January 13, 2016

Did Kirby Smart mistake the name of an early enrollee?

Those who follow recruiting and high school football in South Florida know Deerfield Beach four-star wide receiver Cavin Ridley as -- exactly that -- Cavin Ridley.

So when new Georgia coach Kirby Smart sent out a tweet Tuesday welcoming Ridley to the Bulldogs as he has enrolled early for the spring semester, it rose eyebrows when the image of Ridley photoshopped into a Georgia uniform said "Riley Ridley."

You can only imagine how many people in the replies to the tweet thought Smart made a huge mistake, but don't worry. He knew what he was doing.

Ridley's middle name is Riley, and among his circles, he often goes by Riley as a way to differentiate himself from older brother Calvin, currently a star freshman receiver with Alabama. Before Ridley transferred to the Bucks, the two brothers played together at Coconut Creek Monarch.

Deerfield Beach coach Jevon Glenn goes as far as saying, "That's what everybody calls him."

Ridley will apparently go by Riley at Georgia, although neither Cavin Ridley nor Riley Ridley shows up on the Bulldogs' official roster as of Wednesday afternoon.

Ridley had an eventful week leading up to his early enrollment. He went from committing to South Carolina after the Under Armour All-America game (Jan. 2) for early enrollment with the Gamecocks to decommitting two days later on Jan. 4 and on Thursday (Jan. 7) flipping his commitment to Georgia.

January 10, 2016

Top local women's college basketball prospects on display at Miami High event

Miami High and AAU team Miami Suns combined to host the first annual SUTS Reports New Year's Classic on Saturday and many of South Florida's top girls' basketball players were present.

The Herald had a full report on the results led by the Flangan victory. The eight-game marathon also included a late 57-41 Ferguson win over Nova as Stony Brook signee Giolibeth Perez notched 24 points and eight steals while Natalia Pineda added 19 points and seven rebounds. 

Here are the prospects and the colleges they have signed with:

Mary Katherine Moore (St. Thomas) -- Bucknell*

Tytionia Adderly (Cardinal Newman) -- FGCU

Hayley Duren (American Heritage) -- Pepperdine*

Megan Gorman (Vero Beach) -- Yale

Naila Delinois (Northeast) -- St. Joseph's

Ashley Santigene (Northeast) -- Marshall

Daborah Hudson (Northeast) -- Southern

Giolibeth Perez (Ferguson) -- Stony Brook

Mikiah Harrigan (Flanagan) South Carolina


Others who are not yet signed but are college-level prospects -- Ferguson: sophomore Natalia Pineda; American Heritage: junior Taylor Smith, junior Auviance Lindo; Miami High: freshman Shekinah Rachel, senior Alondra Angulo; Fort Lauderdale: junior Keyanna Warthen, junior Tamiracle Taylor; Oxbridge Academy: freshman Aaliyah Stanley; Northeast: junior Cabria Lee; Nova: junior Rikiah Cowart; Archbishop McCarthy: junior Reagan McCray; Westminster Academy: junior Raquel Rosa; Hallandale: junior Destiny Walters; Grandview Prep: senior Kristin Rampersad; St. Thomas Aquinas: sophomore Emma Krause; Cardinal Newman: junior Sydni Donovan, junior Milan Morris.

Coaches from Marshall, FIU, Coastal Carolina and Barry University were in attendance.

January 02, 2016

Sam Bruce on UM's decision on Beard: 'It's going to make a factor'

Sam Bruce UA
Sam Bruce after Under Armour All-America Game. Photo by David Furones.

With the turnover on the University of Miami coaching staff in full swing as the program transitions from Al Golden to Mark Richt, St. Thomas Aquinas four-star wide receiver Sam Bruce, a UM commit, was inevitably asked what any decision with wide receivers coach Kevin Beard would make on his recruitment.

"It's going to make a factor," says Bruce, who has been committed to the Hurricanes since July 8, 2014. "There's no guarantee that I would leave the University of Miami, but it'll be something to definitely think about."

Bruce added his insight on what he knows about the situation.

"There's no guarantee that he's leaving," he said. "He still needs to be reevaluated by Coach Richt."

So where does Bruce stand on the Canes with a lot up in the air in the final month before National Signing Day?

