Miami recruiting: Hurricanes get key return visits, Marcus Dumervil not ready to name favorites
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.
Marcus Dumervil feels good about Miami after second visit
Marcus Dumervil is taking all the time he has with his recruitment. Interest has recently ramped up for the 4-star Class of 2020 tackle from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and the major influx of suitors means Dumervil still isn’t ready to pinpoint any schools which are most standing out.
While the rising junior won’t say one way or the other, Miami is shaping up to be one of the major contenders for the 6-foot-6 295-pound lineman. Dumervil returned to Coral Gables, Fla., on Saturday for the Hurricanes’ underclassman day. The visit was his second in less than two months — he took his first trip to campus March 3 for a men’s basketball game against Virginia Tech.
This more recent visit was a bit different than an individual stop, though. Dumervil got to watch Miami practice for the first time and spent most of the day around some of the best players in the Classes of 2020 and ’21. Four of those prospects even committed to the Hurricanes before the end of the day.
“It was exciting. A lot of great sophomore talent there. Obviously, a lot of guys down here in South Florida,” Dumervil told DieHards. “It was a great time. Practice had a lot of intensity and I absorbed myself in it.”
— Marcus Dumervil (@marcus_dumervil) March 31, 2018
Practice was one of the highlights for many of the players who visited and Dumervil felt the same way.
“Practice was very high intensity. Everybody was flying around, everybody squawking,” Dumervil said. “It’s just at another level.”
Miami also took the chance to reaffirm its interest in Dumervil as an offensive player. Ranked as the No. 23 offensive tackle in the 2020 class by 247Sports.com, Dumervil says the split is pretty even with respect to where schools are recruiting him. Just as many programs envision him as a defensive tackle, which is where he primarily played for St. Thomas Aquinas in 2017.
Both times he has visited the Hurricanes, Dumervil got a chance to sit down with offensive line coach Stacy Searels. At this point, Miami views the prospect as a better fit on offense, which could turn him into a long-term priority in the 2020 cycle. The Hurricanes already hold commitments from three defensive linemen in their top-ranked 2020 class, while they still await their first pledge from an offensive lineman. Right now, Dumervil seems to be the offensive lineman Miami has the most traction with in 2020.
RELATED: 2019 Miami recruiting big board
Louisville also figures to be a long-term contender for Dumervil. Former Cardinals linebacker Elvis Dumervil is his uncle and Dejmi Dumervil Jean, one of his cousins, signed with Louisville in the Class of 2018. LSU, Ohio State and Michigan are also among some of Dumervil’s noteworthy early offers
“I don’t really have a front-runner. It’s a great program,” Dumervil said of Miami. “Mark Richt is putting together a program, but I don’t have any favorites or anything like that right now.”
Miami hosts key visitors for spring practice
Brandon Cunningham‘s busy spring break continued Thursday. The 3-star tackle from St. Martin High School in Ocean Springs, Miss., made his way down to see the Hurricanes for the first time since he committed at Paradise Camp in July.
Chilling in Miami
— Brandon Cunningham 🥀 (@iambrandonlett) April 5, 2018
Cunningham has repeatedly insisted he remains firm in his pledge from Miami, even as he hears from other major programs. Florida State joined Mississippi State, Mississippi and Memphis on Tuesday as some of the high-profile suitors attempting to sway the 6-5, 305-pound prospect. The same day, Cunningham took his first unofficial visit of 2018 to see the Bulldogs in Starkville.
Cunningham, who also plays tight end and defensive end, is now the second-longest tenured commit in Miami’s Class of 2019. The 247Sports rankings consider the rising senior a 4-star prospect.
He wasn’t the only committed prospect to end a long drought of visiting the Hurricanes either. Jesiah Pierre, a 3-star outside linebacker, returned to the Miami metropolitan area for the first time since November, 247Sports’ Andrew Ivins reported. The rising senior from Mount Dora (Fla.) Christian Academy, formerly known as Christian Home & Bible School, missed the Hurricanes’ junior day March 24.
Another prospect who missed a recent visit date got back to campus Thursday. Don Chaney Jr., a 4-star running back in the 2020 class, couldn’t attend Miami’s underclassman day Saturday, but he finally got out to a spring practice Thursday. The rising junior from Miami’s Belen Jesuit Preparatory School named the Hurricanes his leader March 18, although he is a South Carolina legacy.
Great day at UM today!!!🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/Srt1N2X7nE
— Don (@Donchaney1_fpa) April 5, 2018
Two other prospects without Miami offers also visited Thursday. Defensive tackle Jalar Holley and guard Riley Simonds, both 3-star prospects, visited the Hurricanes for the first time. Both have a major tie to Miami, though — the rising seniors attend Buford (Ga.) High School, where defensive line coach Jess Simpson previously coached.
Auburn has positioned itself as the early front-runner for Holley, who checks in at about 6-2 and 280 pounds. Virginia Tech is out front early for Simonds, who plays both guard and tackle at 6-4, 304 pounds.
Recent Miami commit Henry Gray adds offer from Arkansas
Henry Gray was arguably the most important commitment the Hurricanes landed during their underclassman day Saturday. The 4-star cornerback is a top-100 national prospect in the 2020 class and has already proven himself to be one of South Florida’s best.
Gray isn’t at the point where he’s ready to totally shut down his recruitment, though, and the rising junior pulled in his 12th offer Wednesday with Arkansas hopping into the fray.
Blessed to receive my 12th offer from the University of Arkansas 🐗‼️‼️#HammerDown #WPS @Andrew_Ivins @Th3LAB_ @1coachwhite @paragon52 @CoachDgip @ChadSimmons_ @JerryRecruiting @CoachAlbury @RazorbackFB @CraigHaubert @Corey_Bender @larryblustein @SleeperAthletes pic.twitter.com/LwT3S3vdos
— Henry Gray (@D1bound_zay2121) April 5, 2018
Gray, who recently transferred to Miami Central High School from Miramar (Fla.) High School, has quickly become one of the most-coveted prospects in 2020. The 6-1, 170-pound defensive back also holds early offers from Louisville, Boston College, Syracuse, Kentucky, Arkansas, Baylor, South Florida and Florida Atlantic.
Gray, who primarily played free safety as a sophomore for Miramar, is the highest-ranked defensive prospect in the Hurricanes’ top-ranked 2020 class.
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