David Wilson/DieHards
Don Chaney Jr. would be a huge piece for an already-loaded Class of 2020 for Miami.

Miami recruiting: Top-5 RB still heavily leaning Hurricanes, despite 3-month absence

David Wilson

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.

Elite 2020 RB on Miami: ‘I’ll probably most likely be there’

Don Chaney Jr.‘s visit to Miami on Thursday for a spring practice at Greentree Practice Fields was nothing out of the ordinary for the 4-star running back. Sure, it ended a somewhat significant lull between unofficial visits — he last visited Jan. 15 for a men’s basketball game against Duke — but Chaney knows what to expect whenever he’s in Coral Gables, Fla.

“It’s still the same place, same people,” Chaney told DieHards. “They are really interested in me and they would love to have me play there. That place right there makes me feel like I’m at home, so that’s why I enjoy it a lot.”

Ranked by 247Sports.com as the No. 36 overall player in the Class of 2020, Chaney has been the biggest halfback target for the Hurricanes in the cycle since before he began high school. Miami offered Chaney in the summer of 2016 and he’s been a frequent visitor just about ever since. Chaney, whose father played for South Carolina, made it to Hard Rock Stadium for at least five games in the fall and outright named the Hurricanes his leader March 18.

Thursday, however, was the first time Chaney visited since that public declaration. While he didn’t give the Hurricanes his pledge before leaving campus, Chaney said an eventual commitment to Miami is probably just a matter of time.

“They just keep doing what they’re doing,” the rising junior said, “and I’m sure I’ll probably most likely be there.”

A commitment from Chaney would further bolster the Hurricanes’ top-ranked 2020 class and give Miami one of its most important missing pieces. The Hurricanes already have three blue-chip wide receivers and the cycle’s No. 1 tight end. The only obvious missing skill position is running back and a pledge from Chaney would fill the gap in a class which might only include one tailback.

Miami has quickly become one of the best programs in the country at recruiting running backs with coach Mark Richt at the helm. The Hurricanes signed 5-star running back Lorenzo Lingard and 4-star running back Cam’Ron Davis in 2018. They already have a commitment from 3-star running back Marcus Crowley in the Class of 2019, plus three or four other blue-chip prospects they feel really good about.

RELATED: 2019 Miami recruiting big board

Hurricanes making it clear to Don Chaney Jr. — he’s their guy

Chaney is the clear No. 1 option in 2020 and running backs coach Thomas Brown lets him know.

“He tells me that every time he sees me,” Chaney said. “Every time he talks to my dad, he’ll tell him that ‘he’s the guy for 2020 right there. That’s the guy that we need.'”

Even with two years left at Miami’s Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, Chaney has already established himself as one of the best athletes in South Florida. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound rising junior led Miami-Dade County with 1,414 rushing yards in 2017, according to the Miami Herald, and scored 20 touchdowns. He also chipped in as a cornerback and free safety at times.

Even though the Hurricanes are alone at the top of his list, Chaney doesn’t plan to make a verbal commitment any time soon. He would like to potentially visit Florida, Florida State, Georgia and LSU this summer. He’ll also probably be back at Miami sometime soon, although it may not be Saturday for the spring game because he has a track and field meet.

It would be an upset at this point for Chaney to not land with the Hurricanes. Chaney just doesn’t want to make it so easy.

“I don’t really want to make a decision soon,” Chaney said. “I like to keep everybody in suspense so when it does happen everyone is surprised.”

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