February 09, 2016

Sources: Flanagan coach Devin Bush could be next to join Michigan

Bush Sr and Jr
Flanagan coach Devin Bush with son Devin Bush Jr. after announcement to commit to Michigan on Dec. 16, 2015. Photo: Andre C. Fernandez//MIAMI HERALD


Flanagan won its first state championship this past season with three Michigan recruits on the roster.

Now it appears their high school coach may be following them to Ann Arbor.

Multiple sources have told the Miami Herald on Tuesday that Flanagan coach Devin Bush is on the verge of joining the staff at Michigan where three of his Falcons -- son and linebacker Devin Bush Jr. and safeties Devin Gil and Josh Metellus -- have signed. Bush Jr. has already enrolled at Michigan for the spring semester.

Bush, when reached, said he has not been in current communication with the Wolverines but described "hearsay" that there may be a position for him with the team in some capacity.

Flanagan athletic director Al Guzzo told the Herald that there was nothing mentioned to him when he spoke with Bush earlier Tuesday.

"It's all speculative right now and there's nothing concrete," Guzzo said.

Bush joining the Wolverines was rumored all season. In December, Bush said from the Class 8A state championship game that no one has approached him with college job offers in a column by Manny Navarro.

One source said an announcement is expected sometime next week. Both sources said defensive coordinator Stanford Samuels would become Flanagan's next head coach.

Bush is a former Super Bowl winner with the St. Louis Rams and college football national champion with Florida State. He has been head coach at Flanagan for the past three seasons after spending a year as defensive coordinator and played his high school ball at Hialeah-Miami Lakes.

 

 

Al Blades Jr. touches on St. Thomas Aquinas transfer, more Elite Prep 300 coverage

Former Miami Dolphins safety Arturo Freeman's showcase Elite Prep 300 Series at University School on Sunday had several South Florida high school athletes attend, as well as key college figures, including former UM wide receivers coach Kevin Beard and former FIU quarterback Wes Carroll.

St.Thomas Aquinas 2018 Defensive back Al Blades Jr., a former Hurricane commit who decommitted on October 25th, plans to be active in taking upcoming visits.

 

"I'm planning to travel to South Carolina, Texas and California real soon," he said.

Blades (6-0, 160 pounds) on his recent transfer from University School to Aquinas said, "I think it's a better opportunity for me. For the next two years I can develop more and they have a lot of good wide receivers I can work against."

Miles Jones, an American Heritage 2018 running back, has been receiving preliminary interest from Kentucky, but right now his concentration is on getting fully recovered and trying to help his team win.

Adetutu Daranijo, a St. Thomas Aquinas 2018 linebacker, has received an offer from Northern Illinois University. The Huskies have been recruiting the South Florida area hard, picking up three commitments this past recruiting cycle -- Cypress Bay' wide receiver Andrew Parchment, Norland wide receiver Jordan Robinson and South Dade running back Ivan Smith.

Eugene Witherspoon, a 2016 Miami Jackson wide receiver, didn't sign on National Signing Day. He is still weighing his options but is leaning toward inking with Howard University.

Check out videos below on what Beard, Freeman and Carroll were saying during Sunday's action.

 

 

 

RUSSELL QUINOA

February 01, 2016

Pierre, McWilliams committed to rival schools but still have Canes on their mind

A pair of South Florida defensive backs are committed to rival schools but still have the hometown Miami Hurricanes on their mind as National Signing Day approaches.

Deerfield Beach three-star safety James Pierre, committed to ACC Coastal rival UNC, and Southwest Miami three-star cornerback Christopher McWilliams, committed to in-state rival UF, will still weigh their option to attend UM and both decisions appear to be coming down to Wednesday.

Pierre is a former UM commit that flipped to the Tar Heels in October. Al Golden was fired shortly thereafter, but he's liked what he's seen from new coach Mark Richt.

"The new coaching staff made a big impact on my decision toward [reconsidering] the U," Pierre says. "I'm very interested in what coach Mark Richt brings. Coach [Mike] Rumph, I can relate to him. He knows what it takes to be the best."

The process has taken its toll on Pierre.

"It's a lot of pressure coming at me, and you know, I'm just a kid, so it's just stress for me," he says.