"As of now, I am committed to the University of Miami. I am solid, but only time will tell," he says.

Bruce added that the Canes getting the last visit before Signing Day and him already being committed "definitely" makes them the team to beat for his services.

Before the Jan. 29 trip to Coral Gables, Bruce has visits to South Carolina on Jan. 15 and UF on Jan. 22 in the plans. He already visited Ohio State officially in October.

What does he hope to see from the respective schools?

"Just a family-based team, just for them to show me how I can be a premier athlete in their offense, at their school," Bruce said. "University of Miami and Ohio State -- they really stand out because they [each have a strong School of Communication]. That's a big thing for me. I want to major in sports broadcasting."

With the news coming out that Deerfield Beach receiver Cavin Ridley committed to South Carolina on Friday night, it appears that the Gamecocks are beginning to emerge in South Florida under new coach Will Muschamp and defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson.

"I'll give them a shot," Bruce said. "T-Rob, he's been recruiting me since freshman year when he was at Florida. When he went from Florida to Auburn, he didn't change, nothing changed from all the relationship, and then from Auburn to South Carolina and nothing has still changed."

Bruce has had conversations with former high school teammate Jordan Scarlett, now a freshman at UF who flipped from UM before his Signing Day.

With Scarlett playing behind Kelvin Taylor, Bruce said him not getting ideal playing time this season doesn't discourage him at all. He added that the season Antonio Callaway has had proves the Gators play their freshmen.

Bruce addressed the recent reports of him wearing an Ohio State hat earlier in the week at one of the event's practices. He says there was nothing to it other than to match the colors he was already wearing and that it was blown out of proportion.

"I had on black and red. It wasn't even my hat. I took somebody else's hat," Bruce said. "These people on social media, they're ridiculous."

His thoughts on fellow UM commit Dionte Mullins' highlight-reel one-handed touchdown catch?

"It was nasty," Bruce said. "The ball was put in a place where he could make a play and he made the play. That's what the University of Miami is all about."

"Me and Dionte, we go far back... We actually fought for the Little League Heisman in the eighth grade."

Cavin Ridley surprises everyone with South Carolina commitment after Under Armour All-America Game

Cavin Ridley
Cavin Ridley. Photo by David Furones.

Deerfield Beach four-star wide receiver Cavin Ridley shocked reporters after the Under Armour All-America Game on Saturday, announcing a commitment to South Carolina.

The news was unanticipated as Ridley was not scheduled to announce a commitment on the national broadcast and didn't make any Twitter announcement, which has become commonplace in the recruiting world.

Ridley told new Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp and defensive coordinator Travaris "T-Rob" Robinson on Friday night.

"They were recruiting me since they were at Auburn," Ridley said. "They recruit well. They recruit South Florida kids and recruit them the best they can, and I just believe in Coach T-Rob and the things they tell me. I just ran with them.

"It's a new staff, and I think everybody in the world would like a new start. I feel like I can go in there and make an impact."

Of course, Ridley's older brother is Alabama freshman Calvin. He took the news that little brother wouldn't be tagging along in Tuscaloosa well.

"He's just going to let me do me," Ridley said. "He wants what's best for me, and just do what I've got to do."

Ridley will be enrolling early at South Carolina.

"I'm just ready to get up there," he said.

So why didn't Ridley announce on national TV if he was going to let it be known at the Under Armour game on ESPN 2?

"I'm not really big on the media," he said.


December 31, 2015

South Florida 2019 prospects make MaxPreps Freshman All-American Team

James Cook
Miami Central RB James Cook. Photo: Manny Navarro//MIAMI HERALD

A total of six freshmen from Miami-Dade and Broward County earned their way onto the MaxPreps Freshman All-American Football Team -- five of them making the first team.

OL – Dontae Lucas, 6-5, 290, Booker T. Washington (Miami)

RB – Nay'quan Wright, 5-9, 185, Carol City (Miami)

RB – James Cook, 5-11, 190, Central (Miami)

LB – Ge'mon Eaford, 6-2, 215, Deerfield Beach (Fla.)

DB – Kenny McIntosh, 6-1, 204, University (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

LB – Diamante Howard, 6-2, 200, Southridge (Miami) (2nd team)

Check out the full MaxPreps 2015 Football Freshman All-American Team here.



