June 17, 2015

Snelson transfers to Flanagan, Aquinas gets Carriere-Williams

Two Broward County football powers got stronger on Wednesday.

Flanagan added Under Armour All-American wide receiver Dredrick Snelson, transferring from Plantation American Heritage, and St. Thomas Aquinas added former Booker T. Washington cornerback Dontye Carriere-Williams.

Snelson, a four-star prospect that was previously committed to UM before reopening his recruitment, was between St. Thomas and Flanagan, as he stated in an interview with Rivals, but ultimately opted for the less crowded receiving corps.

The Falcons passing game, already including quarterback Kato Nelson (Champagnat transfer) and wide receivers Clevan Thomas, Jachour Pearson and Isaiah Collins, gets a huge boost.

"Add him with our quarterback, that makes us even more dangerous," said Flanagan coach Devin Bush, who has known Snelson since he played in Little League.

St. Thomas Aquinas, per usual for the Raiders, has been able to add a wealth of talent via transfers this offseason to add to an already stellar roster. Coach Roger Harriott says he isn't too familiar with him yet, but is excited about the prospect of having him join the Raiders.

"I heard about his many positive attributes on and off the field," Harriott said. "I'm looking forward to coaching and mentoring him this school year."

June 14, 2015

Deon Bush-like 2018 DB commits to UM

The Miami Hurricanes are looking to return to DB U status in a few years.

UM got its fourth commitment from a defensive back -- and fifth overall -- in its class of 2018 from Columbus defensive back Josh Jobe.

Jobe is a long, athletic 6-1 and joins Thomas Burns of Miami Northwestern, Al Blades Jr. of University School and Jalen Patterson of Citra North Marion as other defensive backs in Miami's 2018 class, which also has a commitment from Booker T. Washington linebacker Billy Joseph.

"They're getting somebody who is almost identical to Deon Bush," Columbus coach Chris Merritt said. "Very similar build, long body, athletic -- almost like a carbon copy. Just like Deon, he's going to have the ability to play corner or safety, but he's got a lot of development [ahead of him]. In our terms even, he's still a baby."

Jobe played sparingly on defense and plenty on special teams as a freshman, including a kick return for a touchdown at Highlands High in Kentucky.

"For a freshman to break the lineup like he did was pretty special," Merritt said. "We anticipate him being an every-down player for us this year coming up."

Jobe had one other offer early in his recruitment from Cincinnati. He will get plenty of other offers before he signs three years from now, but Merritt sees him sticking with the Canes all the way through.

"The school everybody wants an offer from in Dade County is University of Miami," Merritt says. "That's where you set the bar."

Check out Jobe's highlights below for a look at the Deon Bush resemblance.

June 09, 2015

Canes pick up commitment from 2017 LB Aundre Ricardo-Kearney

The Miami Hurricanes got a commitment in their 2017 class from Jacksonville Mandarin linebacker Aundre Ricardo-Kearney.

The 6-0, 210-pound rising junior who first received the UM offer two months earlier was present at the Al Golden Football Camp on Sunday and decided to commit Tuesday.

Ricardo-Kearney says he grew up a Hurricane fan, has a great relationship with the coaches and likes that UM is a private school that offers a good sport management program.

The Hurricanes were his father’s favorite team and he had that fandom passed down to him. He says Michael Irvin and Ray Lewis are two of his biggest role models.

On his visit, Ricardo-Kearney loved the beach and surrounding area to campus but also came away impressed with UM’s facilities.

“They have the Canes Zone – where all the football players eat – the locker room, the weight room, the strengthening facilities. It’s great. They’re even building a new hospital on campus,” Ricardo-Kearney said. “That was a big part of my decision. I was like, ‘They take care of you.’”

Ricardo-Kearney becomes Miami's sixth commitment in the Class of 2017 and third linebacker, joining Fort Lauderdale Dillard's Tyler Dunning and Miami Central's Waynmon Steed.

He was also strongly considering UNC, Marshall, Illinois and Cincinnati out of a group of 11 total offers.

He plans on visiting UNC on June 20 and is contemplating whether he will still visit Marshall.

