July 28, 2015

James Charles commits to FAU, FIU gets QB commit

St. Thomas Aquinas running back James Charles announced on Tuesday morning that he was committing to FAU.

The 5-10, 200-pound prospect with 4.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash chose the nearby Owls over other offers from Pittsburgh, Western Kentucky, FIU and New Mexico.

"FAU is home -- that plays a major part. FAU is on the rise and I want to be one of those players who helps this team to become a powerhouse," Charles says. "Me and all the coaches have a pretty strong relationship, and they have been recruiting me since my 11th grade year."

He earned quite the review from his new head coach at Aquinas Roger Harriott, who is coincidentally coming off a stint at FAU as running backs coach.

"James Charles is the epitome of a complete back. He has good size with speed and power," says Harriott, who also lauds his ball security, pass protection, pass catching, film study and leadership. "James possesses the ability to run through defenders and elusiveness to make them miss."

Listed as a two-star recruit in the 247 Sports composite rankings, Charles is the lone running back committed in FAU's 2016 class.

FIU lands senior QB

Braden River two-star quarterback Jacob Huesman committed to FIU on Tuesday after receiving the offer from the Panthers last month.

His coach, Curt Bradley, announced the news on Twitter.

Huesman is the second quarterback commit for FIU in the 2016 class along with Lake Gibson two-star pro-style prospect Hunter Orem.

Here are Huesman's highlights:

July 27, 2015

Former UM pledge Rasul commits to FSU

Two days after announcing a decommitment from UM, Coral Gables senior running back Amir Rasul orally committed to FSU.

The four-star prospect is the top ranked running back in the state of Florida, according to 247 Sports and Rivals. He ran for 893 yards and 13 touchdowns on 127 carries as a junior for the Cavaliers.

Aside from Miami, Rasul chose FSU over Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. He becomes the first running back in the Seminoles' 2016 recruiting class, which is now up to 19 commitments.
The Hurricanes still have 21 players committed for 2016, including running backs Travis Homer of West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy and Zack Moss of Hallandale, while also pursuing Naples four-star Carlin Fils-Aime.

July 26, 2015

Miami Central 2017 OL Donaldson commits to Canes

UM's class of 2017 gained a big boost on Sunday night as four-star junior offensive lineman Navaughn Donaldson committed to the Hurricanes.

Donaldson's recruitment has gained steam this offseason with the 6-5, 300-pound prospect first earning his UM scholarship offer at the Al Golden Football Camp last month.

Sunday night he announced his decision on Twitter, choosing Miami over six other offers, including Florida State, Georgia and UNC.

In an interview with CaneSport.com, Donaldson told the Rivals site he labels himself as a 75-percent commitment with his Signing Day a year and a half away.

The addition is a major one for the Canes, especially considering they recently lost their only committed offensive lineman in the 2017 class when Kadeem Telfort flipped to UF.

Donaldson's highlights:

July 23, 2015

Nick Bosa commits to Ohio State

It comes as no surprise with his brother Joey already in Columbus, but five-star St. Thomas Aquinas senior defensive end Nick Bosa made the announcement on Thursday that many have been expecting for some time now.

Bosa committed to Ohio State with a tweet that showed Joey putting an Ohio State helmet on Nick's head with the text "Hand down the legacy" attached to it.


Bosa chose the national champions over virtually every other school in the nation as anyone would gladly take the five-star 6-4, 265-pound prospect. He took a trip to Florida over the past weekend, and multiple reports over the last two months stated he was nearing a decision.

"Along with being an extraordinary athlete, team leader and positive role model, Nick Bosa is also an exceptional scholar athlete (4.0 GPA)," St. Thomas Aquinas coach Roger Harriott says. "The entire STA Raider Nation is proud of him, and we support his decision to be a Buckeye."

Here is an interview Bosa did with the Miami Herald in May at St. Thomas Aquinas' spring game.


And below are his junior season highlights.


ALSO: Read the story in the prep roundup.

July 19, 2015

UM recruits approve of new Adidas uniforms

UM athletics welcomed Adidas to its program with a football uniform unveiling party at LIV on Saturday night that was as Miami as it gets.


Most of the reaction from the fans has been positive, but what about that of the players that will actually be wearing the new uniforms? More specifically, how do the players that pledge to wear them in the future like them?

The consensus is that recruits committed to the Hurricanes approve.

Four-star quarterback commit Jack Allison out of Palmetto expressed a sentiment relayed by most fans.

