Miami recruiting: Hurricanes have chance to pad in-state recruiting lead
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 dominates latest Florida recruiting rankings
Miami’s strong start to the 2018 recruiting cycle means the Hurricanes have spent most of the year atop various in-state recruiting rankings. This holds true in the latest Florida Class of 2018 recruiting rankings released at sister site SEC Country, and the most recent updates serves as a reminder Miami probably has the best chance of any Sunshine State school to add significant pieces to its class before National Signing Day.
Let’s start, though, with the prospects the Hurricanes already have locked in. The November update, as compiled by Florida recruiting reporter Zach Abolverdi, is unchanged from October, which means Miami still leads the way with four commits in the top 20. Though the Gators gained some ground by landing a commitment from 4-star offensive tackle Richard Gouraige on Oct. 20, Florida lost some serious momentum on the recruiting trail when it ousted coach Jim McElwain. Miami’s top-20 foursome of 5-star running back Lorenzo Lingard, 4-star wide receiver Mark Pope, 4-star cornerback Al Blades Jr. and 4-star safety Gurvan Hall are more locked in than ever as the Gators are no longer a serious threat to flip Pope nor Hall.
Check out the full rankings, which include Lingard at No. 3, Pope at No. 8, Blades at No. 14 and Hall at No. 18. The Hurricanes also are a major contender to land two more from the list, including one who previously seemed like a Florida lean.
The top prize left for Miami is 5-star cornerback Tyson Campbell, who checks in at No. 5. He took the first – and maybe only – game visit of his senior year earlier this month for the Hurricanes’ rout of then-No. 3 Notre Dame. Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State are still in the mix, but Miami has a ton of momentum and the 247Sports Crystal Ball reads 63 percent in the Hurricanes’ favor.
Surprisingly, Miami also seems to be the clear favorite for 4-star weak-side defensive end Andrew Chatfield, who is once again No. 19. Though Chatfield took an official visit to Oklahoma earlier this month and still has some interest in LSU, the Hurricanes probably have leapfrogged the Gators as the favorite. The senior has watched at least four games at Hard Rock Stadium this fall and was back in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Saturday to watch the No. 3 Hurricanes beat Virginia, 44-28, a week after he took his official to see the Sooners.
Miami’s strong season has also thrown it back into the mix with some prospects who appeared to be done considering the Hurricanes. Patrick Surtain Jr., the nation’s top cornerback and the No. 1 player in Florida, also took an unofficial visit to Miami for the win against the Fighting Irish, and 4-star offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere is still coveted by the Hurricanes. Miami would also probably become the front-runner for Nik Bonitto if it were to offer. Louisville is the favorite for the 4-star outside linebacker who has visited the Hurricanes at least twice this fall, including for the Notre Dame game.
D.J. Ivey transformed into a true lockdown CB this year
D.J. Ivey knows he has limitations. He knows he might not be the most athletic cornerback in the country. He certainly knows he’s not the fastest. Ivey probably isn’t even big enough to, at least theoretically, make up for some of his other deficiencies. It’s all part of why he’s only a 3-star prospect in the 247Sports composite rankings and why he’s overshadowed in Miami’s loaded group of incoming defensive backs.
Ivey should have erased just about any questions regarding his ability with a dominant senior year. The 6-foot-1, 171-pound defensive back bounced back from an ankle injury as a junior to pull in 5 interceptions this fall for South Dade High School in Homestead, Fla. In leading South Dade to the second round of the postseason, Ivey proved he can be a lockdown cornerback and is more than just a bit of incoming depth for the Hurricanes.
“I think I played very well this year,” Ivey told DieHards on Monday. “I think I proved to a lot of people who didn’t think I could do the things I did, I think I proved them wrong.”
Unlike most of Miami’s committed senior defensive backs, Ivey was primarily a corner for the Buccaneers, typically moving to safety only on third downs. When he was out alone on islands, Ivey clamped down. His technique has always been a strength, but this year he learned how to use his frame to make up for some of what he lacks.
Ivey is probably at his best covering the middle of the field. Faster wide receivers might be able to burn him down the sideline, but in the middle of the field he can go stride for stride with just about anyone and then use his lanky arms to recover when he does slip behind a bit. He also exceeded his own expectations as a tackler.
