October 04, 2015

Carol City LB De'Andre Wilder lists Canes atop his list

DeAndre Wilder

Carol City junior outside linebacker De'Andre Wilder will be one of the most highly sought-after recruits in the class of 2017.

The talented pass rusher, who was ranked as the Miami Herald's No. 3 junior prospect in Dade heading into the season, already possesses an impressive offer sheet of several top programs nationally.

Wilder (6-3, 211 pounds) says UM, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee are the schools that currently top his list.

"But No. 1 is UM," Wilder added.

Why is Wilder so high on the hometown Hurricanes?

"The coaches. I get along with the coaches," Wilder says. 

Wilder visited all of the above in the summer and will work on more visits after his football season is over. 

The Chiefs came off an impressive 8-7 win against Miami Central. Wilder made a tremendous impact on the collective effort of holding the Rockets offense out of the end zone. He was able to record a sack, combined with Jerrod Clearsaint for another tackle for loss and had several other tackles and quarterback hurries.

Wilder said his fake inside then pass rush outside was working well to get around blockers in one-on-one situations.

*Photo by David Furones//FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

October 02, 2015

James Wiggins a soft UM commit, Cincinnati among others he's interested in

Just one night after an embarrassing loss on Thursday night on national TV in Cincinnati, UM commit James Wiggins is calling himself a soft commitment to the Hurricanes.

And guess who one of of the other schools he's interested in is. The one that beat the Canes the night before.

Wiggins lists the Bearcats, Syracuse and "a little bit of" Louisville. He has a UM visit set up for January and wants to take other visits after the season because the focus at the moment is on this undefeated season South Dade is working on.

Here's everything else he had to say in this video interview where he also discusses his defense's dominant performance in recovering five fumbles and shutting out Southridge as the secondary held Freddie Pinder and Kemore Gamble without a catch.



Nick Eubanks, Brian Burns, Brandon Johnson and more from American Heritage

I had several recruiting updates on Marco Wilson, Patrick Surtain Jr. and Kyshaun Bryan in last week's coverage of the American Heritage football team. Herald correspondent Russell Quinoa added several other reports in this contribution to the blog: 

-American Heritage four-star tight end Nick Eubanks, ranked 13th at his position and 34th overall in the state by Rivals has his top 3 as USC, UF and Alabama. Eubanks said: "I'm planning to take my time to select. I won't rushing into a decision."

Eubanks has already visited Oregon and LSU and has plans to visit the Trojans and Gators this month.

"I had positive experiences at both Oregon and LSU." said the 6-6, 210-pound Eubanks.

-Four-Star defensive end Brian Burns (6-6, 210) narrowed his list to a top four of UF, FSU, Georgia and Alabama.

-Three-star wide receiver Brandon Johnson (6-3, 175) is 100-percent committed to Tennessee Volunteers. Johnson said, "I will not be taking any other visits or even considering any other schools." 

-Running back Khalil Herbert has D-1 offers from local school FIU and the Sun Belt's Appalachian State. Herbert is 5-11 and 195 pounds.

-Offensive lineman Chris Riffle is currently committed to Cornell. Riffle has an offer to be a preferred walk-on at Duke and also has offers to academically prestigious schools Colombia and MIT. Riffle's current GPA sits at 5.4. Riffle is 6-5 and 275 pounds.

Both Syracuse and FAU were in attendance for this game. FAU has offers to Eubanks, Burns and Herbert while Syracuse has shown interest in Eubanks. The Owls are making a major push for American Heritage recruits.


September 29, 2015

Columbus junior DB Marlin Brooks recovering after serious neck injury

Columbus football coach Chris Merritt said Tuesday that junior defensive back Marlin Brooks has been moved out of intensive care after having surgery over the weekend to repair two broken vertebrae - an injury he suffered during the Explorers’ 21-7 win last week against Belen Jesuit.

Brooks was hurt with 7:30 remaining in the first quarter of Friday’s game at FIU Stadium and taken to by ambulance to nearby Kendall Regional Hospital.

He is expected to miss the remainder of the season.

Brooks (5-10, 157) entered the season ranked the No. 22 overall prospect of the Class of 2017 in Dade by The Miami Herald.

“He had surgery to fix the two broken vertebrae and fuse them together,” Merritt said. “He’s still having some issues below his elbows but the prognosis is good.”

September 26, 2015

American Heritage notebook: Marco Wilson in good spirits, Kyshaun Bryan in good health, Patrick Surtain Jr. in good position with FSU offer as a sophomore

I was able to get tons of content from being around the American Heritage Patriots Saturday night at North Miami Stadium in their 36-21 win against Miami Norland on Saturday.

