March 17, 2014

USF gets 2015 commitments from Southwest's Deundre Pickett-White and Trevon Sands

Former Miami Central coach Telly Lockette has struck in and for South Florida again.

Two of Miami Southwest’s best playmakers, quarterback Deundre Pickett-White and athlete Trevon Sands, both announced their commitments to USF on Monday night.

Pickett-White, one of the most underrated quarterbacks in South Florida, said he and Sands made their decisions at school Monday after a month of talks with each other pondering the decision. Both players have been playing together since their Pop Warner days, and have been close to Lockette – currently USF’s running back coach – since they were in the 10th grade.

“We were just spoke about our chemistry and how much better we can make a team,” Pickett-White said of his conversation with Sands. “It would be best for us to stick together and keep the chemistry going.”

Pickett-White said Lockette made him work for the USF offer exclusively at the quarterback position, and took heed of the challenge at the end of his sophomore year. He sent midseason highlight film for Lockette to watch, and finally got his offer after accounting for more than 2,100 yards with 25 touchdowns last season.

“I worked much harder in the weight room and on the field,” Pickett-White said. “I studied hard on [watching film], and just to get a better mindset because I wanted to let people know I wanted to be labeled as a quarterback.”

Sands, a dynamic player who can play running back, receiver or defensive back, had 21 catches for 572 yards and 93 carries for 635 yards with 18 total touchdowns, and 65 total tackles last season. Pickett-White said USF wants Sands to play on both sides of the ball.

“All of us know what we want out of each other,” Pickett-White said of himself, Sands and Lockette. “I think it’s going to [continue to] be a good relationship between all three of us [going forward].”

Pickett-White and Sands become the third and fourth members of USF’s 2015 recruiting class under head coach Willie Taggart.

In the last recruiting cycle, Taggart and Lockette landed commitments from Miami Jackson quarterback Quinton Flowers, Central cornerback Deatrick Nichols and offensive lineman Michael Smith and North Miami wide receiver Stanley Clerveaux.

February 27, 2014

Plantation tight end Ravian Pierce commits to Mississippi State over Florida Atlantic

Ravian Pierce needed a few weeks to decide where he wanted to play college football.

In the end, he found comfort from a family member already playing at his future school.

Pierce – a 6-4, 215-pound tight end at Plantation High School – signed his National Letter of Intent to play for the Bulldogs in front of friends and family members at his school on Wednesday. He will join his cousin, Rufus Warren, who will be a junior next season and is listed as a tight end for the Razorbacks, but Pierce said Warren will play on the offensive line.

Pierce visited the school this past weekend, and made a final decision 22 days after National Signing Day for the Class of 2014 because he was waiting on a qualifying ACT score to close the deal. Pierce will likely spend a year at a junior college to meet academic requirements before playing at Mississippi St.

Pierce was previously committed to Arkansas thanks to his close relationship with Charlie Partridge, who was an assistant head coach and defensive line coach at Arkansas before taking the head coaching job at Florida Atlantic. Pierce withdrew his pledge to the Razorbacks on Jan. 22, and picked Mississippi St. over FAU despite his rapport with Partridge.

“I can’t complain about anything,” Pierce said. “I feel like I made the right choice. I didn’t rush anything.

“Me and coach Partridge, I was real close with him. But I kind of feel down – not saying in a bad way – but I’m just saying like me and his connection was real tight, but things happen for a reason.”

Pierce said he’s not really sure which school he would have picked if he had to make a decision on National Signing Day. Both FAU and Mississippi St. would have accepted his commitment, Plantation coach Steve Davis said.

“It was really hard,” Pierce said of his final decision. “It was very close. Very close.

“I’m pretty sure [Partridge will] be ok [with my decision], but still excited for me.”

Pierce becomes the 24th commitment in the Class of 2014 for Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen and co-offensive coordinator Billy Gonzales, whom Pierce informed of his decision earlier Thursday.

“They were pumped up,” Pierce said. “They were excited.”

Now Pierce’s attention shifts to finishing the school year strong, and his journey ahead.

“I’m a clown and I like to play around, but I’m going to take this serious for the next couple of years,” Pierce said.

February 03, 2014

Cardinal Gibbons' George Rushing commits to Wisconsin, Trevon Lee picks Duke

George Rushing and Trevon Lee have seen the repercussions coaching changes in college football have had on current and prospective players firsthand.

In the end, choosing the colleges that offered the two Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons wide receivers the most stability where major factors in their decisions.

Rushing announced his commitment to Wisconsin, with Lee deciding to take his talents to Duke. Both made their decisions public on WQAM Monday night.

Rushing, rated a three-star receiver by multiple media outlets, has had a hectic start to 2014 to say the least. He was previously committed to Louisville since May 2013, but Charlie Strong’s departure to take the head coaching position at Texas left Rushing trying to put all the pieces in his recruitment back together since withdrawing his pledge on Jan. 8.

