February 09, 2016

Sources: Flanagan coach Devin Bush could be next to join Michigan

Flanagan won its first state championship this past season with three Michigan recruits on the roster.

Now it appears their high school coach may be following them to Ann Arbor.

Multiple sources have told the Miami Herald on Tuesday that Flanagan coach Devin Bush is on the verge of joining the staff at Michigan where three of his Falcons -- son and linebacker Devin Bush Jr. and safeties Devin Gil and Josh Metellus -- have signed. Bush Jr. has already enrolled at Michigan for the spring semester.

Bush, when reached, said he has not been in current communication with the Wolverines but described "hearsay" that there may be a position for him with the team in some capacity.

Flanagan athletic director Al Guzzo told the Herald that there was nothing mentioned to him when he spoke with Bush earlier Tuesday.

"It's all speculative right now and there's nothing concrete," Guzzo said.

Bush joining the Wolverines was rumored all season. In December, Bush said from the Class 8A state championship game that no one has approached him with college job offers in a column by Manny Navarro.

One source said an announcement is expected sometime next week. Both sources said defensive coordinator Stanford Samuels would become Flanagan's next head coach.

Bush is a former Super Bowl winner with the St. Louis Rams and college football national champion with Florida State. He has been head coach at Flanagan for the past three seasons after spending a year as defensive coordinator and played his high school ball at Hialeah-Miami Lakes.

 

 

Al Blades Jr. touches on St. Thomas Aquinas transfer, more Elite Prep 300 coverage

Former Miami Dolphins safety Arturo Freeman's showcase Elite Prep 300 Series at University School on Sunday had several South Florida high school athletes attend, as well as key college figures, including former UM wide receivers coach Kevin Beard and former FIU quarterback Wes Carroll.

St.Thomas Aquinas 2018 Defensive back Al Blades Jr., a former Hurricane commit who decommitted on October 25th, plans to be active in taking upcoming visits.

 

"I'm planning to travel to South Carolina, Texas and California real soon," he said.

Blades (6-0, 160 pounds) on his recent transfer from University School to Aquinas said, "I think it's a better opportunity for me. For the next two years I can develop more and they have a lot of good wide receivers I can work against."

Miles Jones, an American Heritage 2018 running back, has been receiving preliminary interest from Kentucky, but right now his concentration is on getting fully recovered and trying to help his team win.

Adetutu Daranijo, a St. Thomas Aquinas 2018 linebacker, has received an offer from Northern Illinois University. The Huskies have been recruiting the South Florida area hard, picking up three commitments this past recruiting cycle -- Cypress Bay' wide receiver Andrew Parchment, Norland wide receiver Jordan Robinson and South Dade running back Ivan Smith.

Eugene Witherspoon, a 2016 Miami Jackson wide receiver, didn't sign on National Signing Day. He is still weighing his options but is leaning toward inking with Howard University.

Check out videos below on what Beard, Freeman and Carroll were saying during Sunday's action.

 

 

 

RUSSELL QUINOA

February 01, 2016

Pierre, McWilliams committed to rival schools but still have Canes on their mind

A pair of South Florida defensive backs are committed to rival schools but still have the hometown Miami Hurricanes on their mind as National Signing Day approaches.

Deerfield Beach three-star safety James Pierre, committed to ACC Coastal rival UNC, and Southwest Miami three-star cornerback Christopher McWilliams, committed to in-state rival UF, will still weigh their option to attend UM and both decisions appear to be coming down to Wednesday.

Pierre is a former UM commit that flipped to the Tar Heels in October. Al Golden was fired shortly thereafter, but he's liked what he's seen from new coach Mark Richt.

"The new coaching staff made a big impact on my decision toward [reconsidering] the U," Pierre says. "I'm very interested in what coach Mark Richt brings. Coach [Mike] Rumph, I can relate to him. He knows what it takes to be the best."

The process has taken its toll on Pierre.

"It's a lot of pressure coming at me, and you know, I'm just a kid, so it's just stress for me," he says.

McWilliams is taking his recruitment a little more in stride, but still isn't certain of what he wants to do.

"I'm feeling good. I'm excited to finally get this decision over with and ready to play college ball," McWilliams says. "I made my decision, but I'm still thinking about it, though... It's very hard. I can't tell till Signing Day."

While many believe that the Canes are the top team challenging the Gators for McWilliams' services, he insists UM and USF are even behind UF as his leader going into Signing Day.

McWilliams adds that the decision may come down to how he feels waking up that morning or once he's sitting in the chair to announce his commitment.

McWilliams visited UF over the weekend.

"It went good. The environment there, the campus was cool," McWilliams said. "My host was Chauncey Gardner. He's a funny dude, and we just had a good time. It was enjoyable just to throw on that jersey and stuff."

