After spending the weekend tweeting up a storm, UM recruiting coordinator Brennan Carroll looked like he was going to give his "WelcomeToTheU" bat signal a rest Monday.
About 15 minutes before midnight, Carroll sent out the signal, alerting legions of Hurricanes fans they've netted yet another commitment to the Class of 2014 in Miami Northwestern defensive back Ryan Mayes.
Like many of the latest players to pledge their allegiance to Carroll, coach Al Golden and the orange and green, Mayes (6-2, 185) isn't a kid who is surrounded by a lot of hype or lofty rankings by recruiting experts. But he's a player UM coaches got a chance to see in person during Golden's football camp over the weekend and liked enough to offer them a scholarship.
"They're looking at him as a corner," said Miami Northwestern coach Stephen Field, a former UM grad assistant who now has two seniors committed to the Hurricanes. "Ryan's not a kid who was being recruited by everybody yet, but he did have solid offers from Rutgers, Syracuse, Western Kentucky and FAU. He's a tall, physical kid who has been working hard with our coaches everyday since he got here. He went down to the Miami camp and showed the coaches there what he's learned. To me you can't really evaluate kids just on what Rivals or some website says. There's no better recruiting tool than what you see with your own eyes. Ryan is going to be another solid D-1 defensive back."
Northwestern defensive backs coach Ronard Whitehead sent four starters to D-1 schools last season including star Artie Burns to Miami, De'Andre Coley to Arkansas, Aaron Brown to Cincinnati and Leverick Jackson to Western Kentucky.
Mayes didn't play for Northwestern last season, but was a key contributor at Dr. Krop High in Miami. He played on both sides of the ball for the Lightning, catching eight passes for 246 yards and four touchdowns on offense. He also had two interceptions and a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown against South Dade.
"Mayes was at Krop last year and really caught my eye," said recruiting analyst Charles Fishbein of Elite Scouting Services. "He's actually one of the few who played well in the playoff game against Columbus. He's a long, athletic kid. To me, it's kind of like a similar situation to Ereck Flowers who nobody knew when he was at Krop. He ended up with a bunch of BCS offers after he went to Norland and played on the state championship team."
Of the Hurricanes' 17 commitments in the Class of 2014, Fishbein said the best under-the-radar recruits is probably Carol City quarterback/receiver Trayone Gray.
"Carol City kids are kind of underrated and always seem to play above their ranking when they get to college," Fishbein said. "He's another one of those tough kids who can play multiple positions.
"[Dillard defensive back Dennis Turner] I saw in the spring game. He looked good at receiver, but he's probably better at safety. He hasn't played a ton of football, but is one of those kids who has size and speed. He went to [Golden's] camp and ran a 4.4.
"[Orange Park Oakleaf defensive back Darrion Owens] is a very talented kid. I saw him for the first time as a 10th grader. Big, long kid. He's probably going to grow into a linebacker. They're all good players. They're not taking many duds right now."
> UM announced Monday night a total of 2,072 campers visited Coral Gables during Golden's five camp sessions, including approximately 1,000 athletes during the final sessions June 22 and 23.