We’re almost two weeks into 2014, and 23 days away from National Signing Day on Feb. 5.
If you’ve missed anything related to college football recruiting and its ties to South Florida this year, here’s a recap before things get crazier as the dead period ends on Wednesday:
It’s been a rough start for UM in 2014 to say the least.
Early enrollee Braxton Berrios from Leesville Road High in Raleigh, NC, wrote on his Twitter account Friday he has suffered a torn ACL, which he played on during the Under Armour All-America game in St. Petersburg on Jan. 2.
“Ya know the funny thing about my TD in the All American game? I did it with a Torn ACL...God has a plan,” the wide receiver wrote before deleting the post.
No further updates regarding Berrios’ injury or a timetable for his return have been given by the school.
While Berrios is already enrolled, one early enrollee decided to go elsewhere on Friday.
Deerfield Beach running back Brandon Powell, who was supposed to enroll at UM on Wednesday, decommitted from the school and enrolled at the University of Florida on Friday. Powell’s decommitment became the third for the Canes in a week, joining Nigel Bethel and Travonte Valentine.
Bethel, a cornerback from Miami Booker T. Washington said he knew for ‘about two months” he wanted to flip from UM, to Texas Tech.
As for Valentine, the All-American defensive tackle from Hialeah Champagnat Catholic, he decommitted after participating in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 4 in San Antonio in the midst of rumors linking Canes coach Al Golden to the Penn State coaching job. Valentine’s coach Mike Tunsil said Valentine would like to have a sit down with Golden to “make sure everyone is on the same page” before deciding to commit again.
Some pleasant news for UM: Miami Central coach Roland Smith said his Under Armour All-America players Joseph Yearby and Trevor Darling should be enrolled at UM “any day now.”
Yearby, rated a four-star running back who committed to UM in February, has been recovering from a broken fibula and expects to be ready when the Canes begin spring practice.
Darling, rated a four-star offensive tackle, has been committed to UM since April.
“They’re still enrolling,” Smith said. “Everything is in and they’ll be fine.”
If you need a little more everlasting reassurance Canes fans, check out what Berrios and Booker T. defensive end Chad Thomas said after watching UM’s loss to Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl while in Orlando practicing for the Under Armour game.
“In our minds, we said we’ll do what we got to do to make a better program,” Thomas said.
Added Berrios: “We want to win. We want to bring back that tradition to winning 10, 11, 12 games a season is normal.”
Central running back Dalvin Cook enrolled into Florida State this week, effectively ending his recruitment saga. If you missed any of it, check it out here.
FSU won the final BCS National Championship on Jan. 6, and even got a head start on its 2015 recruiting class as Central safety Calvin Brewton [you defnitely want to read the comments an FSU coach had here] and Miramar cornerback Tyrek Cole committed to play for the Seminoles on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
While the Gators landed Powell, and five-star cornerback Jalen Tabor from Washington, DC Friendship Academy last week, it also lost out on two key commitments in Ermon Lane and Chris Lammons.
Lane, the Homestead wide receiver ranked the second best at his position in the country by ESPN, decommitted from Florida on Friday.
No Hard Feelings But I Just Decommitted From The University Of Florida . Not Because Dalvin Cook. No lie I love gator nation. #OneLove— Support #⃣5⃣Jwalk (@_MoneyLane) January 10, 2014
Lane, who’s close friends with Cook, is set to make an official visit to FSU on Jan. 31 and announce his final decision on Signing Day.
As for Lammons, who is close friends with UF cornerback commit Quincy Wilson from University School, his decision to decommit from Florida came Thursday night. Wilson had a nice comment regarding Lane after the Under Armour game. If you remember, Lane, Wilson and Lammons all announced their commitments to the Gators on Aug. 12, 2013.
Here’s Lammons’ Twitter post from Thursday:
No I Did Not Decommit Because Of Jalen Tabor Commitment I Decommited To Put Myself In A Better Position .— Chris Lammons (@Lammons_1) January 10, 2014
Wisconsin and South Carolina will be major players for Lammons’ services. Lammons originally wanted to commit to South Carolina in July before committing to Florida, but the Gamecocks told him they didn’t have enough room to add another defensive back.
Another quick note regarding the Gators: Plantation American Heritage speedster Isaiah McKenzie announced a top five of UF, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Oregon on Sunday night. McKenzie announced his desire to commit to Notre Dame in October, but did not have a qualifying ACT score for the Irish to accept his pledge. He has opened his recruitment back up, but still has a desire to attend Notre Dame.
Other local prospects
--Miramar High will dominate this portion of the update.
When head coach Damon Cogdell decided to leave the school to join the coaching staff at his alma mater West Virginia, it didn’t take long for three of his junior prospects to want to follow him. Wide receiver Khalil Lewis, running back Alex Anderson and cornerback Kendrell McFadden all pledged to West Virginia last week.
Miramar senior safety Andre Godfrey, however, committed to Utah on Thursday.
--With Charlie Strong leaving Louisville for Texas, Cardinal Gibbons WR George Rushing looking elsewhere.
Stay tuned to this blog, or follow me on Twitter for more for recruiting updates ahead of National Signing Day on Feb. 5.