Miami Recruiting Update: 8/20

With the beginning of the 2019 season upon us, here is an update on current UM commits as well as possible future ones.

We’re currently in the dead period of recruiting as teams around the country are beginning fall mini camp to prepare for another long season. With the season just around the corner beginning with the Canes and Gators facing off on Saturday, recruiting becomes even more crucial when the dead period concludes as recruits can now take their official visits and experience what game day feels like. Currently, Manny Diaz and the Hurricanes have 23 commitments in the Class of 2020 and 247Sports currently has them running with the 12thbest class in the country. We should expect the Canes to take in 28-29 recruits during this cycle and that number could rise if there are any impending transfers in the future. Here’s an update on the state of recruiting right now, including some info on current commits as well as names you should keep an eye on for the next few months.

Quarterback

Commits: Tyler Van Dyke (Suffield Academy, Suffield, CT)

Miami is expected to take only one QB this class and it looks like QB coach Dan Enos is locked in with Connecticut gun-slinger Tyler Van Dyke. Van Dyke is one of the top pro-style QBs in the nation who looks very confident lining up under center with a great arm and excellent size at 6’4”. Consider recruiting at this position done and over with for the 2020 cycle.

Running Back

Commits: Don Chaney (Belen Jesuit Prep, Miami, FL)

Targets: None

Running backs coach Eric Hickson had only been a part of Manny Diaz’s staff for three weeks, but that’s all the time he needed to make an impact on the program by landing the commitment of Don Chaney. Chaney is an elite back, with a long, athletic build to complement his excellent speed (4.4 40-yard dash) and vision.

Miami had been on the tail of Jaylan Knighton from Deerfield Beach for some time, but there were reports that he wanted to be the featured ball carrier with whatever school he chose, which led to him to opt for FSU instead. Miami may look to add one more back to the class but with no current seniors and two very talented sophomores on the team in Cam Harris and Lorenzo Lingard, it is not a dire issue at the moment.

Wide Receiver

Commits: Michael Redding (IMG Academy, Bradenton, FL), Marcus Fleming (Miami Northwestern, Miami, FL), Xavier Restrepo (Deerfield Beach, Deerfield Beach, FL)

Targets: Dazalin Worsham (Hewitt-Trussville, Trussville, AL), Thaiu Jones-Bell (Carol City, Miami, FL), Xzavier Henderson (Columbus, Miami, FL), Marc Britt (Miami Christian, Miami, FL)

As it is right now, Miami currently has an excellent haul at wide receiver, starting with Michael Redding from IMG Academy to the more local guys in Marcus Fleming (Miami Northwestern) and Xavier Restrepo (Deerfield Beach). Redding is an outstanding talent with the size (6’3”), speed (4.5 40), and athleticism (41.4” vertical) that establishes him among the top receivers in the country. Fleming fits the mold of the prototypical dynamic receiver that comes out of South Florida every year with excellent speed as well as quick feet. In addition, Xavier Restrepo grew up a huge Hurricanes fan and stayed patient for his offer from receivers coach Taylor Stubblefield, committing on the spot in May.

The Canes are looking to add one more receiver to the fold and it will be interesting to see who makes a decision first. Alabama-based Dazalin Worsham took an official visit to Miami for Paradise Camp in June and was previously committed to Alabama. He de-committed soon after his visit to Coral Gables and things still seem to be trending in Miami’s favor. Xzavier Henderson, out of Columbus High in Miami, is the younger brother of current Florida DB CJ Henderson. The 6’4” Henderson will not make his commitment until January but Miami is more so on the outside looking in unless they can put together a solid 2019 season. Things could get very interesting with Thaiu Jones-Bell as the Carol City product has said his interest could grow in the Hurricanes should they have a great season, but pulling him from his commitment to Alabama is already a tough task in itself.

Tight End

Commits: Dominic Mammarelli (Naples, Naples, FL)

Targets: Darnell Washington (Desert Pines, Las Vegas, NV), Theo Johnson (Holy Names High School, Windsor, ON, Canada)

From Naples, the four-star Mammarelli committed to Mark Richt’s staff a little over a year ago and has not wavered at all.

