January 21, 2016

Southwest DB and UF commit CJ McWilliams replaces UNC visit with UM

CJ McWilliams
CJ McWilliams (a.k.a. Calle 8)


With severe winter weather hitting the mid-Atlantic, Southwest Miami defensive back CJ McWilliams had to cancel his visit to UNC this weekend.

Instead, the three-star UF commit will take a much shorter, warmer trip to Coral Gables and the University of Miami.

At UM, McWilliams wants to get to know the new coaching staff a little better.

"I just want to see how the environment is with them, and I want to be comfortable," McWilliams says. "[New cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph says] he sees that I can be a top corner for them. I can help them out, especially on special teams too."

Rumph and defensive coordinator Manny Diaz went in-home with McWilliams earlier this week.

"They were just hoping that they still have a shot at me," McWilliams says. "After the talk went well, they said they're just looking to change the program to the way the U was before, so I'm looking forward to it and you know UM is close to home."

UNC, UF and USF all visited McWilliams at home as well within the week.

About UNC: "I've never really been outside of Florida, so I wanted to see how it is over there -- and the education too."

What keeps McWilliams committed to the Gators which he first pledged to in May?

"The coaches -- our relationship is real close, it's tight. They've always been recruiting me till the end," he says.

McWilliams is still trying to fit a UNC visit in -- possibly midweek. Had the weather in North Carolina not kept him away this weekend, he would've taken an official to UM in the midweek between UNC and UF visits.

The Gators will get him the final weekend before National Signing Day. Last weekend, McWilliams took his USF official.

"They're really welcoming me, and they're giving me a lot of love," McWilliams says of the Bulls.

As far as what kind of chance any of the other schools has in flipping McWilliams, he says, "Won't know until Signing Day."

Stay tuned.

2016 GMAC boys' basketball schedule Jan. 26-27, 29

Here you go....the GMAC has announced its boys' basketball tournament bracket.

Some interesting matchups and a lot of good teams in this one.

Here's the schedule.

Tuesday, Jan. 26

QUARTERFINALS

AT HIALEAH-MIAMI LAKES HIGH

Central vs. Coral Reef, 6

South Miami vs. HML, 7:30

AT MIAMI HIGH

Coral Gables vs. Norland, 6

Miami High vs. Miami Springs, 7:30

 

Wednesday, Jan. 27

SEMIFINALS

AT SOUTH MIAMI HIGH

Norland-Coral Gables winner vs. Miami High-Miami Springs winner, 6

Central-Coral Reef winner vs. HML-South Miami winner, 7:30

 

Friday, Jan. 29

AT SOUTH MIAMI HIGH

Championship game, 7

January 20, 2016

Miami Herald's South Florida basketball rankings through Tuesday's games

MIAMI HERALD’S SOUTH FLORIDA TOP 10 RANKINGS

BOYS

  1. Norland (17-3)
  2. Westminster Academy (13-4)
  3. Archbishop Carroll (21-2)
  4. Mater Academy (17-3)
  5. Dillard (16-5)
  6. Sagemont (16-5)
  7. Central (15-4)
  8. Miami Christian (16-5)
  9. South Miami (14-6)
  10. Zion Lutheran (16-5)

Under consideration: Boyd Anderson (14-7), Nova (16-3), Coral Springs (15-5), Douglas (17-5), St. Thomas Aquinas (14-4), Dr. Krop (13-5), Miami High (11-7), McArthur (13-8), Coral Gables (17-4).

 

GIRLS

  1. Miami Country Day (18-6)
  2. Flanagan (19-3)
  3. Miami High (20-3)
  4. Ferguson (17-6)
  5. Dillard (15-4)
  6. Lourdes (18-6)
  7. Northeast (14-6)
  8. South Broward (18-6)
  9. Blanche Ely (16-3)
  10. Gulliver (20-3)

Under consideration: American Heritage (20-5), South Miami (17-6), Norland (13-8), Fort Lauderdale (14-8), Doral (19-4), Deerfield Beach (20-4).

January 15, 2016

2016 GMAC girls' basketball schedule

The GMAC has announced its schedule for next week's GMAC tournament. The tournament will be held at Ferguson and Miami Senior High Schools starting Tuesday.

