November 25, 2015

Desmond Phillips commits to Canes

Dynamic Miami Jackson athlete Desmond Phillips committed to UM on Wednesday on an unofficial visit to campus to watch practice.

Jackson coach Earl Little, a former Hurricane, confirmed the commitment with this tweet.

Phillips plays quarterback for the Generals, but the 5-10, 170-pound three-star senior is being recruited by UM to play slot receiver.

Phillips was previously committed to Toledo and decommitted on Nov. 10. He attended the Canes' Nov. 7 home win against Virginia after receiving a UM offer in mid-October.

Phillips still has official visits to Toledo and Temple scheduled in December, and he told he plans on taking those two trips.

Sam Bruce out for regional final due to 'internal matter'

St. Thomas Aquinas star wide receiver Sam Bruce will not play in the Raiders' Region 4-7A final against Mater Academy on Friday.

Coach Roger Harriott said Bruce, a 2016 UM commit, will be held out due to an "internal matter."

Harriott added that the matter is "nothing serious." 

Bruce's status beyond Friday's playoff game against Mater is uncertain, and Harriott said the team will reassess the situation next week.

Bruce declined to comment when reached.

Bruce, the 5-8, 178-pound four-star slot receiver, provides the Raiders offense with unparalleled agility, acceleration and ability to make defenders miss in the open field.

On the year, Bruce has 40 receptions for 364 yards and three touchdowns with three more touchdowns on the ground.

Friday's matchup against Mater Academy pins the Raiders against former coach Rocco Casullo on Aquinas' home field.

November 22, 2015

Elbre Gaiter commits to FIU

Senior Westminster Christian wide receiver Elbre Gaiter announced a commitment to FIU on Sunday.

Gaiter, a 5-8, 168-pound speedster, chose the Panthers over other offers from Louisville, Duke and Indiana.

"It's close to home, I'll have an opportunity to play early and they make me feel wanted," Gaiter says. "Not always about the name. It's about the better situation for yourself."

Gaiter has visited FIU several times and says he enjoys the campus atmosphere. He also has received positive feedback from current players.

Gaiter, son of former Miami Hurricane Tony Gaiter, finished his senior season with 28 receptions for 479 yards and nine touchdowns, including a three-touchdown effort in a virtual district-championship win against Chaminade on Oct. 9. He added three rushing scores and a pick-six for a total of 13 touchdowns as a senior.


November 16, 2015

Great day to be a South Dade offensive lineman

They have been the heart and soul of the South Dade football team all season -- and the accolades are rolling in for those big offensive linemen that pave the way for the Buccaneers ground game to be so effective.

On Monday, it started with Boman Swanson receiving his eighth offer when he received one from Florida Atlantic and later saw 2017 guard Kyron Taylor get invited to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Taylor, a Marshall commit as a junior, found out about his prestigious honor when he had the invitation relayed to him from coach Nate Hudson after practice.

"It feels great. I feel like the hard work and after-practice workouts really helped," Taylor said. "I was amazed at what I received but not surprised what dedication and determination could get you because that itself has always been in my DNA."

While committed to the Herd, Taylor says FSU, Notre Dame, Purdue, USF and Charlotte are all recruiting him at the moment, adding "heavy" with Notre Dame.

Swanson, the senior tackle, has had his recruitment heat up as of late. He received a Western Kentucky offer within the week and also lists offers from Southern Illinois, Delaware State and Florida A&M among others.

"I think it's a great school and a great option to have, and I'm looking forward to going on a visit and seeing more of the school," said Swanson, who will plan a trip to Boca Raton after the season.

Swanson adds that FIU, UCF and Georgia Tech are expressing significant interest. One of those schools may be next for him as schools are starting to catch on to what he can provide at the next level.

Says South Dade offensive line coach Michael Campos on the success of his linemen: "I'm extremely proud of those guys. They work extremely hard and deserve everything that comes their way."

November 14, 2015

Hamilton discusses UM offer, more from South Dade-Southwest

South Dade senior running back Jawon Hamilton is still currently committed to FIU but has gotten a flood of offers in the Past week, including Miami, Western Kentucky and Kansas.

Hamilton's dream school growing up was the University of Miami and said of being offered a scholarship, he was "totally surprised but very happy about it."

Hamilton (5-10, 185 pounds) has also received interest from UF and was first contacted by the Gators after the Hurricanes offer was announced on Twitter.