First off, it's great to see four-star 2017 cornerback Marco Wilson doing well in his recovery from surgery on his torn ACL that ended his season in preseason camp.

Five weeks after surgery, he says he has started jogging in the pool. He's going to run track in the spring to get his speed back and will come back hungry for his senior season.

The fortunate thing, in his mind, is that he will have that final year to prove himself after rehab.

Schools haven't slowed down in recruiting Wilson, and he's received the most love from UM, UF, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Alabama.

Wilson's brother, Quincy, of course, is currently a Florida Gator.

Here's everything he had to say in my video interview with him.


One Patriot that is already back in good health is junior running back Kyshaun Bryan. In his second game back from an ankle injury, he carried 15 times and surpassed 100 yards while scoring two touchdowns, including one from 57 yards out.

Bryan inspired his teammates pregame by telling them they needed to come out like the 2001 Miami Hurricanes.

UM is a team Bryan likes in recruiting. Florida, Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia are other schools Bryan insists he's high on (see video interview below).

He wants to go to the UF game against Ole Miss and the Hurricanes game against Clemson.


Sophomore cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr., a 2018 prospect received an FSU offer earlier in the week.

In the video interview below, he mentions how high he is on the Noles, as well as LSU, Alabama and Miami. Current FSU freshman Tarvarus McFadden, an American Heritage alum made a guest appearance too.



Miami Hurricanes get 2017 quarterback from Ocala

Already with its quarterback for the class of 2016 in Jack Allison, UM added the quarterback it needs in its 2017 class on Saturday.

Ocala Vanguard three-star junior N'Kosi Perry committed to the Hurricanes to give offensive coordinator James Coley another dual-threat option -- like redshirt freshman Malik Rosier.

Perry currently lists other offers from Virginia Tech, Alcorn State and Florida A&M.

"It had been sitting on my mind for a while now, and in my heart I felt it was time to make a decision," said Perry, who stands at 6-3 and 170 pounds. "The coaches are also very welcoming and I feel very comfortable with my decision."

Coley is Perry's primary recruiter and first offered in the spring.

In an interview with CaneSport.com, his high school coach Edwin Farmer compared Perry to Jameis Winston.

"That's a huge compliment, especially coming from my coach. I really appreciate that," Perry said.

Perry grew up a fan of the Florida Gators but says that since the recruiting process began for him he no longer keeps a "favorite team."

"I'm all aboard with the U," he says. 

This season Perry has thrown for 1,084 yards and 13 touchdowns and has run for six more scores.

September 25, 2015

Recruiting notes from Flanagan: Bush Jr. to wait till offseason, Samuels with same top three, 'no chance' Gil returns to Canes

Senior Devin Bush Jr. said he does not have a favorite at this point, but Michigan, Notre Dame, Auburn and Florida State are all coming strong after the heralded linebacker. He is likely going to wait until after the season to make his decision. Bush’s father and head coach of Flanagan, Devin Bush, starred at FSU but is not pushing his son to attend his alma matter.

Junior Stanford Samuels, whose father also played for the Seminoles, has FSU, Alabama and Georgia in his top three, although Michigan is making a hard push to land the cornerback. Samuels played quarterback in the first half for the Falcons, throwing for 128 yards and one touchdown on 10-of-16 passing in Flanagan’s 42-0 rout over Western.

Senior safety Devin Gil is firmly committed to Michigan. Gil decommitted from Miami in June and scoffed at a question about him returning to the Hurricanes.

"No chance," Gil said.

Gil’s partner in the secondary, senior safety Josh Metellus, is also firm in his commitment to Big Blue.

Senior quarterback Kato Nelson is firm in his commitment to Akron for now but is willing to listen to offers from other schools. Nelson played in the second half for his first action of the season after tearing the meniscus in his left knee over the summer. Nelson should be ready to start next week against Miramar. Nelson ran for 47 yards on his first play of the game, and threw one touchdown as well as an interception on six pass attempts.

Senior wide receiver Jahcour Pearson is firm in his commitment to Northern Illinois and doesn’t see his mind changing before Signing Day. FIU, Toledo and Miami (Ohio) are still trying to flip Pearson.

Junior defensive back Faion Hicks said Miami (Ohio), Notre Dame, Syracuse, Illinois and Florida Atlantic are all interested in him at this point. According to Hicks, FAU and Illinois have already offered him scholarships, but the junior likes Syracuse and the Irish. He’s waiting until his senior season to make a decision.


September 24, 2015

'Pie' Young eyes December decision, Rodriguez one to watch in 2017

Keyshawn "Pie" Young, the Miami Herald's No. 2 senior recruit  in Miami-Dade County, is aiming for a decision on his college commitment in December.