Tuesday's quarterfinals - at Ferguson: South Dade vs. Norland, 3:30; Hialeah vs. Ferguson, 5; At Miami High: South Miami vs. Reagan, 6; Miami High vs. Booker T. Washington, 7:30

Wednesday's semifinals at Ferguson: Miami High-Booker T. Washington winner vs. Reagan-South Miami winner, 6; Ferguson-Hialeah winner vs. South Dade-Norland winner, 7:30

Friday's championship at Ferguson: Semifinal winners, 7.

Admission: Tickets are $3 each for the quarterfinals and $5 for the semifinals and finals.

January 10, 2016

Top local women's college basketball prospects on display at Miami High event

Miami High and AAU team Miami Suns combined to host the first annual SUTS Reports New Year's Classic on Saturday and many of South Florida's top girls' basketball players were present.

The Herald had a full report on the results led by the Flangan victory. The eight-game marathon also included a late 57-41 Ferguson win over Nova as Stony Brook signee Giolibeth Perez notched 24 points and eight steals while Natalia Pineda added 19 points and seven rebounds. 

Here are the prospects and the colleges they have signed with:

Mary Katherine Moore (St. Thomas) -- Bucknell*

Tytionia Adderly (Cardinal Newman) -- FGCU

Hayley Duren (American Heritage) -- Pepperdine*

Megan Gorman (Vero Beach) -- Yale

Naila Delinois (Northeast) -- St. Joseph's

Ashley Santigene (Northeast) -- Marshall

Daborah Hudson (Northeast) -- Southern

Giolibeth Perez (Ferguson) -- Stony Brook

Mikiah Harrigan (Flanagan) South Carolina

*=DNP

Others who are not yet signed but are college-level prospects -- Ferguson: sophomore Natalia Pineda; American Heritage: junior Taylor Smith, junior Auviance Lindo; Miami High: freshman Shekinah Rachel, senior Alondra Angulo; Fort Lauderdale: junior Keyanna Warthen, junior Tamiracle Taylor; Oxbridge Academy: freshman Aaliyah Stanley; Northeast: junior Cabria Lee; Nova: junior Rikiah Cowart; Archbishop McCarthy: junior Reagan McCray; Westminster Academy: junior Raquel Rosa; Hallandale: junior Destiny Walters; Grandview Prep: senior Kristin Rampersad; St. Thomas Aquinas: sophomore Emma Krause; Cardinal Newman: junior Sydni Donovan, junior Milan Morris.

Coaches from Marshall, FIU, Coastal Carolina and Barry University were in attendance.

January 09, 2016

'Pie' ranks his college choices

Miami High four-star wide receiver Keyshawn "Pie" Young's college decision will come down to National Signing Day.

On Saturday, he ranked his top  for the Miami Herald as it stands before his January slate of visits: 1. Michigan, 2. Tennessee, 3. USC, 4. Louisville, and 5 is up for competition between Georgia, Miami, Alabama and South Carolina.

Young currently has visits scheduled for Louisville on Jan. 16, USC on Jan. 22, Tennessee on Jan. 27 and either UM or Alabama before Signing Day, as he announced on Friday.

"I want to feel like I'm home," Young says. "Are the coaches there real or fake? Thinks like that."

Young also took a trip to Michigan in October.

With Michigan, Young says he loves coach Jim Harbaugh and that the three Flanagan players committed (linebacker Devin Bush Jr., safety Devin Gil and safety Josh Metellus) are pushing him to the Wolverines, especially Bush.

"He told me he doesn't even want to come home," Young says.

Current UM defensive end Chad Thomas has been in talks with Young about having him join him with the Hurricanes along with running back Mark Walton and cornerback Artie Burns, who will be heading to the NFL Draft.

Of Miami, he says, "They're up there."

Young likes the hiring of Mark Richt, who recruited him at Georgia. Although the Bulldogs crack Young's top five, he says he will not visit them.

He says South Carolina is just coming along now and will compete with the Canes and Crimson Tide for that final visit.

"I have to see how that plays out now," Young says. "That's why I haven't committed nowhere yet."