Miami is going after a unicorn in five-star tight end Darnell Washington from Las Vegas and they appear all in. A lot of factors are working in Miami’s favor, which include the NFL pipeline at the tight end position as well as having Brevin Jordan and two other current players from Las Vegas in what could be the beginning of a Vegas-to-Miami pipeline of some sorts. Miami’s interest in Washington has been reciprocated by the 6’8” playmaker, who has already made two visits to Coral Gables and will return for an official visit in December. The 11th-ranked recruit in the nation also has plans to officially visit Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee.

The Canes are still heavily involved with Theo Johnson, as the elite tight end from Canada has Miami in his top 7 along with Alabama, Iowa, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State.

Offensive Line

Commits: Jalen Rivers (Oakleaf, Orange Park, FL), Chris Washington (Overton, Nashville, TN), Antonio Smith (Vanguard, Ocala, FL)

Targets: Issiah Walker (Miami Norland, Miami, FL)

With the limited depth currently on the team, Miami’s need at all offensive line positions goes without saying and a reload is an absolute must for offensive line coach Butch Barry. Barry has been working his magic and currently has a great trio of commits. Starting off with Rivers and his 6’6” 331 lb. frame, Barry won the offensive tackle over the likes of Alabama, Florida, and Georgia and figures to be a big part of the O-Line for the foreseeable future. Smith was relatively unknown when Miami received his commitment in March but he could be turn out to be a solid find, as he was also evaluated by Florida and Florida State before choosing the Canes. Same goes for Chris Washington out of Nashville, who’s very lanky with his 6’7”, 269 lb. frame and fits the mold of Barry looks for in raw linemen. Washington made the trip down for Paradise Camp and performed well enough to warrant an offer. He did not hesitate on announcing his intentions, committing during that same night.

Walker is a former South Carolina commitment and plays his high school football only a few minutes away from Hard Rock Stadium at Miami Norland. South Florida isn’t known for producing a lot of great offensive tackles but Walker is a great one. He’s made numerous visits to Coral Gables and has built a great relationship with offensive line coach Butch Barry. Based off what he’s said, you could assume the Canes are in the lead with Walker but he’s also strongly considering Florida and Florida State.

Defensive End

Commits: Chantz Williams (Oakleaf, Orange Park, FL), Quentin Williams (Mallard Creek, Charlotte, NC), Romello Height (Dublin, Dublin, GA)

Targets: None

At one point, Chantz Williams and OL commit Jalen Rivers iterated that they would be a package deal and both would play for the same school. When it came time for Rivers to make his decision in June, he opted to play for the Hurricanes but Williams had stopped considering Miami and it seemed like it was between Florida and Auburn. Then long and behold, it’s unclear what happened behind the scenes that pushed Williams to Miami but it was enough to change his mind in a span of one month. Like Rivers, Williams was highly recruited and is considered a top-10 defensive end in the country. Quentin Williams and his family were diehard fans of the orange and green and it showed when he committed to the The New Miami in late June. Despite his three-star status, Williams has been grading out really well at combines and events, putting on a show that included a 33.4 inch vertical, a 4.80 40-yard dash, and a 4.41 shuttle time. Miami added Height towards the beginning of July and although he is listed on recruiting services as an outside linebacker, Miami is recruiting him to play defensive end due to his size at 6’4”.

Defensive Tackle

Commits: Elijah Roberts (Colombus, Miami, FL), Tre’Von Riggins (Lakewood, St. Petersburg), Willie Moise (Chaminade-Madonna, Hollywood, FL)

Targets: Westley Neal (Gulliver Prep, Miami, FL)

Riggins and Moise have been long-time commits, but the recruitment of Roberts has been an adventure for the Canes. Roberts originally committed to Miami as a junior but de-committed this past December amidst Miami’s down year along with the resignation of Mark Richt. Coach Diaz made Roberts a priority once he took the head coaching job and despite interest from other Power 5 schools, Roberts made the decision to re-commit during Paradise Camp. Riggins and Moise are four-star recruits and both have been committed to the Canes since 2018. Both seem fairly firm in their commitments.

