July 11, 2015

Recruiting Roundup: Henry-Cole commits to Utah, Harrison to Southern Illinois

St. Thomas Aquinas running back Devonta'e Henry-Cole announced on Saturday that he is orally committing to Utah.

"I got along with coach [Dennis] Erickson and the coaching staff," the 5-9, 190-pound three-star prospect with 4.4 speed says. "It'a a great school academically and sports, and it's going to be a great feeling playing with my old St. Thomas teammates."

Henry-Cole chose Utah over a list of 11 other offers that included Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, FIU and FAU. 

He joins former Raider teammates Tyson Cisrow and Chris Hart on the Utes roster.

"[They tell me] that it was nice over there, it's different from Florida and the football program is amazing," Henry-Cole says.

Utah is getting a good one on and off the field.

"As a player, Devonta'e is an explosive, electrifying athlete with exceptional balance, vision and speed," St. Thomas Aquinas coach Roger Harriott says. "Off the field, he's a positive role model for his peers -- an extraordinary person in general. He's the epitome of a character athlete who is loved by all."

HARRISON COMMITS TO SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

A day earlier, Coconut Creek senior quarterback Jhakari Harrison announced a commitment to Southern Illinois.

The 6-1, 180-pound dual-threat quarterback that also had offers from Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman has been impressive throughout the spring and in 7-on-7 play, including a victory in the South Florida Shootout that UM hosted.

Once he joins the Salukis, he'll eventually compete with another Florida quarterback Southern Illinois took last recruiting cycle in Orlando's Tanner Hearn.

MARSHALL GETS SOUTH DADE LINEMAN

On Thursday, South Dade 2017 offensive guard Kryon Taylor committed to Marshall.

The 6-3, 285-pound junior was impressive in a spring game against Harrison and Coconut Creek in May, drawing the eyes of many coaches on hand.

He's also an elite wrestler as a state runner-up in the 285-pound division.

 

July 07, 2015

Kadeem Telfort flips commitment from UM to UF

Miami Norland junior offensive tackle Kadeem Telfort announced on Tuesday that he has decommitted from the Miami Hurricanes and is now committed to the Florida Gators.

The 6-6, 310-pound three-star prospect in the class of 2017 made the two announcements within minutes of each other on Twitter.

 

The flip was foreshadowed earlier Tuesday morning by St. Thomas Aquinas quarterback Jake Allen, a 2017 prospect who committed to Florida last Wednesday

 

The Gators now have three commitments in their 2017 class -- all from Miami-Dade or Broward County -- in Telfort, Allen and Deerfield Beach wide receiver Lavarus Tigner.

Their 2016 class includes commitments Joshua Hammond of Hallandale, Vosean Joseph of Norland, Miami Central's Eric Mitchell, Deerfield Beach's Aaron Robinson and Southwest Miami's Christopher McWilliams -- a testament to co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Randy Shannon's recruiting work in South Florida.

UM's 2017 class bodes well despite the loss of Telfort as its seven commitments still have the Canes second only to Ohio State in the 247 Sports team rankings.

Telfort's highlights:

June 30, 2015

UM commit Travis Homer excited about opportunity with Hurricanes

Travis HomerI got to catch up with four-star UM running back commit Travis Homer at the Nike Football Opening Team Games hosted by his high school, West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy.

He talked about what led him to commit to the Hurricanes.

"A big thing was that it's close to home, so I'll be able to see my family," said Homer, who also lists UM's business school as a priority in choosing the school.

Homer likes what he's seen out of Hurricanes coach Al Golden in the recruiting process.

"I really like his character," Homer says. "I can tell he's a really down to earth guy. He enjoys being around the kids. He's just a good man overall."

Homer is one of three running backs in Miami's 2016 recruiting class along with Amir Rasul of Coral Gables and Zack Moss of Hallandale. He doesn't mind a crowded backfield depth chart and adds that UM's academics are too good to turn down.

"I think the class coming in is going to be a great bunch of kids, and we're just going to be able to go out there and show what our class has to offer," Homer says. "We're going to have a competitive environment out there."

Homer committed at the 7-on-7 Adidas South Florida Shootout that UM hosted on campus.

