David Wilson/DieHards
Five-star cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. hosted Miami coaches Monday.

Miami recruiting: Setting the stage for the next month on the trail

David Wilson

Miami is on its way to one of the best recruiting classes in the nation, and David Wilson and the DieHards.com team are in the eye of the storm to help you track the Hurricanes. Read daily notebooks here at 10 a.m. ET Monday through Friday and follow us on Twitter for the latest Miami recruiting news.

Miami goes in home with top remaining uncommitted targets

The ACC Championship Game is in the rearview and recruiting season is in full swing for Miami. The Hurricanes didn’t take much advantage of the first week of the latest contact period, which began last Monday, so this is a busy week on the trail. Less than 24 hours after Miami fell to No. 1 Clemson 38-3 in Charlotte, the Hurricanes had coaches on the road for in-home visits.

The two biggest ones so far didn’t require the Miami coaching staff to travel far. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph, safeties coach Ephraim Banda and defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski all visited 5-star cornerback Tyson Campbell in his home Sunday, then the same foursome went in home with fellow 5-star cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. and 4-star weakside defensive end Andrew Chatfield on Monday.

The three seniors all played for Rumph at American Heritage School in Plantation, Fla., when the former NFL cornerback was the coach there. Campbell is the Hurricanes’ best shot left at a 5-star splash in the class, although Surtain is emerging as an option, too. The son of former All-Pro cornerback Patrick Surtain, the younger Surtain is the top-ranked cornerback in the 247Sports composite rankings. He left Miami out of a top 6 list in August, but was at Hard Rock Stadium to watch the Hurricanes rout then-No. 3 Notre Dame on Nov. 10. With coach Jimbo Fisher leaving Florida State — one of the schools atop Surtain’s list — Miami is hopeful it can land an official visit.

Chatfield, while not quite as high-profile a prospect, is one of the most productive pass-rushers in the country and has become a top target for the Hurricanes during the past month.

The rest of Miami’s in-home schedule for the week mostly involves check in on already-committed members of the Class of 2018. It started with coach Mark Richt and tight ends coach Todd Hartley flying out to Las Vegas on Sunday to check in with 4-star tight end Brevin Jordan. Diaz, Kuligowski, Rumph and Banda, meanwhile, visited 4-star American Heritage defensive tackle Nesta Silvera.

Coaches mainly stayed in Miami-Dade County on Monday. Wide receivers coach Ron Dugans stopped by Miami Southridge High School to visit 4-star wide receiver Mark Pope and 3-star wide receiver Daquris Wiggins, while offensive line coach Stacy Searels visited with 4-star guard Delone Scaife.

Diaz, Banda and Rumph were all in Miami-Dade, as well, to check in with cornerbacks Gilbert Frierson and D.J. Ivey, reported Peter Ariz of CanesInSight.com. Diaz also visited 3-star weakside defensive end Patrick Joyner, who committed Sunday.

And in Texas, Richt and Hartley made a stop to visit 3-star kicker Bubba Baxa.

The rest of the week will send the coaches north. Running backs coach Thomas Brown will visit 5-star running back Lorenzo Lingard on Tuesday, and go with Richt and Searels to see 4-star tackle John Campbell. Richt and Hartley will head up to Jacksonville on Wednesday to meet with 4-star tight end Will Mallory.

Ariz also reports coaches could fly up to Connecticut to visit Josh Jobe on Friday. The 4-star cornerback is the current commit most likely to flip elsewhere as No. 4 Alabama continues to push hard. Brian Hightower, a 4-star wide receiver, is also in line to receive a visit Friday.

And then Thursday, Richt is heading up to Atlanta. He’ll stop in to see 3-star fullback Realus George with Brown. While he’s in Georgia, Richt will also visit Central Gwinnet High School quarterback Jarren Williams in Lawrenceville, Central Gwinnett coach Todd Wofford told DieHards. The 4-star dual-threat quarterback is set to make his college choice Wednesday.

“You can read between the lines,” Wofford said.

Breion Fuller-Miami recruiting-Miami football
Wide receiver Brieon Fuller is the top-ranked member of Miami’s Class of 2019. (David Wilson/DieHards)

Brieon Fuller adds polish to raw ability during junior season

It was the type of play which is routine for Brieon Fuller. Early during the first quarter against Mater Academy Charter School of Hialeah Gardens, Fla., in September, Doral (Fla.) Academy Preparatory School sent its 4-star wide receiver streaking down the seam. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound junior pulled down a catch in traffic and took off. He bounced off one defender and then slipped through the closing defensive backs. Fuller was gone for a long touchdown on the way to a blowout win.

Plays like those are what helped Doral Academy Prep win a playoff game for the first time in school history this season. They were also the kind of plays Fuller has always been able to make – the plays which have made him one of the most coveted pass-catchers in the Class of 2019.

“He’s not the most physically imposing person, but he does play physical,” Doral Academy coach Jase Stewart told DieHards. “He blocks. He’s not afraid to put his face in a player. He also rose up and made some big plays.”

Two years into working with Stewart for the Firebirds, Fuller is much more than just a preternaturally gifted wideout with a knack for big plays.

“He was really raw,” Stewart said. “He was great at either bombing you or running a hitch route and he’s actually starting to work on his craft where he’s a more polished route-runner.”

It made him more than just a big-play threat. Still, with his combination of quickness and athleticism it was still his role during a historic season in Doral.

“I was just focused on trying to get to states and focused on working hard with my team,” Fuller said. “Making big plays for the team.”

List of official visitors for Dec. 15 weekend grows

Almost all of Miami’s incoming class is confirmed to be visiting Coral Gables, Fla., during the weekend of Dec. 15. The list continues to grow.

Lingard and George are the two latest members of Miami’s next class to confirm their plans to visit on the same weekend as most of their future classmates. Both confirmed the date in a message to DieHards on Monday.

The running backs’ addition now means 16 of the 20 committed scholarship members of the class are planning to visit simultaneously. Jobe, Wiggins, 4-star cornerback Al Blades Jr. and 4-star running back Cam’Ron Davis are the only commits yet to confirm their official visit dates to see the Hurricanes. Jobe is guaranteed not to be there that weekend — he told Rivals’ Adam Friedman he’ll be in Tuscaloosa, Ala., for his only other official visit.

Lingard and George are also two of at least 10 commits slated to sign their national letters of intent during the following week. The new early signing period, running from Dec. 20-22, will primarily be used by early enrollees, but at least two future Hurricanes who won’t enroll until the summer will officially bring an end to their recruitments this month. George, Mallory and Baxa, none of whom plan to graduate early, all plan to sign Dec. 20.

Miami has eight players planning to early enroll who should all use the early signing period. Lingard, Pope, Hightower, Frierson, Scaife, Wiggins, 4-star safety Gurvan Hall and 3-star weakside defensive end Gregory Rousseau have all stated they’re on track to get on campus in December. Jordan and 3-star weakside defensive end Patrick Joyner, neither of whom will early enroll, both told DieHards they will wait to sign on National Signing Day on Feb. 7. The other eight members of the class have not yet confirmed a date.

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