January 27, 2016

Alabama battling for Gator commit Vosean Joseph

Vosean Joseph
Miami Norland four-star linebacker Vosean Joseph has been committed to UF since February 2015, but will he sign with the Gators on Feb. 3, 2016?

Alabama is still battling Florida for his services. Joseph visited Tuscaloosa on Jan. 15 and UF this past weekend.

While in interviews with Scout and SEC Country, Joseph rated the Gator visit a 12 out of 10 and said, "I know where I want to go, and that's UF," he now insists the Crimson Tide is still in consideration.

Between the two SEC powerhouses, Joseph said he's "not sure yet" in a message to the Miami Herald but gave his current commitment to UF 2 to 1 odds to stick on Signing Day.

Joseph is in Texas for the USA vs. Canada International Bowl on Sunday and returns to Miami on Monday. He will revisit his recruitment and make an ultimate decision then.

Joseph also visited West Virginia and Syracuse in November. He lists the Mountaineers and Orange each as a distant third that have a "10-percent" chance of signing him.

Follow @DavidFurones90 on Twitter for recruiting updates from now through Signing Day.

January 25, 2016

Syracuse making an imprint on recruiting South Florida

It's no secret Syracuse is trying to make its impression recruiting South Florida.

It certainly has, and the Orange's efforts were truly solidified over the weekend.

Syracuse got three commitments from South Florida football prospects with Dillard defensive lineman McKinley Williams, Fort Lauderdale defensive end Jaquwan Nelson (a former UM commit) and Homestead safety/linebacker Rashad Smith.

This adds to a 2016 class that already had a commitment from Dillard linebacker Kenneth Ruff. The Orange have three more senior commits outside of Dade and Broward in the state of Florida.

Syracuse has been hot overall in recruiting lately as eight of its 21 current commitments came over the weekend and 12 since the new year.

Follow @DavidFurones90 on Twitter for recruiting updates from now through Signing Day.

January 22, 2016

South Dade's James Wiggins decommits from UM

James Wiggins AD
James Wiggins at Miami Herald All-Dade photo shoot. JUSTIN AZPIAZU


South Dade defensive back James Wiggins announced his intention to decommit from the University of Miami on Friday.

It comes as little surprise as new Hurricanes coach Mark Richt and his staff were not actively recruiting Wiggins.

"The new coaching staff -- they haven't been on me that much," Wiggins said. "Last time I spoke to them was two or three weeks ago with Mike Rumph.

"He talked about his background, how he was in high school, college, pros, how UM is becoming better. That was great to hear, but since then I haven't heard from them."

Wiggins, a three-star prospect who was named first team All-Dade by the Miami Herald and third team All-State in Class 8A by the AP, received an Illinois offer Thursday and will try to visit the Fighting Illini over the weekend. The Canes were going to get that weekend visit, but without hearing from them, Wiggins had to look elsewhere.

Wiggins is also considering Cincinnati, which he visited Jan. 15, Temple, Purdue and USF.

What is Wiggins looking for in a school?

"Just to get my education, be a part of a good program, try to make it to the [National Football] League, and if I don't, let my degree take me where it takes me," he says

Wiggins' decommitment follows the same narrative to that of high school teammate and running back Jawon Hamilton, who within the month backed off his pledge to the Canes and then committed to UCF for similar reasons.

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.