Ricardo-Kearney adds that Florida and Georgia are two schools currently showing interest but who haven’t offered yet, but he’s calling himself “solid” to Miami and says it won’t be easy for another school to get him to flip.

 “That school would have to offer me a treasure and a rainbow,” he says.

Ricardo-Kearney plays both outside linebacker and running back but is being recruited at outside linebacker.

Highlights: 

 

June 07, 2015

One-on-one with Southridge 4-star WR Freddie Pinder

Freddie Pinder, four-star wide receiver from Miami Southridge, took some time to speak with me last Sunday at the UM 7-on-7. Here's everything he was talking about in this exclusive interview with the Miami Herald.

 

Besides Miami, the 2016 prospect lists West Virginia, Alabama, South Carolina and Louisville among his top college choices.

Regarding Miami, Pinder says, "They still hold a place in the top. They still have a chance."

The 6-5 receiver would like to visit the other schools more often but distance plays a factor. That works in favor of the hometown Hurricanes.

"My mom wants me to stay home, but she's going to support me wherever I go," he says.

Pinder adds that he is willing to travel regardless.

June 03, 2015

Dallas Jeanty still waiting on UM offer, feels support from fans

Dallas JeantyFort Lauderdale linebacker Dallas Jeanty has always said all he needs is a football scholarship offer from the University of Miami and he's a Hurricane.

Jeanty, the 6-0, 218-pound three-star with an incredible backstory, has been waiting on the offer from his dream school for some time now and was hopeful it may come at the 7-on-7 tournament UM hosted on Sunday.

By Jeanty's  estimation, he "balled out" and the coaches witnessed his performance and spoke with him Sunday, but he still left Coral Gables with no offer.

"I don't even know if I'll commit on the spot anymore just with the way the whole recruiting process is going," Jeanty said Tuesday after watching Miami bump its commitment total to 24 in the Class of 2016 with two more players committing in Clewiston wide receiver Reginald Henderson and Maryland defensive end Izon Pulley -- Henderson which hasn't played football in two years because of academic issues. "I don't know what's going on.

"They know enough about me now. They've  seen practice in person multiple times -- told me they loved what they saw -- they've seen me practice at the tournament, they've seen me go through drills, they know my potential, know I have academics (3.9 GPA and 1920 SAT). I'm the type of kid that not only am I going to bring up the team GPA, but I'll still be a hell of a player."

With 36 offers, Jeanty has been making it clear to other schools that if he gets the Miami offer he covets, he would wrap up his recruitment.

With how long it's taking UM to offer, the pitch he's now hearing from other schools has turned into: "This is a school that obviously doesn't believe in you and we certainly do. Why are you wasting your time?"

Telly Lockette, former Miami Central head coach who is now running backs coach at Oregon State, is telling him they'll stop recruiting linebackers if he commits and that he's all they need at the position.

Hearing that has Jeanty opening up to Oregon State a little more, and Michigan has told him the Wolverines want three or four linebackers in their class and want him to be one of them.

What has Jeanty loving Miami so much?

"Miami feels at home. It just feels at home there," Jeanty says. "You know how you don't want to do certain things when you're out in public, but when you come in, you open your room, you sit down and you're like, 'OK, I'm cool; I'm home.' That's how I feel when I'm on campus."

While he doesn't hold the offer he wants, progress has been made with the Canes' level of interest. On Monday he was followed on Twitter by several coaches. They weren't previously following him despite showing him interest.

He certainly has the right attitude you would want out of a freshman coming in.

"I go in there and I'm taking somebody's spot. I don't care," Jeanty says. "Who else is committed -- that's none of my business. If they want to go up and compete against me, that's all well and good and I hope they enjoy being my backup."

Several fans have jumped on Jeanty's bandwagon hoping he gets his UM offer. There was fan page created on Twitter: @DallasToMiami with the title "We Want Jeanty."

Do you think he should receive a Cane offer?

Check his highlight tape below.

 

June 02, 2015

Quarterman ready for immediate impact at UM in 2016

QuartermanMiami Hurricanes commit Shaquille Quarterman didn't have his team participating in the 7-on-7 tournament at UM on Sunday, but he made it a point to drive down to campus and check it out.

