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

Two commits for Canes on Tuesday

The effects of UM's 7-on-7 tournament Sunday continued Tuesday as the Canes reeled in two oral commitments in the Class of 2016 -- Clewiston wide receiver Reginald Henderson and Olney (Md.) Good Counsel defensive end Izon Pulley.

First, it was Henderson, who at 6-4 hasn't played football in two years since he was a freshman because of academic issues. He has since gotten his GPA over 2.0, according to CaneSport.com, making him eligible to play. 

Without any recent footage on him, Henderson has not been contacted by one college football program, but with Clewiston participating in the 7-on-7 tournament at UM, the big-bodied receiver impressed Hurricane coaches enough for them to offer him a scholarship, according to multiple reports, and he ultimately committed.

He became Miami's fourth receiver committed in the 2016 class along with four-stars Sam Bruce of St. Thomas Aquinas, Dionte Mullins of Gulliver and Ahmonn Richards of Wellington.

Time will tell whether he sticks with the Canes as the under-the-radar prospect is sure to begin receiving attention from schools now, and qualifying academically to enroll at UM could likely be an issue if he just got his GPA to an eligible level recently.

Hours after the news of Henderson broke, the 6-4, 250-pound Pulley decided he would commit.

He chose UM over offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Connecticut and Iowa.

Pulley becomes the fifth defensive end in Miami's upcoming recruiting class, but he could grow into a tackle. The Canes have no defensive tackles in their class, and it's a position UM has struggled to recruit for quite some time now.

The two commitments bring Miami's 2016 class to 24 total commits and there are still eight months until Signing Day.

Here are highlights of the two. First Henderson and then Pulley:

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.

June 01, 2015

Grimes more open to UM recruitment after 7-on-7

Trevon GrimesTrevon Grimes, a five-star receiver in the Class of 2017 from St. Thomas Aquinas, has listed Ohio State as his front runner but is opening up to possibly coming to UM, which wasn’t the case previously.

“I’m actually feeling them a lot. I like the atmosphere of the school. I like the coaches – Kevin Beard,” says Grimes, who stands at 6-2 and is teammates at Aquinas with committed 2016 four-star receiver Sam Bruce. “One thing I really like about UM is that they produce receivers. They mold receivers – Phillip Dorsett came from St. Thomas. I definitely feel like I can fit in at UM.”

Grimes participated in the 7-on-7 tournament at UM on Sunday and came away impressed.

“Time will tell what happens between me and them, but I’m definitely looking to pursue them,” Grimes says. “More so than previously. I’ve been talking to Bruce. They have a little bit to prove this year, this upcoming season, but I’m definitely going to give them a shot and see what happens.”

He says seeing what they prove this season doesn’t mean he needs to see a certain number of wins, but he’s more so looking to note how the offense runs and the team gels.

“Just how they play as a team – do they use their receivers? Are they using their receivers more? Are they going to run the ball more?” he lists as things he looks for. “Everybody doesn’t win [all their] games or go undefeated. I don’t have any crazy expectations for them like that, but it would be a really big plus if they did have a winning season.”

Sunday marked the first time UM was able to host such a major 7-on-7 tournament that involved 12 fields holding games at once with more than 900 athletes from 48 high schools.

“It proves a lot that they’re building their facilities, they’re trying to expand it and I feel like they are taking the steps to build their program back up,” Grimes says.

Grimes is originally from Indianapolis. He has his parents living with him in South Florida but the rest of his family still lives in Indiana – that’s where his allegiance with a Midwest school like Ohio State comes from.

“I’ve lived up there and I grew up watching Ohio State, so it’s kind of a plus for Ohio State,” he says.

Hall-of-Famer Cris Carter’s allegiance to both St. Thomas Aquinas and Ohio State may have something to do with it too.

Grimes still has a long way to go before Signing Day 2017, but the Canes are taking steps in the right direction in the recruitment of a top local talent.

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


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.


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.




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.


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.


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.


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.


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

May 29, 2015

Twenty nine Miami-Dade and Broward players featured in UM-FIU regional baseball meeting


Friday night's baseball meeting between the Miami Hurricanes and FIU Panthers at the Coral Gables Regional, the two school's first meeting since 2008, featured 29 players that played high school ball in either Miami-Dade or Broward County. Fifteen of them play for the Canes, 14 for the Panthers.

Here's a full list for both sides.

Miami Hurricanes

Zack Collins, Plantation American Heritage

Ricky Eusebio, Miami Gulliver

Johnny Ruiz, Miami Westminster Christian

David Thompson, Miami Westminster Christian

Danny Garcia, Miami Westwood Christian

Michael Mediavilla, Hialeah Mater Academy

Bryan Garcia, Miami Columbus

Ryan Otero, Miami Ransom Everglades

Andrew Suarez, Miami Columbus

Sam Abrams, Miami Killian

Garrett Kennedy, Southwest Ranches Archbishop McCarthy

Edgar Michelangeli, Miami Florida Christian

Thomas Woodrey, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons

Daniel Epstein, Davie University School

Brandon Lopez, Plantation American Heritage

FIU Panthers

Ian Exposito, Miami Palmetto

Eddie Silva, Southwest Ranches Archbishop McCarthy

Brandon Diaz, Plantation American Heritage

Spencer Levine, Miami Killian

Charles Cormier, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas

Dillon Maya, Coral Gables

Chris Mourelle, Southwest Miami

Ricardo Pozo, Miami Gulliver

Danny Dopico, Miami Columbus

Juan Martinez, Hollywood Chaminade

JC Escarra, Hialeah Mater Academy

Williams Durruthy, Hialeah Mater Academy

Anthony Duran, Southwest Miami

Andres Nunez, Southwest Ranches Archbishop McCarthy

May 28, 2015

Marco Wilson responds to double one-handed backflip catch

Plantation American Heritage 2017 cornerback Marco Wilson has already made one incredible catch this spring that went viral -- a one-hander while doing a backflip on the run in the end zone.

On Thursday he was right back at it with a 540 behind-the-back catch in response to another video that began circulating around the Internet of a player catching two balls one-handed while performing a backflip.

Check out Wilson's latest masterpiece.

Here's a Vine of the catch that Wilson was responding to. The player in the video is North Carolina A&T running back Tarik Cohen.

While impressive, Cohen is standing still and not on the move like Wilson is in both of his catches. It also appears like the balls coming at Cohen came off a Juggs machine, so he knows exactly where they're going to end up.

Wilson already lists several major Division I offers and is the brother of current Florida Gator Quincy Wilson.

What catch do you think takes this battle: Wilson's 540? Cohen's double one-handed backflip? Or Wilson's original backflip catch?

Let us know in the comments below.