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 12, 2015

Daewood Davis commitment not accepted by UM ... yet

In the wacky world of recruiting, you can add another story that had everyone confused, including those involved.

It appeared Thursday night that the Miami Hurricanes added another commitment to their class of 2017 with speedy 6-2 wide receiver Daewood Davis of Somerset Academy. Davis announced on Twitter his intention to commit to UM and tagged head coach Al Golden and wide receivers coach Kevin Beard.

Davis says he texted Golden that he was committing earlier Thursday night after receiving the UM offer last month from defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio. He proceeded to release his commitment news on social media before receiving a reply.

Then Friday Davis heard back after reports surfaced that he was not being accepted into the class. He says he was informed by UM coaches that there was a miscommunication within the team on whether he had been offered, and after a meeting, coaches decided not to accept his commitment to their scholarship offer -- yet.

Davis and Somerset offensive coordinator Willie Hill both told the Miami Herald that UM still has its offer on the table for Davis but that they want to let the media firestorm the entire situation has drawn die down before allowing him to commit.

So essentially, Davis was offered by UM, he took UM up on that offer and then UM was unsure it actually did offer and told him the team will not accept his commitment at this time -- but will eventually. So Davis' recruitment is still technically open and he lists Miami as the leader for his services.

 

What does Davis mean by "the right way?"

He says when he is ready to commit he will let his coach call first and confirming that he has his spot.

What made it odd from the start was that there was no confirmation on the Hurricanes end.

Whenever a recruit commits to the Canes, UM football coaches and staff usually send a "bat signal" on social media of "#WelcomeToTheU" as a way to announce the good news without referencing the player directly. College coaches are not allowed to comment on recruits publicly by name under NCAA regulations.

No such "bat signal" had been made by UM football coaches or staff.

Earlier Friday morning InsideTheU reported "Davis has lied about having a Miami offer and Miami is not accepting a commitment from him."

Davis responded to the allegations on Twitter saying, "Why would I lie about an offer I got in May?"

Davis has been a UM lean since he first announced that he received that offer and already proved he's willing to choose the Canes over other early offers from Louisville, N.C. State, Duke, Utah, Syracuse, Indiana and Marshall.

"I just [chose] Miami because they have an excellent program and coaches," Davis told the Miami Herald in a message. "I just want to bring a national title to South Florida, and I wanted to [commit] before my season started."

Says Hill of his talented receiver: "Has the intangibles that you can't coach -- speed, size, quickness and IQ. Daewood Davis has the 'it' factor. He is a gamer."

Here are some highlights on the electric speedster, whose 40-yard dash time is listed at 4.38 seconds on his Rivals profile.

 

June 09, 2015

Canes pick up commitment from 2017 LB Aundre Ricardo-Kearney

The Miami Hurricanes got a commitment in their 2017 class from Jacksonville Mandarin linebacker Aundre Ricardo-Kearney.

The 6-0, 210-pound rising junior who first received the UM offer two months earlier was present at the Al Golden Football Camp on Sunday and decided to commit Tuesday.

Ricardo-Kearney says he grew up a Hurricane fan, has a great relationship with the coaches and likes that UM is a private school that offers a good sport management program.

The Hurricanes were his father’s favorite team and he had that fandom passed down to him. He says Michael Irvin and Ray Lewis are two of his biggest role models.

On his visit, Ricardo-Kearney loved the beach and surrounding area to campus but also came away impressed with UM’s facilities.

“They have the Canes Zone – where all the football players eat – the locker room, the weight room, the strengthening facilities. It’s great. They’re even building a new hospital on campus,” Ricardo-Kearney said. “That was a big part of my decision. I was like, ‘They take care of you.’”

Ricardo-Kearney becomes Miami's sixth commitment in the Class of 2017 and third linebacker, joining Fort Lauderdale Dillard's Tyler Dunning and Miami Central's Waynmon Steed.

He was also strongly considering UNC, Marshall, Illinois and Cincinnati out of a group of 11 total offers.

He plans on visiting UNC on June 20 and is contemplating whether he will still visit Marshall.

Ricardo-Kearney adds that Florida and Georgia are two schools currently showing interest but who haven’t offered yet, but he’s calling himself “solid” to Miami and says it won’t be easy for another school to get him to flip.

