~The following article was contributed by beloved Eye of the Hurricane blogger and recruiting expert, bg1906~
Biggest Remaining Targets (6)
RB Alex Collins (Plantation, FL)
Current Situation: Decommit. Collins was committed to UM for most of the recruiting cycle before deciding to decommit so that he can take visits and truly experience the recruiting process. He’s visited Wisconsin, Florida State, and Florida, and is scheduled to visit UM this weekend (Jan 18th). Wisconsin shouldn’t be considered a threat much anymore because their staff is now at Arkansas and Collins will be visiting Arkansas the week following his Canes visit (Jan 25th). Many feel FSU has fallen off since Eddie Gran left to take the OC position at Cincinnati. This mean that it looks like it will come down to the Gators and the Canes for his services. We’ve been relentless in our recruiting of him and his Mom would like to see him at Miami. This will probably go until signing day but I really like our chances and Collins is a player the Canes really, really want in this class. Recently he played in the Semper Fidelis (Marine Corps) All-American game. If I had to go out on a limb, I’d say CANE, but the Gators and Noles are very much in the picture!
DT Keith Bryant (Delray Beach, FL)
Current Situation: Decommit. Keith Bryant is one of those recruits you either really like or you really dislike. He’s an attention monger and is never shy when it comes to interviews, Twitter, or anything else that allows HIM to be SEEN. At any rate, he decommitted from Miami in December and is currently thought to be favoring FSU. He’s a really good player, but an incredibly immature one, but hey he’s a youngster so I guess that’s par for the course. Canes coaches have continued to recruit him, but you have to wonder how long the Canes’ coaches will play “the game” with Bryant. It would seem that many fans could care less either way, as he has really “worn” on the psyche of Canes fans that do follow recruiting. I can’t call it with Bryant and could see him picking FSU or Miami on signing day. He’s scheduled to visit Miami on the 25th for which he said on Twitter, “I’m saving the best for last.” Sorry Keith but I don’t believe ANYTHING you say! Ha! J
LB Jermaine Grace (Miramar, FL)
Current Situation: Very High Interest. Grace is an undersized OLB prospect that I’ve compared to a poor man’s Sean Spence. He currently states that there is a 90% chance he’ll be a Cane come signing day and it would appear that Tennessee is running a distant #2. He’s already taken his official visit to Miami (Dec 7) and he visited Tennessee last weekend (Jan 11), while he’s set to visit Louisville this weekend (Jan 18). He’s said from the beginning that wherever Tracy Howard ended up, he’d likely end up, well TH3 is a Cane and I expect the same out of Grace. He’ll probably wait to announce on signing day but I would be SHOCKED if he didn’t announce UM. Grace was a Semper Fidelis (Marine Corps) All-American and led the East team in tackles while also displaying his athleticism and physicality.
LB Matthew Thomas (Miami, FL)
Current Situation: Very High Interest. Thomas is probably the #1 prospect on the Miami recruiting board. He’s a 5 star national recruit and has offers from virtually everyone including Alabama, Miami, Florida State, USC, and any other heavy hitting program you can think of. Thomas will definitely need to get bigger and stronger on the next level but he has all the tools to be a DOMINATING force in college. He will NOT be visiting UM this weekend as he says he’s seen Miami plenty of times. He visited Alabama last week (Jan 11) and this weekend (Jan 18th) will be at USC, followed by FSU (Jan 25) and Georgia (Feb 1). This leaves UM out in the cold for receiving a full official visit but Thomas remains adamant that he’ll take a mid-week visit to UM. This has ruffled the feathers of some Canes fans but with a recruit of his caliber you have to take what you can get, especially if he’s local. However, he and his HS Coach Tim “Ice” Harris, both insist that Miami is very much in it and I believe them. The key will be the players recruiting Thomas much like they (Duke and Deon) did with TH3. With that in mind, I think in the end Thomas will be a Cane. Just a gut feeling I’ve had all along, and while I could very well be wrong, I think we offer him the best opportunity to make an immediate impact , and in the end, I think that is what will get him to Coral Gables. *Fingers Crossed* J
OL Denver Kirkland (Miami, FL)
Current Situation: Very Highly Interested. Denver Kirkland is the #1 OL prospect on the board and the Canes have pursed him with great interest. He will be visiting this weekend (Jan 18th) before going to Arkansas for his final visit next weekend (Jan 25). The Canes major competition seems to be FSU, whom he officially visited in November. This is another battle that will go all the way until the end, but in the end, I expect Kirkland to stay home. Again, I could be wrong, but the lure of home and playing in front of his family and friends in Miami will be the difference. Again…Fingers Crossed! J
DT Jaynard Bostwick (Port St Lucie, FL)
Current Situation: Very Highly Interested. Bostwick and the Canes have been linked together for quite a while now. Arguably Bostwick is the #1 DT in the state (depending on who you ask) and the Canes are very high on his list. Our major competition appears to be Florida and Alabama. Bostwick is visiting UM this weekend (Jan 18) and visited Bama last week (Jan 11). His trip to Florida is currently set for Feb 1. Working in the Canes favor is the fact that his cousin Thurston Armbrister is currently on the roster, that his father is a big UM fan, and also the fact that he plays a position of need and has a chance to get in the rotation pretty quickly. That doesn’t always get you a prospect, but I think if his visit is a good one (they usually always are) and his academics are in order, I’d be really surprised if he didn’t choose Miami.
