January 02, 2016

Cavin Ridley surprises everyone with South Carolina commitment after Under Armour All-America Game

Cavin Ridley
Cavin Ridley. Photo by David Furones.

Deerfield Beach four-star wide receiver Cavin Ridley shocked reporters after the Under Armour All-America Game on Saturday, announcing a commitment to South Carolina.

The news was unanticipated as Ridley was not scheduled to announce a commitment on the national broadcast and didn't make any Twitter announcement, which has become commonplace in the recruiting world.

Ridley told new Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp and defensive coordinator Travaris "T-Rob" Robinson on Friday night.

"They were recruiting me since they were at Auburn," Ridley said. "They recruit well. They recruit South Florida kids and recruit them the best they can, and I just believe in Coach T-Rob and the things they tell me. I just ran with them.

"It's a new staff, and I think everybody in the world would like a new start. I feel like I can go in there and make an impact."

Of course, Ridley's older brother is Alabama freshman Calvin. He took the news that little brother wouldn't be tagging along in Tuscaloosa well.

"He's just going to let me do me," Ridley said. "He wants what's best for me, and just do what I've got to do."

Ridley will be enrolling early at South Carolina.

"I'm just ready to get up there," he said.

So why didn't Ridley announce on national TV if he was going to let it be known at the Under Armour game on ESPN 2?

"I'm not really big on the media," he said.

 

December 31, 2015

South Florida 2019 prospects make MaxPreps Freshman All-American Team

James Cook
Miami Central RB James Cook. Photo: Manny Navarro//MIAMI HERALD

A total of six freshmen from Miami-Dade and Broward County earned their way onto the MaxPreps Freshman All-American Football Team -- five of them making the first team.

OL – Dontae Lucas, 6-5, 290, Booker T. Washington (Miami)

RB – Nay'quan Wright, 5-9, 185, Carol City (Miami)

RB – James Cook, 5-11, 190, Central (Miami)

LB – Ge'mon Eaford, 6-2, 215, Deerfield Beach (Fla.)

DB – Kenny McIntosh, 6-1, 204, University (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

LB – Diamante Howard, 6-2, 200, Southridge (Miami) (2nd team)

Check out the full MaxPreps 2015 Football Freshman All-American Team here.

 

 

December 30, 2015

USA Today All-USA Florida Team loaded with South Florida recognitions

Flanagan coach Devin Bush Sr. won Coach of the Year and American Heritage defensive end Brian Burns earned Defensive Player of the Year honors as USA Today released its All-USA Florida Football Team on Wednesday.

Here's what USA Today had to say about the two.

First, Bush:

Bush led the Falcons to their first-ever state crown this season with a victory over Osceola in the Class 8A final. Led by the coach’s son, linebacker Devin Bush Jr., defense was Flanagan’s calling card. The Falcons allowed a measly 6.4 points per game in the state’s highest classification and posted three shutouts in the postseason.

And Burns:

Burns was a menace for the Patriots this fall, recording 60 tackles (19 for loss) and 15.5 sacks. The U.S. Army All-American reportedly has a top two of Florida and Florida State.

The rest of the all-state team was loaded with players from Miami-Dade and Broward County.

First Team

DL Nick Bosa (6-4, 255, Sr.), St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale)

DL Brian Burns (6-5, 220, Sr.), American Heritage (Plantation)

DL Keir Thomas (6-1, 245, Sr.), Miami Central (Miami)

LB Devin Bush Jr. (5-11, 225, Sr.), Flanagan (Pembroke Pines)

DB Trayvon Mullen (6-1, 175, Sr.), Coconut Creek (Pompano Beach)

K James McCourt (6-1, 185, Sr.), St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale)

Second Team

QB Tyler Huntley (6-2, 185, Sr.), Hallandale

OL Navaughn Donaldson (6-6, 335, Jr.), Miami Central (Miami)

DL Nik Bonitto (6-3, 215, So.), St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale)

DL Joshua Uche (6-1, 220, Sr.), Columbus (Miami)

LB Vosean Joseph (6-2, 210, Sr.), Norland (Miami)

LB Emmett Rice (6-3, 200, Sr.), Norland (Miami)

DB Jamel Cook (6-4, 185, Sr.), Miami Central (Miami)

DB Stanford Samuels (6-1, 165, Jr.), Flanagan (Pembroke Pines)

In addition to Donaldson, University of Miami commitments Travis Homer of West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy, Shaquille Quarterman of Orange Park Oakleaf, Patrick Bethel of Vero Beach, Michael Pinckney of Jacksonville Raines and Tyler Byrd of Naples were recognized. Former UM commits Uche and Ahmmon Richards also were named.