 “That school would have to offer me a treasure and a rainbow,” he says.

Ricardo-Kearney plays both outside linebacker and running back but is being recruited at outside linebacker.

Highlights: 

 

June 08, 2015

Tyler Dunning: "I'm all Cane right now"

Dillard linebacker and 2017 UM commit Tyler Dunning did an exclusive video interview with the Miami Herald at the UM 7-on-7 last Sunday.

 

Since it's hard to hear with all the blaring music, here are some of his quotes.

Why did you decide to commit to UM when you did?

"I felt it was a good opportunity to come here and it was already close to home," Dunning says. "I like everything about the school. I like the vibe, I like everything."

Dunning says he's even trying to recruit his teammates on a talented Dillard defense -- most notably 2017 defensive end Jon Ford, who has a Miami offer and 2016 defensive tackle Aaron Thompson and linebacker Kenneth Ruff, who are waiting on UM offers.

"I tell them all the time that if they come we're going to bring the U back, there isn't any point in leaving," Dunning says.

Dunning adds Ruff is considering South Carolina and Thompson LSU, but "if Miami offers, they're going to come."

He says other schools coming on strong are FAU, FIU, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina but adds "I'm all Cane right now. My decision isn't changing right now."

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.

June 05, 2015

Four-star WR Victor to announce college decision on June 22

Binjimen VictorBinjimen Victor, a four-star wide receiver out of Coconut Creek, will announce his college decision on June 22 on Larry Blustein's radio show.

His finalists: Ohio State, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee.

The talented 6-4 standout recently caught two touchdowns in Coconut Creek's spring game against South Dade and shined at the UM 7-on-7 where the Cougars won the title.

Here's what he was saying after his stellar spring game performance:

 

 

June 03, 2015

Dallas Jeanty still waiting on UM offer, feels support from fans

Dallas JeantyFort Lauderdale linebacker Dallas Jeanty has always said all he needs is a football scholarship offer from the University of Miami and he's a Hurricane.

Jeanty, the 6-0, 218-pound three-star with an incredible backstory, has been waiting on the offer from his dream school for some time now and was hopeful it may come at the 7-on-7 tournament UM hosted on Sunday.

By Jeanty's  estimation, he "balled out" and the coaches witnessed his performance and spoke with him Sunday, but he still left Coral Gables with no offer.

"I don't even know if I'll commit on the spot anymore just with the way the whole recruiting process is going," Jeanty said Tuesday after watching Miami bump its commitment total to 24 in the Class of 2016 with two more players committing in Clewiston wide receiver Reginald Henderson and Maryland defensive end Izon Pulley -- Henderson which hasn't played football in two years because of academic issues. "I don't know what's going on.

"They know enough about me now. They've  seen practice in person multiple times -- told me they loved what they saw -- they've seen me practice at the tournament, they've seen me go through drills, they know my potential, know I have academics (3.9 GPA and 1920 SAT). I'm the type of kid that not only am I going to bring up the team GPA, but I'll still be a hell of a player."

With 36 offers, Jeanty has been making it clear to other schools that if he gets the Miami offer he covets, he would wrap up his recruitment.

With how long it's taking UM to offer, the pitch he's now hearing from other schools has turned into: "This is a school that obviously doesn't believe in you and we certainly do. Why are you wasting your time?"

Telly Lockette, former Miami Central head coach who is now running backs coach at Oregon State, is telling him they'll stop recruiting linebackers if he commits and that he's all they need at the position.

Hearing that has Jeanty opening up to Oregon State a little more, and Michigan has told him the Wolverines want three or four linebackers in their class and want him to be one of them.

What has Jeanty loving Miami so much?

"Miami feels at home. It just feels at home there," Jeanty says. "You know how you don't want to do certain things when you're out in public, but when you come in, you open your room, you sit down and you're like, 'OK, I'm cool; I'm home.' That's how I feel when I'm on campus."

While he doesn't hold the offer he wants, progress has been made with the Canes' level of interest. On Monday he was followed on Twitter by several coaches. They weren't previously following him despite showing him interest.

He certainly has the right attitude you would want out of a freshman coming in.