December 30, 2015

USA Today All-USA Florida Team loaded with South Florida recognitions

Flanagan coach Devin Bush Sr. won Coach of the Year and American Heritage defensive end Brian Burns earned Defensive Player of the Year honors as USA Today released its All-USA Florida Football Team on Wednesday.

Here's what USA Today had to say about the two.

First, Bush:

Bush led the Falcons to their first-ever state crown this season with a victory over Osceola in the Class 8A final. Led by the coach’s son, linebacker Devin Bush Jr., defense was Flanagan’s calling card. The Falcons allowed a measly 6.4 points per game in the state’s highest classification and posted three shutouts in the postseason.

And Burns:

Burns was a menace for the Patriots this fall, recording 60 tackles (19 for loss) and 15.5 sacks. The U.S. Army All-American reportedly has a top two of Florida and Florida State.

The rest of the all-state team was loaded with players from Miami-Dade and Broward County.

First Team

DL Nick Bosa (6-4, 255, Sr.), St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale)

DL Brian Burns (6-5, 220, Sr.), American Heritage (Plantation)

DL Keir Thomas (6-1, 245, Sr.), Miami Central (Miami)

LB Devin Bush Jr. (5-11, 225, Sr.), Flanagan (Pembroke Pines)

DB Trayvon Mullen (6-1, 175, Sr.), Coconut Creek (Pompano Beach)

K James McCourt (6-1, 185, Sr.), St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale)

Second Team

QB Tyler Huntley (6-2, 185, Sr.), Hallandale

OL Navaughn Donaldson (6-6, 335, Jr.), Miami Central (Miami)

DL Nik Bonitto (6-3, 215, So.), St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale)

DL Joshua Uche (6-1, 220, Sr.), Columbus (Miami)

LB Vosean Joseph (6-2, 210, Sr.), Norland (Miami)

LB Emmett Rice (6-3, 200, Sr.), Norland (Miami)

DB Jamel Cook (6-4, 185, Sr.), Miami Central (Miami)

DB Stanford Samuels (6-1, 165, Jr.), Flanagan (Pembroke Pines)

In addition to Donaldson, University of Miami commitments Travis Homer of West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy, Shaquille Quarterman of Orange Park Oakleaf, Patrick Bethel of Vero Beach, Michael Pinckney of Jacksonville Raines and Tyler Byrd of Naples were recognized. Former UM commits Uche and Ahmmon Richards also were named.

December 25, 2015

Keir Thomas commits to South Carolina

Fresh off back-to-back state championships his junior and senior seasons with Miami Central, defensive end Keir Thomas committed to South Carolina on Christmas Day.

The first thing the 6-2, 249-pound three-star prospect pointed to was the scheme new Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp will run and where he will fit into that scheme. Thomas will play the "Buck," an ultra-important position in the defense where he'll play either defensive end or outside linebacker depending on if the team is in a 4-3 or a 3-4.

Thomas, ranked as the No. 5 senior prospect in Miami-Dade County entering the season, says the combination of Muschamp and South Carolina defensive coordinator Travaris "T-Rob" Robinson has been recruiting him the longest and the hardest and the two were a major key in getting him on board with the Gamecocks on Friday.

"Coach Muschamp coaches hard. I want somebody who's going to stay on me and make sure they get the best out of me," Thoams said. "[Robinson] as well. I can also relate to Coach T-Rob a little bit more because he's from Miami."

Thomas decommitted from FSU in November and at that point was listing Auburn as his leader when Muschamp and Robinson were together on the Tigers' staff.

Arkansas and Tennessee were his other finalists. He visited each of those schools since decommitting from FSU and also was offered by UM.

Although Thomas hasn't visited South Carolina, he felt comfortable making the decision and was somewhat familiar with the school even before Muschamp and Robinson arrived.

"I had a feel for South Carolina before that," Thomas said. "They always have a great defensive line."

In Columbia, S.C., Thomas will be reunited with former Carol City cornerback Rashad Fenton, whom he attended middle school with. The Gamecocks also currently have Skai Moore from University School, Al Harris Jr. from St. Thomas Aquinas and Chris Lammons from Plantation on the roster.

South Carolina has been hot in recruiting with five new commits since Muschamp took over.

