019
Watching Little’s film, and having seen him play in person, the biggest thing that stands out to me is his instincts on the football field. He does a real good job at reading the QB’s eyes, anticipating where the ball is going to go, and he has great tackling ability to snuff out a receiver once he makes a catch. In terms of tackling, he reminds me a little of Trajan Bandy, very physical.
2022 CB Earl Little Jr. in coverage. LSU, Alabama, Miami and plenty of others involved. pic.twitter.com/x1fEScvvj0— Andrew Ivins (@Andrew_Ivins) October 17, 2020
Little can cover the receiver lined up on the outside or in the slot, he can play in the box, he’s very versatile for a cornerback, which I love. He’s not the ballhawk type that’ll get you 10-12 interceptions per year, but he’s the guy that’ll make the play when the game is on the line. Perfect example is just a few weeks ago, when Little made a game-clinching interception in their playoff win over Miami Northwestern.
2022 Top247 CB Earl Little Jr. snagged the game-winning interception to knockoff the 3-time state champions. He’s pretty happy to be moving on in the 5A playoffs. pic.twitter.com/Z5jFK0fHsX— Gaboowins (@GabyUrrutia22) November 21, 2020
Miami is already making Little a priority for the 2022 class, and is considered a “must-get” by Canes fans, and I’d agree. Little is a fantastic talent at the biggest position of need moving forward for Miami. Cornerback depth is very thin for the Hurricanes, and once Al Blades Jr. and DJ Ivey leave following 2021, it’ll become even more of an issue. So a big focus is going to be landing several cornerbacks in 2022, and Little has to be one of those players.
Blessed to be invited to the 2022 All-American Bowl! @AABonNBC @Andrew_Ivins #blessed pic.twitter.com/5iiGpMUHhS— Earl Little Jr (@EarlLittleJr1) May 21, 2020
Every year, there are several South Florida players that Miami needs to try and keep home, and Little is definitely one of them. Having James Williams as his high school teammate, I'm sure Little is hearing from him where he needs to go.
Need James Williams to recruit Earl Little Jr to Miami— Jasmaine P. ✍ (@Truly_Jas) November 21, 2020