November 08, 2015

Recruiting Roundup: Jackson's Phillips visits UM, notes from Dillard, Ely, Varela



Miami Jackson quarterback and three-star athlete Desmond Phillips, a Toledo commit, received a Miami offer in mid-October and Saturday was in attendance to watch the Hurricanes' 27-21 win over Virginia.

Phillips spoke exclusively with the Miami Herald after he wrapped up his high school career Friday night in a loss to Northwestern in the Soul Bowl.

"It made me proud," Phillips said of receiving the UM offer. "It made my family open their eyes more. Now it's up to a decision on what I want to do."

Phillips has played quarterback throughout his high school career with the Generals but is being recruited as a slot receiver -- both by the Canes and by Toledo.

UM wide receivers coach Kevin Beard has gotten a chance to see Phillips at receiver at camps.

"He's a great coach," Phillips said. "When I went to their camp and he coached me up when I was at receiver, he told me a lot about what I need to know. He's a great guy."

Phillips is a versatile athlete and his skill set will transition well to the collegiate level at receiver.

"Next level I feel like I could bring a lot to any team I go to -- my speed, my talent," Phillips says. "Everything I have, I can just add to a team."

*Three-star 2017 Dillard defensive end Jon Ford has also been receiving interest from UM, as well as Alabama, Syracuse and South Carolina. Ford plans to visit FSU, UM and Alabama this summer. He has stayed in contact with Alabama coach Mario Cristobal throughout the season.

"I love the program and hope they consider me to play there," says the 6-5, 265-pound Ford of UM.

*Three-star 2017 Dillard defensive end Jordan Wright is being heavily recruited by North Carolina. Wright (6-5, 220) has also received interest from UM, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh.

Aaron Thompson
Aaron Thompson

*Three-star Dillard defensive tackle Aaron Thompson has received more than 30 offers. Thompson's current top three is Virginia, South Carolina and Pitt.

Thompson (6-4, 260) on why Virginia is his favorite: "They're the truth."

UM defensive line coach Randy Melvin passed by Dillard recently when the Panthers played host to Plantation.

*Two-star Dillard 2017 wide receiver Jordan Merrell has 11 offers so far into his junior season. Merrell's top three is Cincinnati, Marshall and Michigan.

Merrell, who had 16 receptions for 185 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to Plantation earlier this season, plans to do a college tour this summer to visit potential schools. Some of the destinations will include Cincinnati, TCU and Baylor.

"They know how to throw the ball," says the 5-10, 180-pound receiver on why the Bearcats are his favorite.

*Three star Dillard linebacker and Virginia commit Kenneth Ruff has received 25 offers. Ruff plans to stay committed to Virginia but has plans to take a visit to Illinois in December after the season. Ruff (6-2, 235) also strongly considered South Carolina and North Carolina before committing to Virginia.

*Two-star Dillard receiver James Jackson currently has two standing offers from Youngstown and Kent State.

"I really like Youngstown. There's a lot of tradition," Jackson says. 

Jackson unofficially visited Youngstown this summer and plans to visit Kent State after the season. The 6-4, 190-pound prospect has also received interest from Virginia and Pitt.

McKinley Williams
McKinley Williams

*Three-star Dillard receiver Demetrius White (6-3, 200) has nine offers so far. White's top three includes Toledo, Kent State and Marshall. White has scheduled an official visit with Toledo on Jan. 19. 

*Unranked Dillard linebacker McKinley Williams III is being courted by Middle Tennessee. Williams has received preliminary interest from Iowa, Pitt and Mississippi State. Williams (6-5, 260) plans to visit Iowa in December.

*Unranked Dillard linebacker Torian Williams is currently weighing offers from Alcorn State and Monmouth University. Rutgers is also showing interest and Williams (6-3, 220) plans to visit the Scarlet Knights in December.

*Unranked Blanche Ely tight end Leonard Warren's top three includes Ohio, Cincinnati and Florida. Warren currently has no visits in the near future. Warren (6-4, 225) has current plans to wait until after National Signing Day to commit.