"It was a great opportunity to have everyone go out there and show their skills in a competitive environment," he says. "That was great how they set it up."

His school also had a tremendous setup, hosting four 7-on-7 games at once on Saturday in a tournament Carol City ultimately won.

"I think it's great exposure for our school," Homer says. "Everyone's starting to get to know us because we're such a new school."

At 5-11 and 195 pounds, Homer runs a 4.48-second 40-yard dash, according to his Hudl page.

His highlights:

 Photo by David Furones//FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

June 27, 2015

Sights from The Opening Team Games

The Nike Football Opening Team Games were held at West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy on Saturday.

They had 16 South Florida 7-on-7 teams in total and four different fields running at a time.

In the end, Carol City cruised to a 44-23 victory in the championship game against Flanagan. This picture below was taken during the celebration over one of the Chiefs' interceptions in the contest.

Carol City INT

Quarterback Stephen "Buckshot" Calvert was phenomenal in finding his receivers consistently. Here's his one-on-one interview with the Miami Herald.

 

While Carol City won the 7-on-7 team tournament, Flanagan's runner-up finish plus victories in the individual skills competition at quarterback, wide receiver and 40-yard challenges were enough to put the Falcons over the top in overall points.

Dirty Birds

One of the players on the host team is four-star running back and UM commit Travis Homer, who took a second to show his allegiance to the cameras.

Travis Homer

A UM decommit not too long ago who has since jumped on board with the Michigan Wolverines in what's appearing to develop into a little bit of a pipeline between Flanagan and Michigan, Devin Gil was held out due to an arm injury but took a second to show love to Michigan throwing up the M.

Devin Gil

You'll want to stay tuned to the blog as interviews with both Homer and Gil are coming, as well as updates on Darnell Salomon, Joseph Jackson and Clevan Thomas.

June 26, 2015

Nike Football Opening team games on Saturday

The Nike Football Opening team games in South Florida are slated for Saturday morning at West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy.

Each school's 7-on-7 team team will play four games and then have individuals participate in a series of skill challenges that will aggregate points toward a collective team score.

Miami-Dade and Broward schools participating include:

Flanagan

Carol City

Coconut Creek

Southridge

Coral Reef

Gulliver

Columbus

Deerfield Beach

McArthur

North Miami

Norland

Boyd Anderson 

Miami Northwestern

Miami Central

Booker T. Washington

Skill challenges: quarterback challenge, place kicker, linemen, wide receiver, speed agility, 40-yard dash.

The action begins at 9 a.m. with individual challenges beginning at 1 p.m. Teddy Bridgewater (Miami Northwestern alum) and Antonio Brown (Miami Norland) are among those attending as special guests. 

 

June 22, 2015

June 08, 2015

Tyler Dunning: "I'm all Cane right now"

Dillard linebacker and 2017 UM commit Tyler Dunning did an exclusive video interview with the Miami Herald at the UM 7-on-7 last Sunday.

 

Since it's hard to hear with all the blaring music, here are some of his quotes.

Why did you decide to commit to UM when you did?

"I felt it was a good opportunity to come here and it was already close to home," Dunning says. "I like everything about the school. I like the vibe, I like everything."

Dunning says he's even trying to recruit his teammates on a talented Dillard defense -- most notably 2017 defensive end Jon Ford, who has a Miami offer and 2016 defensive tackle Aaron Thompson and linebacker Kenneth Ruff, who are waiting on UM offers.

"I tell them all the time that if they come we're going to bring the U back, there isn't any point in leaving," Dunning says.

Dunning adds Ruff is considering South Carolina and Thompson LSU, but "if Miami offers, they're going to come."

He says other schools coming on strong are FAU, FIU, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina but adds "I'm all Cane right now. My decision isn't changing right now."

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.

May 19, 2015

Lichtenstein: "I'd probably commit" if offered by Canes; Parchment names top three

There's a lot of recruiting activity brewing out of Cypress Bay as spring comes to its conclusion for the Lightning.

All you had to do was look at how many colleges were represented at Cypress Bay’s spring game on Tuesday to identify how much interest there is in the Lightning’s prospects.

