In this installment of The Recruiting Notebook, we meet a talented defender who bring talent and tenacity to the Miami secondary: Baton Rouge (LA) Southern Lab 3-star S Dylan Day.
As Miami looked to replace the talent at Safety, they turned their recruiting attention to Baton Rouge (LA) Southern Lab S Dylan Day.
A 5’11” 165lb Safety, Day uses speed more than size to affect opposing teams. A 3 sport athlete — he also runs track and plays baseball at Southern Lab — Day has shown himself to be a key player on many teams.
Day was more of a track star than football player early in his HS career. As a sophomore, he help Southern Lab win the Louisiana 1A State Championship in the 4x100M relay. He was also on the 3rd place 4x200M relay that same year.
As a junior in 2022, Day got snaps all over the Southern Lab secondary as the Kittens (Southern University are the Jaguars so the developmental school they run is nicknamed the Kittens. Cute, get it?) went 8-6 and lost in the 3rd round of the Louisiana State Playoffs. During this season, Tulane was the first team to extend Day a scholarship offer.
After the football season, Day returned to the track, and continued to have great success based upon his plus speed. Day ran anchor for Southern Lab’s state title-winning 4x100 and 4x400 relays, he placed third in the Louisiana 1A 200-meter finals with a 21.63, and he ran lead leg for Southern Lab’s third-place 4x200 relay.
Since recruiting season is all the time, teams continued to jockey for Day’s services through track and baseball season. Arizona State, Ole Miss, and Miami all extended scholarship offers to the multi-talented speedster.
It seems that Miami’s recruiting efforts were the most focused and effective. Day committed to Miami in April — without having taken a visit to Coral Gables. Don’t worry; Day took both an official visit during the packed June 23rd weekend, and an unofficial visit to Hard Rock Stadium for the Texas A&M game.
Freshly committed to Miami, Day stepped his game up multiple levels as a senior. In helping Southern Lab to a 12-1 record and a State Championship — with their only loss being a 13-12 defeat in week 2 — Day returned 5 interceptions for touchdowns on the year. Day also returned multiple punts and kickoffs for touchdowns as well.
Day also made big plays in big games. See his last-minute Pick-6 to send Southern Lab to their 2nd State Championship game in 3 years.
Dylan Day sends Southern Lab to the Dome!— Pat Timlin (@pat_timlin) December 2, 2023
Kittens trailed 31-34 with a minute left in the game when the University of Miami commit came up with a pick six against Ouachita Christian. Lab wins 38-34 & will try for a 2nd state title in 3 years! #LHSAA @dylandayy12 @sulsfootball pic.twitter.com/7OwC8GyUEo
For his efforts, Day was named the Louisiana 1A Defensive Player of the Year.
On the 247sports composite, Day is a 3-star prospect, the #82 S nationally, #22 in the State of Louisiana, and #748 player overall in this class.
Riley committed to Miami over a list of 11 scholarship offers from around the country, which included Arizona State, Ole Miss, and West Virginia.
As A Player
At 5’11” 165lbs, Day has decent height, but he’s very thing and lithely built. He’ll need to get up in the 180lb+ range to be a consistent player at this level.
As noted by his track prowess, Day has above average speed. He’s not, however, the fastest player in the world, so he’ll need to gain weight to find his way on the field. If he were a top 1% speedster, he could play at 165lbs. Think Travis Benjamin. Day is fast, but not THAT kind of fast.
Day has a great nose for the ball and good ball skills. He had 5 Pick-6’s during his senior year, which proves that point. Additionally, he was seen all over the Southern Lab secondary making plays to break passes up down the field.
Instincts can’t be taught, and Day has great ones. He’s good at understanding what passing concepts opposing teams are running, and pattern matching, or simply playing man, to affect the receiver. Day also shows good ability to play in space at Free Safety, and from that position is where he took most of his interceptions.
Day plays with physicality, but that physicality is based off his speed. He’s a willing and violent defender against the run, or short passes where he can rally forward to the receiver, but he uses momentum rather than brute strength as his way to get offensive player on the ground. When diving thru legs on a running back, that’s something that can continue in college. But, running fast to “hit stick” and lower shoulder into a receiver/tight end, that’s something that he’ll need to work on. We’ve seen that technique be unsuccessful for James Williams — a player who is 6 inches taller and 60lbs heavier than Day at the Safety position — so it stands to reason that Day would see the same issues when trying to do it against P5 competition.
Southern Lab plays in Louisiana’s smallest classification: 1A. So, while they didn’t play the greatest competition, they have won two of the last 3 State Championships at their level. And, again, Day was an integral part of that success. For a Miami team that is trying to instill a culture of winning, getting a champion and player of the year like Day is a good step along that path.
- Ball skills
- Special teams — both as returner and gunner
- Very thin and a bit light
- Tackling technique
- Run support against bigger blockers
Note: changed this up from just a freshman-season outlook to a career outlook for each player a couple years ago and we’re continuing that style this year as well.
Day is a player the could be a diamond in the rough for the Canes. DB coach Jahmile Addae was decisive with this evaluation, moved quickly to secure his commitment, and those actions speak to the staff’s belief in Day long term.
While there’s a chance he could work his way onto specials as a freshman — he’s REALLY GOOD on special teams — Day will probably be headed to a redshirt in 2024. That will give him a chance to learn the defense, rework his body, and prepare himself for action in the future.
If we’re going off of his ranking, Day figures to be a floor-raising depth piece in the secondary for the Canes moving forward. If we’re looking at his championship experience on both the football field and the track, and his big play ability mixed with potential, Day could develop into a foundational player in the Miami secondary, should everything go right. Either one would be acceptable, but it will be years down the line until we know which path was taken.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.