MIAMI — Don Chaney Jr.‘s spring game Tuesday lasted two carries. The 4-star running back for Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Miami broke off one long run and then another before a collision brought him to the turf. A Homestead (Fla.) High School defender dived into the elite halfback’s right knee and Chaney felt a pop. He spent the second half alternating between limping the Sanchez Field sidelines and lying on a trainers table at de la Cruz Stadium.
Only one college was there in Miami to watch Chaney’s abbreviated spring finale: Miami. The hometown team has been the most consistent presence in the 6-foot, 190-pound athlete’s recruitment. The Hurricanes found another way to separate themselves Tuesday.
“They were in today,” Chaney told DieHards after the spring victory. “It was a really good chance to see them come out and support me.”
2020 Top100 RB Don Chaney Jr. can play a little CB. Miami the only school out here watching him today. pic.twitter.com/6yF2zbgkw2
— Andrew Ivins (@Andrew_Ivins) May 22, 2018
Chaney is optimistic the injury is just a contusion and not an anterior cruciate ligament injury. He’ll get an MRI on Wednesday to be sure. Either way, Chaney will be far and away Miami’s top target at running back in the Class of 2020.
The 247Sports.com rankings have Chaney as Florida’s No. 1 running back in 2020 and the state’s No. 3 overall prospect. The tailback has visited the Hurricanes twice since the start of April, once for a spring practice April 5 and again for Miami’s spring game April 14.
Great day at UM today!!!🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/Srt1N2X7nE
— Don (@Donchaney1_fpa) April 5, 2018
Each visit nudges Chaney a bit closer to a decision. The junior openly declared the Hurricanes his favorite in February, so even though he plans to be patient, Chaney’s pledge is Miami’s to lose.
“I’m getting as comfortable as I can because I’m trying to get a feeling of the college, no matter if I pick [Miami] or not, but I’m trying to get a feeling of the college, a college facility, how the team works,” Chaney said. “It’s been good going there, getting the experience that I need.”
If there is one threat to the Hurricanes at this point, it’s probably Georgia. While most of Miami’s top 2020 targets visited Coral Gables, Fla., on March 31 for an underclassman day, Chaney was in Athens to see the Bulldogs. Beyond the Hurricanes, Georgia is the only school Chaney knows he wants to visit this summer.
Still, Chaney admits the gulf between the two programs is massive.
“It’s pretty, pretty big,” Chaney said. “They call my dad every day or my dad calls them every day, but it’s been a good process so far.”
Chaney, who will also play cornerback and free safety for Belen Jesuit Prep this season, isn’t sure when he’ll return to Miami. He does know the Hurricanes will receive an official visit, though.
Interest will certainly pick up for Chaney — as long as his injury isn’t too serious. South Carolina has always been a logical school to be in the mix. Don Chaney, the local prospect’s father, played for the Gamecocks.
There’s a long way to go. For now though, it seems close to inevitable Chaney will commit to Miami at some point.
“We’re going to go back to visit again,” Chaney said, “and then my junior year for an official visit.”