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Jeremiah Payton is the first Miami commit in the Class of 2019 to commit to an all-star game.

Miami recruiting: WR Jeremiah Payton commits to Under Armour Game

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.


WR Jeremiah Payton locked in with Miami after junior day

A few days after he committed to Miami on Feb. 20, Jeremiah Payton was scheduled to visit Florida. Outside of the Hurricanes, the Gators were probably the team recruiting the 4-star wide receiver hardest and Payton wanted to see Gainesville, Fla.

The trip never materialized, and Payton says it was because something came up with his family. Still, there are currently no makeup plans to get to Florida. The 6-foot-3, 187-pound pass catcher from Duncan U. Fletcher High School in Neptune Beach, Fla., could see himself visiting the Gators eventually, but it’s far from a priority right now. The rising senior spent Saturday in Coral Gables, Fla., for a junior day event and is as locked in with Miami as ever.

“The main reason I’m so locked in is just because of the rapport I built with coaches,” Payton told DieHards on Sunday at an Under Armour All-America Camp in Orlando, Fla., “just being able to be comfortable around coaches, coaching staff and players.”

The weekend was a busy, but fulfilling one for the highest ranked member of the Hurricanes’ Class of 2019. A day after visiting Miami for the first time since committing, Payton headed to William R. Boone High School gunning for a spot in the Under Armour All-America Game. With a steady performance at Dr. Norton Baker Stadium, Payton secured an invitation to the All-America showcase.

On Monday, Payton committed to play in the game. He’s the first member of the Hurricanes class to lock in with one of the major all-star games.

It’s a fitting honor for the commit who might be Miami’s most important in 2019. Considered the nation’s No. 87 overall player in the 247Sports composite rankings, Payton picked the Hurricanes despite offers from basically every major program across the Southeast. He said he can envision himself as something of an ambassador for the class and has basically stopped talking to other colleges.

RELATED: 2019 Miami recruiting big board

At Greentree Practice Fields on Saturday, Payton put some of his ambassadorial skills to the test. He spent most of the day with 5-star wide receiver Frank Ladson, the only other wideout at the event, and admits he took some time to pitch the pass catcher from South Dade High School in Homestead, Fla.

“A little bit. Not too much,” Payton said. “Definitely I mess with Frank Ladson a lot. He’s definitely a guy I’d like to play next to, a guy I’d like to play with, but I’m just letting him make a decision of his own.”

News, nuggets from Under Armour All-America Camp in Orlando:

  • Brendan Gant also landed an invitation to the Under Armour Game. The Alabama commit didn’t make it to Miami on Saturday as he originally planned, but it doesn’t mean the Hurricanes are out of contention for the 6-2, 185-pound rising senior. The 4-star safety from Kathleen High School in Lakeland, Fla., is mulling an official visit.

  • Keon Zipperer continues to speak highly of the Hurricanes. The 4-star tight end from Lakeland (Fla.) High School visited Saturday and keeps seeing what he wants from Miami. The pass catcher likes the Hurricanes’ dedication to using tight ends and saw that at Greentree Practice Fields. Miami will have to beat out the Gators to land the 6-4, 232-pound rising senior.
  • Marcus Crowley didn’t deliver any of the eye-popping plays he did at the adidas East Coast Invitational in Homestead, Fla., but there’s a lot to like about the 3-star running back from Jacksonville’s Trinity Christian Academy. The 6-foot, 200-pound rising senior was first in line for every drill at Dr. Norton Baker Stadium. The halfback is still firm in his commitment to to the Hurricanes despite missing junior day Saturday.
  • Larry Hodges wasn’t too far behind Zipperer in terms of the play at the tight end spot. The 3-star tight end, who committed to Miami on Jan. 20, regularly beat cornerbacks on the edge. The 6-2, 200-pound rising senior from Jesuit High School in Tampa, Fla., was also at junior day and is still solid. Hodges will, however, take official visits to Oklahoma and Texas.
  • Jesiah Pierre also missed junior day Saturday, but the 3-star outside linebacker plans to get down to South Florida soon. The 6-3, 215-pound rising senior from Mount Dora Christian Academy, formerly known as Christian Home  & Bible School, said the Hurricanes currently envision him as a middle linebacker.
  • Kingsley Eguakun had another strong day after visiting Miami on Saturday. The 3-star guard from Jacksonville’s Atlantic Coast High School plays with a mean streak, which helps him overcome being somewhat undersized at about 6-4, 290 pounds. The rising senior worked quite a bit at center.