Leonard Warren
Leonard Warren

"I really liked Ohio's atmosphere, very welcoming," Warren says.

*Two-star ranked Blanche Ely wide receiver Thomas Geddis currently has 25 offers. His top three are Cincinnati, Temple and Wisconsin. He has already visited Cincinnati and plans to visit Massachusetts in December. Geddis could make for a big target in the red zone for a school at 6-3, 165 and can stretch the field.

*A long, athletic, dynamic defensive end out of Ely, Trevor Goodrum Jr., is flying well under the radar.

Goodrum, who has received interest from Princeton with a 3.0 GPA, has 35 tackles and 13 sacks on the season for Ely as the Tigers prepare for postseason play as the runner-up in District 14-7A.

*Unranked Varela receiver Jay Stringer plans to remain uncommitted until January. Stringers says it's "so it gives me time to really think about where I'm going to go, and I want time to talk with my family."

Stringer's No. 1 option is FIU, but he is considering multiple offers as he recently visited Florida A&M and Valdosta state.

About his trip to check out the Rattlers, Stringer said, "I talked to coach Edwin Pata from FAMU on my visit. I really loved the staff."

Stringer spent more time at Valdosta State.

"It is a very nice, the campus. It's beautiful and the town has nice people," said Stringer. "Great fans and a good staff. I'm thinking about going there."

Jay Stringer
Jay Stringer

*Photos: RUSSELL QUINOA//FOR THE MIAMI HERALD (Stringer photo courtesy of Jay Stringer)

November 07, 2015

Updates on Huntley, Moss, Hammond and Cotto from Hallandale

Senior quarterback Tyler Huntley is firmly committed to Utah. He is not considering any other schools. Huntley torched Monarch for 188 yards and four touchdowns in the first half of Hallandale's 45-6 win Friday night.

Senior running back Zack Moss is a strong commit to Miami. Utah and Kentucky are still coming after him, though. Moss said Utah is the only school that could flip him, but it's unlikely he decommits from Miami. Moss has talked a lot with UM Interim Head Coach Larry Scott and thinks he's a "cool dude."

Senior receiver Joshua Hammond is still committed to UF. Hammond is taking his official visit to Gainesville this weekend for Florida's game against Vanderbilt. Georgia and Ohio State are still coming hard after Hammond, and those are the only schools he would go to if he drops Florida.

Fellow senior receiver and Western Kentucky commit Chris Cotto has Miami (Ohio) and USF coming after him hard.


October 31, 2015

UM commit James Wiggins to visit Temple, more from South Dade, Homestead, Beach and Miami High

James Wiggins
James Wiggins, South Dade

Three-star South Dade defensive back James Wiggins says he's "very committed" to playing at UM, but he is planning a visit to Temple with South Dade teammate Jawon Hamilton on January 23.

Wiggins (6-0, 190 pounds) currently has Temple and Cincinnati in his top 3, and has previously listed himself as a soft commit to the Miami Herald.

*The two-star running back Hamilton is currently committed to FIU, but Hamilton (5-10, 185) insists "he is still open to recruiting." Currently Temple and Kansas are making strong plays for his services. He plans to visit the Jayhawks very soon and expects to receive an official offer.

Hamilton says, "FIU is always contacting me to show me love and that they care a lot."

Jawon Hamilton_Ivan Smith
Smith (left), Hamilton (right), South Dade

*Two-star South Dade running back Ivan Smith is planning a visit to Bowling Green in January. Smith (5-11, 175) has Bowling Green as his top choice, followed by Cincinnati and Purdue.

*South Dade offensive lineman Boman Swanson has received five offers so far. Swanson's top two are Charlotte and Southern Illinois. Swanson (6-4, 280) has already visited Southern Illinois early in the year and plans to have a final choice by January.

*Two-star 2017 South Dade offensive lineman Kyron Taylor has been reviving interest from Notre Dame and Purdue.

