« Saturday notes: Ennis, Kabongo among those worth watching in Heat summer league | Main | Heat summer league notes; Canes, Dolphins tidbits »

Heat loses recuit Monday; Updating UM's 2014 recruiting and local class; Dolphins, Marlins

Two quick notes:

1) Monday 3 p.m. Derrick Griffin, a top UM commitment as a wide receiver and as a basketball forward, told stateoftheu.com that he's enrolling at prep school for three months but plans to enroll at UM in December and play basketball this season.

But Griffin still needs to improve his ACT score, so the basketball staff can't be certain he will enroll in December. If Griffin gets into UM this winter, he plans to play football, as well, beginning in the 2014 season.

2) Rookie forward James Ennis, acquired by the Heat on draft night, and well-regarded point guard Myck Kabongo struggled in the Heat's 69-59 loss to Utah in Miami's opener at the Orlando Summer League on Sunday. Ennis (11 points) shot 2 for 7 and said he was nervous early - which was obvious when he shot an airball on a three-pointer to start the game. Kabongo (3 points) shot 0 for 4 but played well defensively.
Center Jarvis Varnado scored 10 points, on 4 for 11 shooting, making a 19-foot jumper but had difficulty finishing in the basket area at times. He added six rebounds and was a presence defensively, with four blocks. Former Belmont guard Ian Clark led Miami with 15 points, including three three-pointers, and will play for Golden State in the Las Vegas Summer League. The Heat next plays Brooklyn at 5 p.m. Monday on NBA TV.



With college coaches circling South Florida, hoping to snag gems from a talent-rich Miami-Dade/Broward 2014 recruiting class, here’s a request: No more absurd drama, please.

Whether it was Alex Collins’ mother taking his unsigned letter of intent and running away with it (briefly), or the Matthew Thomas fiasco, or Denver Kirkland stringing UM along, UM rescinding his offer and then making another one that was rejected, South Florida recruiting has served up more soap operas than daytime television this year.

The peculiar recruiting tale of Collins -- who signed with Arkansas against the wishes of his mother, who preferred he attend UM -- quietly ended for good recently, when the attorney hired by his mother to investigate Arkansas’ recruitment of her son was unable to find any wrongdoing.

“I have no evidence,” attorney Jack Paris said. He said the mother planned to file a complaint with the Broward School Board but decided against it.

Thomas, the nation’s No. 2 linebacker prospect, signed with FSU but said in April he would not report and wanted to attend Georgia or USC instead. But FSU coach Jimbo Fisher wouldn’t grant his release, USC’s calls went unreturned by FSU, and Thomas agreed to remain a Seminole.

A UM official said Thomas told UM he would sign with Miami on National Signing Day, so changing his mind was nothing new for him.

UM coach Al Golden said the 2014 South Florida recruiting class is outstanding, and UM is capitalizing: Ten of the Hurricanes' 20 oral commitments so far are from Miami-Dade and Broward.

Four of those 10 are especially highly rated: Central's Joseph Yearby (rivals.com's No. 7 running back); Central’s Trevor Darling (the No. 17 offensive tackle prospect); Hialeah Champgnat's Travonte Valentine (rated the fourth, 11th or 20th best defensive tackle, depending on whether you believe 347sports.com, ESPN or Rivals); and Northwestern’s Mike Smith (18 sacks last season/No. 21 ranked defensive end by rivals.com).

UM's other non-binding pledges from Dade or Broward: Hialeah three-star quarterback Alin Edouard (his coach said UM has told him it wants him, and he remains committed for now, but I wouldn't bet the mortgage)… St. Thomas Aquinas’ Nick Linder (brother of UM’s Brandon and the No. 10 center)…

Carol City’s Trayone Gray, who runs 4.4 in the 40 and figures to end up at receiver at UM, though he is set to play quarterback this season…. Booker T. Washington’s Demetrius Jackson, who has never played in a high-school football game (he was focusing on basketball) but had five sacks in a spring scrimmage and drew interest from Arkansas and others… And finally, two under-the-radar cornerbacks: Dillard’s Dennis Turner and Miami Northwestern’s Ryan Mayes (formerly of Krop).

So far, ESPN rates UM’s 2014 class 11th overall (FSU is fifth, UF 8th), and Miami’s top four commitments are from South Florida: Yearby (20th among all prospects), Wellington offensive tackle Kc McDermott (45th), Darling (133rd) and Valentine (150th). The UM class also has a few players that didn't receive offers from other major BCS-level schools, but the Canes coaching staff felt they were worth taking a chance on. Only time will tell whether those were good evaluations.

And there’s still work to be done for UM. Here’s the buzz on recruiting analyst Larry Blustein’s top half dozen Dade/Broward recruits – and others – and where UM stands:

1. Plantation American Heritage running back Sonny Michel. Picked Georgia over UM, but UM hasn’t given up on landing a player who spent considerable time around the Miami campus the past few years.

