Want to know what the University of Miami football team might look like in a few years? Turn on the tube Saturday afternoon and flip between ABC and NBC for a pair of High School All-Star games that will pit as many as seven future Hurricanes against some of the best talent in the country.
At 1 p.m. on NBC, the top two defensive recruits in UM's class -- Northwestern defensive tackle Marcus Forston and linebacker Arthur Brown, a standout from Kansas -- will represent the East in the U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio. Also involved: former Cane commitment and Pompano Ely cornerback Patrick Johnson, who is expected to finally announce his intentions to attend LSU.
At 2 p.m. on ABC, linebackers Ramon Buchanon (Melbourne Palm Bay), quarterback Taylor Cook (Rice, Tex.) and three other Northwestern Bulls -- linebacker Sean Spence, receiver Aldarius Johnson and offensive lineman Brandon Washington will play in the Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando. Other potential Canes to watch include: Booker T. Washington cornerback Brandon Harris and Jacksonville Trinity Christian running back Jamie Harper. My money is on Spence to be the standout in this game. I love this kids' game and I expect him to impress many of you.
- While those guys will play, the long-awaited announcement from Seffner Armwood offensive tackle Matt Patchan is expected to take place between 1 and 5 p.m. tomorrow in Tampa. Patchan, whose father played at The U, is deciding between the hated Gators and the Canes. I've told you for awhile I thought he was headed to Florida. But who knows at this point. We'll find out tomorrow where he ends up.
- I spoke to Marcus Forston briefly tonight about how his week in San Antonio has been going. "I've been kicking ass," Forston told me. "It's been a lot of fun. Arthur [Brown] and I have been chilling, having a good time. I've been trying to convince a few a guys to pick The U. Hopefully it works."
- Speaking of getting guys to join The U, a close friend of mine in the business is convinced Hialeah defensive end/tackle Corey Liuget will end up switching his commitment from Illinois to the Canes before it is all said and done. My friend, who is doing a story on Liuget for FloridaFB.com, told me Liuget told him he's very excited about the possibility of playing next to Forston and on the Canes defense. What's holding Liuget back? His family wants Liuget to leave South Florida and experience something different. I plan to talk to Liuget, who played in an All-Star game here on Friday, on my own in the coming weeks and hope to have him on a future recruiting podcast for you (which will pick up again next week with Larry Blustein and Charles Fishbein).
- As for the early enrollment -- I know many of you keep asking -- I've been told UM will have a record number of early enrollees this spring. On the list of those who have already filed the necessary paperwork to begin classes on January 14th: Forston, Brown, LB Jordan Futch, Spence, DB Joe Wylie, QB Jacory Harris, QB Cannon Smith, FB Patrick Hill, TE John Calhoun, WR Aldarius Johnson and K Jake Wieclaw.
- Now, to my other favorite weekly topic: defensive coordinator. I know the Sporting News has reported a few new names recently -- including Arizona defensive coordinator and former UM defensive backs coach Mark Stoops. I spoke to a few of my UM comrads Friday and asked them to talk about the names circulating. Stoops was received warmly. Current Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong drew mixed reactions. And Jon Tenuta, the former defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, was flat out laughed at. "That guy is not well liked at all," my source told me. "Forget about him."