November 13, 2015

Kemore Gamble: "I'm all U"

Kemore Gamble

Southridge junior wide receiver/tight end Kemore Gamble is remaining very firm to his commitment despite a flurry of decommits recently.

"I'm all U," Gamble says. "I love the coaches. They keep in contact with me, it's close to home, good education."

Gamble said he would like to see Mario Cristobal hired as UM's next head coach. He's developed a relationship with him as Cristobal has recruited Gamble to Alabama.

Gamble lists the other schools coming after him hard in the video interview below after Southridge's 17-7 win over Belen -- a game in which he capped the Spartans' opening drive with a touchdown.


*Cornerback and 2017 recruit Shawn Davis had an interception in the first half of Southridge's playoff victory. He also picked up a pivotal first down in the late stages. He was lined up to punt but picked up a bad snap to run past the marker.

Davis lists a Temple offer at this point, and is also receiving significant interest from UF, UM and Virginia Tech among others.

He says he plans to visit UF, FSU and Georgia soon.

*Another junior in rover/linebacker Coemba Jones was instrumental in picking off a pass on Belen's second offensive play and taking it 27 yards for a touchdown. It put the Spartans up two scores after the Gamble touchdown on the opening drive.

Although a bit undersized at 5-8, 175 pounds, Jones plays much bigger than that and is a sure tackler and playmaker on defense.

The birthday boy, who already lists a Temple offer, did a video interview after the game.



Photo and videos by David Furones//FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

November 12, 2015

UM loses another commit in LB Zach McCloud

Four-star linebacker Zach McCloud out of Lantana Santaluces announced he is decommitting from the Miami Hurricanes' 2016 recruiting class.

McCloud becomes the fifth recruit to decommit from UM since the Al Golden firing and fourth in the past week.

"After careful consideration and talking things over with my family, I have decided to re-open my recruitment," McCloud said in a post on Twitter. "While I did not commit to Miami for any coach, I cant overlook the current situation especially considering my early graduation."

McCloud is set to graduate from high school in December and enroll early at the college of his choice.

He went on to say, "It seems like a shot in the dark and im not going to gamble with my future."

McCloud continued by expressing appreciation for what the Hurricanes have done for him and said he will "always be a U fan."

McCloud also noted in his announcement that UM is not out of it for his services.

On the day Golden was fired, McCloud told the Miami Herald he would take his time to decide what he would do.

"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 said. "I'm not comfortable at the moment, still being patient, though. I want to make an informed decision."

McCloud has an impressive list of offers, which includes FSU, UF, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Notre Dame. He has official visits planned for Nov. 21 to Ohio State and Nov. 27 to Auburn, according to 247 Sports.

November 11, 2015

Moss discusses UM decommitment, other options

Zack Moss

Hallandale three-star running back Zack Moss became the third recruit in five days to decommit from the Miami Hurricanes with an announcement on Tuesday night.

Moss said he had been thinking of decommiting for a while and just wants to just make sure he is making the right choice because he only gets this chance once.

"It was time for me to take a step back from the program, not because of coaching changes or not necessarily because of the coaching staff -- just to reevaluate my options and see what's best for me out there right now."

His top other options: Utah, Tennessee and Kentucky.

Other schools that have begun showing interest since Moss' Tuesday night announcement include TCU, Western Kentucky and USF.

Columbus defensive end Josh Uche decommitted from the Canes on Sunday and Tuesday received an offer from Auburn. One could come to the assumption that for Moss to see that

"We talked before I did the whole thing, but I wouldn't say that's really what made me really go ahead [and decommit]," Moss said. "I wanted to make sure I do the right thing."

Moss said in his tweet that UM is still not out of it despite decommitting. Asked who he would like to see the Canes hire to fill the coaching vacancy, he mentioned Mario Cristobal. Moss developed a relationship with Cristobal from him recruiting the running back to Alabama early in the year -- a recruitment which has since cooled off.

Moss has a Utah visit in the plans for December depending on how deep his Chargers go into the playoffs. Moss, of course, has two teammates committed to the Utes in quarterback Tyler Huntley and wide receiver Demari Simpkins. 

