Noon Friday Al-Quadin incident; Updating UM's 2015 recruiting class and local targets; Dolphins, RB talk; Heat
Noon update: South Miami police last night investigated a domestic disturbance at the apartment of Al-Quadin Muhammad, the UM defensive lineman who is suspended from school this semester after punching a student three times -- and breaking his nose --- in an April incident at Sun Life Stadium.
Sgt. Henry Guzman said Muhammad was detained and eventually released and no charges will be filed.
"He was not at fault in any way," Guzman said."We got a call last night regarding a disturbance at his apartment building. He was not at fault. We are trying to finish up the investigation and prepare our reports, but he was not at fault in any way."
He thus would seem on track to return to UM in January, unless the school decides otherwise. UM declined to comment.
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FRIDAY BUZZ COLUMN
The direct Twitter messages from UM coaches, James Coley in particular, light up Alabama oral commitment Shawn Burgess Becker’s phone five or six times a day, by his estimate. Some tell the four-star Coconut Creek Monarch safety how much UM coaches want him. Others include a picture of his face superimposed atop a Miami jersey.
The Hurricanes have claimed several significant victories in this consuming, competitive, cut-throat battle for the top recruits in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
But a lot more work needs to be done locally on this UM class, and FSU, Alabama and Louisville, among others, are trying to seize on UM’s primary vulnerabilities: crowd size and several blowout losses since last November.
Former UM star Lamar Thomas, now a Louisville assistant, recently posted a picture of a half-empty Sun Life Stadium on his Facebook page to try to damage UM in recruiting. (We would expect more from you, Lamar.)
Miramar four-star cornerback Tyrek Cole, who recently was dropped by FSU (according to rivals.com) and now may end up at West Virginia, mentioned last month how FSU has so many advantages over UM now: “The winning part. FSU is at an NFL level. They have an indoor practice facility. Miami doesn’t. And the atmosphere favors FSU.”
FSU coach Jimbo Fisher told Seminoles fans in Coral Gables in May: “This area to me is critical. We are always going to get these kids.”
Fisher has landed several, including Matthew Thomas and LaMarcus Joyner; Hallandale four-star linebacker Shmar Kilby-Lane is orally committed for 2015. But UM has beaten out FSU and many others for several other elite local recruits, including Duke Johnson, Stacy Coley and Chad Thomas.
Miami Central High coach Roland Smith believes “Miami has to beat FSU [Nov. 15] to let kids know they’re back.”
That will be difficult, but UM still has a lot going for it: a marquee brand, a chance for some recruits to play immediately and often in their hometown, a university that’s well-regarded academically, and a staff that connects well with recruits.
“Al Golden writes to me every day, asking how my mom is,” Cole said. “Most head coaches don’t do that.”
UM so far has 21 oral commitments for its 2015 class, including six from Dade or Broward. Two of the six local recruits are high-end four-star prospects: St. Thomas Aquinas running back Jordan Scarlett (averaging 7.0 yards per carry this season) and four-star Killian safety Jaquan Johnson.
Another UM oral commitment, Booker T. Washington four-star running back Mark Walton, says he will graduate a year early, in 2015, if he gets the needed test scores.
Because of their running back depth, the Hurricanes didn’t sweat Westminster Christian four-star running back Jordan Cronkrite’s de-commitment this week.
UM’s class, ranked 12th by rivals.com, also has four four-star players from outside South Florida: Bradenton-based defensive end Scott Patchan and offensive lineman Tyree St. Louis, Orlando running back Dexter Williams (said he is “90 percent” committed to UM), and California-based offensive tackle Bar Milo (Brad Kaaya’s friend and former teammate).
Among the local players UM is still pursuing:
### Coconut Creek Monarch’s Calvin Ridley (the nation’s No. 1-rated receiver) and teammate Burgess-Becker (rivals.com’s No. 83 overall prospect) say their Alabama commitments are solid.
Burgess Becker said “the SEC is a better fit because there are a lot of good players. I have a really good connection with [Alabama assistant] Mario Cristobal.”
Ridley said: “I really want to get away from home. Nothing against Miami.”
### Plantation American Heritage five-star Tarvarus McFadden, rivals.com’s fourth-best cornerback, said the Hurricanes offered him but said they aren’t in his top five, which includes Georgia, LSU, FSU, Ohio State and Central Florida.
### His teammate, quarterback Torrance Gibson --- rated 49th among all prospects --- said Ohio State is his front-runner “because Urban Meyer puts people in the league and works with left-handed quarterbacks” but said “Al Golden and James Coley reach out to me every day on Twitter” and he’s considering the Hurricanes because they offered him as a quarterback.
### Miami Central’s four-star Da’Vante Phillips, rated the nation’s No. 6 receiver, has said FSU has the edge because close friend Dalvin Cook is there but hasn’t ruled out UM.
### UM is in the mix for several other local 2015 prospects, including --- among others --- Booker T. Washington tight end Devonaire Clarington (UM in his top seven), St. Thomas Aquinas four-star receiver D’Vante Peete (“Playing in Miami with Brad Kaaya would be great”), St. Thomas three-star cornerback Rashard Causey (a very soft FAU oral commitment who says he likes UM and South Carolina in particular),four-star Westminster Christian safety/running back Tim Irvin (more than 30 offers) and three-star Booker T. Washington receiver Antonio Callaway, who has UF, Georgia and LSU as his top three.
### There remains mutual interest between the Dolphins and former Oregon star running back LaMichael James, a 2012 second-round pick who requested his release from the 49ers last week because he wants a more substantial role. James is expected to take the weekend to consider his options. He worked out for the Dolphins on Tuesday.
James has averaged 4.5 yards per attempt on just 41 NFL carries and ranked 10th in the NFL in punt return average in 2013, at 10.9.
### Dolphins running back Knowshon Moreno, out with a dislocated elbow, has told teammates he’s aiming to return immediately after Miami’s bye, Oct. 12 against Green Bay.
### One thing that has to change: The Dolphins need to get back to maximizing the downfield receiving skills of Charles Clay, who is averaging 6.4 yards per reception (among the worst among starting tight ends) after averaging 14.6, 11.8 and 11 the past three seasons. Clay, in a contract year, said teams aren’t paying any more attention to him than last year. He has been bothered by a knee injury but doesn't use that as an excuse.
### Udonis Haslem said the four days that five Heat players spent bonding and working on their games at IndianaUniversity was eye-opening with regard to new addition Josh McRoberts.
“Everybody knows he’s an excellent passer,” Haslem said. “But people are going to be really surprised by his toughness. Underrated athlete. Can shoot it from range.”
### Twitter: @flasportsbuzz