McWilliams is taking his recruitment a little more in stride, but still isn't certain of what he wants to do.

"I'm feeling good. I'm excited to finally get this decision over with and ready to play college ball," McWilliams says. "I made my decision, but I'm still thinking about it, though... It's very hard. I can't tell till Signing Day."

While many believe that the Canes are the top team challenging the Gators for McWilliams' services, he insists UM and USF are even behind UF as his leader going into Signing Day.

McWilliams adds that the decision may come down to how he feels waking up that morning or once he's sitting in the chair to announce his commitment.

McWilliams visited UF over the weekend.

"It went good. The environment there, the campus was cool," McWilliams said. "My host was Chauncey Gardner. He's a funny dude, and we just had a good time. It was enjoyable just to throw on that jersey and stuff."

The trip was a positive stride for the Gators, but the Canes and Bulls are still alive.

UM had good fortune with the snowstorm in the mid-Atlantic stepping in the way from allowing McWilliams to visit UNC the week he originally planned to. He ended up replacing that official with UM, a decision made easier after Richt and Rumph went in-home with him that week.

"After the talk went well, they said they're just looking to change the program to the way the U was before, so I'm looking forward to it and you know UM is close to home," he told the Herald at that point.

These will be two decisions to keep a close eye on on Wednesday.

 

 

January 29, 2016

Dade/Broward decisions to keep an eye on as National Signing Day approaches

Here are some quick hits on the top scenarios to follow as we wind down on the end of the 2016 recruiting cycle. These prospects are either undecided or are committed but have other schools giving them something to think about before National Signing Day.

Brian Burns, American Heritage 5-star DE: The blue-chip prospect, Army All-American and No. 2 overall senior in Broward County (behind Nick Bosa), according to the Miami Herald, will choose between UF, FSU, Georgia and Alabama. FSU is getting the final visit as Burns has seen all four campuses since the recruiting dead period ended (Jan. 15).

Trayvon Mullen, Coconut Creek 4-star CB: The ultra-talented Army All-American from the #CreekBoyz has a final five of FSU, LSU, Clemson, TCU and Louisville. The first three of the five have consistently been atop his list of college choices. He has taken all his visits and will make his decision live on ESPNU at 8:45 a.m. on National Signing Day.

Keyshawn "Pie" Young, Miami High 3-star WR: It's been reported that Louisville, USC and Michigan are Pie's final three heading into Signing Day. The Wolverines have been a favorite of Dade's No. 6-ranked senior for some time now.

Dredrick Snelson, Flanagan 3-star WR: The Under Armour All-American who has won four state championships at three different schools has been a Minnesota commit since before the season, but it's a soft commitment. Snelson will check out Penn State this final weekend and also went to UCF on Jan. 15. 

Rashad Weaver, Cooper City 3-star DE: After getting dropped from Jim Harbaugh's class with Michigan within a week and a half of Signing Day, Weaver has spent the week receiving a whirlwind of recruiting interest and offers. He is taking visits to Pittsburgh and Penn State and has already been to USF and Temple.

Zack Moss, Hallandale 3-star RB: A Utah commit who took his Utes visit the weekend of Jan. 22 takes a trip to Tennessee the weekend before Signing Day. The one-time Hurricane commit will determine if it's enough to sway him from Utah, where Hallandale teammates Tyler Huntley and Demari Simpkins are already enrolled.

Vosean Joseph, Norland 3-star OLB: A UF commit, the Gators got his final official visit (Jan. 22) before he went to Texas for the USA vs. Canada Independence Bowl and Alabama had him grace its campus the previous weekend. He hasn't made his decision final but feels he's likely to stick to his UF commitment when he revisits his recruitment upon his return to Miami on Monday.

CJ McWilliams, Southwest 3-star DB: Another UF commit, he has UM on him heavy, and according to coach Tim Neal, the Jan. 22 visit -- which he took to UM because he had to cancel plans to check out UNC with the snow storm in the Mid-Atlantic -- is giving McWilliams something to think about with regards to potentially staying home with the Hurricanes. The Gators will try to convince him not to back off his May pledge, hosting him on campus the final weekend before Signing Day.

Aaron Thompson, Dillard 3-star DT: He recently committed to Maryland, but South Carolina will get one final shot at swaying him with a weekend visit.