The 2016 four-star middle linebacker out of Oakleaf High took a five-hour trip from Orange Park to Coral Gables.

“I love coming down to see Miami," says Quarterman (6-2, 230 pounds). "I barely need a reason to come. I could just come any day.”

Quarterman is one of the more firm commits in Al Golden's 2016 class. Nonetheless, Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State and Louisville continue going after him hard.

“When you have something you’re very sure about, it’s only so much certain colleges can say," he says. "I always listen, always show respect and always listen to what they have to say, but this is the place. This is my home.”

While he feels strongly about the positive direction the Canes are going, he doesn't push his feelings on other recruits unless they approach him.

“I don’t really believe in the recruiting [of other players]," he says. "If they were to come up to me and ask me what influenced me to come here or just ask me for advice, then I would put my input in. I’m just not a big fan of pushing myself on somebody."

What would he tell those recruits wondering about Miami?

“I’d tell them this is an amazing college with room to grow. We’re making a really big turn – probably this year. I’d tell them about the things I believe are going to happen, and I guess with my face and my conviction, they really feel what I’m saying.”

Quarterman believes the Canes will improve each season until they are eventually back on top, starting with the defense.

“I feel the defense is going to be really great – defensive line getting better, definitely linebackers getting better," he says. "I’m really rooting for my boy Darrion [Owens, former high school teammate of his]. This will be his second year and he’ll be – I think – starting, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

On what he's learned from conversations with defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio: “He’s really a man of his word. His word is bond. That’s what I really admire about him. If he says he’s going to do something, he’s going to do it, and if he can’t, you know he tried his very absolute best to try. It’s not hard to follow him. Believe in his process and he’ll make you a winner.”

Quarterman likes that he saw a Miami linebacker in Denzel Perryman go in the second round of the NFL Draft.

He believes he can see himself in Perryman’s shoes on a draft day down the road “if I come in and play early, which I believe I will because I don’t believe in coming in and riding the bench, especially with this staff right here. They don’t believe in making you wait till you’re a junior.”

When Quarterman arrives at UM, he's making it clear that he's coming to take a starting spot.

"Even if I don’t, that makes the veterans sweat and makes us better as a team," he says. "That’s all of us (committed linebackers Greg Simmons, Zach McCloud and Michael Pinckney). My whole class is coming in here and coming to make them sweat.”

Since he has a former high school teammate already at UM, he's received some advice from Owens.

“It’s easy to work through it if you’re a workaholic," he says of what he's heard from Owens. "If you come for the wrong reasons to go to college, the parties and all the extracurricular activities instead of the one that really matters, then you won’t prosper.

Quarterman describes himself as a woraholic. He used to work out with older classes in high school. When Owens was a senior and he was a sophomore, coaches made him lift the weight Owens was lifting.

May 31, 2015

Sights from 7-on-7 event at UM

Greentree

It finally puts UM on par with other elite college football programs when it comes to recruiting.

Having all the facilities and resources at its disposal for the first time, the University of Miami hosted the Adidas South Florida Shootout, a 7-on-7 tournament that brought together more than 900 athletes from 48 different high schools.

The Canes had games going on the Cobb Stadium soccer field, Greentree Practice Fields and the intramural fields for a total of 12 fields holding games at once.

IM Fields

Several UM recruits and commitments were in attendance, and all of UM's future plans, including the new Adidas uniforms and the Sun Life Stadium renovations, were pitched, as pictured below.

Posters

Current UM players, along with the coaches, were active in the effort of hosting it for the program. Quarterback Brad Kaaya was seen talking to several offensive recruits and giving them pointers.

The multi-talented Chad Thomas, a rising sophomore defensive end who was once a five-star recruit out of Booker T. Washington, was on the turntables as the DJ for the festivities.

DJ Chad

Here's a sight Canes fans could get used to seeing -- 2016 commit and four-star stud receiver from St. Thomas Aquinas Sam Bruce on Greentree Practice Fields.

Sam Bruce

St. Thomas 2017 five-star wide receiver Trevon Grimes has previously mentioned Ohio State as a leader in his recruitment, but he says talks with Bruce and the atmosphere of the 7-on-7 have him strongly considering Miami now.

