June 23, 2015

Calvin Jackson commits to Toledo

Calvin Jackson, a three-star wide receiver out of Coral Springs Charter, decided on Tuesday to commit to Toledo.

Jackson joins Miami Jackson's Desmond Phillips and Miami Carol City's David Hood as South Florida prospects committed to the Rockets, a program trying to create an imprint in the area.

June 17, 2015

UM adds Southridge 2017 TE/WR Kemore Gamble

The UM football team continues to be on a roll in recruiting this summer.

The Hurricanes added a commitment to their 2017 class in Southridge four-star wide receiver/tight end Kemore Gamble after he attended the Al Golden Football Camp at UM on Sunday.

Being close to home and the education UM can offer were among his reasons for siding with the Canes.

"It's close to my house. It's laid out for me -- education and stuff like that," Gamble said. "The coaches are cool to hang around with, the players were saying a lot of good things."

At 6-2, 220 pounds, Gamble is primarily being recruited at tight end but can be flexible and line up out wide or even in the slot.

He becomes the eighth commitment in UM's 2017 class, which also added tight end Tre McKitty on Tuesday.

As a 2017 recruit, Gamble still has a long way to go before his signing day. He calls himself a hard commit but will still be considering Florida or Tennessee.

"They would have to show me a lot of love," Gamble said.

He had the Gators and Vols leading Miami before coming away impressed with what he saw on campus on Sunday.

Here are his highlights below.

 

June 15, 2015

Jackson's Shemar Smith motivated for senior season

Miami Jackson linebacker Shemar Smith, the reigning Miami Herald Defensive Player of the Year, is going into his senior season with a chip on his shoulder to prove the recruiting services wrong on his two-star rating.

In this exclusive interview with the Miami Herald, Smith, who lists a Texas offer among many others, talks recruiting and a variety of other topics at the Miami Dolphins 7-on-7 last Saturday.

 

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 13, 2015

Sights from Dolphins 7-on-7

Here are some shots I took from the Miami Dolphins 7-on-7 event on Saturday at Central Park in Plantation.

Carol City quarterback Stephen "Buckshot" Calvert was very impressive with the accuracy on his throws. Here he is dropped back ready to let one rip.

Buckshot

One of the more talented teams definitely appeared to be Gulliver, especially with a pair of UM commits in Dionte Mullins and Joseph Jackson. While eventually eliminated in an upset against Coral Reef, this was Mullins all smiles after a game-clinching touchdown grab against Taravella.

Dionte Mullins

Canes fans will love this one. Legacy Cane Al Blades Jr., a 2018 commit from University School, repping the school he's committed too. I have a video interview with him that will be published soon, so make sure to check back to the blog for that.

AJ Blades

You want to know what a Defensive Player of the Year looks like? Here's Jackson linebacker Shemar Smith below. A video interview with him will also be up soon.

Shemar Smith

Seven teams will continue play on Sunday in Booker T. Washington, Carol City, Coral Reef, Dillard, Fort Lauderdale, Miramar and Pahokee.

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.

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 29, 2015

Twenty nine Miami-Dade and Broward players featured in UM-FIU regional baseball meeting

IMG_2001

Friday night's baseball meeting between the Miami Hurricanes and FIU Panthers at the Coral Gables Regional, the two school's first meeting since 2008, featured 29 players that played high school ball in either Miami-Dade or Broward County. Fifteen of them play for the Canes, 14 for the Panthers.

Here's a full list for both sides.

Miami Hurricanes

Zack Collins, Plantation American Heritage

Ricky Eusebio, Miami Gulliver

Johnny Ruiz, Miami Westminster Christian

David Thompson, Miami Westminster Christian

Danny Garcia, Miami Westwood Christian

Michael Mediavilla, Hialeah Mater Academy

Bryan Garcia, Miami Columbus

Ryan Otero, Miami Ransom Everglades

Andrew Suarez, Miami Columbus

Sam Abrams, Miami Killian

Garrett Kennedy, Southwest Ranches Archbishop McCarthy

Edgar Michelangeli, Miami Florida Christian

Thomas Woodrey, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons

Daniel Epstein, Davie University School

Brandon Lopez, Plantation American Heritage

FIU Panthers

Ian Exposito, Miami Palmetto

Eddie Silva, Southwest Ranches Archbishop McCarthy

Brandon Diaz, Plantation American Heritage

Spencer Levine, Miami Killian

Charles Cormier, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas

Dillon Maya, Coral Gables

Chris Mourelle, Southwest Miami

Ricardo Pozo, Miami Gulliver

Danny Dopico, Miami Columbus

Juan Martinez, Hollywood Chaminade

JC Escarra, Hialeah Mater Academy

Williams Durruthy, Hialeah Mater Academy

Anthony Duran, Southwest Miami

Andres Nunez, Southwest Ranches Archbishop McCarthy

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.