February 23, 2016

Frierson 'blessed' to join hometown Hurricanes

Gilbert Frierson
Gilbert Frierson (Twitter)

Since putting his skills on display at the South Florida Express tryouts in January, Coral Gables 2018 defensive back Gilbert Frierson has seen his recruitment erupt with major programs from across the country offering him scholarships.

On Saturday at UM's Junior Day, Frierson got the one he was apparently looking for the whole time as it turned out to be the offer he would commit to on Tuesday -- the Miami Hurricanes.

"I was truly blessed to receive an offer from my hometown team," said Frierson, who is the cousin of another Coral Gables Cavalier turned Miami Hurricane in Frank Gore. "It felt like home.

"On Junior Day when I was out there, [defensive coordinator] Manny Diaz told me [I had an offer]. It was a great feeling."

Although early for the sophomore that measures up at 6-1 and 170 pounds, Frierson adds that "so far" he is certain UM is the school he'll sign with in nearly two years.

"Real long limbs, long arms, very rangy at that safety position or at corner. Just very instinctive," say Coral Gables coach Roger Pollard. "He's working on his speed right now running track."

In the past month, Frierson has received other offers from Alabama, Georgia, USC, LSU and Oklahoma among his 10 in total.

"The attention and all of the offers from all over the country I think is a tribute to the caliber of player he's going to be and really that he is right now" Pollard says. "I'm excited that I've got him for two more seasons."

Mark Richt has been able to recruit Coral Gables in the past with wide receiver Shaquery Wilson currently a Georgia Bulldog.

On top of being Gore's cousin, Frierson's brother is senior Gables linebacker Shakur Cooper, who signed with FIU.

"He's the youngest of a lot of talented guys to play football," Pollard said. "His football knowledge is through the ceiling."

Frierson is now one of five prospects committed in UM's 2018 recruiting class -- four of which are fellow defensive backs.

Frierson's sophomore highlights:

February 21, 2016

'The next Tyrann Mathieu,' Trajan Bandy, commits to Oklahoma

Trajan Bandy
Trajan Bandy at All-Dade interviews. Photo: Justin Azpiazu//FOR THE MIAMI HERALD


Four-star Columbus cornerback Trajan Bandy announced on Sunday that he committed to Oklahoma.

Coach Bob Stoops and secondary coach Kerry Cooks had their messages to Bandy appeal to him. Their persistence in his recruitment paid off.

"Coach Stoops has been in contact with me since they offered -- and also Kerry Cooks," Bandy said. "They're genuine and they are real."

The commitment comes after Bandy (5-10, 180 pounds) named the Sooners his favorite on Wednesday, according to 247 Sports. He had noted Clemson was a school he liked during his junior season.

The highly-sought prospect had offers from major programs all over the country, except -- oddly enough -- the big three schools in the state of Florida (UM, UF and FSU).

"They didn't [offer] and they will regret it -- I promise. I will never stop going in," Bandy said. "Just know this -- I will be the next Tyrann Mathieu wherever I go.

"[Cooks] said from day one they know a lot of schools overlook me, but he said he loves my style of play and he likes me a lot." 

Some of the other offers aside from Oklahoma and Clemson included Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Michigan and USC.

As for the "Honey Badger" comparison, Bandy says when he plays in tournaments teammates tell him he plays just like Mathieu. Check out his highlights and see if you think the comparison is legitimate.

February 20, 2016

Outpour of positive reaction on social media from recruits at UM Junior Day

Despite the decommitment of St. Thomas Aquinas linebacker Tyler Dunning -- one that was a foregone conclusion anyway -- new UM football coach Mark Richt's first Junior Day with the Hurricanes received rave reviews on social media from recruits.

We begin with committed four-star defensive lineman out of Fort Lauderdale Dillard, a former teammate of Dunning's in Jon Ford.

Ford wasn't the only one posing with new defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski on Saturday as he endured quite the photo shoot in front of the big U on campus based on the frequency of tweets from other recruits that took pictures with him.

Below we see Mobile (Alabama) St. Paul's Episcopal defensive lineman Ryan Johnson and Miami Carol City defensive tackle Rashad Colson with the man they call Coach Kool.

A top priority in four-star outside linebacker/defensive end out of Carol City, De'Andre Wilder, who currently lists UM as his leader, is seen here in this post by Hialeah Champagnat Catholic linebacker Donovan Georges, a 2018 prospect.

Here we see UF-committed offensive tackle Kadeem Telfort out of Miami Norland (a former UM commit) with Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson quarterback Shabazz Telfort.

One recruit who is considered a Gator lean in four-star Cocoa athlete Bruce Judson appears to have enjoyed "Miami life" with the family.

Committed linebacker out of Miami Central, Waynmon Steed, called it "home sweet home."

A trio of Brunswick (Georgia) recruits in wide receiver Shawn Smith and offensive linemen D'antne Demery and Jabori Williams had fun throwing up the U.