January 07, 2016

Uche updates his recruitment

Josh Uche 2
Photo: Andre C. Fernandez//MIAMI HERALD

Columbus defensive end Josh Uche's recruitment will be one of the more interesting ones to follow out of prospects in Dade County with a month left until National Signing Day.

Uche (6-3, 218 pounds) has visits scheduled for Michigan on Jan. 22 and Florida on Jan. 29.

Michigan was his most recent offer, coming as a byproduct of new defensive coordinator Don Brown heading to Ann Arbor from Boston College, which had offered Uche before his senior season. Brown led the Eagles to the nation's No. 1-ranked defense despite BC winning just three games in 2015.

"It just showed how much interest in me he has. He thinks I'm the key to that whole defense," Uche says. "Just shows his loyalty and how much he believes in me."

The Flanagan local trio of linebacker Devin Bush Jr., linebacker/safety Devin Gil and safety Josh Metellus (along with Cooper City defensive end Rashad Weaver) are all committed to coach Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines' 2016 class. Although Bush has been known to be pushing Miami High wide receiver Keyshawn "Pie" Young (who has previously listed Michigan as his leader himself), but Uche says he's not as familiar with the Michigan-bound Broward prospects.

UF will get his final official visit before Signing Day.

"They've been loyal to me as well throughout the whole recruiting process," Uche says. "I've been there already twice, but I just want to get a more in-depth look at the campus."

Schools recruiting Uche are looking at him as a hybrid outside linebacker/rush end with some telling him they want him to develop into a pass rush specialist and others indicating they want him to be a "full-blown linebacker."

On his visits, he's looking to see how likes the atmosphere, campus experience and coaches.

Uche, who decommitted from Miami in between the Al Golden firing and Mark Richt hiring, has the first weekend after the recruiting dead period (Jan. 15) open for an official visit. UM, Alabama, UNC and South Carolina are in the mix for that visit.

"I was going to go to UM, but they haven't been communicating with me," Uche says. "I'm still interested, but no one has ever contacted me. I don't want to go somewhere where I'm not wanted."

To Uche's understanding, he still has an offer on the table from the Hurricanes. They haven't told him otherwise.

Uche likes the hiring of new defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski, especially because of the work he did with Shane Ray at Missouri. He sees some similarities between them.

So if he's still interested in the Canes, why did he decommit in November?

"We knew that the coaches were going to get fired, and the new guys coming in -- I didn't know how I would fit in their system," Uche says. 

He wanted to make sure his options were open in case he didn't fit and was then left looking for a school without much time left before Signing day. Uche adds that new defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was recruiting him at Mississippi State, but never pulled the trigger on an offer because of his commitment to Miami.

Uche was also once offered by Auburn, but that offer has since gone with Will Muschamp and Travaris "T-Rob" Robinson to South Carolina.

"They've just been recruiting me really hard, calling me almost every day and just talking to me about how I fit into their scheme," he says.

On Uche's stellar senior season, Uche says, "I've improved on my power a lot. Last year, I was more finesse. I was more pass rush only, but now I've shown I can play the run. I was a lot more physical. I showed I can play linebacker."

He also says that his senior year with the Explorers helped him develop leadership skills.

January 04, 2016

Jawon Hamilton decommits from UM; UCF, FAU now at top

Jawon
Jawon Hamilton. Photo by David Furones//FOR THE MIAMI HERALD


On the same day, the Miami Hurricanes announced the departure of former South Dade wide receiver Tyre Brady from the program, another Buccaneer has disconnected from UM.

South Dade running back Jawon Hamilton, a three-star prospect, announced a decommitment from the Hurricanes on Monday, posting a note written from his phone on Twitter.

"At this moment I would like to announce that I'm decommitting from the University of Miami from here on out," Hamilton said in his tweet. "I'm going to open back up my recruiting and move forward with the process and make the decision that's best for me. Thanks for giving me the opportunity."

After originally committing to the Hurricanes on Nov. 22, Hamilton (5-9, 185 pounds) grew increasingly concerned that he hadn't heard from new Hurricanes coach Mark Richt.

