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2022 Recruiting Spotlight: Earl Little Jr.

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A Miami legacy, and one of best cornerbacks in the country, the Canes look to keep Earl Little Jr. home in South Florida

247 Sports

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Little received an offer from Miami in October of his sophomore season.

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.

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.

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.

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.