More reaction from Mobile (Alabama) Murphy running back Nicholas Sims, 6-6 Neptune Beach Fletcher offensive lineman Cordavien Suggs and Palm Beach Gardens athlete Amari Carter.

Under-recruited Champagnat Catholic running back Javier Zuniga, Dade County's leading rusher last season at Miami Sunset, got a chance to check out the U.

Junior Day isn't only for juniors, of course -- you already saw the high-profile Georges. Another key development on Saturday was that 2018 Coral Gables defensive back Gilbert Frierson, who lists numerous other offers from major programs got his hometown scholarship offer.

Below we see reaction from one prospect who's certain to be a top 2019 recruit in Loganville (Georgia) Grayson outside linebacker Owen Pappoe, who is throwing up the U with co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Thomas Brown. 

Apopka 2018 athlete Steven Billings-Larson Jr., someone with incredible credentials on the field and in the classroom, said he "got to know the entire staff and received encouraging feedback from the coaches." Because he's so ahead academically, he may be able to reclassify to 2017 and would look into it if he gets a UM offer.

 

Former Miramar coach Damon Cogdell back in South Florida at Carol City

Former Miramar coach Damon Cogdell is coming back to South Florida.

After a two-year stint as co-defensive line coach at West Virginia, Cogdell was named defensive coordinator/assistant head coach at Carol City under coach Aubrey Hill.

It's a homecoming of sorts for Cogdell, who grew up in Opa-Locka but moved when he was in ninth grade and attended Miramar High. While Miramar is in Broward County and Carol City is in Miami-Dade, the two are very close to each other geographically and Cogdell says most of his family members attended Carol City.

"It's going to be a treat for me," Cogdell told the Herald. "It was a home away from home; it was up the street."

Cogdell's contract with the Mountaineers expired on Jan. 30.

"I had some other things that I could've done [at West Virginia], but it was tough for me to be away from my kids," Cogdell said. "It was a great experience for me up at West Virginia -- glad to be back at home with the wife and kids, though."

Cogdell will get the opportunity to coach a talented defense, spearheaded by outside linebacker/defensive end De'Andre Wilder, defensive tackle Rashad Colson and defensive back transfer from American, Naytron Culpepper.

Tyler Dunning decommits from UM at Junior Day

Tyler Dunning
Tyler Dunning at Class 7A state championship game on Dec. 11, 2015. Photo by David Furones.


The expectation at Junior Day is to add commitments early in the recruiting cycle for soon-to-be seniors, but the first action the UM 2017 recruiting class sees is the loss of a commitment -- although it was one that appeared imminent in the past week.

St. Thomas Aquinas four-star linebacker Tyler Dunning (6-2, 230 pounds) decommitted from the Miami Hurricanes at Junior Day on Saturday.

"Just opened it back up," Dunning told the Miami Herald in a message. "Back on the market."

Dunning said he pulled one of the coaches aside and let him know.

He tweeted: "After much consideration and discussion with my family, I have decided to open my recruiting process. We'd like to thank University of Miami and wish them all the best next season."

"Didn't feel at home," he added. "Environment -- didn't feel comfortable."

Dunning had been reported within the past week by Rivals as being close to decommitting. He told the Herald coach Mark Richt and the new staff wasn't recruiting him hard, and he was uncertain about attending Junior Day until Friday night.

Dunning says his current top is Pittsburgh, LSU, Tennessee, Syracuse and Kentucky.

Dunning was committed to UM since the offseason between sophomore and junior year while he was still at Dillard and Al Golden was head coach of the Hurricanes.  

February 18, 2016

Flanagan coach Devin Bush takes defensive analyst job at Michigan

Flanagan coach Devin Bush accepted a position on the Michigan football staff on Wednesday, confirming our report from last week.

Bush, who led the Falcons to their first Class 8A state championship this past season, will be reunited with three defensive recruits that signed with Michigan this past recruiting cycle in son and linebacker Devin Bush Jr. and safeties Devin Gil and Josh Metellus as a defensive analyst.

"I'm really excited about the opportunity to be at Michigan with my son and my two other players," Bush said. "A little bit bittersweet at the same time. I'm leaving the players [at Flanagan] and my other extended family. Taking this opportunity has a sacrifice to it."

Bush said that leading up to communication opening up with Michigan, he would continue to see various changes on the staff this offseason and finally decided to inquire with the Wolverines. There were swirling rumors all season that Bush and Michigan could be a potential marriage.

In his position as defensive analyst, Bush expects to break down film, analyze and provide input on the team's defense, assist with practices or practice scheduling and any other duties as assigned under coach Jim Harbaugh and defensive coordinator Don Brown.

Bush has goals of one day becoming a defensive coordinator himself at the collegiate level.

"That's my first goal. I've never thought about being a college head coach," he says. "I'm just happy with forming those relationships or those bonds with young men coming in."