Eric Mitchell, Miami Central 3-star DE/OLB: Recently listed his top three as Louisville, UCF and Colorado to the Miami Herald.

Jerron Rollins, Columbus 3-star WR: Without having taken any other visit, Cincinnati will get a look from the tall, talented Explorers receiver the final weekend before Signing Day. The Bearcats are the favorites to land him over Washington State, Middle Tennessee, FAU and Syracuse if all goes well on the trip.

Freddie Pinder, Southridge 3-star WR: The highly-touted prospect may not sign anywhere on Signing Day and go the junior college route instead. We will see as Wednesday approaches.

Montray Smith, Carol City 3-star WR: The 6-4 Carol City receiver is on a Southern Illinois visit over the weekend.

Jamal Smith, American 3-star DE: Since committing and then decommitting from UCF, Smith says USF and Youngstown State are his top choices. He says he's considering many more schools, so look out for another team to pop up. Pitt was a school he was high on during the season.

Jahcour Pearson, Flanagan 3-star WR: The speedster who had a monster state championship game is choosing between Western Kentucky and Northern Illinois and will announce on Monday.

Harvey Clayton, Coral Reef 3-star DB: Doing a Middle Tennessee State and Illinois combined visit final weekend before Signing Day. Louisville, FIU and Temple also in the mix for former Louisville commit.

Antione Webster, American 3-star DB: Webster is waiting to announce on Signing Day. Massachusetts is a school that's been trending in the recruitment of the long, athletic DB. His other finalists are unknown.

Keelen Roberts, Carol City 3-star DB: Will be visiting Northern Illinois this weekend and is also trying to squeeze in an FIU visit.

Val Mayes, Norland 3-star DB: Likely not to sign on Signing Day as he looks to up his ACT score on Feb. 6. Upon receiving his results, he hopes to follow up on interest from N.C. State, Mississippi State and Illinois.

Ivan Smith, South Dade 2-star RB: Visiting Northern Illinois over the weekend and may commit.

Keldrick Cesar, Edison 3-star OL: Previously had received offers from schools like USF, FIU, Syracuse, Middle Tennessee State and Samford, as well as interest from UM and UF, but he may now be signing with Bethune-Cookman.

Bryce Handy, Gulliver 3-star LB: Will be choosing between Eastern Illinois and UT-Martin. Eastern Kentucky may be making a late push.

Jordan Robinson, Norland 2-star WR: The tall, athletic under-the-radar receiver for the Vikings went to NIU for the weekend after the Huskies went in-home with him earlier in the week.

Deion Jackson, *former* Hallandale 3-star CB: The great unknown. Before the end of the season, Jackson swiftly moved to Jacksonville citing personal reasons and never really said goodbye to anybody at Hallandale. A report since has said he enrolled at Mandarin High while in Jacksonville and was looking to come back to South Florida at South Broward, but South Broward coach Devon Georgia has not heard of such a transpiration. Jackson is no longer on UM commitment lists and we have no idea where he is.

Follow @DavidFurones90 on Twitter for recruiting updates from now through Signing Day.

January 25, 2016

Syracuse making an imprint on recruiting South Florida

It's no secret Syracuse is trying to make its impression recruiting South Florida.

It certainly has, and the Orange's efforts were truly solidified over the weekend.

Syracuse got three commitments from South Florida football prospects with Dillard defensive lineman McKinley Williams, Fort Lauderdale defensive end Jaquwan Nelson (a former UM commit) and Homestead safety/linebacker Rashad Smith.

This adds to a 2016 class that already had a commitment from Dillard linebacker Kenneth Ruff. The Orange have three more senior commits outside of Dade and Broward in the state of Florida.

Syracuse has been hot overall in recruiting lately as eight of its 21 current commitments came over the weekend and 12 since the new year.

Follow @DavidFurones90 on Twitter for recruiting updates from now through Signing Day.

January 23, 2016

Jaxson Kincaide commits to Nevada

St. Thomas Aquinas running back Jaxson Kincaide had a tremendous senior season culminate in a college decision on Saturday night.

After leading the Class 7A state champion Raiders with 1,285 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, Kincaide (5-9, 185 pounds), a three-star prospect according to 247 Sports, committed to Nevada.