"I go in there and I'm taking somebody's spot. I don't care," Jeanty says. "Who else is committed -- that's none of my business. If they want to go up and compete against me, that's all well and good and I hope they enjoy being my backup."

Several fans have jumped on Jeanty's bandwagon hoping he gets his UM offer. There was fan page created on Twitter: @DallasToMiami with the title "We Want Jeanty."

Do you think he should receive a Cane offer?

Check his highlight tape below.

 

June 02, 2015

Quarterman ready for immediate impact at UM in 2016

QuartermanMiami Hurricanes commit Shaquille Quarterman didn't have his team participating in the 7-on-7 tournament at UM on Sunday, but he made it a point to drive down to campus and check it out.

The 2016 four-star middle linebacker out of Oakleaf High took a five-hour trip from Orange Park to Coral Gables.

“I love coming down to see Miami," says Quarterman (6-2, 230 pounds). "I barely need a reason to come. I could just come any day.”

Quarterman is one of the more firm commits in Al Golden's 2016 class. Nonetheless, Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State and Louisville continue going after him hard.

“When you have something you’re very sure about, it’s only so much certain colleges can say," he says. "I always listen, always show respect and always listen to what they have to say, but this is the place. This is my home.”

While he feels strongly about the positive direction the Canes are going, he doesn't push his feelings on other recruits unless they approach him.

“I don’t really believe in the recruiting [of other players]," he says. "If they were to come up to me and ask me what influenced me to come here or just ask me for advice, then I would put my input in. I’m just not a big fan of pushing myself on somebody."

What would he tell those recruits wondering about Miami?

“I’d tell them this is an amazing college with room to grow. We’re making a really big turn – probably this year. I’d tell them about the things I believe are going to happen, and I guess with my face and my conviction, they really feel what I’m saying.”

Quarterman believes the Canes will improve each season until they are eventually back on top, starting with the defense.

“I feel the defense is going to be really great – defensive line getting better, definitely linebackers getting better," he says. "I’m really rooting for my boy Darrion [Owens, former high school teammate of his]. This will be his second year and he’ll be – I think – starting, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

On what he's learned from conversations with defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio: “He’s really a man of his word. His word is bond. That’s what I really admire about him. If he says he’s going to do something, he’s going to do it, and if he can’t, you know he tried his very absolute best to try. It’s not hard to follow him. Believe in his process and he’ll make you a winner.”

Quarterman likes that he saw a Miami linebacker in Denzel Perryman go in the second round of the NFL Draft.

He believes he can see himself in Perryman’s shoes on a draft day down the road “if I come in and play early, which I believe I will because I don’t believe in coming in and riding the bench, especially with this staff right here. They don’t believe in making you wait till you’re a junior.”

When Quarterman arrives at UM, he's making it clear that he's coming to take a starting spot.

"Even if I don’t, that makes the veterans sweat and makes us better as a team," he says. "That’s all of us (committed linebackers Greg Simmons, Zach McCloud and Michael Pinckney). My whole class is coming in here and coming to make them sweat.”

Since he has a former high school teammate already at UM, he's received some advice from Owens.

“It’s easy to work through it if you’re a workaholic," he says of what he's heard from Owens. "If you come for the wrong reasons to go to college, the parties and all the extracurricular activities instead of the one that really matters, then you won’t prosper.

Quarterman describes himself as a woraholic. He used to work out with older classes in high school. When Owens was a senior and he was a sophomore, coaches made him lift the weight Owens was lifting.

May 31, 2015

Miami 7-on-7 tournament gets Canes RB commit

Travis Homer of West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy committed at the UM 7-on-7 event on Sunday afternoon.

 

Homer chose the Hurricanes over offers from Florida State, Florida and Alabama.

He becomes the 22nd commitment overall and fourth running back in Al Golden's Class of 2016 along with Amir Rasul, Zack Moss and McArthur Burnett.

There was one point with UM's 2015 class where four backs were committed but the team ended up with one -- Mark Walton.

It's unlikely that all four remain in the class in a little over eight months when Signing Day rolls around, but for now, the Hurricanes have a wealth of talented backs projected to come in.

Check out Homer's highlights.

 

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