Georgia Tech, Duke, USF, Illinois, Indiana, Cincinnati, Syracuse and Bowling Green all had coaches in Weston on Tuesday.

Jake Lichtenstein (6-5, 235 pounds), a Class of 2017 defensive end, is a hot prospect due to his obvious size, motor and long arms.

Lichtenstein lists a recent offer from Louisville as his first but has also drawn significant interest from the hometown Miami Hurricanes and he says he is a big fan of the U.

How would he react if UM offered him?

“I’d probably commit,” says Lichtenstein, who is also being recruited by Auburn, Virginia and UCF. “I’ve always liked UM – hometown team, family can show up to watch. That’s a dream.”

 

Cypress Bay coach Mark Guandolo has been impressed with Lichtenstein – and not just for his play on the gridiron.

“He’s put on a lot of weight in the offseason program, he’s got a 4.5 GPA, he’s an all-around great kid,” Guandolo says.

Andrew Parchment, a three-star 2016 wide receiver, has announced a top three of Cincinnati, USF and Syracuse – in that order. Immediately after the scrimmage, he had a different third team, but after being contacted by Syracuse later Tuesday, the Orange are gaining momentum in his recruiting picture.

“Cincinnati, right now, has to be my No. 1 offensive-wise and because they have a bunch of South Florida guys,” says Parchment, whose name on Twitter is OchoCinco and his cover photo is one of Chad Johnson (or Ochocinco) in a Cincinnati Bengals uniform.

For now, Parchment tentatively says he will announce a commitment on Twitter at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

At the scrimmage, his size at 6-4 was evident and he also displayed a keen sense of route-running and sharp change of direction. He stopped on a dime in the end zone on a comeback route to catch a touchdown at the pylon.

Parchment and 2016 cornerback Darrell Malone are close friends, both have offers from Cincinnati and could see themselves playing together at the next level.

“That’s one of my best friends on the team, so me and him have been talking about it for a little bit,” Parchment says.

Malone, also a three-star at 5-11, 165, was a shutdown corner on defense and also got in offensively to show his burst and run in a touchdown on a sweep.

He had thoughts of announcing a commitment on Wednesday but interest from Georgia Tech, Syracuse and Indiana after the scrimmage has him holding off for the time being.

“They’re great players, good team guys, hard workers, very talented, very tough competitors,” Guandolo says. “They’re going to be ready to play early.”

--Middle linebacker Robert Pitter was an “animal” tackling, as Guandolo put it. Pitter, the Lightning’s leading tackler, is undersized at 5-9, but he more than makes up for it with how strong he plays and how he knifes through the line to make tackles for loss. Guandolo compared him to former Cypress Bay linebacker Nico Marley, who is now at Tulane.

--Rising junior FB/DB Danny Montoya was a workhorse back in the scrimmage and reeled off some impressive runs. He’s receiving interest from Ivy League and Patriot League schools.

--Guandolo also praised rising senior R.J. Rosario at safety and his defensive line, namely Nesta Silvera, a 2018 nose guard that’s already 6-2, 285, and starting end Nicolas Wucher.

May 18, 2015

Deerfield Beach safety James Pierre commits to UM

James Pierre, a three-star defensive back out of Deerfield Beach, orally committed to UM Monday evening after receiving an offer earlier Monday.

The 6-1, 175-pound safety becomes the 21st commitment of the Canes’ 2016 recruiting class and sixth defensive back, joining Tyler Byrd (Naples), Devin Gil (Pembroke Pines Flanagan), Deion Jackson (Hallandale), James Wiggins (Homestead South Dade) and Cedrick Wright (Miami Gulliver).

UM will have safeties Deon Bush and Dallas Crawford go into their senior seasons in the fall while juniors Jamal Carter and Rayshawn Jenkins have two years of eligibility remaining.

The Canes had four freshman defensive backs – safety Robert Knowles and cornerbacks Sheldrick Redwine, Michael Jackson and Terrance Henley – enroll on Sunday while safety Jaquan Johnson enrolled in the spring.

Pierre, the nation’s 27th-ranked safety according to Rivals, had other notable offers from Wisconsin, West Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Syracuse, Cincinnati and FIU.