Miami recruiting: Former commit Jesiah Pierre places Hurricanes in top 5
Miami is on its way to one of the best recruiting classes in the nation. David Wilson and the DieHards.com team are in the eye of the storm to help you track the Hurricanes. Read his daily notebooks here at 6:30 p.m. ET from Sunday through Thursday and follow us on Twitter for the latest Miami recruiting news.
In-state OLB Jesiah Pierre names Miami to top 5
Of all the hits Miami has taken with de-commitments this year, Jesiah Pierre’s decision to back off his pledge to the Hurricanes stung most. Although he’s only a 3-star outside linebacker in the 247Sports composite rankings, Pierre primarily plays middle linebacker. The Hurricanes viewed him as perhaps the best inside linebacker prospect in Florida.
Still, it wasn’t a major surprise Pierre de-committed from Miami. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound linebacker visited Florida a number of times throughout the spring. He was never totally firm in his commitment to the Hurricanes, which dated all the way to 2016.
Still, it didn’t exactly seem like Pierre was blowing smoke when he wrote Miami was still one of his top choices in announcing his de-commitment. The senior visited Coral Gables, Fla., on April 5 for a spring practice. Safeties coach Ephraim Banda even made his way to Mount Dora (Fla.) Christian Academy, formerly known as Christian Home & Bible School, to watch Pierre just a day before his May 18 de-commitment.
On Monday, the in-state prospect made the notion official. Pierre’s updated top 5 has the Hurricanes making the cut along with North Carolina, East Carolina, Mississippi and the Gators.
— 🔱Jesiah Pierre🔱 (@JesiahPierre) June 11, 2018
Miami, Florida and the Tar Heels seemed like three obvious inclusions. Pierre is extremely familiar with the Hurricanes and Gators, and has repeatedly expressed interest in visiting Chapel Hill, N.C., this summer. Ole Miss, meanwhile, only offered Pierre earlier this year, while East Carolina has quietly built a strong relationship with Pierre behind the scenes.
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With three outside linebackers firmly locked in to the Hurricanes’ Class of 2019, Miami will be choosy about adding a fourth. Pierre, who also plays running back, still seems to be a prospect the Hurricanes want because of his ability to play the middle and his significant upside. ESPN ranks Pierre as a 4-star prospect, and because he plays at a small school, Pierre is relatively untested. Physically, however, Pierre possesses the ideal traits for a middle linebacker.
At this point, Florida appears to be the favorite for Pierre. The athlete visited Gainesville far more than he did the Miami metropolitan area in the spring. Florida is also the hometown team for the Central Florida native.
“I really like what they’re about,” Pierre told DieHards in April. “Florida Gators is a really big place, a really known place. I never really viewed the football stuff or viewed the campus like that.
“It’s a really exciting place.”
Re-commitments are uncommon, so it’s hard to consider the Hurricanes a truly serious contender until Pierre returns to Miami.
His strong relationship with Banda and defensive coordinator Manny Diaz could help the Hurricanes, though. The assistant coaches always told Pierre to take his time with his recruitment.
“Stay true to yourself and just trust the process,” Pierre said of Miami’s message to him. “It’s going to be hard here and there, but you’ve got to go with what your heart follows.”
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