2. Homestead receiver Ermon Lane. He previously told rivals.com (which ranks him second among all receivers) that UM is his “dream school.” But he said last week: “It’s real frustrating. I don’t have a leader.” Alabama and UF are also major contenders for him.

3. Miami Central running back Dalvin Cook. Told rivals.com (which ranks him sixth among running backs) that his oral commitment to UF “is pretty solid – 90 percent - but I’ll let everyone recruit me.” UM is making a hard push; his brother is UM freshman basketball player DeAndre Burnett.

4. Central’s Yearby. He switched from FSU to UM in March and said a few weeks ago: “I’m pretty solid to Miami, but I’ll keep USF in mind” because his former high school coach, Telly Lockette, is now running backs coach there.

UM “tells me I’m not the only [running back] they’re bringing in,” Yearby said. “They always try to keep it straight. That’s what I like about Al Golden and his staff.”

Yearby is trying to get Cook to join him at UM, while Cook is trying to lure Yearby to UF. One associate told me he expects Yearby to end at UM. But asked recently by rivals.com how much he’s listening to other schools, Yearby said: “A lot.”

5. Hollywood Chaminade Madonna’s Khairi Clark -- ranked ninth among defensive tackles – orally committed to UF. And UF also beat out UM, so far, for St. Thomas Aquinas’ Anthony Moten, the nation’s No. 12 defensive tackle. But Moten said he hasn’t ruled out Miami, and UM will continue efforts to flip both. Valentine's commitment somewhat reduces UM's disappointment of losing out on Clark and Moten. But Valentine is no sure thing to qualify, so UM must keep pushing for high-end defensive tackles.

6. Booker T. Washington’s Treon Harris. UM has some interest in Harris as a defensive back (he’s rated the No. 4 athlete by rivals.com) but not as a quarterback. Harris, brother of former UM standout Brandon Harris, told rivals.com he wants to visit UM but prefers to play quarterback. He threw for 25 touchdowns and ran for 15 in 2012.

### Elsewhere: Booker T. Washington’s Chad Thomas, the nation’s No. 11 defensive end who held his own against McDermott at a recent camp, said UM has a “decent” shot…. Curiously, UM has not offered two four-star Fort Lauderdale University School players: cornerback Quincy Wilson (Gators, USC among 40-plus offers) and linebacker Richard Yeargin III (UF, Clemson among 30-plus offers). Wilson told me they’re very surprised by that.

### An associate expects the decision for Plantation’s Chris Lammons (the 26th ranked corner) to come down to UM, UF or South Carolina. “I know I could go [to UM] and start as a freshman, looking at the corners they have,” Lammons told rivals.com. “That’s a big thing I want.”… Booker T. cornerback Nigel Bethel II, the No. 28 cornerback, said he will pick soon from among UM, FSU, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky and Texas Tech.

### Two Miami-Dade receivers that are orally committed to FSU say they haven’t ruled out UM: Northwestern’s JoJo Robinson and South Dade’s C.J. Worton. And North Miami Beach three-star receiver Steve Ishmael said he’s also considering UM.

### Here are UM’s 10 oral commitments that aren’t from Dade or Broward: Wellington’s McDermott (UM center Shane’s brother and the No. 5 offensive tackle prospect); St. Petersburg four-star offensive tackle Reilly Gibbons (rated 216th among all prospects by ESPN); California-based four-star quarterback Brad Kaaya (rated 253rd overall by ESPN); and Alabama three-star QB Malik Rosier

Georgia-based two-star tight end Christopher Herndon; Orange Park linebacker Darrion Owens (a rising prospect still being pursued by Georgia, Michigan and others); Georgia three-star linebacker Juwon Young (stops short of saying he's 100 percent committed to UM)...

Rangy 6-5 Lantana receiver Darrell Langham (rated 289th overall in ESPN's top 300); and defensive tackles Courtel Jenkins (11 sacks last season at a New Jersey high school; chose UM over Maryland and Pittsburgh) and Dalvon Stuckey, a former FSU commit who had 15 sacks at Pearl River Community College last season. Stuckey will arrive in January and should help immediately at a huge position of need. 


### During the holiday weekend, Golden told syndicated radio host Bill King that UM expects "closure" on the NCAA case "within a month." It could stretch many months longer if UM appeals its sanctions, which is possible if UM deems them unreasonable.... Golden said incoming freshman Corn Elder, who was Mr. Tennessee as a running back the past two years, will be used as a cornerback initially because of need but also will have the option of playing some at slot receiver and could end up there eventually if he chooses.

### A critical summer for center Jarvis Varnado begins Sunday in the Orlando Summer League, with the NCAA’s all-time leading shot-blocker conceding he must show the Heat that he can shoot a 15-footer “consistently and be a Birdman, an energy guy. If I’m active, I’ll be in this league a long time.” As for the more pressing matter of Andersen, a decision is expected shortly; he has been weighing offers from the Heat and other teams.