He will also visit Kentucky Jan. 16 and Miami Jan. 20.

What Moss likes about other schools he's considering...

Kentucky: "It's an SEC school. It stands out. Me and the coaches have made a great connection. They run the ball a lot, which is [important] for me."

Utah: "Basically, playing with some of the guys from high school... and they're using running back-by-committee right now. ... They have a great coaching staff up there, and they're winning right now."

Tennessee: "They have one running back committed right now [Carlin Fils-Aime of Naples]. I talk to them like I talk to Utah, Miami or Kentucky."

*Photo by David Furones//FOR THE MIAMI HERALD


Final regular season AP Florida high school football rankings

   Florida High School Football Poll

   2015 Final Poll

   By The Associated Press

   The Associated Press Top 10 Florida high school football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records, rating points and previous rankings:

Class 8A

                                              Record  Pts                                               Prv

 1. Atlantic Community (13)                   10-0    130 1

 2. Vero Beach                                9-0     108 2

 3. Mandarin                                  10-0    86  5

 4. West Orange                               9-1     85  4

 5. Christopher Columbus Catholic             9-1     59  6

 6. Coral Gables                              8-0     48  8

 6. Apopka                                 9-1     48  7

 8. Charles Flanagan                          7-2     47  3

 9. Lake Brantley                             10-0    37  10

10. Kissimmee Osceola                         9-1     32  9

   Others receiving votes: Deerfield Beach 21, South Dade 11, Manatee 3.

Class 7A

                                              Record  Pts                                               Prv

 1. St. Thomas Aquinas (7)                    8-1     124 3

 2. Braden River (6)                          10-0    119 2

 3. Columbia                                  9-1     96  4

 4. Venice                                    9-1     79  5

 5. Dwyer                                     9-1     77  1

 6. Buchholz                                  9-1     67  6

 7. Plant                                     8-2     56  7

 8. Lakeland                                  7-2     40  8

 9. Kathleen                                  9-1     32  9

10. Plant City                                9-1     15  NR

   Others receiving votes: Sickles 6, Bartram Trail 4. 

Class 6A

                                              Record  Pts                                               Prv

 1. Armwood (13)                              10-0    130 1

 2. Mainland                                  9-1     109 2

 3. Navarre                                   10-0    96  3

 4. Charlotte                                 10-0    93  4

 5. Naples                                    10-0    76  5

 6. Miami Central                             7-2     55  T6

 7. St. Augustine                             9-1     47  9

 8. Boyd Anderson                             9-1     46  10

 9. Miami Carol City                          8-2     19  NR

10. Niceville                                 8-2     14  T6

  Others receiving votes: Mitchell 12, Heritage 10, Sebring 5, Lake Gibson 2, Ocala Vanguard 1.

Class 5A

                                              Record  Pts                                               Prv

 1. Plantation American Heritage (10)         8-1     126 1

 2. Jesuit (3)                                10-0    116 3

 3. Wakulla                                   9-1     94  4

 4. North Marion                              9-1     88  5

 5. Bishop Moore                              9-1     76  2

 6. Nature Coast Tech                         10-0    71  7

 7. Hallandale                                8-2     55  8

 8. Palm Bay                                  8-2     30  NR

 9. Suwannee                                  7-2     19  6

10. Ponte Vedra                               8-2     17  NR

  Others receiving votes: River Ridge 16, Lemon Bay 4, Bay 2, Merritt Island 1. 

Class 4A

                                              Record  Pts                                               Prv

 1. Dunnellon (10)                            10-0    133 2

 2. Cocoa (2)                                 8-2     109 3

 3. Raines                                    9-1     101 1

 4. Walton (2)                                10-0    100 4

 5. Bolles School                             8-2     72  5

   Others receiving votes: Glades Central 39, Avon Park 6.

Class 3A

                                              Record  Pts                                               Prv

 1. Trinity Christian-Jacksonville (13)       10-0    130 1

 2. Clearwater Central Catholic               10-0    117 2

 3. Westminster Christian                     8-1     92  4

 4. Lakeland Christian                        9-1     84  5

 5. Tampa Catholic                            8-2     45  3

   Others receiving votes: Oxbridge Academy 40, Delray American Heritage 12.