“It’s been crazy,” Rushing said to the Miami Herald about 90 minutes before announcing his decision.
Rushing took official visits to Wisconsin on Jan. 17, Louisville on Jan. 24 and TCU this past weekend in hopes of finding some clarity, and did with a school kept its persistence.

“The only school I’ve known for a really long time has been Wisconsin,” Rushing said. “They’ve been recruiting me since April. They never gave up even when I committed [to Louisville].”

Rushing said getting to know the new staff at Louisville and trying to quickly build a relationship with those at TCU “as kind of hard, but worth it.”

In the end, joining Wisconsin’s pass-heavy offense was the deciding factor for Rushing, who has grown close with Badgers head coach Gary Andersen and wide receivers coach Chris Betty. Rushing should have no problems thriving as he secured the third-most touchdowns amongst players in Miami-Dade and Broward County last season with 13.

“Basically what [Andersen] wants to do is bring in some playmakers to throw the ball” said Rushing, who had 47 catches for 598 yards. “And I feel like I can be that playmaker especially in the Big Ten.”

For Lee, seeing Duke coach David Cutcliffe promote passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach Scottie Montgomery to offensive coordinator once Kurt Roper left for Florida was reassuring to say the least.

“That was a very big factor to me since a lot of coaches have been swapping schools lately,” Lee said before an hour his announcement. “But Coach Roper leaving didn't really affect me, and I know for a fact Coach Cut isn't going anywhere.”

Duke defensive backs coach Derek Jones was also a key component for Lee, who visited the school this past weekend after taking an official visit to Vanderbilt on Jan. 24. Ultimately, Duke provided more stability after seeing James Franklin leave Vandy to take the helm at Penn State.

Lee, who was tied in 15th place amongst Miami-Dade and Broward County players last season with 741 receiving yards, will now share receiving duties with another South Florida stud in Chris Taylor from Davie University School.

“I say we're pretty close,” Lee said of his friendship with Taylor. “Still working on our friendship since we pretty much just met in the middle of this football season, but we're really cool. He's been telling me about the program and why I should go there with him.”

In the meantime for Rushing and Lee, announcing their decisions together was a lasting moment for both.

“It means a lot,” Lee said. “[Rushing has] been my bro since he got to [Cardinal Gibbons] so I'm glad we're ending our recruiting process together. “We both worked very hard for this moment.”

-Two more local prospects announced their commitments Monday night. Miami Columbus linebacker Nick MeBeath will sign with Holy Cross. Miramar quarterback Nick Jeanty will head to New Mexico State.

January 31, 2014

Monarch's Shawn Burgess-Becker, Calvin Ridley ready to announce college commitments

Shawn Burgess-Becker and Calvin Ridley have been close friends since the third grade. 

On Sunday, they plan on announcing their college decisions to keep their friendship going at the same college.

Photo (2)

Burgess-Becker (left) and Ridley – two of South Florida’s most talented Class of 2015 prospects – took to their Twitter accounts Thursday to post a list of top schools with Miami, Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State in common. Burgess-Becker also listed UCF and Florida among his possible suitors with Ridley adding Clemson.

“I’ve visited most of the colleges [on my list],” Burgess-Becker said at Monarch High School on Thursday afternoon. “All of the schools have beautiful campuses. All of those schools have just been recruiting me heavy.

“I just felt good to make my decision on Sunday.”

Added Ridley, a young man of few words: “I’ve been known what school I wanted to go to.”

Continue reading "Monarch's Shawn Burgess-Becker, Calvin Ridley ready to announce college commitments" »

January 27, 2014

South Florida trio Randy Ramsey, Cornelius Floyd, Kendrick Edwards commit to Arkansas

Looks like Arkansas is doing alright without with Charlie Partridge on its staff.

Despite getting a decommitment in the last week from Plantation tight end Ravian Pierce – who was close with Patridge, FAU’s new coach – the Razorbacks received oral commitments from three South Florida players in two days.

Fort Lauderdale Dillard safety Randy Ramsey announced his pledge to Arkansas on Sunday with Miami Norland wide receiver Kendrick Edwards and Miami Gulliver Prep receiver Cornelius Floyd following suit on Monday.

Ramsey and Edwards are fresh off of their official visits to the school this past weekend, while Floyd took his official visit on Jan. 17.

All three prospects – rated three stars by 247 Sports – were heavily recruited by former Miami Hurricanes head coach and current Arkansas assistant/linebackers coach Randy Shannon.

"I think it's a great fit," Ramsey said to 247Sports. "I love the players and the school. I could play early.

“The fans are crazy. They love the football players. They love the school."