"The program is headed in the right direction with a great head coach [Brian Polian] leading the way," Kincaide told the Miami Herald. "Two backs went over 1,000 yards last year and I feel like I can come in and make a huge impact on the team."

With Kincaide Nevada bound and fellow St. Thomas running backs Devonta'e Henry-Cole and James Charles going to Utah and FAU, respectively, that makes for three senior running backs from Aquinas on their way to an FBS program.

The Raiders already have one such back in place for 2017. Junior Mike Epstein is currently committed to Illinois.

January 18, 2016

Binjimen Victor commits to Ohio State

Binjimen Victor
Coconut Creek four-star wide receiver Binjimen Victor announced where he will be playing his college football on Monday.

The ultra-talented 6-4 standout chose Ohio State with this post on Twitter.

Victor went with the Buckeyes over West Virginia and Tennessee -- two other schools he visited officially with the Vols visit coming over the past weekend.

With Victor announcing his commitment and defensive back teammate Malek Young announcing his to the Miami Hurricanes on Friday, the final piece to the trifecta of Coconut Creek U.S. Army All-Americans (four-star cornerback Trayvon Mullen) let it be known his decision is coming down to Signing Day.

Also cool: This picture that Ohio State wide receiver Michael Thomas, who has declared for the NFL Draft, tweeted out handing down the Buckeyes helmet to Victor.

It was reminiscent of what the Bosa brothers (Joey and Nick) did in July when Nick, the five-star St. Thomas Aquinas defensive end, announced his commitment to Ohio State.

Here's just a glimpse at what Victor is capable of in one-on-one coverage in this slow motion video taken earlier this season in Coconut Creek's win against Stranahan.

January 10, 2016

Top local women's college basketball prospects on display at Miami High event

Miami High and AAU team Miami Suns combined to host the first annual SUTS Reports New Year's Classic on Saturday and many of South Florida's top girls' basketball players were present.

The Herald had a full report on the results led by the Flangan victory. The eight-game marathon also included a late 57-41 Ferguson win over Nova as Stony Brook signee Giolibeth Perez notched 24 points and eight steals while Natalia Pineda added 19 points and seven rebounds. 

Here are the prospects and the colleges they have signed with:

Mary Katherine Moore (St. Thomas) -- Bucknell*

Tytionia Adderly (Cardinal Newman) -- FGCU

Hayley Duren (American Heritage) -- Pepperdine*

Megan Gorman (Vero Beach) -- Yale

Naila Delinois (Northeast) -- St. Joseph's

Ashley Santigene (Northeast) -- Marshall

Daborah Hudson (Northeast) -- Southern

Giolibeth Perez (Ferguson) -- Stony Brook

Mikiah Harrigan (Flanagan) South Carolina

*=DNP

Others who are not yet signed but are college-level prospects -- Ferguson: sophomore Natalia Pineda; American Heritage: junior Taylor Smith, junior Auviance Lindo; Miami High: freshman Shekinah Rachel, senior Alondra Angulo; Fort Lauderdale: junior Keyanna Warthen, junior Tamiracle Taylor; Oxbridge Academy: freshman Aaliyah Stanley; Northeast: junior Cabria Lee; Nova: junior Rikiah Cowart; Archbishop McCarthy: junior Reagan McCray; Westminster Academy: junior Raquel Rosa; Hallandale: junior Destiny Walters; Grandview Prep: senior Kristin Rampersad; St. Thomas Aquinas: sophomore Emma Krause; Cardinal Newman: junior Sydni Donovan, junior Milan Morris.

Coaches from Marshall, FIU, Coastal Carolina and Barry University were in attendance.

January 09, 2016

'Pie' ranks his college choices

Miami High four-star wide receiver Keyshawn "Pie" Young's college decision will come down to National Signing Day.

On Saturday, he ranked his top  for the Miami Herald as it stands before his January slate of visits: 1. Michigan, 2. Tennessee, 3. USC, 4. Louisville, and 5 is up for competition between Georgia, Miami, Alabama and South Carolina.

Young currently has visits scheduled for Louisville on Jan. 16, USC on Jan. 22, Tennessee on Jan. 27 and either UM or Alabama before Signing Day, as he announced on Friday.

