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 22, 2015

Buckshot commits to Liberty

Stephen "Buckshot" Calvert had a strong showing as a junior in his first season starting at quarterback for Carol City and followed it up by leading his Chiefs to multiple 7-on-7 titles in the offseason.

Now he has decided where he will be playing his college ball after his upcoming senior season.

The 6-3, 175-pound pocket passer announced a commitment to Liberty on Twitter on Wednesday.

"I feel I fit in perfect with the system they run, also a good chance to get in early, play early and grow with the team," Calvert say. " I also think they are on the come-up to some very successful seasons in the next couple of years."

Calvert chose Liberty over other offers from FIU and USF.

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.

July 19, 2015

UM recruits approve of new Adidas uniforms

UM athletics welcomed Adidas to its program with a football uniform unveiling party at LIV on Saturday night that was as Miami as it gets.

 

Most of the reaction from the fans has been positive, but what about that of the players that will actually be wearing the new uniforms? More specifically, how do the players that pledge to wear them in the future like them?

The consensus is that recruits committed to the Hurricanes approve.

Four-star quarterback commit Jack Allison out of Palmetto expressed a sentiment relayed by most fans.

"I was skeptical at first when I heard they were switching to Adidas, but now after I see the new uniforms I like them a lot," he said.

Here are the views other recruits expressed to me...

-Four-star running back from Coral Gables High Amir Rasul says he's "#inlove" and added "the whole design of the uniform intrigued me."

-Four-star middle linebacker from Orange Park Oakleaf Shaq Quarterman says he especially liked the all-white combination.

-Three-star defensive end from Fort Lauderdale High Jaquwan Nelson: "I love them. It's a really nice look from Adidas. Can't wait to play in them when I get there."

-Three-star defensive end from Columbus Josh Uche: "I liked them. Very simple yet unique."

-Four-star 2017 linebacker Tyler Dunning from St. Thomas Aquinas: "Love 'em. What's not to like?"

-Three-star 2017 Killian running back Bentavious Thompson: "The new Adidas uniforms are fire."

-2018 defensive back Al Blades Jr.: "They're nice. [I like] the pants, helmets and gloves."

Adidas certainly graded highly among UM football recruits. A solid start to the #3stripelife UM will sport for the next 12 years.

July 16, 2015

Southridge speedster DiCaprio Bootle commits to Nebraska

Speedy Miami Southridge cornerback DiCaprio Bootle announced on Thursday that he has committed to the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

The 5-11, 175-pound senior prospect who runs a 4.34-second 40-yard dash impressed coaches significantly at a satellite camp in Miami in June and was offered then.

"Nebraska is home to some top-of-the-line facilities, coaches, and programs," Bootle said. "The vision they have for me as well as for the team in years to come has really made me feel like this is where I should be."

Bootle chose the Cornhuskers over UCF, FIU and Temple among his seven offers.

Nebraska last season signed Flanagan linebacker Adrienne Talan and snagged Fort Pierce Central linebacker Greg Simmons, a former UM commit in the 2016 class. 

Here are Bootle's junior highlights:

 

July 15, 2015

UM commit Uche talks Alabama offer

Columbus senior defensive end and three-star UM commit Josh Uche turned heads on Tuesday when he announced that he received an offer from Alabama.

 

Uche came to expect it as Alabama was showing plenty of interest leading up to Tuesday when he was offered personally by coach Nick Saban at an Alabama camp.

While honored by the offer, the 6-2,216-pound weak-side defensive end remains solid to Miami right now.

"I'm strong on my Miami commitment, but you never know," Uche says. "There's nobody that doesn't have a chance. I appreciate every offer."

The Hurricanes are special to him because they offered him at a time when he only had offers from Marshall and Bowling Green.

"They were my first big offer, the first team to really take a chance on me, so I really liked that," Uche says.

Since UM offered and he committed in March, Uche has received offers from USF, Syracuse, Minnesota and now Alabama.

Georgia and North Carolina are other schools Uche says are currently showing interest the same way Alabama was right before the Crimson Tide offered.

Asked to assess himself as a player, Uche said, "I'm very versatile as a player. I can do anything as long as you teach it to me the right way because I have the speed and I'm smart enough to pick things up. You can put me anywhere you want, and I'll excel at that position."

Columbus keeps Uche strictly at defensive end. The Hurricanes currently are recruiting him as a hybrid defender between rush end and Sam linebacker.

Uche grew up a Hurricane fan, especially when he was really young and UM was the first program to play in all four BCS bowl games in the early 2000s. Ironically enough, he began to like Alabama as he got into middle school, looking up to Mark Ingram at running back. 

So Uche has offers from two of his all-time favorite teams growing up.

Here are Uche's highlights:

 

July 12, 2015

Coral Reef reveals new 'black cloud' uniforms

Uniforms
It's the final piece to a fresh start for Coral Reef football this offseason.

With a new coaching staff coming in that's trying to change the culture, the Barracudas revealed their new "black cloud" uniforms to players, cheerleaders and parents at a team picnic at Larry and Penny Thompson Park on Sunday.

The coaches couldn't do it without a little fun, though.

First, they set up a draped upper-body male mannequin on a table as coach Javi Valdes gave a speech. When it was time to lift the drape, underneath it was a plain, bland black jersey with silver numbers -- much to the dismay of the players expecting a bit more.

With parents slow clapping and mixed reactions from the players, a pair of Coral Reef alumni in Myles Campbell and Vanycksha Toussaint busted in wearing the actual uniforms. The jersey on the manikin turned out to be the practice jersey.

The players went nuts.

 

"I knew I had them," Valdes said. "We needed to put a stamp on what Coral Reef Football was going to look like. That's the look we're going to have for the next few years, and that's the look we want to continue having throughout my tenure here."

The Nike anthracite -- or smoke grey -- uniforms (pictured above) will have white numbers, "Cudas" in white over the number on the front, a teal stripe down the pant leg that reads "Reef" in white, and teal and white fading stripes on the sleeves. The helmets are the same color with a teal and silver stripe through the middle and the CR logo on the sides.

Coral Reef, which will alternate with a set of white uniforms depending on if the team is home or away, now joins Booker T. Washington and Miami Central as teams to sport the anthracite jerseys.

Players were relieved to learn that all the buildup for the uniform unveiling wasn't to culminate in the team wearing practice jerseys for their games.

Team

Photos and video by David Furones//FOR THE MIAMI HERALD