The trip was a positive stride for the Gators, but the Canes and Bulls are still alive.

UM had good fortune with the snowstorm in the mid-Atlantic stepping in the way from allowing McWilliams to visit UNC the week he originally planned to. He ended up replacing that official with UM, a decision made easier after Richt and Rumph went in-home with him that week.

"After the talk went well, they said they're just looking to change the program to the way the U was before, so I'm looking forward to it and you know UM is close to home," he told the Herald at that point.

These will be two decisions to keep a close eye on on Wednesday.

 

 

January 30, 2016

Jon Ford breaks down UM commitment

Jon Ford
Photo provided by Ford


Dillard four-star defensive end Jon Ford bolstered UM's 2017 recruiting class with a commitment Saturday afternoon.

Ford announced the news on Twitter with a pretty cool Photoshop job of him gracing an ESPN the Magazine cover.

On the timing of the commitment, Ford told me he felt he "had to jump on the boat early. Miami is rebuilding."

Ford added that he thinks the Hurricanes can develop into national champions.

With a full year to go before his Signing Day, Ford is pretty certain he'll stick with the Canes all the way through.

"For right now, yes," he said when asked if his decision is final.

Ford took a liking to the new coaching staff, especially head coach Mark Richt.

"He keeps it real and is a great man," Ford said. "I will love to play for him one day."

He also liked what he heard from defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski.

"Back to the basics -- getting to the quarterback as soon as possible," he says of the defense they tell him they're trying to run. "They don't believe in waiting. They want to execute now. They like aggressive playing -- no sitting on the line reading."

The Hurricanes now have 11 commitments in a 2017 class that currently ranks third nationally, according to 247 Sports.com.

Here's the junior highlight reel for the U's newest commit.

January 29, 2016

Dade/Broward decisions to keep an eye on as National Signing Day approaches

Here are some quick hits on the top scenarios to follow as we wind down on the end of the 2016 recruiting cycle. These prospects are either undecided or are committed but have other schools giving them something to think about before National Signing Day.

Brian Burns, American Heritage 5-star DE: The blue-chip prospect, Army All-American and No. 2 overall senior in Broward County (behind Nick Bosa), according to the Miami Herald, will choose between UF, FSU, Georgia and Alabama. FSU is getting the final visit as Burns has seen all four campuses since the recruiting dead period ended (Jan. 15).

Trayvon Mullen, Coconut Creek 4-star CB: The ultra-talented Army All-American from the #CreekBoyz has a final five of FSU, LSU, Clemson, TCU and Louisville. The first three of the five have consistently been atop his list of college choices. He has taken all his visits and will make his decision live on ESPNU at 8:45 a.m. on National Signing Day.

Keyshawn "Pie" Young, Miami High 3-star WR: It's been reported that Louisville, USC and Michigan are Pie's final three heading into Signing Day. The Wolverines have been a favorite of Dade's No. 6-ranked senior for some time now.

Dredrick Snelson, Flanagan 3-star WR: The Under Armour All-American who has won four state championships at three different schools has been a Minnesota commit since before the season, but it's a soft commitment. Snelson will check out Penn State this final weekend and also went to UCF on Jan. 15. 

Rashad Weaver, Cooper City 3-star DE: After getting dropped from Jim Harbaugh's class with Michigan within a week and a half of Signing Day, Weaver has spent the week receiving a whirlwind of recruiting interest and offers. He is taking visits to Pittsburgh and Penn State and has already been to USF and Temple.

Zack Moss, Hallandale 3-star RB: A Utah commit who took his Utes visit the weekend of Jan. 22 takes a trip to Tennessee the weekend before Signing Day. The one-time Hurricane commit will determine if it's enough to sway him from Utah, where Hallandale teammates Tyler Huntley and Demari Simpkins are already enrolled.

Vosean Joseph, Norland 3-star OLB: A UF commit, the Gators got his final official visit (Jan. 22) before he went to Texas for the USA vs. Canada Independence Bowl and Alabama had him grace its campus the previous weekend. He hasn't made his decision final but feels he's likely to stick to his UF commitment when he revisits his recruitment upon his return to Miami on Monday.

CJ McWilliams, Southwest 3-star DB: Another UF commit, he has UM on him heavy, and according to coach Tim Neal, the Jan. 22 visit -- which he took to UM because he had to cancel plans to check out UNC with the snow storm in the Mid-Atlantic -- is giving McWilliams something to think about with regards to potentially staying home with the Hurricanes. The Gators will try to convince him not to back off his May pledge, hosting him on campus the final weekend before Signing Day.

Aaron Thompson, Dillard 3-star DT: He recently committed to Maryland, but South Carolina will get one final shot at swaying him with a weekend visit.