"I was skeptical at first when I heard they were switching to Adidas, but now after I see the new uniforms I like them a lot," he said.

Here are the views other recruits expressed to me...

-Four-star running back from Coral Gables High Amir Rasul says he's "#inlove" and added "the whole design of the uniform intrigued me."

-Four-star middle linebacker from Orange Park Oakleaf Shaq Quarterman says he especially liked the all-white combination.

-Three-star defensive end from Fort Lauderdale High Jaquwan Nelson: "I love them. It's a really nice look from Adidas. Can't wait to play in them when I get there."

-Three-star defensive end from Columbus Josh Uche: "I liked them. Very simple yet unique."

-Four-star 2017 linebacker Tyler Dunning from St. Thomas Aquinas: "Love 'em. What's not to like?"

-Three-star 2017 Killian running back Bentavious Thompson: "The new Adidas uniforms are fire."

-2018 defensive back Al Blades Jr.: "They're nice. [I like] the pants, helmets and gloves."

Adidas certainly graded highly among UM football recruits. A solid start to the #3stripelife UM will sport for the next 12 years.

July 12, 2015

Coral Reef reveals new 'black cloud' uniforms

It's the final piece to a fresh start for Coral Reef football this offseason.

With a new coaching staff coming in that's trying to change the culture, the Barracudas revealed their new "black cloud" uniforms to players, cheerleaders and parents at a team picnic at Larry and Penny Thompson Park on Sunday.

The coaches couldn't do it without a little fun, though.

First, they set up a draped upper-body male mannequin on a table as coach Javi Valdes gave a speech. When it was time to lift the drape, underneath it was a plain, bland black jersey with silver numbers -- much to the dismay of the players expecting a bit more.

With parents slow clapping and mixed reactions from the players, a pair of Coral Reef alumni in Myles Campbell and Vanycksha Toussaint busted in wearing the actual uniforms. The jersey on the manikin turned out to be the practice jersey.

The players went nuts.


"I knew I had them," Valdes said. "We needed to put a stamp on what Coral Reef Football was going to look like. That's the look we're going to have for the next few years, and that's the look we want to continue having throughout my tenure here."

The Nike anthracite -- or smoke grey -- uniforms (pictured above) will have white numbers, "Cudas" in white over the number on the front, a teal stripe down the pant leg that reads "Reef" in white, and teal and white fading stripes on the sleeves. The helmets are the same color with a teal and silver stripe through the middle and the CR logo on the sides.

Coral Reef, which will alternate with a set of white uniforms depending on if the team is home or away, now joins Booker T. Washington and Miami Central as teams to sport the anthracite jerseys.

Players were relieved to learn that all the buildup for the uniform unveiling wasn't to culminate in the team wearing practice jerseys for their games.


Photos and video by David Furones//FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

July 11, 2015

Recruiting Roundup: Henry-Cole commits to Utah, Harrison to Southern Illinois

St. Thomas Aquinas running back Devonta'e Henry-Cole announced on Saturday that he is orally committing to Utah.

"I got along with coach [Dennis] Erickson and the coaching staff," the 5-9, 190-pound three-star prospect with 4.4 speed says. "It'a a great school academically and sports, and it's going to be a great feeling playing with my old St. Thomas teammates."

Henry-Cole chose Utah over a list of 11 other offers that included Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, FIU and FAU. 

He joins former Raider teammates Tyson Cisrow and Chris Hart on the Utes roster.

"[They tell me] that it was nice over there, it's different from Florida and the football program is amazing," Henry-Cole says.

Utah is getting a good one on and off the field.

"As a player, Devonta'e is an explosive, electrifying athlete with exceptional balance, vision and speed," St. Thomas Aquinas coach Roger Harriott says. "Off the field, he's a positive role model for his peers -- an extraordinary person in general. He's the epitome of a character athlete who is loved by all."


A day earlier, Coconut Creek senior quarterback Jhakari Harrison announced a commitment to Southern Illinois.

The 6-1, 180-pound dual-threat quarterback that also had offers from Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman has been impressive throughout the spring and in 7-on-7 play, including a victory in the South Florida Shootout that UM hosted.

Once he joins the Salukis, he'll eventually compete with another Florida quarterback Southern Illinois took last recruiting cycle in Orlando's Tanner Hearn.


On Thursday, South Dade 2017 offensive guard Kryon Taylor committed to Marshall.