December 22, 2015

Jerry Jeudy asks, and he receives

It started a week ago on Tuesday, Dec. 15 when Deerfield Beach 2017 four-star wide receiver Jerry Jeudy tweeted out his very early top 10.

Aside from his emoji game being on point, notice the section at the bottom. He lists schools that he's interested in but haven't offered yet -- USC, TCU and Baylor.

Oh, how quickly things changed when college coaches at those programs got a hold of that information.

Three days later on Friday, the Trojans came through with an offer.

On Monday and three days after the USC offer, the Horned Frogs dished out an offer.

Moral of the story: Jerry Jeudy is so good that when colleges find out he wants an offer, they just go ahead and give him one.

Baylor, where you at?


December 20, 2015

Former Cincy pledge Carriere-Williams commits to Wisconsin

St. Thomas Aquinas senior cornerback Dontye Carriere-Williams announced a commitment to Wisconsin Sunday just four days after decommitting from Cincinnati, where he was previously committed since May.

Carriere-Williams, who transferred to St. Thomas from Booker T. Washington in the summer, joins Fort Lauderdale linebacker Dallas Jeanty as Broward County prospects set to play for the Badgers.

December 16, 2015

Recruiting Roundup: Bush recruiting Pie to join him at Michigan

The biggest news Wednesday came in Devin Bush Jr. announcing his commitment to Michigan (read Andre Fernandez's full story on that), but a subplot developing is Bush's recruitment of Miami High wide receiver Keyshawn "Pie" Young.

Bush, the four-star Flanagan linebacker, spoke with Young moments after announcing he was choosing the Wolverines over Florida State. Young, reported by the Miami Herald in October as a Michigan lean, was on FaceTime with Falcons lineman Natrone Ray during the ceremony to watch it live -- "a moment I will never forget," he called it. Shortly afterward, Bush got a hold of Ray's phone and told Young he's next. 

Young is still keeping things open at the moment, saying Alabama, Tennessee and USC are schools he has up there for his services. He has a visit with Tennessee scheduled for Jan. 29 and already visited Michigan during the season.

Oh, then he sent this tweet out and revealed another school he hasn't counted out yet. It's not too far from where he lives.

**UM had Miami Jackson athlete Desmond Phillips, a quarterback for the Generals being recruited as a slot receiver, decommit on Wednesday. He originally committed just three weeks prior after getting the UM offer slightly before the Al Golden firing.

**Another Hurricane recruit whose commitment was accepted in between the Golden firing and Mark Richt hiring, South Dade running back Jawon Hamilton, is wavering on his pledge to the Canes at the moment.

"I haven't received a call from Richt yet, so I'm going to keep my recruiting open," Hamilton said.

That doesn't mean he is decommitting at the moment, he adds.

**Another prospect that did decommit on Wednesday was Hallandale wide receiver Neru N'Shaka, who went back on his commitment to Virginia, saying "it just felt right."

Before anyone starts speculating that a fourth Hallandale prospect is Utah-bound, N'Shaka, who missed his entire senior season with a knee injury, does not hold an offer from the Utes.

He says he's not sure of his top at the moment, but did say the schools recruiting him the hardest are Toledo, Virginia, Syracuse and Mercer -- notice the Cavaliers are still in that group.

**Miami Jackson linebacker Shemar Smith signed with Oregon State on Wednesday after committing to the Beavers last Thursday.

"I chose Oregon State because when I took the official visit it felt like home, they made me feel like family and the chemistry with the team and the coaches is unbelievable," Smith says. "It was an amazing place."

Oregon State assistant and former Miami Central coach Telly Lockette is getting a good one in Smith, who was the Miami Herald's Defensive Player of the Year in 2014.

**At the same ceremony Wednesday, Jackson offensive lineman Carl Thompson also signed early with Alabama State.

**Hialeah American defensive end Jamal Smith committed to UCF on Tuesday upon receiving an offer from the Knights the same day.

Smith joins South Dade offensive tackle Boman Swanson and Norland cornerback Bryon Brown as Dade County seniors committed to UCF.

**Some news that slipped through on Monday but worth noting even if it's late: Hallandale quarterback Tyler Huntley signed with Utah and is set to enroll in the spring semester.