Hamilton rushed for 193 yards on 25 carries in a playoff win Friday against Southwest. 

*Ivan Smith, another South Dade running back, is expecting an offer from Western Kentucky soon, joining teammates Hamilton and lineman Boman Swanson. Smith (5-11, 175) is ranked a two-star prospect by Scout. 
*Kyron Taylor, 2017 South Dade offensive lineman, has been seeing increased attention from Notre Dame.
The Marshall commit says, "I appreciate the love."
Taylor (6-3, 265) has also received interest from FSU recently. 
*Willie Brown, Southwest linebacker, has received interest from state schools FIU, Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman. Brown (5-11, 215 pounds) has also heard from Louisville. 
*Ilan Jorge, Southwest linebacker. has received considerable interest from states schools FAMU,  FIU and Bethune-Cookman like fellow teammate Brown. Jorge (5-11, 225 pounds) is being heavily recruited by Alcorn State. Alcorn State is planning to visit Jorge after the season, where a scholarship offer might be presented. 

November 13, 2015

Kemore Gamble: "I'm all U"

Kemore Gamble

Southridge junior wide receiver/tight end Kemore Gamble is remaining very firm to his commitment despite a flurry of decommits recently.

"I'm all U," Gamble says. "I love the coaches. They keep in contact with me, it's close to home, good education."

Gamble said he would like to see Mario Cristobal hired as UM's next head coach. He's developed a relationship with him as Cristobal has recruited Gamble to Alabama.

Gamble lists the other schools coming after him hard in the video interview below after Southridge's 17-7 win over Belen -- a game in which he capped the Spartans' opening drive with a touchdown.


*Cornerback and 2017 recruit Shawn Davis had an interception in the first half of Southridge's playoff victory. He also picked up a pivotal first down in the late stages. He was lined up to punt but picked up a bad snap to run past the marker.

Davis lists a Temple offer at this point, and is also receiving significant interest from UF, UM and Virginia Tech among others.

He says he plans to visit UF, FSU and Georgia soon.

*Another junior in rover/linebacker Coemba Jones was instrumental in picking off a pass on Belen's second offensive play and taking it 27 yards for a touchdown. It put the Spartans up two scores after the Gamble touchdown on the opening drive.

Although a bit undersized at 5-8, 175 pounds, Jones plays much bigger than that and is a sure tackler and playmaker on defense.

The birthday boy, who already lists a Temple offer, did a video interview after the game.



Photo and videos by David Furones//FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

November 12, 2015

UM loses another commit in LB Zach McCloud

Four-star linebacker Zach McCloud out of Lantana Santaluces announced he is decommitting from the Miami Hurricanes' 2016 recruiting class.

McCloud becomes the fifth recruit to decommit from UM since the Al Golden firing and fourth in the past week.

"After careful consideration and talking things over with my family, I have decided to re-open my recruitment," McCloud said in a post on Twitter. "While I did not commit to Miami for any coach, I cant overlook the current situation especially considering my early graduation."

McCloud is set to graduate from high school in December and enroll early at the college of his choice.

He went on to say, "It seems like a shot in the dark and im not going to gamble with my future."

McCloud continued by expressing appreciation for what the Hurricanes have done for him and said he will "always be a U fan."

McCloud also noted in his announcement that UM is not out of it for his services.

On the day Golden was fired, McCloud told the Miami Herald he would take his time to decide what he would do.

"To be honest, I'm waiting before I make any big decisions. My biggest concern in this process is my future with only three months to decide since I'll be an early enrollee," he said. "I'm not comfortable at the moment, still being patient, though. I want to make an informed decision."

McCloud has an impressive list of offers, which includes FSU, UF, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Notre Dame. He has official visits planned for Nov. 21 to Ohio State and Nov. 27 to Auburn, according to 247 Sports.

November 08, 2015

Recruiting Roundup: Jackson's Phillips visits UM, notes from Dillard, Ely, Varela



Miami Jackson quarterback and three-star athlete Desmond Phillips, a Toledo commit, received a Miami offer in mid-October and Saturday was in attendance to watch the Hurricanes' 27-21 win over Virginia.

Phillips spoke exclusively with the Miami Herald after he wrapped up his high school career Friday night in a loss to Northwestern in the Soul Bowl.

"It made me proud," Phillips said of receiving the UM offer. "It made my family open their eyes more. Now it's up to a decision on what I want to do."

Phillips has played quarterback throughout his high school career with the Generals but is being recruited as a slot receiver -- both by the Canes and by Toledo.