The 6-3, 285-pound junior was impressive in a spring game against Harrison and Coconut Creek in May, drawing the eyes of many coaches on hand.

He's also an elite wrestler as a state runner-up in the 285-pound division.


July 07, 2015

Kadeem Telfort flips commitment from UM to UF

Miami Norland junior offensive tackle Kadeem Telfort announced on Tuesday that he has decommitted from the Miami Hurricanes and is now committed to the Florida Gators.

The 6-6, 310-pound three-star prospect in the class of 2017 made the two announcements within minutes of each other on Twitter.


The flip was foreshadowed earlier Tuesday morning by St. Thomas Aquinas quarterback Jake Allen, a 2017 prospect who committed to Florida last Wednesday


The Gators now have three commitments in their 2017 class -- all from Miami-Dade or Broward County -- in Telfort, Allen and Deerfield Beach wide receiver Lavarus Tigner.

Their 2016 class includes commitments Joshua Hammond of Hallandale, Vosean Joseph of Norland, Miami Central's Eric Mitchell, Deerfield Beach's Aaron Robinson and Southwest Miami's Christopher McWilliams -- a testament to co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Randy Shannon's recruiting work in South Florida.

UM's 2017 class bodes well despite the loss of Telfort as its seven commitments still have the Canes second only to Ohio State in the 247 Sports team rankings.

Telfort's highlights:

July 06, 2015

All in the family: Michael Irvin II commits to Miami Hurricanes

Like father, like son.

St. Thomas Aquinas senior wide receiver/tight end Michael Irvin II announced on Monday that he was committing to the Miami Hurricanes, the alma mater of his father, Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin, who played at UM from 1985-1987.

The 6-3, 220-pound Irvin II took to Twitter to make the big announcement.

"Although Michael is blazing his own trail, he's excited about attending his father's high school and college alma mater," St. Thomas Aquinas coach Roger Harriott told the Miami Herald. "Miami was his first offer and he's considered himself a Cane for as long as he could remember.

"STA Raider Nation loves the Irvin family and we're elated that Michael II has an opportunity to pursue his childhood dreams."

In 2012, Irvin was quoted in an article by Brian Perroni of 247Sports, jokingly saying his son could not play for any other school.

โ€œMy exact words to Mike were this โ€“ โ€˜There are some choices God gives us and some He doesnโ€™t.โ€™ He canโ€™t choose his mom, his dad, his brothers or sisters or what school he goes to. Everything else, he can choose. He WILL go to the University of Miami,โ€ the article notes Irvin Sr. said laughing.

The dream scenario for the UM legend finally came to fruition as Irvin II, a three-star prospect in the 247 Sports Composite Rankings, chose the Canes over other notable offers from Georgia, Michigan and N.C. State.

It won't be the first time Irvin II follows in his father's footsteps as this April he decided to transfer from Plano (Texas) Prestonwood High to join Irvin's high school alma mater of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Irvin Sr. collected 2,423 yards and 26 touchdowns on 143 receptions in his three years with the Canes before a stellar professional career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Here are Irvin II's highlights from last season in Texas.


June 27, 2015

Sights from The Opening Team Games

The Nike Football Opening Team Games were held at West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy on Saturday.

They had 16 South Florida 7-on-7 teams in total and four different fields running at a time.

In the end, Carol City cruised to a 44-23 victory in the championship game against Flanagan. This picture below was taken during the celebration over one of the Chiefs' interceptions in the contest.

Carol City INT

Quarterback Stephen "Buckshot" Calvert was phenomenal in finding his receivers consistently. Here's his one-on-one interview with the Miami Herald.


While Carol City won the 7-on-7 team tournament, Flanagan's runner-up finish plus victories in the individual skills competition at quarterback, wide receiver and 40-yard challenges were enough to put the Falcons over the top in overall points.

Dirty Birds

One of the players on the host team is four-star running back and UM commit Travis Homer, who took a second to show his allegiance to the cameras.

Travis Homer

A UM decommit not too long ago who has since jumped on board with the Michigan Wolverines in what's appearing to develop into a little bit of a pipeline between Flanagan and Michigan, Devin Gil was held out due to an arm injury but took a second to show love to Michigan throwing up the M.

Devin Gil

You'll want to stay tuned to the blog as interviews with both Homer and Gil are coming, as well as updates on Darnell Salomon, Joseph Jackson and Clevan Thomas.