When asked why he decommitted Monday by the Miami Herald, Hamilton said, "Better opportunities somewhere else" in a message.

UCF and FAU now top his list, he says.

He's already visited FAU and will take a trip to Orlando to check out UCF on Jan. 15 at the culmination of the recruiting dead period.

Hamilton says he may decide between the Knights and Owls after the UCF visit.

"I think I'm going to decide between those two after the trip," he said. "I'll see how that goes and go from there.

According to his 247 Sports timeline, Hamilton previously had visits scheduled to UM on Jan. 22 and Kansas on Jan. 29, but he says currently doesn't have plans beyond UCF.

Louisville also offered Hamilton in December.

Hamilton was named South Florida Player of the Year this season by Warren Henry Auto Group and Tournament of Champions, Inc.

The Canes still have a commitment from four-star back Travis Homer of West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy, who is solid to UM.

December 31, 2015

South Florida 2019 prospects make MaxPreps Freshman All-American Team

James Cook
Miami Central RB James Cook. Photo: Manny Navarro//MIAMI HERALD

A total of six freshmen from Miami-Dade and Broward County earned their way onto the MaxPreps Freshman All-American Football Team -- five of them making the first team.

OL – Dontae Lucas, 6-5, 290, Booker T. Washington (Miami)

RB – Nay'quan Wright, 5-9, 185, Carol City (Miami)

RB – James Cook, 5-11, 190, Central (Miami)

LB – Ge'mon Eaford, 6-2, 215, Deerfield Beach (Fla.)

DB – Kenny McIntosh, 6-1, 204, University (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

LB – Diamante Howard, 6-2, 200, Southridge (Miami) (2nd team)

Check out the full MaxPreps 2015 Football Freshman All-American Team here.

 

 

December 30, 2015

USA Today All-USA Florida Team loaded with South Florida recognitions

Flanagan coach Devin Bush Sr. won Coach of the Year and American Heritage defensive end Brian Burns earned Defensive Player of the Year honors as USA Today released its All-USA Florida Football Team on Wednesday.

Here's what USA Today had to say about the two.

First, Bush:

Bush led the Falcons to their first-ever state crown this season with a victory over Osceola in the Class 8A final. Led by the coach’s son, linebacker Devin Bush Jr., defense was Flanagan’s calling card. The Falcons allowed a measly 6.4 points per game in the state’s highest classification and posted three shutouts in the postseason.

And Burns:

Burns was a menace for the Patriots this fall, recording 60 tackles (19 for loss) and 15.5 sacks. The U.S. Army All-American reportedly has a top two of Florida and Florida State.

The rest of the all-state team was loaded with players from Miami-Dade and Broward County.

First Team

DL Nick Bosa (6-4, 255, Sr.), St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale)

DL Brian Burns (6-5, 220, Sr.), American Heritage (Plantation)

DL Keir Thomas (6-1, 245, Sr.), Miami Central (Miami)

LB Devin Bush Jr. (5-11, 225, Sr.), Flanagan (Pembroke Pines)

DB Trayvon Mullen (6-1, 175, Sr.), Coconut Creek (Pompano Beach)

K James McCourt (6-1, 185, Sr.), St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale)

Second Team

QB Tyler Huntley (6-2, 185, Sr.), Hallandale

OL Navaughn Donaldson (6-6, 335, Jr.), Miami Central (Miami)

DL Nik Bonitto (6-3, 215, So.), St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale)

DL Joshua Uche (6-1, 220, Sr.), Columbus (Miami)

LB Vosean Joseph (6-2, 210, Sr.), Norland (Miami)

LB Emmett Rice (6-3, 200, Sr.), Norland (Miami)

DB Jamel Cook (6-4, 185, Sr.), Miami Central (Miami)

DB Stanford Samuels (6-1, 165, Jr.), Flanagan (Pembroke Pines)

In addition to Donaldson, University of Miami commitments Travis Homer of West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy, Shaquille Quarterman of Orange Park Oakleaf, Patrick Bethel of Vero Beach, Michael Pinckney of Jacksonville Raines and Tyler Byrd of Naples were recognized. Former UM commits Uche and Ahmmon Richards also were named.