I got to catch up with him after his three-touchdown performance in a 62-3 win against against Ferguson on Thursday.

Among the other highlights of the interview, the four-star receiver still lists Alabama and Michigan as his top two -- as he has previously -- but also indicated that Georgia is a team creeping into his mix.

Young also wants to visit Michigan in the coming weeks but doesn't have anything scheduled. The Wolverines have home games on Saturday, Oct. 10 and 17 against Northwestern and Michigan State, respectively.

The Northwestern game comes after a Thursday outing for the Stingarees, so that could give Young a travel day to get up to Ann Arbor on Friday. If he wants to go to the bigger rivalry game against the Spartans, it'll be a tighter schedule with a Friday night game on tap for him.

Check out everything he had to say in the video below.


Miami High 2017 quarterback Marcelo Rodriguez hit big plays down the field all night. He displayed excellent pocket presence and accuracy on deep throws, going 14 of 19 for 317 yards and five touchdowns -- 301 yards and four touchdowns by halftime. He also added a rushing score on a QB sneak.

Rodriguez says Purdue has shown him some interest, as well as Michigan as an extension of their recruitment of "Pie."

Here's everything Rodriguez had to say postgame.



September 23, 2015

South Dade running game and defense as strong as it gets

The South Dade football team is starting to look like it can tap the same potential it found in its 2013 state championship-winning season.

While only through three games on this young season, these Buccaneers are similar in how they dominate weaker opponents (40-24 win against Coral Reef and 42-0 win against Palmetto) and come through clutch in tough, tight games (7-6 win vs. Norland), but the 2015 squad is different in many ways too.

While the Bucs from two years had two of Dade County's finest receivers to come out that year in C.J. Worton (Florida Gators) and Tyre Brady (Miami Hurricanes), this year's team relies heavily on the running game -- and they are some of the best at it.

The combination of Jawon Hamilton and Ivan Smith -- a pair of transfers to come in from Coral Reef and Columbus, respectively -- running behind an offensive line rivaled in Dade only by that of Miami Central devastates opposing defenses.

Last Friday against previously unbeaten Palmetto, South Dade ran for five touchdowns in the first half -- three of them coming from Hamilton, the FIU commit.

Hamilton lists three other offers and is also drawing interest from Syracuse and West Virginia. Listen to everything he had to say after the Palmetto game in the video below.


Smith, the speed back out of the two with Hamilton being the balanced workhorse, later ran for a touchdown, and is if that weren't enough, Tre'ven Worthen ran in the score to put the Bucs up five touchdowns and run the clock the entire second half.

They all run behind a massive offensive line that just paves the way led by seniors Boman Swanson and Mike Davis and junior Marshall commit Kyron Taylor.

The defense swarmed the Panthers in the shutout. Junior defensive end Chei Hill, who is currently flying under the radar in recruiting, led the unit with 11 tackles, had a sack and recovered a fumble. This comes after a pair of sacks in the win against Norland. He won't be held down without an offer much longer, I would imagine.


The secondary is spearheaded by UM commit James Wiggins, who is versatile among the DBs, playing both corner and safety. Wiggins had the game-clinching interception against Norland and recorded seven tackles against Palmetto.

Senior linebacker Wyatt Swanson was in on 10 tackles, and senior DB/LB Andrew Matthews showed a nose for the ball with double-digit tackles, as well.

On special teams, South Dade has a kicker to look out for in the next two seasons with 2017 prospect Mark Sanchez.

September 18, 2015

Recruiting notes from St. Thomas Aquinas-Cypress Bay

-St.Thomas Aquinas five-star defensive end Nick Bosa says "I'm 100-percent committed to Ohio State. I'm not even considering any other schools. I have had a great time during my unofficial visits. I'm excited to go." 

-Senior wide receiver Michael Irvin II remains steadfast committed to UM but is also beginning to show interest in Syracuse. His Hall-of-Fame father, Michael Irvin Sr., once  almost committed to Syracuse before ultimately deciding on the Hurricanes. 

-2017 three-star wide receiver Micheal Harley has already received 10 offers. Harley's top three in order are UM, Syracuse and N.C. State. The 5-11, 160-pound prospect said, "Hurricanes are my first option at this point." 

-Sam Bruce remains fully committed with the Hurricanes. 

-Defensive back Frank Coppet remains committed with Vanderbilt but is expecting an offer this week from Illinois. Coppet has received multiple offers, including Toledo. 

-Cypress Bay wide receiver Andrew Parchment is listing himself as a soft commitment to Cincinnati. He says the other schools he's talking to the most include N.C. State, Tulane, Colorado State, Missouri, Coastal Carolina and Bowling Green.