It’s been a long, long time but starting today, Recruiting is fully back open for business! The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated that things shut down with quarantines and travel restrictions, but the 15-month long recruiting Dead Period ended at midnight, so things are about to take off!
It’s Cookout Time
Miami has routinely leveraged cookouts and camps as premium on-campus events to drive traffic to Coral Gables, and push the envelope forward for the Canes on the recruiting trail. This year will be no different, as there are back-to-back invite-only cookout days scheduled for today and tomorrow. Today is focused on the 2022 recruiting class — rising seniors — while tomorrow’s is focused on underclassmen.
As we’ve chronicled here at SOTU and in other places online, Miami has routinely had elite talent show up to these, and other, on-campus recruiting events. This will be no different this year, as many blue chip talents have stated they intend to be in Coral Gables for one of the early cookout days.
While the list of blue chip prospects planning on attending one of the Cookouts in Coral Gables, the list of names has to begin with Miami (FL) Monsignor Pace 5-star EDGE Shemar Stewart. A consensus top 10 player in the country, Stewart is an incredible talent who has been dominating the HSFB level since his freshman year. Miami along with LSU, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Alabama will get Stewart on campus this June. But, his tour begins here at home.
.@MonsignorPaceFB DE Shemar Stewart not an easy dude to block. He will visit Miami, LSU, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, FSU and plenty of others in June. https://t.co/BQxg2IyxFH pic.twitter.com/aTnh1W5DAH— Andrew Ivins (@Andrew_Ivins) May 25, 2021
Another elite player on the list is Lexington (MS) Holmes County 4-star CB Khamauri Rogers. A top 10 CB in this class, Rogers will both attend today’s 1st day out cookout and return to Miami in 2 weeks for an official visit. I’ve long stated that for an elite out of State prospect like Rogers, 2 visits — one unofficial and one official — are necessary to consider Miami a realistic possibility for the final destination. With Rogers having both of those visits already planned (and one underway as he’s been seen in South Florida already), things are heating up here quickly.
I could honestly write a paragraph (or more) about every player Miami expects to get on campus for a cookout. In the interest of brevity, let’s change to a bullet point list with a quick blurb instead:
- Miami (FL) Central 4-star LB Wesley Bissainthe - Miami’s top target at the position and one of the best LBs in the country. Some believe he was the best LB on Central’s roster last year, and that team had 2021 5-star LB Terence Lewis on the roster. So yeah, Bissainthe being on campus here matters.
- Ft. Lauderdale (FL) Dillard 4-star EDGE Nyjalik Kelly. A one-time FSU commit, Kelly is exactly the kind of long, lean, twitchy EDGE prospect that has littered the Miami roster. He’s real, REAL good, and showed improved strength this spring, which is his major area for growth.
- Plantation (FL) American Heritage 4-star EDGE Marvin Jones Jr, 4-star CB Earl Little Jr, and 4-star CB Jacolby Spells. Cheating a bit, but I’m putting this trio of HS teammates together. Jones Jr. is the son of the former FSU standout of the same name, and like Kelly and Stewart is a dynamic edge rusher. Little Jr is the son of former Miami standout of the same name, but appears to be favoring Alabama at present. Spells is a former WR who possesses track star speed and good size for a corner. Miami hasn’t had the most success getting recruits from American Heritage in the past, but the Canes would be well served to lock down at least 2 of these prospects.
- Homestead (FL) 4-star EDGE Dante Anderson and 4-star DT Daniel Lyons. Another set of teammates here, Anderson and Lyons would individually and collectively add size, athleticism, and talent to Miami’s defensive line.
- Ft. Myers (FL) Bishop Verot 4-star ATH Chris Graves. If the name of the school sounds familiar, it should; Graves stars at the same school that produced 2021 signee ATH/CB Malik Curtis. Graves is more experienced on defense than Curtis was, but also possesses track star speed. He’s a name to know for now and moving forward.
- Hollywood (FL) Chaminade-Madonna 4-star EDGE Kenyatta Jackson. Jackson stars for Chaminade, a program that Miami has recruited very well historically and recently. He’s yet another elite edge rusher in this class that Miami would love to add to the roster.
- Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas 4-star OT Julian Armella. Back where he started after a year at Miami Columbus. He’s the best OL prospect in SoFLA this cycle, and Miami needs to continue to get players of this caliber on the roster to take steps forward.
- Orlando (FL) Evans 4-star S Markeith Williams. A dynamic defender who could add to Miami’s already-stacked Safety room.
- Beaumont (TX) West Brook 4-star S Bryce Anderson. Another top national prospect at Safety, Anderson is connected heavily to the Texas Longhorns at the moment, but a visit to Miami could change things a bit. Or not.
- Orlando (FL) Dr. Phillips 4-star LB Demario Tolan. Likely the 1A at LB this cycle behind Bissainthe, Tolan is a prospect Miami values for his athleticism. He, like Rogers, will return later this summer for an official visit.
- Miami (FL) Gulliver Prep 4-star LB Travious Lathan. It is well known that Miami wants to get more athletic at LB, and Lathan would aid in that pursuit. Oregon has been an early favorite of Lathan’s but the hometown Canes expect to use this visit to gain some traction.
- Chesapeake (VA) Oscar Smith 4-star S Sherrod Covil
- Pilot Point (TX) 4-star LB Ish Harris
- Coconut Creek (FL) 4-star CB Trevell Mullen. Younger brother of former Clemson CB Trayvon Mullen and Indiana CB Tiawan Mullen.
- Lafayette (LA) Christian 3-star CB Jordan Allen
- Ft. Lauderdale (FL) Stranahan 3-star LB Omar Graham Jr.
- And more
This week of recruiting opening up isn’t just for seniors. Here are a couple names who are expected to hit campus for the underclassmen event on June 2nd:
Any list of this type has to start with Plantation (FL) American Heritage 5-star WR Brandon Inniss. A known commodity since he played varsity at University School as an 8th grader, Inniss is a big bodied WR with incredible skill. An absolute superstar. He’s recently transferred to American Heritage and figures to continue to display the elite talent that’s had him rated as a 5-star since forever. Miami will fight against every top tier team in the country for Inniss, but let the battle begin (or continue, really, cuz Inniss’s recruitment has long since started).
- Plantation (FL) American Heritage 4-star RB Mark Fletcher
- Plantation (FL) American Heritage 4-star WR Santana Fleming
- Miami (FL) Gulliver Prep 4-star WR Jalen Brown
- Ft. Lauderdale (FL) Stranahan 4-star WR Hykeem Williams
- Miami (FL) Central 3-star WR Lamar Seymore. Miami’s only 2023 commit at this moment. He’s the younger brother of 2021 signee OL Laurence Seymore.
- and many more
While the cookouts are great, structured unofficial visit events where the recruits and their families pay for the travel to campus for the experience, things really get kicked off for the 2022 class with Official Visits this weekend.
For those who may not remember, Official Visits are the featured event of a recruitment. They are fully paid for by the school and can include the recruit and a family member or two. The itineraries are extensive, and schools around the country go out of their way to roll out the red carpet for the prospects and their families in the hopes of getting them to commit to, and sign with, the university.
The NCAA made a calendar change a couple years ago to allow for OV’s in the Spring preceding a recruit’s senior year, and Miami is going to leverage this heavily in the month of June. We’ll resume our weekly look at the official visitors Miami will welcome (and those prospects who Miami is fighting for that may be visiting elsewhere, as well).
Recruiting is back, everyone. Buckle up for a wild ride.