Class 2A

                                              Record  Pts                                               Prv

 1. Cambridge Christian (11)                  9-0     127 1

 2. Admiral Farragut                          9-1     114 2

 3. Dade Christian (2)                        8-1     107 3

 4. Northside Christian                       8-1     75  4

 5. First Baptist                             8-1     66  5

 Others receiving votes: Community School of Naples 25, University Christian 6.

Class 1A

                                              Record  Pts                                               Prv

 1. Trenton (14)                              10-0    140 1

 2. Fort Meade                                8-1     115 3

 3. Port St. Joe                              8-1     110 4

 4. Pahokee                                   8-2     80  2

 5. Fort White                                8-2     77  5

 Others receiving votes: Union County 32, Blountstown 6.

Hallandale RB Zack Moss decommits from Miami

Hallandale running back Zack Moss announced on Tuesday night that he would decommit from the Miami Hurricanes.

"After talking it over with my family, WE think it's the best thing for me to De-Commit from The University of Miami," Moss said in a note on his phone posted on Twitter. "WE love The University of Miami and it is still in top consideration but think it's best for me to explore my options.

"I want to say thank you to the great coaching staff at Miami for giving me the opportunity to be a CANE. MIAMI IS STILL AN OPTION."

Moss, a three-star recruit and No. 10-ranked senior in Broward County in the Herald's preseason Top 50, becomes the fourth prospect to decommit from Miami's 2016 recruiting class since the firing of Al Golden and third since Friday.

Columbus defensive end Josh Uche announced his decommitment on Sunday and Izon Pulley, a defensive end out of Good Counsel in Olney, Maryland, backed off his commitment on Friday.

Golden was fired two weeks from this past Sunday, and for a while UM's senior recruiting class was remaining intact after Wellington wide receiver Ahmmon Richards went back on his UM commitment the same night of the Golden firing.

At one point UM had four running back commits in its senior class but Moss now joins Coral Gables' Amir Rasul and Pahokee's McArthur Burnett as backs to decommit, although Burnett probably wouldn't have played running back at Miami.

The remaining running back committed to UM is West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy's Travis Homer

UM offered South Dade running back and FIU commit Jawon Hamilton Wednesday morning. Hamilton has also been recently offered by Kansas and Temple.

Moss told the Herald in the immediate aftermath of the firing that the change didn't affect his commitment.

"I didn't commit to the coaches," he said then.

More recently, Moss told Herald correspondent Mark Singer at Friday's Hallandale win over Monarch that he was a strong commit to the Hurricanes and added that interim coach Larry Scott is a "cool dude."

In that report, Singer notes that Moss said the only school that could flip him would be Utah. The Utes, who have offered Moss, already have a pair of senior Hallandale commits in quarterback Tyler Huntley and wide receiver Demari Simpkins.

Moss spoke with the Herald shortly after receiving that Utah offer in this video interview below.


That same night Huntley said he would try to convince Moss to hop on board with he and Simpkins but only after the season as the Chargers (8-2) are focused on making a run at a state championship in Class 5A.


November 08, 2015

Josh Uche decommits from UM

Columbus senior defensive end Josh Uche announced a decommitment from the Hurricanes’ 2016 recruiting class on Sunday evening, citing the firing of Al Golden two weeks to the date.

“With the recent coaching change at the University of Miami and the uncertainty of the future, I would like to de-commit at this time,” Uche said on Twitter. “I would like to explore other options and when a new head coach at Miami is named, my family and I will reevaluate the situation.”

Uche, a three-star prospect on all major recruiting sites, holds other major offers from Florida and Alabama. Alabama assistant Mario Cristobal, whose name has been thrown around to potentially fill UM’s coaching vacancy, has been his primary recruiter to the Crimson Tide.

Uche's announcement comes two days after another defensive end, Izon Pulley of Olney Good Counsel in Olney, Maryland announced he would be leaving the 2016 class.

Uche told the Miami Herald he does not have a leader in his recruitment at this time.