  • Renardo Green didn’t have his best day, but the 3-star cornerback is a player who will shine much more in pads. The rising senior from Wekiva High School in Apopka, Fla., delivers about as many big hits as he does pass breakups. The 5-11, 170-pound athlete is, however, moving well after missing the end of the 2017 season with a high ankle sprain. He visited the Hurricanes for the first time Saturday, and also likes Florida and Kentucky.
  • Leonard Manuel was a last-minute addition to the roster and immediately turned heads with his 6-5, 195-pound frame. The wide receiver from Vanguard High School in Ocala, Fla., is a 4-star prospect in the 247Sports rankings and the No. 1 player in Florida for the Class of 2020. The Miami commit won’t be there Saturday for an underclassman day, but he took an under-the-radar visit a couple weeks ago. Manuel played at Vanguard with quarterback N’Kosi Perry, so the athlete went down to the Miami metropolitan area to spend some time with him.
  • Demarkcus Bowman named the Hurricanes to a top 5 earlier this month and he expects to visit Miami on Saturday. The 4-star running back hasn’t been to campus yet, so this trip will be key to beat out Florida State, Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State. The 5-11, 185-pound rising junior from Lakeland had a good day Sunday, as well.
  • Fred Davis landed an invitation to the Prime 21 camp from Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders after a dominant day on the edge. The 4-star cornerback from Trinity Christian also showed off a mean streak, playing some physical press coverage. The 6-1, 169-pound rising junior is really high on the Hurricanes and plans to visit “multiple times” this summer. He isn’t sure yet if he’ll visit Saturday.

  • Chantz Williams visited Miami last month before the Hurricanes hired new defensive line coach Jess Simpson. The 4-star weakside defensive end from Oakleaf High School in Orange Park, Fla., wants to get back soon to meet him. The 6-4, 220-pound rising junior isn’t sure if it will be Saturday, when the Hurricanes host several 2020 targets. Williams visited the Seminoles on Saturday before the camp.
  • There were quite a few notable no-shows, including Miami 2019 targets such as 4-star tackle Michael Tarquin and 3-star weakside defensive end Jahfari Harvey. Both Tarquin and Harvey visited the Hurricanes on Saturday. Miami is the biggest offer yet for Harvey, while the Hurricanes are working to leapfrog Oklahoma and the Buckeyes for Tarquin.
  • A pair of 2020 commits for Miami also skipped out on the event. Both 4-star athlete Avantae Williams and 3-star strongside defensive end Tre’von Riggins were absent. Riggins told DieHards earlier this month he was hoping to visit the Hurricanes this coming Saturday.

Kentucky offers 2020 Miami WR commit Jermaine Burton

It was a good weekend for Jermaine Burton. The wide receiver, considered a 4-star prospect in the Class of 2020 by 247Sports, began Sunday at The Opening regional in Buford, Ga., by running the fastest 40-yard dash time of anyone in attendance. Then the Miami commit beat out multiple 5-star prospects in 2019 to earn wide receiver MVP honors.

On Monday, another SEC program came calling for the 6-2, 180-pound pass catcher. Kentucky hopped in with the 13th total offer for the rising junior.

Burton claims additional offers from Louisville, Syracuse, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Southern California and Oregon. He recently moved home to Marietta (Ga.) High School after spending last year at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Undoubtedly, some SEC teams will now hope they can sway Burton from the Hurricanes.

Burton, who committed to Miami less than a month after the Hurricanes offered, has repeatedly insisted he’s locked in. He visited Miami for the first time March 12 after playing in the adidas East Coast Invitational a day earlier in Homestead. Burton has yet to visit another school since committing to Miami.

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