Miami continues to pursue Westley Neal from Gulliver Prep, as he currently holds a top four of Miami, Pitt, Rutgers, and Indiana with a decision expected around February’s national signing day.

Linebacker

Commits: Corey Flagg (North Shore, Houston, TX), Tirek Austin-Cave (Camden, Camden, NJ), AJ Mathis (Largo, Largo, FL)

Targets: Justin Flowe (Upland, Upland, CA), Ruben Hyppolite (McArthur, Hollywood, FL)

Bracing for the loss of three senior linebackers, Miami’s been on the hunt for fresh faces at the position. They added Avery Huff and Sam Brooks during this past cycle and currently, they’re in a good position to add 3-4 in this class. As of now, they have three commitments in Flagg, Austin-Cave, and Mathis. All are three-stars but they are all tackling machines.

Now to Justin Flowe. The chances of Miami landing any top-ranked prospect from the west coast are usually slim, especially when you consider competing with the USC’s, the UCLA’s, the Oregon’s, and the Washington’s of that side of the country. But Miami has done their due diligence with the consensus top inside linebacker in the nation out of Upland, CA. Flowe made the trip to Miami in April for one of the spring scrimmages and that was just enough to make his top 4, along with Oregon, Georgia, and Clemson. The Canes are getting an official visit from Flowe during the season, which further solidifies their chances but it’s still a long road ahead, especially when the reigning national champions are in the conversation.

Hyppolite also remains in heave consideration while he is still committed to Maryland and it is looking likely that he will take an official visit to Miami as well as Alabama.

Cornerback

Commits: Jaiden Francois (South Dade, Homestead, FL), Justin Hodges (Western, Davie, FL), Marcus Clarke (Winter Park, Winter Park, FL)

Targets: Kelee Ringo (Saguaro, Scottsdale, AZ), Brian George (Highland JUCO, Belle Glade, FL), Jalen Harrell (Champagnat Catholic, Hialeah, FL)

Miami has an All-Florida team of CB commits, led by arguably the best defensive player in Miami-Dade county last season in Jaiden Francois. Francois led the county in interceptions with 13. Cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph may have found a diamond in the rough in Justin Hodges, who has that long wiry frame that Miami now covets in cornerbacks. Coaches feel the same way about Clarke, who is an outstanding athlete as he also had outstanding season last year when he played at receiver for Winter Park HS.

As for the remaining targets, there’s still a lot to be determined with regards to whether Miami is willing to add another corner to the group they currently have committed. Kelee Ringo is considered arguably the top corner in the nation and he is currently in the process of sorting out his official visits, with Miami having a great shot at earning one of them. Brian George, originally from Belle Glade, FL, is one of the top JUCO cornerbacks in the nation and UM is in his recently announced top 10.

Safety

Commits: Daran Branch (Amite, Amite, LA), Keyshawn Washington (South Dade, Homestead, FL)

Targets: Avantae Williams (Deland, Deland, FL), Ladarius Tennison (Rockledge Rockledge, FL), Jahvonte Royal (St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, FL), Brian Balom (Miramar, Miramar, FL)

Miami has two quality commits in Lousiana-based Daran Branch as well as South Dade’s Keyshawn Washington, who is teammates with Francois. It is likely that Washington will get moved to the striker position due of his 6’3”, 190 lb. frame.

There’s still lots and lots of fluidity at the safety position for recruiting, as the departure of Derrick Smith opens up one more spot. Miami is still actively recruiting four safeties, with the priority being Avantae Williams out of Deland HS. Williams is a consensus top-3 safety in the country and on top of being a former Miami commitment, he is also the cousin of current UM running back Lorenzo Lingard.. Tennison was also a former Miami commitment for a couple of months. Nonetheless, safeties coach Ephraim Banda has continued to relay his interest and this is currently a head-to-head battle with Auburn for the three-star prospect. Royal is currently committed to Pitt but was recently given an official offer by Miami. He continues to entertain Miami’s inquiries and things could get interesting with the St. Thomas Aquinas star down the line. Miramar HS product Brian Balom is also an option for the Canes as he was extended an offer after a terrific performance during Paradise Camp.

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