December 27, 2015

Desmond Phillips recommits to Toledo, will enroll early

Miami Jackson quarterback/wide receiver Desmond Phillips was committed to Toledo for a long time before decommitting and jumping on board with UM in November.

After a short stint as a Hurricanes commit, Phillips decommitted earlier in December and Sunday announced he was back on board with the Rockets.

"I made a decision and talked it over with my family," Phillips said in a Twitter post. "I decided to commit to the University of Toledo and will be enrolling early."

Phillips played quarterback at Jackson but will play slot receiver in college. He displayed his abilities at both positions recently at the Dade County All-Star Game where in an interview with the Herald said the Canes remained in his recruiting picture but added "I just want to play. That's all."

New Toledo coach Jason Candle, who was named Rockets head coach on Dec. 2, provided his insight into what he thinks of Phillips with this tweet shortly after the commitment.

December 25, 2015

Keir Thomas commits to South Carolina

Fresh off back-to-back state championships his junior and senior seasons with Miami Central, defensive end Keir Thomas committed to South Carolina on Christmas Day.

The first thing the 6-2, 249-pound three-star prospect pointed to was the scheme new Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp will run and where he will fit into that scheme. Thomas will play the "Buck," an ultra-important position in the defense where he'll play either defensive end or outside linebacker depending on if the team is in a 4-3 or a 3-4.

Thomas, ranked as the No. 5 senior prospect in Miami-Dade County entering the season, says the combination of Muschamp and South Carolina defensive coordinator Travaris "T-Rob" Robinson has been recruiting him the longest and the hardest and the two were a major key in getting him on board with the Gamecocks on Friday.

"Coach Muschamp coaches hard. I want somebody who's going to stay on me and make sure they get the best out of me," Thoams said. "[Robinson] as well. I can also relate to Coach T-Rob a little bit more because he's from Miami."

Thomas decommitted from FSU in November and at that point was listing Auburn as his leader when Muschamp and Robinson were together on the Tigers' staff.

Arkansas and Tennessee were his other finalists. He visited each of those schools since decommitting from FSU and also was offered by UM.

Although Thomas hasn't visited South Carolina, he felt comfortable making the decision and was somewhat familiar with the school even before Muschamp and Robinson arrived.

"I had a feel for South Carolina before that," Thomas said. "They always have a great defensive line."

In Columbia, S.C., Thomas will be reunited with former Carol City cornerback Rashad Fenton, whom he attended middle school with. The Gamecocks also currently have Skai Moore from University School, Al Harris Jr. from St. Thomas Aquinas and Chris Lammons from Plantation on the roster.

South Carolina has been hot in recruiting with five new commits since Muschamp took over.

December 22, 2015

Jerry Jeudy asks, and he receives

It started a week ago on Tuesday, Dec. 15 when Deerfield Beach 2017 four-star wide receiver Jerry Jeudy tweeted out his very early top 10.

Aside from his emoji game being on point, notice the section at the bottom. He lists schools that he's interested in but haven't offered yet -- USC, TCU and Baylor.

Oh, how quickly things changed when college coaches at those programs got a hold of that information.

Three days later on Friday, the Trojans came through with an offer.

On Monday and three days after the USC offer, the Horned Frogs dished out an offer.

Moral of the story: Jerry Jeudy is so good that when colleges find out he wants an offer, they just go ahead and give him one.

Baylor, where you at?

 

December 20, 2015

UM still in recruiting picture for recent decommit

Jackson quarterback/wide receiver Desmond Phillips recently decommitted from UM, but he said on Saturday after the Dade County All-Star Game that the Hurricanes are still an option for him.

What does he want to see from UM to get him back on board?

"I just want to play. That's all," he says.

Phillips says he hasn't put too much thought on his recruitment since decommitting as he was focused on preparation for the All-Star Game and showcasing his talent. It worked as he won MVP honors primarily for his 80-yard quarterback keeper to start the second half that ignited a comeback for a 23-16 North victory.

Here's everything Phillips was talking about after the game.

 

One of the biggest things to look out for regarding Phillips in the All-Star game was that he would get reps at receiver where he's being recruited by colleges.

Phillips caught two passes. The first one was particularly impressive as he ran a sharp route to get open, made the catch and held on as he took a big hit over the middle.