UM wide receivers coach Kevin Beard has gotten a chance to see Phillips at receiver at camps.

"He's a great coach," Phillips said. "When I went to their camp and he coached me up when I was at receiver, he told me a lot about what I need to know. He's a great guy."

Phillips is a versatile athlete and his skill set will transition well to the collegiate level at receiver.

"Next level I feel like I could bring a lot to any team I go to -- my speed, my talent," Phillips says. "Everything I have, I can just add to a team."

*Three-star 2017 Dillard defensive end Jon Ford has also been receiving interest from UM, as well as Alabama, Syracuse and South Carolina. Ford plans to visit FSU, UM and Alabama this summer. He has stayed in contact with Alabama coach Mario Cristobal throughout the season.

"I love the program and hope they consider me to play there," says the 6-5, 265-pound Ford of UM.

*Three-star 2017 Dillard defensive end Jordan Wright is being heavily recruited by North Carolina. Wright (6-5, 220) has also received interest from UM, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh.

Aaron Thompson
Aaron Thompson

*Three-star Dillard defensive tackle Aaron Thompson has received more than 30 offers. Thompson's current top three is Virginia, South Carolina and Pitt.

Thompson (6-4, 260) on why Virginia is his favorite: "They're the truth."

UM defensive line coach Randy Melvin passed by Dillard recently when the Panthers played host to Plantation.

*Two-star Dillard 2017 wide receiver Jordan Merrell has 11 offers so far into his junior season. Merrell's top three is Cincinnati, Marshall and Michigan.

Merrell, who had 16 receptions for 185 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to Plantation earlier this season, plans to do a college tour this summer to visit potential schools. Some of the destinations will include Cincinnati, TCU and Baylor.

"They know how to throw the ball," says the 5-10, 180-pound receiver on why the Bearcats are his favorite.

*Three star Dillard linebacker and Virginia commit Kenneth Ruff has received 25 offers. Ruff plans to stay committed to Virginia but has plans to take a visit to Illinois in December after the season. Ruff (6-2, 235) also strongly considered South Carolina and North Carolina before committing to Virginia.

*Two-star Dillard receiver James Jackson currently has two standing offers from Youngstown and Kent State.

"I really like Youngstown. There's a lot of tradition," Jackson says. 

Jackson unofficially visited Youngstown this summer and plans to visit Kent State after the season. The 6-4, 190-pound prospect has also received interest from Virginia and Pitt.

McKinley Williams
McKinley Williams

*Three-star Dillard receiver Demetrius White (6-3, 200) has nine offers so far. White's top three includes Toledo, Kent State and Marshall. White has scheduled an official visit with Toledo on Jan. 19. 

*Unranked Dillard linebacker McKinley Williams III is being courted by Middle Tennessee. Williams has received preliminary interest from Iowa, Pitt and Mississippi State. Williams (6-5, 260) plans to visit Iowa in December.

*Unranked Dillard linebacker Torian Williams is currently weighing offers from Alcorn State and Monmouth University. Rutgers is also showing interest and Williams (6-3, 220) plans to visit the Scarlet Knights in December.

*Unranked Blanche Ely tight end Leonard Warren's top three includes Ohio, Cincinnati and Florida. Warren currently has no visits in the near future. Warren (6-4, 225) has current plans to wait until after National Signing Day to commit.

Leonard Warren
Leonard Warren

"I really liked Ohio's atmosphere, very welcoming," Warren says.

*Two-star ranked Blanche Ely wide receiver Thomas Geddis currently has 25 offers. His top three are Cincinnati, Temple and Wisconsin. He has already visited Cincinnati and plans to visit Massachusetts in December. Geddis could make for a big target in the red zone for a school at 6-3, 165 and can stretch the field.

*A long, athletic, dynamic defensive end out of Ely, Trevor Goodrum Jr., is flying well under the radar.

Goodrum, who has received interest from Princeton with a 3.0 GPA, has 35 tackles and 13 sacks on the season for Ely as the Tigers prepare for postseason play as the runner-up in District 14-7A.

*Unranked Varela receiver Jay Stringer plans to remain uncommitted until January. Stringers says it's "so it gives me time to really think about where I'm going to go, and I want time to talk with my family."

Stringer's No. 1 option is FIU, but he is considering multiple offers as he recently visited Florida A&M and Valdosta state.