A Marshall commit, Taylor (6-3, 265) said, "Marshall has a great O-line and I really like coach Alex Maribel."

*Two-star Homestead linebacker Rashad Smith is still committed to playing for FAU but is being heavily recruited by Temple and Bowling Green. Smith (6-2, 190) is planning to visit Temple in December.

Smith said on why he likes FAU: "They really have a nice campus."

Jones Beach
Randle Jones, Miami Beach

*Miami Beach wide receiver Randle Jones is being sought out by Massachusetts and FAMU. Jones (6-0, 180) plans to makes his decision after a trip to UMass in December.

*Miami High linebacker Harrison "Burger" Riggins has received two more additional offers since last week, Virginia Union and Shorter University. Riggins (5-9, 175) plans to make his decision as soon as possibly mid-November.

*Miami High defensive back Desmond Fairell is being targeted by Northern Illinois. Northern Illinois is trying to get Fairell (6-1, 195) on an official visit as early as December.

Fairell said, "They have told me that I'm their number one target on their defensive back chart."

*Three-star Miami High wide receiver Keyshawn "Pie" Young will be announcing his decision much earlier than expected. Young (6-0, 190) said, "I'm going to be announcing my decision in December instead of waiting."

*Miami High running back Watraie Jones is getting interest from multiple schools -- in particular West Florida. Jones (5-9, 165) plans to visit West Florida in December after the conclusion of the season.


*All photos by Russell Quinoa//FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

October 29, 2015

Roy Baker talks Buffalo commitment, more recruiting news from American

Jamal Smith Dawun Hylton
Jamal Smith (left) and Dawun Hylton (right).

Two-star American defensive back Roy Baker has committed to Buffalo.

"Buffalo has a great defense, and I can't wait to start," Baker said.

Baker (6-2, 180 pounds) is planning to visit the campus some time in November. Baker's second option was N.C. State and he has also received interest from Temple and Wisconsin.

*Two-star ranked defensive back Dawun Hylton has received 14 total offers. Hylton (6-0, 175) currently has Cincinnati No. 1, followed by Indiana and Illinois.

Hylton says, "I really like Cincinnati coach Steve Clinkscale a lot."

Hylton wants to decide on where to commit after the season.

*Three-star defensive end Jamal Smith is being heavily recruited by multiple schools, including Pitt and Oregon State, as well as state schools USF, FIU and FAU.

Smith said, "Pitt has really great defense and Oregon State is a really good school overall."

Smith (6-2, 225) wants to start narrowing his choices after the season and believes he will commit in late December.

*Three-star 2017 wide receiver Anthony White Jr. has 10 offers. His top 4 include Illinois, Syracuse, N.C. State and Kentucky. White (6-0, 170) is planning to go to a Syracuse game this season.


Recruiting picture taking shape for Booker T. Washington standouts

*Senior receiver Darrius Scott is committed to FIU and also has an offer from Temple. His commitment to FIU is “pretty hard.” Scott had five catches for 94 yards and one touchdown in the first half of Booker T. Washington’s 50-12 win over Edison Thursday night.

*Fellow senior receiver Raymond Flanders has an offer from Cincinnati but he is not committed anywhere yet. Flanders is also receiving interest from UF, Marshall and Appalachian State.

*Quarterback Daniel Richardson is just a freshman, but he’s already received offers from FIU and FAU. Richardson threw for four touchdowns and 270 yards on 15-of-21 passing in the first half against Edison.

*Sophomore defensive end Jaquan Beaver has offers from UM, Cincinnati, FIU, FAU and Ohio. He is also receiving interest from Notre Dame. Beaver’s top three in order right now are UM, FAU and FIU. Beaver dominated Edison’s offensive line Thursday night, recording two sacks and a forced fumble for the Tornadoes.

*Junior defensive back Dedrick Mackey has offers from USF and FAU. The Owls are his favorite at this point. Mackey doesn’t plan to commit any time soon.


October 25, 2015

Cane commits react to Golden firing

With the firing of Al Golden announced by UM Sunday evening, recruits reacted.