Here he is on that play:

 Phillips, a one-time Toledo commit before committing to UM in November, doesn't have any visits set up at the moment.

Former Cincy pledge Carriere-Williams commits to Wisconsin

St. Thomas Aquinas senior cornerback Dontye Carriere-Williams announced a commitment to Wisconsin Sunday just four days after decommitting from Cincinnati, where he was previously committed since May.

Carriere-Williams, who transferred to St. Thomas from Booker T. Washington in the summer, joins Fort Lauderdale linebacker Dallas Jeanty as Broward County prospects set to play for the Badgers.

December 16, 2015

Recruiting Roundup: Bush recruiting Pie to join him at Michigan

The biggest news Wednesday came in Devin Bush Jr. announcing his commitment to Michigan (read Andre Fernandez's full story on that), but a subplot developing is Bush's recruitment of Miami High wide receiver Keyshawn "Pie" Young.

Bush, the four-star Flanagan linebacker, spoke with Young moments after announcing he was choosing the Wolverines over Florida State. Young, reported by the Miami Herald in October as a Michigan lean, was on FaceTime with Falcons lineman Natrone Ray during the ceremony to watch it live -- "a moment I will never forget," he called it. Shortly afterward, Bush got a hold of Ray's phone and told Young he's next. 

Young is still keeping things open at the moment, saying Alabama, Tennessee and USC are schools he has up there for his services. He has a visit with Tennessee scheduled for Jan. 29 and already visited Michigan during the season.

Oh, then he sent this tweet out and revealed another school he hasn't counted out yet. It's not too far from where he lives.

**UM had Miami Jackson athlete Desmond Phillips, a quarterback for the Generals being recruited as a slot receiver, decommit on Wednesday. He originally committed just three weeks prior after getting the UM offer slightly before the Al Golden firing.

**Another Hurricane recruit whose commitment was accepted in between the Golden firing and Mark Richt hiring, South Dade running back Jawon Hamilton, is wavering on his pledge to the Canes at the moment.

"I haven't received a call from Richt yet, so I'm going to keep my recruiting open," Hamilton said.

That doesn't mean he is decommitting at the moment, he adds.

**Another prospect that did decommit on Wednesday was Hallandale wide receiver Neru N'Shaka, who went back on his commitment to Virginia, saying "it just felt right."

Before anyone starts speculating that a fourth Hallandale prospect is Utah-bound, N'Shaka, who missed his entire senior season with a knee injury, does not hold an offer from the Utes.

He says he's not sure of his top at the moment, but did say the schools recruiting him the hardest are Toledo, Virginia, Syracuse and Mercer -- notice the Cavaliers are still in that group.

**Miami Jackson linebacker Shemar Smith signed with Oregon State on Wednesday after committing to the Beavers last Thursday.

"I chose Oregon State because when I took the official visit it felt like home, they made me feel like family and the chemistry with the team and the coaches is unbelievable," Smith says. "It was an amazing place."

Oregon State assistant and former Miami Central coach Telly Lockette is getting a good one in Smith, who was the Miami Herald's Defensive Player of the Year in 2014.

**At the same ceremony Wednesday, Jackson offensive lineman Carl Thompson also signed early with Alabama State.

**Hialeah American defensive end Jamal Smith committed to UCF on Tuesday upon receiving an offer from the Knights the same day.

Smith joins South Dade offensive tackle Boman Swanson and Norland cornerback Bryon Brown as Dade County seniors committed to UCF.

**Some news that slipped through on Monday but worth noting even if it's late: Hallandale quarterback Tyler Huntley signed with Utah and is set to enroll in the spring semester.

December 14, 2015

Patrick Bethel commits to UM

Four-star Vero Beach defensive end Patrick Bethel committed to the Miami Hurricanes on Monday.

"I would like to announce that after prayer and discussion with my parents I have decided to commit to the University of Miami," Bethel said in a Twitter post.

The decision came as no surprise as Bethel was projected by most to be leaning to the Canes.

Bethel is a legacy Cane as the son of Randy Bethel, who played at UM from 1987-1990.

He continued in his post: "I did not choose Miami to 'continue a legacy.' I chose Miami to create my own destiny, to provide the best for myself, and  most importantly to bring back the lost Swagger."

Bethel is fresh off an official visit over the weekend along with four other UM commits in quarterback Jack Allison and linebackers Shaq Quarterman, Michael Pinckney and Zach McCloud -- McCloud which committed on the visit.

Bethel is set to enroll in the spring semester along with the other four.