"I want to feel like I'm home," Young says. "Are the coaches there real or fake? Thinks like that."

Young also took a trip to Michigan in October.

With Michigan, Young says he loves coach Jim Harbaugh and that the three Flanagan players committed (linebacker Devin Bush Jr., safety Devin Gil and safety Josh Metellus) are pushing him to the Wolverines, especially Bush.

"He told me he doesn't even want to come home," Young says.

Current UM defensive end Chad Thomas has been in talks with Young about having him join him with the Hurricanes along with running back Mark Walton and cornerback Artie Burns, who will be heading to the NFL Draft.

Of Miami, he says, "They're up there."

Young likes the hiring of Mark Richt, who recruited him at Georgia. Although the Bulldogs crack Young's top five, he says he will not visit them.

He says South Carolina is just coming along now and will compete with the Canes and Crimson Tide for that final visit.

"I have to see how that plays out now," Young says. "That's why I haven't committed nowhere yet."

January 07, 2016

Uche updates his recruitment

Josh Uche 2
Photo: Andre C. Fernandez//MIAMI HERALD

Columbus defensive end Josh Uche's recruitment will be one of the more interesting ones to follow out of prospects in Dade County with a month left until National Signing Day.

Uche (6-3, 218 pounds) has visits scheduled for Michigan on Jan. 22 and Florida on Jan. 29.

Michigan was his most recent offer, coming as a byproduct of new defensive coordinator Don Brown heading to Ann Arbor from Boston College, which had offered Uche before his senior season. Brown led the Eagles to the nation's No. 1-ranked defense despite BC winning just three games in 2015.

"It just showed how much interest in me he has. He thinks I'm the key to that whole defense," Uche says. "Just shows his loyalty and how much he believes in me."

The Flanagan local trio of linebacker Devin Bush Jr., linebacker/safety Devin Gil and safety Josh Metellus (along with Cooper City defensive end Rashad Weaver) are all committed to coach Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines' 2016 class. Although Bush has been known to be pushing Miami High wide receiver Keyshawn "Pie" Young (who has previously listed Michigan as his leader himself), but Uche says he's not as familiar with the Michigan-bound Broward prospects.

UF will get his final official visit before Signing Day.

"They've been loyal to me as well throughout the whole recruiting process," Uche says. "I've been there already twice, but I just want to get a more in-depth look at the campus."

Schools recruiting Uche are looking at him as a hybrid outside linebacker/rush end with some telling him they want him to develop into a pass rush specialist and others indicating they want him to be a "full-blown linebacker."

On his visits, he's looking to see how likes the atmosphere, campus experience and coaches.

Uche, who decommitted from Miami in between the Al Golden firing and Mark Richt hiring, has the first weekend after the recruiting dead period (Jan. 15) open for an official visit. UM, Alabama, UNC and South Carolina are in the mix for that visit.

"I was going to go to UM, but they haven't been communicating with me," Uche says. "I'm still interested, but no one has ever contacted me. I don't want to go somewhere where I'm not wanted."

To Uche's understanding, he still has an offer on the table from the Hurricanes. They haven't told him otherwise.

Uche likes the hiring of new defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski, especially because of the work he did with Shane Ray at Missouri. He sees some similarities between them.

So if he's still interested in the Canes, why did he decommit in November?

"We knew that the coaches were going to get fired, and the new guys coming in -- I didn't know how I would fit in their system," Uche says. 

He wanted to make sure his options were open in case he didn't fit and was then left looking for a school without much time left before Signing day. Uche adds that new defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was recruiting him at Mississippi State, but never pulled the trigger on an offer because of his commitment to Miami.

Uche was also once offered by Auburn, but that offer has since gone with Will Muschamp and Travaris "T-Rob" Robinson to South Carolina.

"They've just been recruiting me really hard, calling me almost every day and just talking to me about how I fit into their scheme," he says.

On Uche's stellar senior season, Uche says, "I've improved on my power a lot. Last year, I was more finesse. I was more pass rush only, but now I've shown I can play the run. I was a lot more physical. I showed I can play linebacker."

He also says that his senior year with the Explorers helped him develop leadership skills.