Earlier this season, while Golden still had his job, Uche voiced his disapproval to me over the banners flying over stadiums calling for his firing:

“When I saw it I thought that was pretty disrespectful because Al Golden has done a lot for this program considering he came into a bad situation due to the whole Nevin Shapiro controversy,” Uche said. “For people to try and get somebody fired, that’s pretty disrespectful. I guess people are just so caught up with winning, which is understandable, but just to be so blatant, that’s not the right way to go about things.

“It’s kind of wishy-washy. [The fans] are only with you when you’re having success. As soon as you start doing bad, they start slandering you.”

Just my take from reading into the way he worded his statement: It doesn't appear like most decommitments where the prospect is entirely done with the school he was once on board with. Uche saying he will reevaluate the situation when a new coach is named, tells me his heart may still be with UM as a program but he will be looking elsewhere until he gets a chance to establish a bond similar to the one he had with Golden. And he just feels more comfortable talking to other programs without the 'UM commit' label on him.

This will be one to stay tuned on.

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.


November 06, 2015

Volleyball coach Mauricio Diaz recovering well from brain surgery

During the recent regional volleyball playoffs, I caught up with longtime Southwest boys' and Ransom girls' assistant coach Mauricio Diaz.

I wrote an article a little over a month ago about Diaz's bout with a stage 2 brain tumor. Diaz underwent successful surgery on Oct. 8 and has since been recovering well from the procedure.

I saw Diaz at Ransom's final two games. Diaz couldn't coach and is still taking precautions such as using noise-cancelling headphones during the matches, but he watched from the stands as the Raiders beat Westminster Christian in the semifinals and three days later lost to Cardinal Gibbons in the final.

The outpouring of support from the local community not just in volleyball circles but overall has been tremendous.

Several charity games including the one pictured below between Lourdes and St. Brendan recently were packed and raised money for Diaz and his family.


Diaz did not lose functionality and is slowly trying to stay more and more active as he supports his daughter Aryanah, a freshman on the Ransom volleyball team. Diaz and his wife, Yadira, said they are extremely appreciative for all support and generosity that has come their way through this difficult time.

PHOTO - (Diaz seen below just before his surgery with Westminster coach Julie Doan and Coral Reef coach Yasmin Ortiz during Westminster's match against Coral Reef that raised money for Diaz and another Westminster parent's bouts with cancer).


South Florida football playoff sked with sites and times updated - round 1

PLAYOFF SCHEDULE (includes independents)

Thursday’s games

Region 4-8A quarterfinal at Tropical: Coral Gables vs. Hialeah, 7

Region 4-4A semifinal at Traz: Booker T. Washington vs. NSU University School, 7

GCFC championship: North Broward Prep-Key West winner at Archbishop McCarthy, 7


Friday’s games

Region 4-8A quarterfinal at Harris: Southwest vs. South Dade, 7:30

Region 4-8A quarterfinal at Milander: Columbus vs. American, 7:30

Region 4-8A quarterfinal: Southridge at Belen, 3

Region 3-8A quarterfinal: Piper at Flanagan, 7:30

Region 3-8A quarterfinal: Plantation at Deerfield Beach, 7:30

Region 4-7A quarterfinal: Royal Palm Beach at St. Thomas Aquinas, 7:30

Region 4-7A quarterfinal: Blanche Ely at Dwyer, 7:30

Region 4-7A quarterfinal at Tropical: West Broward vs. Sunset, 7:30

Region 4-7A quarterfinal: Mater Academy at Nova, 7:30

Region 4-6A quarterfinal: Central at Boyd Anderson, 7:30

Region 4-6A quarterfinal at Traz: Dillard vs. Carol City, 7:30

Region 4-5A quarterfinal: Fort Pierce Westwood at American Heritage, 7:30

Region 4-5A quarterfinal: Hallandale at Riviera Beach Suncoast, 7:30

Region 4-4A semifinal: Gulliver at Belle Glade Glades Central, 7:30

Region 4-3A semifinal: Delray American Heritage at Westminster Christian, 2:30

Region 4-3A semifinal: Chaminade-Madonna at West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy, 7:30

Region 4-2A semifinal: Community School of Naples at Dade Christian, 7:30


Saturday’s game

SFC championship at Pompano Beach: Calvary Christian vs. Coral Springs Charter, 7