### Dolphins No. 2 quarterback Matt Moore conceded during a quiet moment recently: “Some might think it’s shocking I didn’t leave for a starting job. A lot of people find that confusing. But I didn’t feel good with the situations” where he could have competed to start. Plus, “I have a nice home here, friends, a great organization. I believe I’m a key component here.”

### Odd story of the holiday weekend: Pictures of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick wearing a Dolphins hat surfaced on the Internet, creating a minor stir. Kaepernick, irritated by the reaction, posted an Instragram picture of himself holding the Dolphins cap with this message: "This is the hat y'all mad at? I'm going to wear what I want regardless of what you think. All you need to worry about is that I grind for my teammates and the 49ers....#ridiculous #ya'll must be bored."

### The three pitching prospects that the Marlins got from the Dodgers for Ricky Nolasco are marginal: starter Angel Sanchez (2-7, 4.88 ERA but 70 strikeouts in 72 innings in low-level A ball); Triple A reliever Steve Ames (2-2, 3.67 ERA but .317 batting average against), and Triple A reliever Josh Wall (1-2, 5.60 ERA, three saves, .270 average against at Triple A). Wall has had two short stints with the Dodgers the past two years and allowed 17 runs in 12 2/3 innings. Yikes!

### Though his defense has been outstanding and his bat has picked up a bit recently, the Marlins expected shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to hit better than this (.223), considering he batted .273 in the minors and .254 in 41 games for Toronto. “He can hit .250, but he has to make his swing shorter,” Marlins executive Andre Dawson said.

### Marlins officials were told that like FIU and Sun Life Stadium, Marlins Park also will be considered by David Beckham if he picks Miami for an MLS expansion team. Beckham has visited FIU and Sun Life but not Marlins Park and his people have not given the local contenders an update on this thinking.

### Twitter: @flasportsbuzz


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.



Left to right: Drew Cannon, Jim Larranaga, Danny Ainge, Mike Zarren, Austin Ainge, Brad Stevens.
-- Baxter Holmes

I think that's Jim Larranaga sitting next to Danny Ainge and Drew Cannon. He must've come to watch his son Jay coach at the Orlando Summer League. Very cool.
-- Kevin O'Connor ‏@Kevin__OConnor




Want to be a Wimbledon champion? Maybe you should train at The U like @andy_murray
-- @ChrisYandle



And all the other big time Florida papers are also hiding the "terrible" evidence against Meyer and UF.
Not a cop out, more like wishful thinking by jealous cane retards like rboud.
They won't report what is not there.

Posted by: Reality Bites | 07/01/2013 at 04:04 PM

Just watched outside the lines and they had two writers from newspapers in the Gainsville/Orlando area that covered UF back when Urban and Hernandez was there. The whole feeling of the show was that Urban should be questioned and that he swept a lot under the rug during his time there.

-One reporter mentioned it was a joke in the press of how many arrests there was. And they use to keep count. he lost count at 30.
-He said that Urban had a code phrase "He did not perform" meant the player failed a drug test.
-They said someone should question Urban on how he did not know that Hernandez in his first 6 games punched a kid and broke his ear drun and was questioned in a murder.
-Tim Teebow was the face of the team and a lot was overlooked because Tim was such a good role model. They called Tim the GREAT Deodorizer. The Magic Eraser.
-Said Urban loves talking about wins and loved talking about Tim but if you ask him about arrests he shuts it down and will not talk about.

There was so much more. College FB live just started and the conversation just flowed into that show.

UF=THUG U.....
-- Canes12man

it will all come out in the wash ...




Frank Gore helping Lamar Miller as U Family
-- condor101


Reality Bites

It is comical and telling when you state a simple fact, post a simple truth, and are promptly called hater, loser, and all sort of names by cane fans. How easily insulted you are by the truth, how sensitive and thin skinned.
Simple fact is that the UM defense has sunk to a all time low, a pit like I said.
Simple fact that FSU, UF and Bama have done better in recruiting than Golden boy.
So holmie, stevie and johnny too bad the truth hurts so much but no need to shoot the messenger instead demand more form your team, coaches and administration.

And then there is lil green pea with his ACC network baloney and Pinstripe bowl and his little sign in Yankee Stadium that says "theacc.com"
Another simple fact is that the ACC teams have a terrible bowl record so once the new yorkers find out about the weak arse ACC losers they will get tired of them pretty soon.
Now lil green pea is on the Meyer, UF and Hernandez bash fest, take your best shot, nothing's gonna come out of that.
Let's go canes, see if we can improve our defensive ranking this year. Can't get any worse right?

Sad times

Posted by: Reality Bites | 07/08/2013 at 04:35 PM

You're still not getting it bud, by posting negative bulls**t about UM all day every day on a sports blog in the MIAMI HERALD, you are not just stating facts.

You are exercising a natural impulse to be a complete d****head and try to make people as miserable as you must be.

Reality Bites

Sorry that a dose of reality makes you and your fellow canes miserable my "bud".
I will try to help as much as I can
Duke is a good RB, though a bit small
See that is not negative
Go Heat!

« 1 2

The comments to this entry are closed.