Wellington wide receiver Ahmmon Richards responded in the most extreme way. He decommitted Sunday night with this tweet.

*Three-star cornerback out of Hallandale Deion Jackson said the firing won't affect his commitment, but did say he felt the move was "stupid."

He added: "Golden was a good coach. He had chemistry with the team. He literally used to go on the field and work with the players himself.

"Golden brought a family together. He always used to say, 'This is not just a football program, it's a family.' Half of these college coaches don't care. They don't care. They don't even look some recruits in the eye when they speak to recruits. Golden did and always stayed on top of me with my grades and things like that.

"Other college coaches don't care about building chemistry. If you're good, they want you just to win."

*Jackson's teammate at Hallandale, running back Zack Moss, says the change doesn't affect his commitment.

"I didn't commit to the coaches," he says. "I just look at rosters, mainly my position."

*Lantana Santaluces linebacker Zach McCloud will take a wait-and-see approach. He doesn't have much time as he plans to be an early enrollee in January for the spring semester.

"To be honest, I'm waiting before I make any big decisions. My biggest concern in this process is my future with only three months to decide since I'll be an early enrollee," he says. "I'm not comfortable at the moment, still being patient, though. I want to make an informed decision."

*Columbus defensive end Josh Uche told 247 Sports, "I don't know yet, honestly ... I will talk to my family and coaches [Monday] and then decide. I will make my decision soon."

Uche is still strongly considering Florida and Alabama, both which offered him in the summer after he committed to UM.

*Quarterback commit Jack Allison was not available for comment, but Palmetto coach Dave Marino said Allison was "disappointed" and that Allison sticking with UM "all depends on who they hire and if Coach Coley is retained."

*Four-star St. Thomas Aquinas wide receiver Sam Bruce, who was in attendance to watch UM's 58-0 debacle against Clemson and has also recently taken an Ohio State visit, when reached said: "No comment."

But Bruce later made his opinion known with the tweets below.

The latter of the two statements, of course, is in reference to UM wide receivers coach Kevin Beard who once coached Bruce at University School. 

*Fellow Aquinas wide receiver and legacy Cane commit Michael Irvin II voiced his displeasure with the decision earlier Sunday.

*Teammate at Aquinas and 2017 linebacker Tyler Dunning had no comment but did post this to Twitter.

*Dionte Mullins' mother posted this on Twitter, noting "#StillCommitted" at the end.

*2017 safety out of Jacksonville Bolles Ahman Ross said, "Committed to UM. I will, of course, evaluate the staff, but I am committed to UM."

*Four-star athlete Tyler Byrd out of Naples posted this.

*Nick Roberts, 2017 defensive back out of Orange Park Oakleaf, expressed similar sentiments in this post.

*Deltona assistant coach David Williams said of senior tight end/defensive end Evan Hinson: "We're staying committed on our end."

*Fort Lauderdale coach Richard Dunbar said of committed defensive end Jaquwan Nelson, "Jaquwan will stay committed to UM but will take all of his visits. Just not sure what the university is thinking at this point. That's very critical for him."

Dunbar is referring to whether the new staff that comes in will continue to recruit his three-star defensive end, who has recorded 66 tackles and 15 sacks on the year.

*The latest UM commit, 2018 wide receiver Daquris Wiggins, said: "I'm still committed."

October 24, 2015

Chaminade's Shivers looking at West Virginia

Chaminade-Madonna running back Shaun Shivers might only be in his sophomore year, but that doesn’t mean he’s not already looking at where he intends to take his talents to the next level.

Following another terrific performance on Friday night as he rushed for 125 yards on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns to help lead the Lions to a big 40-7 win over host University School, Shivers confirmed to the Herald that West Virginia is No. 1 on his target list of colleges.

Shivers, who crossed over the 1,000-yard barrier on Friday night and now has 1,014 yards with 15 touchdowns and is averaging an eye-popping 9.6 yards every time he touches the ball, said that he intends to take a visit to Morgantown after the season is over.

