After a scandalous and frustrating finish to the 2014 season, things are finally looking up for the Miramar Patriots.
Tuesday, the program hired a new coach in longtime Booker T. Washington assistant Pierre Senatus. And now, in a little over a week, a large group of seniors who didn't get a chance to participate in the playoffs in the wake of allegations of academic fraud, impermissible benefits and illegal participation of ineligible players, will get a chance to live out a lifetime dream when they sign with their respective colleges.
“It's definitely going to be a big day for us," Miramar defensive line and strength coach Josh Taylor said Tuesday. "I’m happy for these guys. We have a lot of great kids who are looking forward to opening up the next chapter in their careers and play on the next level. All these guys have been talking about lately is figuring out what they’re going to wear to Signing Day. They're hilarious.”
Taylor said school officials are planning to host the Patriots' Signing Day event at 1 p.m.
Receivers Kahlil Lewis, Jovon Durante and cornerback Tyrek Cole are all a done deal to West Virginia, where they've been committed for some time, Taylor said.
Two players who figure to keep folks guessing up until the last minute: four-star safety Kendrell McFadden and three-star offensive guard Leeward Brown, former West Virginia commitments now looking elsewhere.
"Kendrell's recruiting is wide open right now," Taylor said.
Notre Dame and Kentucky are in the mix for McFadden, Taylor said. "FIU came in recently," Taylor said of Brown. "Tulane came in as well. FAU is also in the mix."
Safety Herbert Miller (FAU) and cornerback Jeff Hill (Northern Illinois) are expected to stick with their respective commitments. Taylor said running back Alex Anderson "will have a couple hats to choose from on the table."
-- MANNY NAVARRO
Norland All-American cornerback Carlton Davis (6-2, 184) has been an Ohio State commitment since August. But with a week to go before National Signing Day on Feb. 4 his coach Daryle Heidelburg said Tuesday Davis' final decision is now "kind of up in the air" with Auburn making a strong push.
"I don't know if he's going to decommit, but he could be leaning that way," Heidelburg said. "[Auburn defensive coordinator Will] Muschamp came to visit and I guess the safe way to say it is he's considering Auburn."
Davis, an All-Dade First Team selection and Semper Fi All-American, is rated the 32nd best cornerback in the country by 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Heidelburg said Norland will have nine players sign with colleges a week from Wednesday including outside linebacker Rayshad Jackson (6-2, 205), who committed to Florida recently. Norland's Signing Day event is expected to begin after 8:30 a.m. Heidelburg said.
"[Florida co-defensive coordinator] Randy Shannon was always on him when he was at Arkansas," Heidelburg said. "It was Arkansas and FIU really. I think Florida gave him the best of both worlds. His parents are involved and would have loved for him to go to FIU, but when Randy went to Florida they took the visit with him and they saw it’s close enough for him to home and to get big-time football. That was the best of both worlds for him."
Other Norland players who will sign on Wednesday: cornerback D'Andre Smart (Kent State), defensive back Elliott Miller (Bethune-Cookman), offensive lineman William Gordon (Alcorn State), offensive lineman Lowell Richardson (Tuskegee), receiver Steven McIntosh (Mississippi Valley State), offensive lineman Swayne Spencer (Warner) and defensive back Cameron Cooper (Warner).
Heidelburg said he has five juniors receiving a lot of college interest: defensive end/outside linebacker Emmett Rice (Kentucky, N.C. State, USF offers), outside linebacker Vosean Joseph (Oregon State is close to offering), safety Val Mayes (FAU offer), quarterback Rodrick Robinson (USF interest) and receiver Jordan Robinson.
The 2017 class features two big offensive linemen receiving heavy SEC interest -- Kadeem Telfort (6-5, 310) and Cedrick Johnson (6-3, 290).
-- MANNY NAVARRO