The 6-2 standout was stellar in the action I saw. He made resistance from opposing corners appear futile, as seen in this video captured by Alejandro Narciso, snagging a ball over a Jackson defender in the end zone.

 

 

Trevon

A video posted by @ale_narciso_canes on May 31, 2015 at 8:15am PDT

Gulliver has four players currently committed to the Canes. 2017 running back commit Robert Burns was absent, but here are the three 2016 commits -- from left to right: DE Joseph Jackson, ATH Cedrick Wright and WR Dionte Mullins.

Gulliver

Four-star middle linebacker commit Shaquille Quarterman didn't have his Orange Park Oakleaf team in the tournament, but decided to make the five-hour drive anyway to check out the action. He told me his commitment is very solid.

Quarterman

Another LB commit but in the Class of 2017, Tyler Dunning, reaffirmed his commitment is very strong and he is trying to recruit his teammates on an elite Dillard defense. 2017 DE Jon Ford has an offer and 2016 DT Aaron Thompson is waiting on one but receiving interest from the Canes.

Dunning

It doesn't stop at 2017. Even younger recruits were present, including Thomas Burns, a cornerback out of Miami Northwestern who is one of four commits in the Canes' Class of 2018 and current UM CB Artie Burns' brother.

Thomas Burns

Former UM and Marlins catcher Charles Johnson was back on his old stomping grounds watching his son Brandon, a three-star recruit out of Plantation American Heritage. CJ told me he also planned to check out the baseball team's regional final at 7 p.m. at Mark Light Field.

Charles Johnson

Brandon Johnson has a UM offer, but Charles told me he hasn't been recruited all that actively by UM coaches as of late. CJ also said he definitely wants his son to end up at his alma mater.

In the end, Coconut Creek won the championship game 21-14 over Flanagan. Here are the #CreekBoyz holding up the trophy. Congrats to coach Kareem Reid and wide receiver Binjimen Victor, who appeared to get hurt in the final but re-entered the game for the finish.

CreekBoyz

Those are my pictures on a bunch of people throwing up the U and all the tremendous setups put together by the Hurricane coaches, as well as staff members Josh Darrow, Eric Josephs and Brooke Wilson, among others.

*All photos by David Furones/FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

May 25, 2015

Jackson's Desmond Phillips commits to Toledo

Miami Jackson athlete Desmond Phillips announced on Monday that he has committed to Toledo.

The Generals left-handed quarterback in the Class of 2016 is listed as an athlete on recruiting services at 5-10 and 170 pounds and had a total of 14 offers including others from Cincinnati, FIU, Marshall, Pitt, USF, Syracuse and Temple.

In Phillips' junior season, he threw for 1,385 yards and ran for more than 500 yards and led Jackson to a playoff appearance.

May 23, 2015

Rockets fully loaded: Extra Miami Central spring/recruiting notes

Keir Thomas**I wrote a feature on Central both in the paper and online. Make sure you check that out as well. You should also check out Bill Daley's write-up on Columbus' win over St. Pete Lakewood.**

Here are a few more notes I came away with from the Rockets’ Green and White Game on Saturday.

--That defense is to be feared! Half of the guys on the starting unit already look like they’re in college. Donavan Thompson, Keir Thomas (pictured to the left) and Eric Mitchell are absolutely fierce. Mitchell, came off the edge unblocked and drilled quarterback Anthony “Mo” Hasan so hard I was concerned for Mo’s health. He turned out to be OK; he's a tough kid.

--Regarding four-star receiver Darnell Salomon, he broke down for me why he liked each of his top five.

Oregon: “Oregon has that fast-pace offense, spread team. Great for a receiver like me.” Darnell Salomon

Oklahoma: “I’m great with the receivers coach [Dennis Simmons]. We’ve got a bond. I talk to him like every week.”

Texas: “They throw the ball 40 times a game.”

Alabama: “Always been a fan of them.”

FSU: “They’re starting all their freshmen receivers and they become big time, so that’s great.”

Salomon (pictured to the right) added Miami is also recruiting him hard and he talks to running backs coach Tim “Ice” Harris every two weeks. He says the Hurricanes would be next if he extended his top to six.

