‘Twas the Night Before Christmas . . .
~ The following article was contributed by beloved Eye of the Hurricane blogger, Delray ~
T’was the night before Christmas . . . I remember Christmas Eve as a child like it was yesterday. The Feast of the Seven Fish, relatives coming and going, but most of all I remember anticipating the arrival of St. Nick. My sisters and I would try to stay awake as long as possible in hopes to catch a glimpse of the mystical hero. This memory was crushed a few years ago when someone blogged on Eye of the Hurricane that there was no Santa Claus. However, I still believe and wait with anticipation every year on the most holy night.
There is only one other time of the year that has the buildup and anticipation of Christmas Eve: National Signing Day. The day when teenage boys hold the sporting community hostage as they make their decisions on where they will continue to not only play football, but to carve their legacy. Just like for Christmas, National Signing Day followers have a “Wish List.” Let’s take a look at some of the “Wish List” players I would like to see Miami snag come Wednesday.
Josh Harvey-Clemons (Valdosta, Ga./Lowndes) OLB – 6’4” 210
Josh is considered to be the best outside linebacker in this year’s class. He is often described as a monster with freakish athletic ability. Josh has made his official visit to Coral Gables this past weekend. Miami may be a dark horse as the other Florida schools are hot on his trail along with the home town Bulldogs. He would be an outstanding get for Miami. Although we have a few other players verbally commit at this position, he is too good to pass on and would no doubt push others for playing time.
Tracy Howard (Miramar HS) CB -6’0” 175
Tracy, like Josh, is considered to be the upper crust at his position. He was not interested in Miami at the start of the recruiting process but has shown some interest as of late. With the coercion of his Patriot teammate Malcolm Lewis (UM verbal) he decided to give the local school an official visit. Tracy’s desire for early playing time and being close to home may swing the pendulum our way.
Darius Hamilton (Don Bosco Prep School) DE – 6’4” 245
Darius found himself in a very interesting situation a few days ago. While waiting for his soon-to-be coach to show up for a visit, the coach never showed up. That coach was Greg Schiano, who decided to leave Rutgers and take a job in the NFL. Darius contacted the Miami coaching staff about taking a visit and they were happy to accommodate him. This is a great position of need for the Canes with more players than expected declaring themselves for the NFL draft. Again, the appeal for early playing time and south Florida are what we are hoping will draw Darius to Coral Gables.
Avery Young (Palm Beach Gardens HS) T – 6’5” 295
Avery is a hot commodity right now. He is actively being sought by numerous schools but our coaching staff was able to meet with him late this past week at Sailfish Marina. Avery is a top 5 in the country at his tackle position. This is not as desperate a position of need as the Canes have on the other side of the ball. However, with his size, athletic ability and upside, Miami would be foolish to not pursue Avery given his proximity to UM.
Eddie Goldman (Edison-Friendship Public Charter School) DT – 6’4” 315
Eddie is intriguing to me, though I am not completely sold on him being the next great DT. Granted, he is a five star prospect and of all the positions on the field, defensive tackle maybe the spot at which we need the most help. However, quite a few people question the kid’s heart when watching him on film. Does he go all out every play? Is he playing 100%? Is he hurt? When someone is a five star caliber player, these are not questions that should be asked. Yes, I’d love for Eddie to come become a ‘Cane, but after the last graduation class, I really don’t want to hear about potential or a player’s ceiling.
So this is my wish list. Everybody has their own. A lot can – and will – happen between now and Wednesday morning. We will feel happy, sad, angry and no doubt utter a few WTFs after hearing we receive a commit no one had on their radar. But in the end, they will be Miami Hurricanes.
Happy National Signing Day to you and yours from Eye of the Hurricane!