Miami recruiting: Hurricanes rebuild 2020 WRs corps with local commit
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.
Miami’s Marcus Fleming fills new void at WR in 2020 class
Early in the 2020 recruiting cycle, Miami’s wide receivers class was headed toward being historically great. The Hurricanes held a commitment from 4-star wide receiver Leonard Manuel, the top-ranked player in Florida for the Class of 2020, and another from 4-star wide receiver Jermaine Burton, who put up unprecedented numbers as a sophomore at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Steadily throughout the spring, Miami’s top-ranked class unraveled a bit. Manuel de-committed from the Hurricanes on April 17 and Burton followed suit May 13. Miami maintained the top spot in the 247Sports.com rankings for 2020 but lost two potential superstars.
Marcus Fleming might not be quite as high-profile a prospect as either blue-chip receiver, but his production is undeniable. The 3-star wide receiver from Miami Southridge High School led Miami-Dade County in receiving in 2017, while at Miami High School. On Wednesday, Fleming committed to Miami. The Hurricanes feel they’ve found a gem.
I’m glad to say I’m committed to the university of Miami 🙌🏾🙌🏾 I wanna thank my mom & everyone else who supported me such as @CoachDD_Cooney @r81dugans @MarkRicht @Andrew_Ivins glad to stay home 🤞🏾📗📙📗📙 pic.twitter.com/4js0ryQ58T
— 3️⃣ (@_humble_3) June 13, 2018
Fleming is now the only true wide receiver in the class, although Marc Britt also projects as a wide receiver. Britt, a 4-star athlete, is another local prospect who elevated himself into a national recruit with a strong sophomore season at Champagnat Catholic School in Hialeah. Even if the current group doesn’t have the same national stature Manuel and Burton provided, Miami is well on its way to one of the best wideout hauls in the country.
RELATED: 2019 Miami recruiting big board
Britt could play either inside or outside, and he could be an early contributor without many question marks. At 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, Fleming has a more clear flaw: his size means he almost certainly will have to play the slot at the next level.
At recent Mark Richt camps, Fleming blew away wide receivers coach Ron Dugans and the rest of the Hurricanes staff. The junior consistently got open for deep balls while playing outside and found creases for shorter gains in the middle of the field. The athlete even occasionally checked in at cornerback when Miami Southridge needed a stop. He picked up his offer at a Mark Richt Football Camp on June 2, then returned for an unofficial visit Saturday. He camped again Sunday and made it back to Coral Gables for another visit Wednesday, when he committed to the hometown team. Florida was in an informal top 2 for Fleming, who boasts nearly 30 offers.
The Hurricanes’ group of 2020 receivers isn’t just strong because of the potential wideouts in the class. Miami also holds a commitment from 4-star tight end Dominic Mammarelli, who currently sits atop the positional rankings for 2020. The Hurricanes would like to add at least one more wide receiver in the 2020 cycle, although there’s no clear commitment on the horizon for Miami. The Hurricanes have made other recent offers to 4-star wide receivers A.J. Henning and Marcus Rosemy, and 3-star wide receiver Deajaun McDougle.
CB Jaden Davis takes final official visit before decision
At one time, Jaden Davis seemed destined to stay in Florida for college. The 4-star cornerback from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., visited Miami and Florida far more than anyone else early in his recruiting process. The Gators’ old coaching staff pushed hard for the 5-9, 166-pound defensive back. When Florida ousted coach Jim McElwain, the Hurricanes seized pole position in his recruitment.
Plenty has changed since the start of the spring, though. After attending a junior day at Miami on March 24, Davis spent most of the spring exploring across the country. The senior took his first official visit to Oklahoma the weekend of April 14, then another to Penn State the weekend of April 21. He spent last weekend on another official visit in Kentucky and this weekend he’ll take his fourth. The Under Armour All-American told DieHards on Tuesday he plans to take a somewhat surprising official visit to Michigan State.
The official visit will in all likelihood be his last before he makes a commitment July 18.
Davis said he realizes people might be surprised by his decision to officially visit the Spartans. The corner didn’t list Michigan State among the top 10 he released earlier this year. The Spartans since turned up the pressure, though, and Davis figured he should make his way to East Lansing for the first time.
“It’s the relationship with Coach [Mark] Dantonio that got me to go up there and just take the official with them and just see something new,” Davis said. “I just wanted to see something different and maybe it will open my eyes to different things that I haven’t seen, so it could change everything, that one visit.”
While Davis won’t name a new top group quite yet, it’s fair to assume all the schools he’s officially visited are at least hanging around. The Spartans will have a chance to seriously position themselves for a commitment with a good visit this weekend.
Miami is still in the picture, too, after Davis visited last Thursday. Even as spots fill up in the Hurricanes’ secondary, The Opening finalist is confident Miami will have room for him should he want to stay in South Florida. The Hurricanes, Davis said, could want him to make an official visit in December should he pick the hometown team.
CB John Dixon prepares for South Carolina official visit
Davis isn’t the only in-state cornerback Miami likes who is set to head out of Florida this weekend for an official visit. John Dixon, a 3-star cornerback from George D. Chamberlain High School in Tampa, is headed out on an official visit of his own this weekend to South Carolina.
June 15th first official visit🐔 #spursup
— JDixon$ (@Jxnny_Dixon) June 13, 2018
Dixon named the Hurricanes to his top 5 earlier this year and also attended junior day on March 24. The Gamecocks, however, offered Dixon first and the 5-11, 170-pound defensive back feels most comfortable with South Carolina defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson.
“Coach T-Rob, that’s probably — specifically like as a person — my favorite coach throughout this whole process,” Dixon told DieHards earlier this year. “They were my first offer. They stuck with me throughout.”
Dixon is a high-upside prospect who plays both corner and wide receiver for George D. Chamberlain. A torn patella tendon means he slots in a bit lower on Miami’s board, though. The Hurricanes would like to see how he recovers. With spots filling up in Miami’s class, the Hurricanes might stop recruiting the senior before they get a chance, however.
RB option Daniel Carter takes first official visit to Pittsburgh
While Miami seemingly has honed in on 4-star running back Kenny McIntosh as its last tailback in the 2019 class, the Hurricanes still have other options on the board. There are long shots such as 5-star running back Trey Sanders and versatile prospects that include 4-star athlete Mark-Antony Richards.
Then there are other players from the Miami metropolitan area, with whom the Hurricanes are at least occasionally keeping in contact. Daniel Carter slides into this final group. Earlier this year, Miami was recruiting the 4-star running back from St. Thomas Aquinas harder than any other school. It’s not exactly the case anymore, although Carter did camp with the Hurricanes on Saturday.
This weekend, he’ll check out one of his new top suitors. The 5-10, 204-pound halfback will make his way to Pitt for an official visit.
Pitt official visit June 15 💯🙏🏾
— Daniel Carter (@KING__CARTER5) May 23, 2018
Pitt offered Carter on May 23, but the senior immediately lined up an official visit with the Panthers. Carter had stopped hearing much from other major suitors such as Miami, Ohio State and Michigan. An opening emerged for Pitt.
Even though he’s an Under Armour All-American, Carter is part of a loaded class of running backs in the Sunshine State, which is why he’s slipped a bit on the Hurricanes’ list of priorities.
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