“To me, D.J.’s one of the best corners in the country,” said South Dade wide receiver Frank Ladson, a 4-star junior committed to Florida. “He’s the smartest corner I’ve ever seen.”
Ivey is still on track to early enroll. By the time he gets on campus, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him getting a rankings boost across the board. The senior lost most of last season to his ankle injury, which prevented him from showcasing his on-field ability. Since he doesn’t have the most impressive measurables, Ivey probably wound up a bit underrated.
There are certainly players with better upside in the Hurricanes’ Class of 2018. Ivey, though, already knows how to use his body effectively. It’s hard to doubt him anymore even if he doesn’t exactly look the part.
“The ability that I can cover guys with speed, cover guys that can create separation,” Ivey said he felt he proved this fall. “I know I’m not the fastest corner, but if I’m getting beat by a few steps I feel like I’m right beside the receiver.”
Miami loses a defensive tackle option
Miami’s deep stable of defensive tackle targets shrunk a bit Monday, even if it wasn’t a particular surprise. Trevor Trout, a 4-star defensive tackle from Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis, brought an abrupt end to his recruitment after spending the weekend in Los Angeles. The senior committed to Southern California following an official visit for the No. 11 Trojans’ 28-23 win against UCLA.
— Trevor Trout ® (@totaltroutmove) November 20, 2017
Trout previously included the Hurricanes when he trimmed his list to five in October. He has a longstanding relationship with Miami defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski, who began recruiting Trout as a 14-year-old when Kuligowski was at Missouri.
Trout, however, never visited Coral Gables, Fla., and it’s not clear whether he’ll still consider taking an official visit. He doesn’t plan to early enroll at USC. He has already used three of his official visits to see the Trojans, Bruins and Texas A&M, a team he didn’t list among his top 5. The two Los Angeles schools alternatively seemed to be the favorites for the 6-3, 300-pound lineman.
“I just knew that’s where I wanted to go,” Trout told Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports. “The school sold me more than anything else. The alumni base and the school itself, and the staff, that sold me more than the history of the program.”
Trout had been a lower-priority option at defensive tackle for Miami, which still needs to pick up at least one more this cycle. In-state 3-star defensive tackle Dennis Briggs remains the most likely option, declaring the Hurricanes and Florida State as his two favorites. Miami also somewhat surprisingly cracked the top 5 for Tyler Friday, a 4-star defensive tackle from Don Bosco Preparatory School in Ramsey, N.J.
Like Trout, Friday hasn’t visited the Hurricanes yet. Miami will have to rely on a late official visit to make a strong impression. Friday also doesn’t plan to early enroll.
Jared Goldwire, a Louisville commit, is also in the mix. The 3-star defensive tackle is spending this year at Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College. He took an official visit to Miami for the Hurricanes’ win against then-No. 3 Notre Dame and took his second official to Oregon State over the weekend.
Miami offers 4-star LSU cornerback commit
Miami is on track to have one of the best secondaries in the Class of 2018. On Monday, the Hurricanes sent out an offer to one of the best defensive backs in the Class of 2019. Maurice Hampton, a 4-star cornerback from Memphis University School, picked up an offer from Miami just days after watching the Hurricanes beat Virginia in person.
Blessed to receive an offer from Miami 🙌🏾 pic.twitter.com/mwn7Pl5qtT
— Ⓜ️ (@maurice_hampton) November 20, 2017
Despite his commitment to the Tigers, Hampton has flirted with a handful of national powers this fall. He already visited Alabama earlier this month and is keeping his options open. Hampton is a two-sport star, who’s also committed to LSU as a baseball prospect. It’s not clear whether Miami would give him the opportunity to play both in Coral Gables, Fla.
The Hurricanes don’t have a junior defensive back committed and have been selective about who to offer. Athletes Josh Sanguinetti and Mark Richards, and 4-star cornerback Jaden Davis are Miami’s top targets in the secondary. The Hurricanes are in good position with all three, plus 4-star Florida athlete commit Tyrique Stevenson.
Miss a previous edition? Find every post of DieHards’ daily Miami recruiting notebook right here.