On Wednesday it was announced that Michigan's defensive backs coach position became vacant as Greg Jackson departed to become safeties coach with the Dallas Cowboys. While Bush is unaware of any possibility of him already receiving a promotion into that spot as he only spoke with Michigan about the defensive analyst job, it's a position he would fit and one that would be another stepping stone to his career aspirations.

While Bush won't be able to actively go out on the road and recruit in his role, he will be allowed to communicate over the phone or via social media with recruits. His impact on Michigan's ability to recruit South Florida, which was already proven to be potent this past recruiting cycle, has the potential to become immense.

Flanagan athletic director Al Guzzo first confirmed the hiring to the Herald on Thursday afternoon.

"He had called me up to notify, and I told him to enjoy the moment and let everybody know," Guzzo said. "We're going to sit down and we'll talk, but I just wanted to congratulate him and let him enjoy the moment."

Sources have told the Herald that defensive coordinator Stanford Samuels would be promoted as Flanagan's next head coach. Guzzo would not confirm that is the case.

"We've got a plan in place and I don't want to reveal that, but we've got a plan in place," he said. "Coach Bush has been involved. He was part of the process. 

"We feel confident, Coach Bush feels confident in who the next coach is."

Added Bush: "That's my guy -- my right hand. Very qualified, does an awesome job."

Bush is expected to fly up to Michigan on Sunday for an orientation, return to South Florida for a couple of days next week and finally get situated back up in Ann Arbor permanently.

Bush is a former Super Bowl winner with the St. Louis Rams and college football national champion with Florida State. He was 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.

February 12, 2016

Columbus' CJ Henderson commits to UM

Columbus junior two-way player C.J. Henderson was one of the most electrifying players on the state semifinalist Explorers last season.

On Friday, he decided to commit to the hometown team for college in a year and a half.

Henderson, a three-star or four-star athlete depending on the service who has previously listed UM as his top choice, committed to the Miami Hurricanes Friday afternoon on a campus visit.

UM is recruiting Henderson as a cornerback, he confirmed in a message.

His father, Chris Henderson Sr., told CaneSport.com that Henderson is listing himself as a soft commitment.

"He really wanted to commit and I told him it's okay, just let it be known he still wants to look. But that's where he wants to be," Henderson Sr. told CaneSport.

Henderson also holds offers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Auburn, USC and Virginia Tech among his 17 offers.

Last season Henderson ran for 932 yards and 12 touchdowns on 100 carries. He also had 245 receiving yards and two scores through the air.

Here's his junior year highlight reel.

In other 2017 UM recruiting class news, Jacksonville Mandarin linebacker Aundre Ricardo-Kearney decommitted earlier Friday.

He had committed to the Hurricanes under Al Golden in June. Mark Richt visited his high school in December when he was in Jacksonville to solidify the commitments and early enrollments of linebackers Shaquille Quarterman and Michael Pinckney.

February 09, 2016

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

Bush Sr and Jr
Flanagan coach Devin Bush with son Devin Bush Jr. after announcement to commit to Michigan on Dec. 16, 2015. Photo: Andre C. Fernandez//MIAMI HERALD


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

UM adds two linemen to 2016 recruiting class

The Miami Hurricanes received a major boost in the trenches for the 2016 recruiting class on Monday with commitments from a pair of linemen -- one on each side of the ball.

Valley (Alabama) High defensive end Tyreic Martin and Orlando First Academy offensive tackle Tre Johnson -- both three-star prospects -- committed to UM on Monday.

Martin was once committed to Missouri, where new UM defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski previously coached in the same role. Johnson announced his decision after decommitting from Illinois on Sunday and visiting Miami's Coral Gables campus over the weekend.

"UM has always been right for me," says Johnson (6-7, 280 pounds). I've been a Miami fan since I was a kid frowning up in a house full of Florida and FSU fans. I didn't like either one, so it was only right for me to be a Miami fan."

Johnson added that the talks he had with the UM coaches on the visit really boded well for him to make up his mind. The other school he was considering upon decommitting from the Illini was East Carolina.

UM did not have an offensive lineman committed before Johnson hopped on board.

Martin (6-3, 270) possibly committed to UM on Sunday on the last day of his weekend visit. Coach Mark Richt's Twitter account said "Welcome to the U!" and alluded to Martin's hometown area code. That tweet was later deleted.

It could just be as simple as Martin wanting to make his own announcement Monday. Regardless, he ends up in the class and has the frame to grow into a defensive tackle, a position that has plagued the Canes for many years now and one where they didn't have anyone committed.

Martin's high school coach Marshon Harper told CaneSport.com, "โ€œHe can run, he can move, he can get to the ball. He has a knack for just the intensity that he brings, his strength will help him out also. Heโ€™s a strong player. He just has a knack for finding the football.โ€

The Canes hope they can reel in a third commit Monday night as New Jersey-based four-star wide receiver Kelvin Harmon will choose between UM and N.C. State.