After Shaquery Wilson took his talents to Georgia and several other talented defensive prospects moved on, Coral Gables is looking strong with its senior class once again.
At the top of the list is running back Amir Rasul, who at 6-0, 192 pounds is a four-star recruit on most sites.
Rasul committed to UM in January and had his recruitment blow up since, gathering more than 20 offers from all over the country. Even USC has come all the way to the East Coast to visit Coral Gables and check on Rasul.
“He’s offered from coast to coast,” Coral Gables coach Roger Pollard said. “Every school in the nation has recognized his talent.”
With all the options that have opened up for Rasul, who is also an elite track talent and is spending the spring away from the football team running track, his commitment to the Canes should be considered a soft one. When asked, Pollard could not confirm how firm Rasul’s commitment is currently but said he will sit down with him when he rejoins the team in June.
While college coaches love Rasul’s track speed, they love even more that he runs like a football player with that speed.
Amir Rasul after a 195-yard, 4-TD performance against Coral Park last season. DAVID FURONES
“He doesn’t run like a track guy. He runs like a really fast running back, and I think that’s why so many people are really in love with him and what he can do for their program,” Pollard says. “People want home run hitters, and with the type of speed he possesses, he’s a home run hitter.”
Coral Gables’ trio of senior linebackers in Shakur Cooper, Gee Stanley and Robert Brown is one that will spearhead the Cavaliers’ defense and pick up some steam in the players’ recruitment in the fall.
Cooper, at 6-1, 210 pounds, is a four-year starter in Pollard’s defense. He was second-team all-state last season and recently received an offer from FAMU to add to a list that includes Appalachian State and Alcorn State.
“If he was 6-2, he’d be recruited by every school in the nation because his ability to rush the passer – you can ask anybody that’s played against us – he’s got a special knack, a lot of unteachable skill,” Pollard says. “Once that ball moves an inch, he moves two feet.”
Pollard plans on using Cooper, who goes by the nickname of “Pooh Bear,” all over the field his senior season and not restrict him to just outside linebacker.
Stanley (6-2, 200) has started since he was a sophomore and is a sideline-to-sideline outside linebacker who has also seen time at strong safety and lists offers from Alcorn State and Robert Morris since receiving an offer from Temple in the fall.
“He’s really quick in the box, quick with his feet and really knowledgeable in what offenses are trying to do against us,” Pollard says.
Brown (6-1, 195) is a South Miami transfer that Pollard describes as an “effort linebacker.”
“He’s going to run, he’s going to take you down,” Pollard says. “Wherever the ball is, he’s going to do whatever he can to get there.”
Alcorn State and Bryant University have offered Brown, but he’s also receiving interest from FIU and New Mexico.
“I don’t think there will be another linebacking corps with this talent. Usually you’ll have one stud, but with these three, pick your poison,” Pollard says. “If you block one, where’s the other?”
Quarterback Voshon Waiters currently lists one offer (FAMU), but Pollard expects his recruitment to heat up over the summer and in the fall once the season starts.
“I think with the numbers he’s going to put up this year, people are going to hit the brakes when they come by Coral Gables, and it’s not just for Amir Rasul,” Pollard says.
Pollard wants to take him to camps at FIU and FAU because he feels with how meticulously quarterbacks are recruited and offered college coaches need to see him in person.
He says Waiters has solid size at 6-1 to see over the line and runs the Cavaliers’ spread offense, which is very popular in college, to perfection for his unit.