Eric Mitchell, Miami Central 3-star DE/OLB: Recently listed his top three as Louisville, UCF and Colorado to the Miami Herald.

Jerron Rollins, Columbus 3-star WR: Without having taken any other visit, Cincinnati will get a look from the tall, talented Explorers receiver the final weekend before Signing Day. The Bearcats are the favorites to land him over Washington State, Middle Tennessee, FAU and Syracuse if all goes well on the trip.

Freddie Pinder, Southridge 3-star WR: The highly-touted prospect may not sign anywhere on Signing Day and go the junior college route instead. We will see as Wednesday approaches.

Montray Smith, Carol City 3-star WR: The 6-4 Carol City receiver is on a Southern Illinois visit over the weekend.

Jamal Smith, American 3-star DE: Since committing and then decommitting from UCF, Smith says USF and Youngstown State are his top choices. He says he's considering many more schools, so look out for another team to pop up. Pitt was a school he was high on during the season.

Jahcour Pearson, Flanagan 3-star WR: The speedster who had a monster state championship game is choosing between Western Kentucky and Northern Illinois and will announce on Monday.

Harvey Clayton, Coral Reef 3-star DB: Doing a Middle Tennessee State and Illinois combined visit final weekend before Signing Day. Louisville, FIU and Temple also in the mix for former Louisville commit.

Antione Webster, American 3-star DB: Webster is waiting to announce on Signing Day. Massachusetts is a school that's been trending in the recruitment of the long, athletic DB. His other finalists are unknown.

Keelen Roberts, Carol City 3-star DB: Will be visiting Northern Illinois this weekend and is also trying to squeeze in an FIU visit.

Val Mayes, Norland 3-star DB: Likely not to sign on Signing Day as he looks to up his ACT score on Feb. 6. Upon receiving his results, he hopes to follow up on interest from N.C. State, Mississippi State and Illinois.

Ivan Smith, South Dade 2-star RB: Visiting Northern Illinois over the weekend and may commit.

Keldrick Cesar, Edison 3-star OL: Previously had received offers from schools like USF, FIU, Syracuse, Middle Tennessee State and Samford, as well as interest from UM and UF, but he may now be signing with Bethune-Cookman.

Bryce Handy, Gulliver 3-star LB: Will be choosing between Eastern Illinois and UT-Martin. Eastern Kentucky may be making a late push.

Jordan Robinson, Norland 2-star WR: The tall, athletic under-the-radar receiver for the Vikings went to NIU for the weekend after the Huskies went in-home with him earlier in the week.

Deion Jackson, *former* Hallandale 3-star CB: The great unknown. Before the end of the season, Jackson swiftly moved to Jacksonville citing personal reasons and never really said goodbye to anybody at Hallandale. A report since has said he enrolled at Mandarin High while in Jacksonville and was looking to come back to South Florida at South Broward, but South Broward coach Devon Georgia has not heard of such a transpiration. Jackson is no longer on UM commitment lists and we have no idea where he is.

Follow @DavidFurones90 on Twitter for recruiting updates from now through Signing Day.

Parchment lets Northern Illinois commitment be known

Three-star Cypress Bay wide receiver Andrew Parchment had been committed to Northern Illinois for a week, but he wanted to keep it low key for a National Signing Day announcement.

After meeting with wide receivers coach Thad Ward and offensive coordinator Mike Uremovich Friday morning, he couldn't keep the secret any longer.

Parchment (the No. 46 prospect in the Miami Herald's Broward rankings), a former Cincinnati commit, announced that he chose the Huskies over Western Michigan, Syracuse and FAU after originally committing to the staff on Jan. 22.

"It's just a great all-around fit, bunch of players from South Florida that I get along with real well," Parchment said. "Coach Ward [is a] great wide receivers coach. Me and him really kicked it off when we started connecting."

Indeed, Northern Illinois has its share of South Florida talent on the roster with former Cardinal Gibbons receiver Christian Blake, Miramar cornerback Jeffrey Hill and Pace's Bobby Jones IV and Albert Smalls, as well as four more players to come out of Palm Beach County.

The Huskies are also vying for other South Florida prospects in 2016, including Flanagan speedster Jahcour Pearson, who could potentially become an ideal complement at wide receiver to the 6-3 Parchment.

Here are Parchment's senior highlights:

Follow @DavidFurones90 on Twitter for recruiting updates from now through Signing Day.

January 28, 2016

American Heritage TE Nick Eubanks commits to Michigan

The recruiting picture for a pair of elite undecided seniors from Plantation American is halfway to the point of being completely clear.

Four-star tight end Nick Eubanks, a 6-6 freak of an athlete, pledged to Michigan on Thursday upon visiting the Wolverines starting Wednesday.

He sent out this tweet.

