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Herald Signing Day Blog

National Signing Day is here and we invite you to add comments about your schools and players. We will start it off with 4 UCF locals who committed this morning:

Corey Ammons, DB, 6-0, 175, Miami, Fla. / Archbishop Carroll
Nico Flores, QB, 6-2, 199, Miami, Fla. / North Miami Beach
Dontravius Floyd, WR, 6-2, 205, Homestead, Fla. / South Dade
Kemal Ishmael, DB, 5-11, 192, Miami, Fla. / North Miami Beach


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Nico Flores would have been great for FIU. consider it a loss.. but a big gain for UCF


Can't blame him - possibly start early in conference USA instead of sun belt. But would have been nice to see him at fiu

blanche ely

Michael Carter, Pompano Beach Ely cornerback, to Minnesota. Carter had given verbal to West Virginia at All Star game. (San Antonio, I think).

Carter's cousin Tyrone was an All-American, Jim Thorpe award winning safety at Minnesota.

Tyrone won his second super bowl this week.

Gophers also sign Rivals three star Eric Jacques, Carter's teammate. Jacques projects as a d-lineman for Minnesota.


that's good for west Virginia. They got to conferable with carter and stopped recruting others.

Miami Heart Beat

University of Buffalo silently steals solid ALL DADE PLAYERS in Peter Gagliardi (6-3, 230) Sunset , Rick Perez C (6-3 270) South Dade and Brandon Oliver from the Ridge


BACK to BACK MAC Championships


The U Baby! I'm very pleased with our signing class. Ray Ray will be an immediate impact, and look out for Mike James, and Lamar Miller.


Who did Dillard's Trabis Ward sign with today?

Men love Women

Bertani getting UCF money instead of Western Mich. now????? Wow, get it Bertani-u slave master devil!


Corey Ammons did not make all-state or first team all-dade, I will never understand that, but UCF got them a great player!


Forget Florida and Tennessee.

The North Miami Beach and Western Michigan camps have taken some pretty harsh shots at UCF today.

North Miami Beach High School Coach Jeff Bertani told the Kalamazoo Gazettehe was stunned when players Nico Flores and Kemal Ishmael opted to sign with UCF instead of following the school's pipeline of standout players to Western Michigan.

Bertani lamented negative recruiting tactics employed by the UCF coaching staff trying to lure Flores and Ishmael to Orlando after he said they already had committed to Western Michigan. Kalamazoo Gazette beat writer Graham Couch throws in his own opinion, calling the tactics he heard were used by assistant coach David Kelly and head coach George O'Leary "ridiculous and shameful for grown men who claim to be educators."

UCF coaches have declined to comment on the record about any battles leading up to signing day, but there are allegations from the Knights' camp that Bertani engaged in heavy negative recruiting against UCF and strongly pushed his athletes to pick Western Michigan over the Knights. It also is unclear whether Flores and Ishmael ever actually committed to Western Michigan, with no one ever directly quoting the athletes saying they had committed before signing day.

Bertani insists the Knights worked hard to force the players to break their vows to play at Western Michigan. "Something needs to change," Bertani told the Gazette. "A kid's word needs to mean something. A coach's word needs to mean something. There are fewer and fewer Coach Cubits and coach (George) McDonalds. ... This is going on all over the country. It used to be about relationships."

Couch goes on to say Bertani would like to see an early signing period to "limit a bit of the purpose of sleazy coaches and their cronies."

Ironically, O'Leary has long pushed for an early signing period and lamented more players don't honor their nonbinding commitments.

Western Michigan Coach Bill Cubit also said UCF's recruiting of Ishmael and Flores was "not on the up-and-up."

"Kids make a commitment to a school and then we glorify recruiters that go in there and make the kids take away their commitment, their word," Cubit told the Gazette. "That doesn't make any sense to me. What I like about what we're doing, I think if you ask any kid, any parent, we're honest to a fault. We're going to sell our school. We're not going to be negative to another school. And that goes on out there."

Flores seems happy with his decision. He told the Miami Herald, ''I went to sleep [Tuesday] night, and I was still unsure about it. But ultimately, [Wednesday] morning, I set my mind on UCF. It felt like home to me when I went there. Western Michigan did, too, but I felt like UCF was gonna give me the best chance to succeed.''


I saw about 30 other college-bound athletes on stage across the county on Signing Day WHO GOT NO LOVE FROM THE MEDIA NOR acknowledgement.Those kids worked JUST AS HARD IF NOT HARDER THAN THOSE SO-CALLED 'BLUE-CHIPPERS',whom we know RARELY pan out.Yet the media(TheHerald)treat them as an 'also-ran'--this is VERY disturbing to parents who instill in their children that an education(esp a 'free one')IS A MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT TOO.Look at the number of kids right here in southdade that won't get that opportunity,and they're probably just as good a playa..tsk tsk.My hat off to St.Thomas coach Smith,who acknowledged EVERY ONE of St.Thomas' athletes--football,baseball,volleyball etc.Herald--these kids derserve MORE from acommunity newspaper.Once again, Broward county on the right side of right.


Signing day is no longer just about Football anymore so I think the Herald should have given the other athletes just as much recoginition!


Belen has again fulfilled its role as "Ivy League Pipeline" but gets little mention. For a bunch of undersized, "less talented" group of players they perennially give 6A power Columbus and 4A stalwart Monsignor Pace fits every year. Likewise when we run into Pahokee or Belle Glade reality sets in.

Mr. Blumstein gave "props" to their coach Rich Stuart in an earlier article but the Belen football story is one that merits further scrutiny. No scholarships...very rigorous academic standards...a team comprised of generally affluent kids with little or no parental link to high quality football genetics; still produces teams among the upper echelon of high school football. It merits investigating why a bunch of "Cuban kids" whose parents for the most part didn't play ball are still able to compete at a high level. As a grad I believe it's a result of the lessons our parents endured coming to this great country while being forced to make new lives for themselves and ultimately succeeding. This "will" and doggedness I believe has been passed down to our kids, whether in academics or sports. As an example witness Belen's consecutive state championships in swimming and cross country

BTW, Belen has a senior to be who if he doesn't choose to go to an Ivy League school because of academics could probably play (certainly qualify) at any major college football university.

Proud Belen grad

Fed up

I agree with the previous post regarding private school athletes. I think more and more about how all the attention goes to kids who are given recognition for who they are being recruited by and where they are going as opposed to if they are even going to qualify to get into school.It is not so much with just kids from Belen but please tell me the last or first kid you saw sign with USC with all the supposed superstars we have had down here and this year one from a tiny private school (even though he was probably recruited to go there) signs with a national powerhouse on the other side of the country. I for one do not have any faith or trust in the recruiting process and feel that kids who are just as talented and have an academic foundation, go overlooked because of what school they go to or where it is located in the city/county. Translate it to race or whatever you want but with the looming budget cuts from all major universities, I think the public should be made aware of what major colleges spend/waste on recruiting athletes they know will never even qualify, but they will pass over a kid who will qualify but doesnt fit their "mold" of their recruits. I think high school kids who are glorified sends such a wrong message to those who miss what the real reason these kids should want to go to school in the first place. It is for this reason I root like heck for the underdogs and enjoy watching the 1-AA and lower division playoffs because they sometimes are true student/athletes. I dont think there is a remedy nor given the amount of $$ at stake, that you will ever see a professor or school president making what a college coach makes. The system is out of whack but it fits with the society we live in. Football, especially college football is an "individual sport" in a "team setting".


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