About his trip to check out the Rattlers, Stringer said, "I talked to coach Edwin Pata from FAMU on my visit. I really loved the staff."

Stringer spent more time at Valdosta State.

"It is a very nice, the campus. It's beautiful and the town has nice people," said Stringer. "Great fans and a good staff. I'm thinking about going there."

Jay Stringer
Jay Stringer

*Photos: RUSSELL QUINOA//FOR THE MIAMI HERALD (Stringer photo courtesy of Jay Stringer)

November 05, 2015

Vosean Joseph, Emmett Rice prep for West Virginia visit

West Virginia will host a pair of Norland linebackers this weekend.

Vosean Joseph and Emmett Rice, currently committed to rival in-state schools in UF and FSU respectively, are traveling to Morgantown together as the Mountaineers get set to square off against Texas Tech.

Joseph says he and Rice will visit Syracuse together and likely catch the Gators play the Seminoles in Gainesville on Nov. 28 on an unofficial visit. 

South Carolina and USF are also in the hunt currently to get official visits from Joseph, the 6-2, 210-pound three-star outside linebacker.

Neither Joseph nor Rice (6-3, 195) played in Norland's season finale against Killian -- a 35-26 win at North Miami Stadium on Thursday. Joseph because of a strained left MCL, and Rice, who was not even on the sideline, for conduct detrimental to the team.

*Quarterback Rodrick Robinson, who threw for 362 yards against a tough Killian defense and had five total touchdowns (four passing), has held an offer to Florida A&M since before the season. He's also receiving interest from Southern University, Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee State.

October 31, 2015

UM commit James Wiggins to visit Temple, more from South Dade, Homestead, Beach and Miami High

James Wiggins
James Wiggins, South Dade

Three-star South Dade defensive back James Wiggins says he's "very committed" to playing at UM, but he is planning a visit to Temple with South Dade teammate Jawon Hamilton on January 23.

Wiggins (6-0, 190 pounds) currently has Temple and Cincinnati in his top 3, and has previously listed himself as a soft commit to the Miami Herald.

*The two-star running back Hamilton is currently committed to FIU, but Hamilton (5-10, 185) insists "he is still open to recruiting." Currently Temple and Kansas are making strong plays for his services. He plans to visit the Jayhawks very soon and expects to receive an official offer.

Hamilton says, "FIU is always contacting me to show me love and that they care a lot."

Jawon Hamilton_Ivan Smith
Smith (left), Hamilton (right), South Dade

*Two-star South Dade running back Ivan Smith is planning a visit to Bowling Green in January. Smith (5-11, 175) has Bowling Green as his top choice, followed by Cincinnati and Purdue.

*South Dade offensive lineman Boman Swanson has received five offers so far. Swanson's top two are Charlotte and Southern Illinois. Swanson (6-4, 280) has already visited Southern Illinois early in the year and plans to have a final choice by January.

*Two-star 2017 South Dade offensive lineman Kyron Taylor has been reviving interest from Notre Dame and Purdue.

A Marshall commit, Taylor (6-3, 265) said, "Marshall has a great O-line and I really like coach Alex Maribel."

*Two-star Homestead linebacker Rashad Smith is still committed to playing for FAU but is being heavily recruited by Temple and Bowling Green. Smith (6-2, 190) is planning to visit Temple in December.

Smith said on why he likes FAU: "They really have a nice campus."

Jones Beach
Randle Jones, Miami Beach

*Miami Beach wide receiver Randle Jones is being sought out by Massachusetts and FAMU. Jones (6-0, 180) plans to makes his decision after a trip to UMass in December.

*Miami High linebacker Harrison "Burger" Riggins has received two more additional offers since last week, Virginia Union and Shorter University. Riggins (5-9, 175) plans to make his decision as soon as possibly mid-November.

*Miami High defensive back Desmond Fairell is being targeted by Northern Illinois. Northern Illinois is trying to get Fairell (6-1, 195) on an official visit as early as December.

Fairell said, "They have told me that I'm their number one target on their defensive back chart."

*Three-star Miami High wide receiver Keyshawn "Pie" Young will be announcing his decision much earlier than expected. Young (6-0, 190) said, "I'm going to be announcing my decision in December instead of waiting."

*Miami High running back Watraie Jones is getting interest from multiple schools -- in particular West Florida. Jones (5-9, 165) plans to visit West Florida in December after the conclusion of the season.


*All photos by Russell Quinoa//FOR THE MIAMI HERALD