Thompson, a three-star middle linebacker at 5-10, 220 says no one is ahead between Arkansas, Oregon State and USF, but he does say former Central coach Telly Lockette being an assistant at Oregon State gives the Beavers an advantage.

“He kind of knows me, kind of knows my weaknesses, and if I go up there, he can basically keep an eye on me and tell me how it is instead of sugar-coating it,” Thompson said.

Like I mention in my story, Waynmon Steed told me UM coaches have said he reminds them of Sean Spence.

“I want to start my own legacy, but to be compared to Sean Spence, that’s a good comparison. I don’t mind it.”

About being committed to the hometown team, Steed, who also has offers from FAU and Texas-San Antonio says, “It’s a great thing. [I’ve] got to represent 305. My family is a big fan of Miami and I just get to stay home.”

While committed, Steed adds that he’s still open as more offers begin to come in.

Jamel Cook calls himself 100-percent committed to FSU but still wants to enjoy the recruiting process and take his visits – Alabama, Auburn, Louisville, UM, FSU are in the mix for visits from him.

He likes the family atmosphere at FSU with former teammates Dalvin Cook, DaVante Phillips and Calvin Brewton all up there.

“With me going up there, there’s just family. I have people that push me to work hard, stay behind me and push me to do what’s right,” Cook says.

Another Cook, James, who is an eighth grader now and rising freshman that will be enrolling at Central in August, already has hype surrounding him. That’s because he’s Dalvin Cook’s little brother. I’m certainly excited to see what he can do once the season starts as he’s already receiving recruiting interest from major programs.

May 20, 2015

Updates on Jaquwan Nelson, Dallas Jeanty from Fort Lauderdale scrimmage

I got a chance to pass by Fort Lauderdale High on Tuesday to watch the Flying L’s Blue and White Game and was impressed by several of their athletes.

First, 6-4, 225-pound Class of 2016 defensive end Jaquwan Nelson was absolutely dominant in his pass rush and has a solid frame to build upon at the next level.

The three-star UM commit with active hands off the edge demands a double team. One blocker isn’t enough to contain him as a quick and forceful rip move swiftly gets him past linemen. I counted at least three times that he busted through for a “sack” (no contact on the quarterback).

 

Nelson spoke with me about what it meant to him to get that offer from the Hurricanes at UM’s Junior Day and how he reacted.

“It was a dream come true. I always wanted to play for UM as a little kid,” Nelson said. “My heart was pumping. My reaction was outrageous. I didn’t know what to do.”

Nelson lists himself as a “very solid” commit but is keeping his options open. He put his commitment status at 90 percent.

Nelson (pictured in three-point stance below) says the other schools that make up the remaining 10 percent would be Florida State, Notre Dame and Oregon State. Of those, Oregon State has offered while he says he’s heard from the other two but they are not showing too much interest.



Jaquwan NelsonDallas Jeanty, a three-star 6-1, 220-pound linebacker is urging to get a Hurricanes offer and join Nelson in the Canes’ 2016 class, as well as several other close friends in the class.

“I’m the biggest Miami fan on the planet. I’ve wanted a Miami offer forever,” says Jeanty, who currently lists 34 other offers.

He says if he got the UM offer, he would “definitely commit on the spot.”

As for now, Jeanty (pictured behind Nelson to the left) says Oregon State is his leader followed by Cincinnati and Army.

With a 3.9 GPA and a 1260 on the SAT (reading and math), he has been offered by all eight Ivy League schools. He wants a competitive school both in academics and in football, so that’s another reason why the Miami offer is so important to him. He’s also hopeful for a Notre Dame and USC offer.

Another solid-looking linebacker for Fort Lauderdale who is not getting the recruiting attention is 5-11, 210-pound 2017 prospect Darryl Weaver.

Weaver showed tremendous instincts getting to the ball and hits hard with good form when he tackles. He also had a fumble recovery in the scrimmage.

Kevin Thomas, a defensive back who was playing some outside linebacker on Tuesday, scooped up a fumble recovery for a touchdown on a backward pass.

Cornerback Duwan Smith is very good in coverage and reacts well with quick hips.

USF, Minnesota, Akron and Navy all had coaches at Fort Lauderdale's spring scrimmage.