WR Stacy Coley (Oakland Park, FL)
Current Situation: Interested. Stacy Coley is an enigma. He’s really, really good but for most of the recruiting process the Canes didn’t recruit him too heavily. Then all of a sudden they turned on the full court press for him and have really been going all out in trying to get him to Coral Gables. He officially visited on Dec 7 and the Canes shot up his list but after losing George McDonald, you have to wonder where we stand now. Many feel he’ll end up at FSU and that is very possible as he has a great relationship with Coach Dawsey at FSU. However, don’t count the Canes out as Coley’s HC is former Cane Donnell Bennett. A unique facet of Coley’s recruitment is also the emergence of Boyd Anderson’s Eddie Jackson. Jackson has BLOWN UP as of late and has recently received offers from FSU and Alabama. Coley and Jackson are close and could seek to go to school as a package deal. If that’s the case, FSU could be the destination. This will be one to watch and will probably drag on until signing day.
CB Rashard Robinson (Pompano Beach, FL)
Current Situation: Committed to LSU. Currently committed to LSU, Robinson seems to be a prospect the Canes coaches are really trying to flip. They got him to unofficially visit on Dec 7 and the Canes seemed to make a move with him as he’s stated that Miami and LSU are now even. However, I think it will take a small miracle to get him out of his LSU commitment as they have a pipeline going over at Blanche Ely HS. I expect him to honor his commitment to LSU. Sorry. L
On the Radar (2)
TE/OL Nate Wozniak (Greenwood, IN)
Current Situation: Interested. Nate Wozniak is a HUGE (6’10, 255 lbs) TE prospect from Indiana. He officially visited Miami on Dec 7. He hasn’t committed and I’m not sure he could even if he wanted too. I think he’s a failsafe for if Jeremy Kerr jumps ship to FSU. He’s will officially visit Purdue this weekend (Jan 18) and then Minnesota the following weekend (Jan 25). His plans are to announce after his visit to Minnesota and I’d expect his decision to be Purdue unless the Canes lose Kerr to FSU and he’s as high on Miami as he says that he is. I wouldn’t expect him in this class.
WR Jordan Cunningham (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
Current Situation: Very Interested. Jordan Cunningham is a very good WR prospect and is being heavily recruited. It has been thought for some time that if given the opportunity he’d be a Cane, but it appears as though he doesn’t have a committable offer at this time. The staff seem to have thrown all their WR eggs in the Stacy Coley basket as WR isn’t a need position this cycle, as they did well last year and 2014 is absolutely loaded. Cunningham could get a committable offer in the 11th hour if the staff feels Coley is getting away, or they may just decide not to take a WR in 2013. Hard read here because there is a lot of uncertainty, but if numbers weren’t a concern this year, I believe Cunningham would’ve already been a commitment. Unfortunately for him, this is a year where numbers are a concern and as of today, I’d say he won’t be in the class. However, do pay attention to the Stacy Coley situation because it may directly impact whether Coley becomes a Cane or not.
Recently Lost Targets (1)
DE Tim Williams (Baton Rouge, LA)
Current Situation: Committed to Alabama. Up until yesterday (Jan 14), Tim Williams was thought to be favoring Miami. However, he took his first official visit to Alabama this past weekend (Jan 11) and promptly committed to the Tide. Some had hinted that Williams had already silently committed to UM but obviously that is something we’ll never know. At any rate, in interviews, Williams has always maintained that Miami was his favorite, so what changed? For one, distance was a factor, as Williams has a daughter and he and his family thought it better for him to stay close to home for that reason. Also he’s cancelled 4 unofficial visits to UM in the past and that left many thinking his family really didn’t want him that far away (14 hour drive to UM). He also had rumored academic issues but now that is all moot. He’s a bit undersized for a DE but Bama recruited him as a LB. He seemed to really warm to that and even went to Twitter to say he saw himself as a college LB and didn’t want to play DE. I’m not so sure that would’ve happened at Miami so its probably best for all parties that he made the decision that he did. Bama is on top of the world right now and if they beat you out for a recruit then there is no shame in that, especially if that recruit is from SEC country. Good luck to the young man.
Well fam, that’s the business for now and hopefully that’ll tide you over until NSD. Of course I’ll do a review of the Canes recruiting class as well as a preview of 2014 in coming weeks. Keep an eye out for that and until then remember…
IT’S ALWAYS ALL ABOUT THIS U!
Take care and Go Canes!