“Right now I need to worry about what’s going on with my team but I’m going to schedule a visit to go up there after the season is over,” said Shivers who has not heard from many other schools, perhaps because he's still two years away from his senior year. “I really like their offense and the style that they run. They run an option offense where they spread out the field with one running back and let the running back do what he’s got to do.”


October 23, 2015

'Pie' a heavy Michigan lean, other Miami High recruiting notes

Pie Young

Miami High wide receiver Keyshawn "Pie" Young, ranked the No. 2 senior in Dade by the Miami Herald, is strongly leaning toward Michigan.

Young said on his thoughts so far about recruiting, "Go Blue."

The 6-0, 190-pound Young plans to visit Michigan on Nov. 28. Besides the Wolverines, Young is also considering Alabama and Georgia. So far Young has received 25 official offers.

*Unranked Miami High linebacker Harrison "Burger" Riggins has been receiving strong interest from FIU, Appalachian State and Valdosta State. Riggins (5'9, 175 pounds) plans on visting FIU after the season. Riggins says Appalachian State is his top choice.

"I liked the campus a lot and I would really like a chance to get away from home," Riggins said.

*Wide receiver Desmond Fairwell has received strong interest from both Florida and Texas. Fairwell (6-1, 195) plans on unofficially visiting both schools in November.

*Wide receiver Murphy Theodore (5-10, 175) has been in contact and has mutual interest with Nebraska, Temple and Appalachian State.

*Junior quarterback Marcelo Rodriguez has been getting interest from the University of Michigan just like Young. The 6-2, 205-pound Rodriguez has also been getting interest from fellow BIG-10 school Purdue.


October 22, 2015

Mullen to take unofficial to LSU, Victor talks official to OSU

Trayvon Mullen recently decided he'd take an unofficial visit to LSU this weekend to watch the Tigers' homecoming game against Western Kentucky. He'll fly out to Baton Rouge Friday morning instead of checking out the UM-Clemson game like he originally planned.

On top of FSU and LSU, Mullen figures he'll take official visits to Clemson and TCU and will have to figure out a fifth. He wants to knock out a decision in January.

Here's everything he had to say in this video interview with the Miami Herald.


Binjimen Victor still insists his recruitment is wide open.

He's already taken official visits to West Virginia and most recently Ohio State, and says Tennessee, Florida, Louisville and Auburn are all in the mix for his last three official visits.

Victor plans to make his decision at the U.S. Army All-American Game. He discusses all of the above, his three touchdowns on Thursday plus hanging out with Sam Bruce in Columbus, Ohio in the video interview below with the Miami Herald.


EXTRA: This one-on-one touchdown catch in slow motion by Victor is a must-watch.


October 21, 2015

Canes get 2018 commitment from Killian receiver

Killian sophomore wide receiver Daquris Wiggins committed to UM on Wednesday after initially receiving an offer in the spring.

"I felt like I liked the environment there, and I felt like that's where I need to be," Wiggins said. "I like the coaching staff. I like how it's going there."

Wiggins is a big target at 6-3. He caught two touchdowns in an upset victory over South Dade last Thursday.

Miami is the only school thus far to offer the tall, athletic sure-handed receiver who adds that FSU and Purdue are showing plenty of interest and may be close to offering.

Wiggins says he likes how the Cane coaches look out for him, stressing the importance of academics to him and giving him drills he should try on his own.

UM now has six players committed in its 2018 class -- all from Florida.

Wiggins joins 2017 running back and teammate Bentavious Thompson as Cougars committed to play with the Hurricanes. 

Last recruiting cycle UM signed a pair of defensive backs from Killian in Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine. Current Miami Dolphin Lamar Miller is also a player that went from the K to the U.

"[Johnson and Redwine] told me they like it. It's hard work. I've got to go over there and work hard if I want to go," Wiggins said. "I just have to stay focused and do everything that I need to do and get better every day."

Wiggins' freshman highlights: