August 01, 2015

Former UM pledge Snelson commits to Minnesota

Dredrick Snelson went from Al Golden to the Golden Gophers.

The four-star senior wide receiver, who transferred from Plantation American Heritage to Flanagan this offseason, announced on Saturday that he would be committing to Minnesota.

 

In an interview with Rivals' Gopher Illustrated, Snelson said, "I'm so excited. I love everything about the program, so I'm feeling pretty good about my decision.

"I wanted to go to a program that needed me, not just wanted me... I can come in and play early and make an impact. I can fill in for the main receiver they have there right now."

Snelson joins Cardinal Gibbons' Elijah and Elisha Daniels as Broward County prospects committed to Minnesota.

He chose the Gophers over offers from practically all over the country, including Miami, Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and Notre Dame.

Snelson was committed to the Hurricanes early in the recruiting process before ultimately decommitting during his junior season at American Heritage.

July 30, 2015

Central LB Donavan Thompson makes it two commits for FIU on Thursday

Donavan Thompson
Donavan Thompson pursues a tackle during Central's 2015 spring scrimmage. DAVID FURONES//FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

FIU got its second commitment of the day on Thursday when Miami Central linebacker Donavan Thompson turned down offers from the likes of Arkansas, Oregon State and USF to commit to the Panthers.

FIU's 2016 recruiting class now lists 11 commitments after the addition of Norland cornerback Bryon Brown earlier Thursday.

Former Booker T. Washington coach Tim Harris Jr., now in his first season as running backs coach at FIU, is making his presence felt in recruiting South Florida and had a major impact on Thompson's decision.

"He mainly told me when he first gave me the offer that he liked me and he loved the way I play football," says Thompson, the 5-11, 210-pound three-star prospect. "Playing against Tim Harris, he knows what I'm capable of. He was able to introduce me to the defensive coordinator [Matt House] and the head coach [Ron Turner]."

Thompson has former Central teammates Anthony Jones and Fermin Silva already at FIU and set to begin their collegiate careers in the fall.

"They are saying that they are looking to rebuild in the next couple of years and they need a player like me over there," Thompson says.

In addition to Arkansas, Oregon State and USF, Thompson also listed offers from Cincinnati, Massachusetts, Toledo and West Florida.

While committed, Thompson notes that his recruitment still is not over.

"I'm considering all my offers. I'm still open to all my offers," Thompson says. "FIU is the best fit right now, so I'm leaning that way.

"Any minute I could decommit and go to another school, so I'm open to anybody."

Thompson is a leader at middle linebacker on Central's defense. Heading into his fourth year as a starter on the Rockets' vaunted defense, he has three state championships to his credit as he enters his senior year.

His highlights:

FIU gets commitment from Norland's Bryon Brown

Norland senior cornerback Bryon Brown committed to FIU on Thursday.

The 6-1, 180-pound unranked 2016 prospect who goes by the nickname of "Lockdown Brown" joins a Panthers recruiting class that now lists 10 total commits, including two other corners in Jacksonville Ed White's Jadarius Byrd and Tampa Bay Tech's Isiah Brown.

"Very athletic, long DB with good speed," Norland coach Daryle Heidelburg says. "He can play both corner and safety. Plus Norland has had good success with its players at FIU, and Bryon will continue that trend."

FIU currently has junior linebacker Treyvon Williams out of Norland who last season appeared in all 12 games, started in nine and was second on the team with 50 total tackles.

Brown's highlights:

July 29, 2015

Rasul discusses flip from UM to FSU

  Amir RasulSo why did four-star 2016 running back Amir Rasul recently flip his commitment from UM to FSU?

“What made me flip was pretty much I was looking at the future,” Rasul told the Miami Herald. “UM really didn’t have a good season [last] year, Golden will probably be gone and they’ll be looking for a new head coach. I didn’t want to be in that situation going into my freshman year.

“Ultimately, I think UM is a good school. It’s an awesome school, but at the moment I think FSU’s a better school for me.”

Rasul also said he was promised by FSU it would only take one running back per class over the next few years, so waiting to see if Miami did indeed have a rough season could have resulted in another back taking his spot.

“Florida State really wants me now, and if I make this decision now, I’ll probably have a much better future than being committed to UM,” Rasul says. “It’s a hard commit. I’m not trying to change right now.”

Rasul adds that he still looks at South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee but is unlikely to change his mind at this point.

Being in such close proximity geographically to UM’s campus, Rasul says he’s had to take some criticism from hometown fans as of late.

“I’ve gotten a couple of choice words from some people in the area, but that’s OK,” he says. “If they don’t hate you, then you’re not doing something right.”

Rasul also looks at the way Dalvin Cook (formerly of Miami Central) scored the game-winning touchdown against the Hurricanes as a freshman last season and could see himself having similar success against the hometown team.

“That’s amazing – to do that and in addition be at home,” he says. “Going out the next day and knowing you did that against your hometown – that’s going to be spectacular.”

What can we expect out of Rasul in his senior season after breaking out running the ball as a junior?

He says improving his versatility. Rasul will be on returns and be more active in the passing game. He essentially wants to do all the things critics are saying he can’t do.

“You’re always going to have some doubters, people saying you can’t do this, you can’t do that,” Rasul says. “That’s OK. If I wasn’t doing great things, people wouldn’t be talking about it at all.”

Rasul is an exceptional student on top of being a top-of-the-line football recruit.

His junior year he bumped his grade point average from a 2.8 to a 3.4 and took a pair of AP courses – statistics and economics. He plans on taking an introductory calculus course and finding a challenging science class his senior year.

He had thoughts of being an early enrollee, but since he runs track, he will make sure to do that the spring semester of his senior year before getting right to college next summer.

Cypress Bay's Gomez, Jenkins make commitments

A pair of standout Cypress Bay seniors announced commitments on Wednesday morning, according to coach Mark Guandolo.

Outside linebacker Christian Gomez committed to Army while offensive tackle Ben Jenkins committed to Alabama State.

Gomez, a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, stands at 6-1 and 203 pounds and is a solid tackler with range from the linebacker position. He had other offers from Alabama State and Albany.

Here are Gomez's junior highlights.

 

July 28, 2015

James Charles commits to FAU, FIU gets QB commit

St. Thomas Aquinas running back James Charles announced on Tuesday morning that he was committing to FAU.

The 5-10, 200-pound prospect with 4.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash chose the nearby Owls over other offers from Pittsburgh, Western Kentucky, FIU and New Mexico.

"FAU is home -- that plays a major part. FAU is on the rise and I want to be one of those players who helps this team to become a powerhouse," Charles says. "Me and all the coaches have a pretty strong relationship, and they have been recruiting me since my 11th grade year."

He earned quite the review from his new head coach at Aquinas Roger Harriott, who is coincidentally coming off a stint at FAU as running backs coach.

"James Charles is the epitome of a complete back. He has good size with speed and power," says Harriott, who also lauds his ball security, pass protection, pass catching, film study and leadership. "James possesses the ability to run through defenders and elusiveness to make them miss."

Listed as a two-star recruit in the 247 Sports composite rankings, Charles is the lone running back committed in FAU's 2016 class.

FIU lands senior QB

Braden River two-star quarterback Jacob Huesman committed to FIU on Tuesday after receiving the offer from the Panthers last month.

His coach, Curt Bradley, announced the news on Twitter.

Huesman is the second quarterback commit for FIU in the 2016 class along with Lake Gibson two-star pro-style prospect Hunter Orem.

Here are Huesman's highlights:

July 27, 2015

Former UM pledge Rasul commits to FSU

Two days after announcing a decommitment from UM, Coral Gables senior running back Amir Rasul orally committed to FSU.

The four-star prospect is the top ranked running back in the state of Florida, according to 247 Sports and Rivals. He ran for 893 yards and 13 touchdowns on 127 carries as a junior for the Cavaliers.

Aside from Miami, Rasul chose FSU over Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. He becomes the first running back in the Seminoles' 2016 recruiting class, which is now up to 19 commitments.
 
The Hurricanes still have 21 players committed for 2016, including running backs Travis Homer of West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy and Zack Moss of Hallandale, while also pursuing Naples four-star Carlin Fils-Aime.

July 26, 2015

Miami Central 2017 OL Donaldson commits to Canes

UM's class of 2017 gained a big boost on Sunday night as four-star junior offensive lineman Navaughn Donaldson committed to the Hurricanes.

Donaldson's recruitment has gained steam this offseason with the 6-5, 300-pound prospect first earning his UM scholarship offer at the Al Golden Football Camp last month.

Sunday night he announced his decision on Twitter, choosing Miami over six other offers, including Florida State, Georgia and UNC.

In an interview with CaneSport.com, Donaldson told the Rivals site he labels himself as a 75-percent commitment with his Signing Day a year and a half away.

The addition is a major one for the Canes, especially considering they recently lost their only committed offensive lineman in the 2017 class when Kadeem Telfort flipped to UF.

Donaldson's highlights:

July 23, 2015

Nick Bosa commits to Ohio State

It comes as no surprise with his brother Joey already in Columbus, but five-star St. Thomas Aquinas senior defensive end Nick Bosa made the announcement on Thursday that many have been expecting for some time now.

Bosa committed to Ohio State with a tweet that showed Joey putting an Ohio State helmet on Nick's head with the text "Hand down the legacy" attached to it.

 

Bosa chose the national champions over virtually every other school in the nation as anyone would gladly take the five-star 6-4, 265-pound prospect. He took a trip to Florida over the past weekend, and multiple reports over the last two months stated he was nearing a decision.

"Along with being an extraordinary athlete, team leader and positive role model, Nick Bosa is also an exceptional scholar athlete (4.0 GPA)," St. Thomas Aquinas coach Roger Harriott says. "The entire STA Raider Nation is proud of him, and we support his decision to be a Buckeye."

Here is an interview Bosa did with the Miami Herald in May at St. Thomas Aquinas' spring game.

 

And below are his junior season highlights.

 

ALSO: Read the story in the prep roundup.

July 21, 2015

Cypress Bay's Darrell Malone receiving interest from bigger programs

There was a point two months ago where Cypress Bay senior cornerback Darrell Malone was close to committing to Cincinnati where teammate and close friend Andrew Parchment committed.

But interest brewing from other programs in the spring had him holding off on a decision. First it was Georgia Tech, Syracuse and Indiana getting him to reconsider, and now he's receiving heavy interest from Auburn and Illinois.

"After talking with my parents, I decided to open everything back up as more schools came along," says Malone, the 5-11, 165-pound corner.

He doesn't currently list a top out of his seven offers but believes Auburn is "extremely close" to offering and could potentially see himself committing if he does receive that offer.

"They think I have a great chance of coming in and playing right from the jump," Malone says. "Same with Illinois. I just haven't visited them yet."

After the Tigers, the Fighting Illini are close behind. Malone says he'll take a visit during the season.

Malone will be making it out to Florida for Friday Night Lights. He says UF hasn't looked at him yet.

"After they see me in action, they might reconsider," he says.

Here are Malone's junior season highlights below.