Eubanks had also visited Alabama the weekend of Jan. 15 and has a visit to UF scheduled for the final weekend before National Signing Day. It's unclear if he will still take that visit to the Gators, which he had visited unofficially previously.

Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines continue to take charge in South Florida, adding to a list of commits that includes Columbus defensive end Josh Uche and Flanagan trio of linebacker Devin Bush Jr. and safeties Devin Gil and Josh Metellus.

As for the other top undecided Heritage prospect, five-star defensive end Brian Burns, the decision clearly won't be an easy one for him, as indicated in his tweet below.

January 27, 2016

Independent Gulf Coast Conference football expands to 10 teams

The Gulf Coast high school Football Conference, a south Florida Independent league, is getting stronger next season.

In addition to the six teams in the league in 2015 - Archbishop McCarthy, Key West, Pembroke Pines Charter, Coral Glades, North Broward Prep and Riviera Beach's Inlet Grove, the league has added four of the top teams from the Southeastern Football Conference.

SFC champion Coral Springs Charter, which went 11-0 this past season, and runner-up and 2014 champion Calvary Christian have moved to the GCFC.

They will be also be joined by two more of that conference's top teams, Westminster Academy and Pompano Beach.

The four should bring depth to a league that had one of the area's strongest independent teams in GCFC champion Archbishop McCarthy. The Mavericks went 11-0.

January 26, 2016

Cooper City DE Rashad Weaver sees wave of recruiting interest

Not even 24 hours after Cooper City defensive end Rashad Weaver decommitted from Michigan with an announcement on Twitter that caught many followers' attention, college coaches swarmed to his high school to sway the talented pass rusher.

After announcing on Monday his decision to back off of the Wolverines -- which had essentially backed off entirely in recruiting him -- Weaver had a "hectic" day Tuesday hosting prospective schools.

He received offers from UCF, Hawaii, Iowa State, East Carolina, Kansas and Toledo.

He also was visited by Kentucky, Arkansas, Indiana and Pittsburgh, who didn't offer but advised him one could come if he reciprocates interest to them as Signing Day (Wednesday, Feb. 3) approaches.

On Wednesday, Weaver expects to host Penn State, Iowa State, Virginia, Minnesota and possibly UNLV among others that my surprise him. Duke visited him on Monday.

"They said they all knew me but never contacted me 'cause they all assumed [I was] 100-percent to Michigan, which I was," Weaver said.

Here's what Weaver's decommitment announcement read:

"After being committed for about seven months and receiving little to no contact from staff, I was informed by coach [Jim] Harbaugh that there is a 50/50 chance that he would or would not have room for me on [National Signing Day]. So I was basically a Plan B, and I know within myself I am not a Plan B player. I was offered a [preferred walk-on] spot or to go to prep school, but that isn't an option for me when I have multiple other Division-I offers. I believe I'm better than that. But it's OK; it's all business...

"I am upset about the whole situation, but I will find a new school that I love and that shows me they want me. I WILL STRIVE THERE ON AND OFF THE FIELD WHEREVER I ATTEND."

Weaver hopes to decide what school(s) will get an official visit from him on Wednesday. He's already taken officials to USF and Temple.

Weaver was "very" surprised at how quickly all the schools that visited him reacted to his decommitment.

Does he wish he would've decommitted earlier?

"Somewhat," he says. "But on the other hand, I loved Michigan and wanted to see how it was going to play out."

Weaver's senior season highlights:

Follow @DavidFurones90 on Twitter for recruiting updates from now through Signing Day.

January 25, 2016

Steve Davis steps down as football coach at Plantation High

Steve Davis isn't sure yet if he's going to be out of the head coaching game for good. But he is taking the 2016 season off for now.

The 46-year-old coaching veteran who has guided Plantation High's football program since 2005 said he told school administrations last Friday he's stepping down and planning to take a year off.

Davis, who won a state title at Blanche Ely in 2002, guided the Colonels to a 8-3 record this past season and six playoff appearances in his 11 seasons there. Davis said he will continue to teach at Plantation and remain involved in athletics in a smaller role for now.

"I'm going to work on my golf game a little bit now," said Davis, who has a career 121-64 record. "I've been coaching since I left college in 1994. Like I told the guys, I'm not sure if I'm going to retire for good. I'm just going to take some time off for now. It was nothing with the school. I have a great principal and we have great kids there."

Davis becomes the second head coach in Broward County with a state championship under his belt to step down in the past month. American Heritage's Mike Rumph, who won two state titles, joined Mark Richt's coaching staff at the University of Miami.

There are four active head coaches left in the county who have won state titles: Archbishop McCarthy's Byron Walker, Cypress Bay's Mark Guandolo, Flanagan's Devin Bush and St. Thomas Aquinas' Roger Harriott.