PLANTATION, Fla. — Miami had a handful of options for making its final pitch to Andrew Chatfield before National Signing Day. The Hurricanes hoped the 4-star weak-side defensive end might take an unofficial visit to Coral Gables this past weekend when three of his teammates from Plantation’s American Heritage School were taking official visits. They also had a chance to send coach Mark Richt in-home with the 6-foot-3, 220-pound edge rusher at the end of last week.
No photos leaked of Chatfield’s planned in-home visit with Richt, and for good reason. The defensive end told DieHards on Monday that Richt didn’t visit Chatfield, and with the dead period underway Monday, Miami missed its chance.
“I didn’t get a chance with them, but I talked to them, though,” Chatfield told DieHards.
It’s another foreboding sign for the Hurricanes as Signing Day rapidly approaches. The 247Sports Crystal Ball for Chatfield has swung convincingly in Florida’s favor and those in Gainesville apparently are confident in landing the defensive lineman.
The Gators and Hurricanes will find out for sure Wednesday. The senior will announce his college choice at American Heritage. While Chatfield also will have a Florida State hat and potentially an Oklahoma cap on the table in front of him, it’s become a Florida-Miami battle.
Both teams have their flaws. For the Hurricanes, Chatfield admits he was frustrated early on with Miami, a dream school that was reluctant to offer until November.
“At first it was getting to me,” Chatfield said, “but I just had to let go of it.”
For a while, it seemed to be in the past. Chatfield attended about a half dozen games at Hard Rock Stadium last fall. He took an official visit in early January with his parents.
I had a great Official visit at University of Miami #305 🙌🏾 pic.twitter.com/DxuVpTwJKq
— Andrew Chatfield™ ⛽️ (@Drew_Chatfield) January 15, 2018
The Hurricanes’ other flaw is one they couldn’t control. Miami runs a 4-3 defense, which means Chatfield would have to primarily play with a hand in the dirt. He envisions himself as a 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level. The Gators would let him play him play that position.
If Chatfield is to overlook the positional question marks, it will be because of how thin the Hurricanes are on the defensive line. Chatfield would almost certainly contribute as a freshman.
“It’s a big factor because Miami has only, what, like three defensive ends that’s there right now?” Chatfield said. “They’re about to have two more come in. There’ll probably be like four defensive ends in total.
“That’s what I was looking at a lot, but it’s just a 4-3, my hand’s going to be in the dirt a lot. But they also said they have packages that I’m also standing up, running around a lot.”
For Florida, the issue is simply Chatfield’s unfamiliarity with the new coaching staff. His relationship with former coach Jim McElwain’s staff stemmed from former cornerbacks coach Corey Bell, who is Chatfield’s cousin.
The Gators defense probably works better for Chatfield at the next level. They’ve also been a factor in his recruitment longer than Miami. The only question is whether unfamiliarity with the new coaches will scare him away.
“I just don’t know too much about the new staff,” Chatfield said, “but I know I’m cool with like the players and stuff.”