Ramsey, who plays defensive end at Dillard will play outside linebacker in college. He picked the razorbacks over Kentucky and N.C. State.

Floyd, who had five catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns last season, picked Arkansas over offers from more than 15 schools including UCF, Virginia, West Virginia and Oklahoma.

Edwards, who had 15 catches for 256 yards and two touchdowns last season, picked the school over offers from more than 10 schools including Rutgers and FAU.

This post will be updated throughout the night.

January 26, 2014

Miami Hurricanes get a 2015 commitment from Flanagan receiver Emonee Spence

UM’s Junior Day event is already starting to pay off.

The Hurricanes got a commitment from 2015 Pembroke Pines Flanagan wide receiver Emonee Spence on Sunday afternoon, a few hours after receiving a scholarship offer from Canes coach Al Golden and touring the campus.

“I spoke to the [Golden] about everything, and I walked around campus, and I fell in love with it instantly so I decided to commit,” Spence said.

Here's Spence in a photo he posted on his Twitter account with Golden, right, and wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Brennan Carroll.

Spence told Carroll of his intentions after the experience he had getting familiar with UM.

Continue reading "Miami Hurricanes get a 2015 commitment from Flanagan receiver Emonee Spence" »

January 24, 2014

University School DE/LB Richard Yeargin III withdraws pledge to Notre Dame

With just 12 days left until National Signing Day, Davie University School defensive lineman/linebacker Richard Yeargin III has withdrawn his pledge to Notre Dame.

Yeargin

Yeargin, an Army-All American rated a four-star prospect by multiple outlets, was committed to Notre Dame since this past August, but all signs now point to him heading to Clemson – a school very dear to his family.

247Sports first reported the news Friday night.

The Yeargins are originally from South Carolina, and Yeargin’s father said during his son’s Army All-American jersey presentation in October that Clemson’s winning history, and being one of the schools to first recruit his son when he was in 10th grade were reasons the Tigers were still under consideration.

Continue reading "University School DE/LB Richard Yeargin III withdraws pledge to Notre Dame" »

January 21, 2014

Current UM commitment Chad Thomas to make final decision after official visits to FSU, Alabama

Chad Thomas went to school on Tuesday draped in University of Miami green.

ChadThomas

But in the coming weeks, he’ll be seeing some darker shades of red.

Thomas, the Miami Booker T. Washington five-star defensive end who has been committed to UM since this past July, will take official visits to Florida State on Friday and Alabama on Jan. 31.

“Just making sure I’m picking the right school,” Thomas said in a text message to the Miami Herald Tuesday morning.

Continue reading "Current UM commitment Chad Thomas to make final decision after official visits to FSU, Alabama" »

January 20, 2014

Booker T. Washington's Treon Harris still committed to Florida State despite his recruitment heating up

Treon Harris and his family members knew his college recruitment was going to pick up tremendously at the end of his high school season.

It’s even something Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher was hoping to avoid with his commitment from Miami Booker T. Washington since last July.

170Gnr_St_56

“Coach Fisher knew the type of talent Treon had as a quarterback,” older brother Tim Harris Jr. said, “and he told my dad, [Booker T. coach Tim ‘Ice’ Harris] that a long time ago.

“‘Coach [Ice], I know he’s committed to us right now, but I understand that schools are going to come after him late in the game, and my job is to just fight them off. He’s going to have other schools come after him sooner or later.’ And [Fisher] was hoping that Treon stayed a secret for him throughout the whole process, but [Fisher] knew there was going to come a time where he’s going to have to fight for him.”

Continue reading "Booker T. Washington's Treon Harris still committed to Florida State despite his recruitment heating up" »

January 19, 2014

Homestead wide receiver Ermon Lane waiting until National Signing Day to commit to Florida State

When I asked Ermon Lane if there were other schools beside Florida State in contention for his services, we both shared a laugh after he insisted so on Thursday.

“It’s a possibility I might go to Florida State, but other schools recruiting me hard,” said Lane, who tried to keep a straight face while listing Miami, Alabama and Florida after taking photos to commemorate his Miami Herald First-Team All-Dade honors.

Ermon Lane

Lane, the Homestead wide receiver who decommitted from UF on Jan. 10, said he’s going to wait until National Signing Day on Feb. 5 to announce his commitment – with all signs pointing to FSU – and not during his official visit to Tallahassee on Jan. 31. He met with members of the Seminoles coaching staff at his school and at home on Thursday, and has no plans at this time to meet with any other coaching staff members from any other school.

After playing in the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 2, Lane has also celebrated making the honor roll in recent weeks. Since decommitting, however, he has felt the brunt from fans across several fan bases on Twitter and admitted it has affected him “deep down inside.”

Continue reading "Homestead wide receiver Ermon Lane waiting until National Signing Day to commit to Florida State" »