Miami recruiting: A way-too-early look at the Class of 2021
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.
What’s next for Miami’s promising Class of 2021?
Mark Richt has established himself on the recruiting trail in a number of ways since he arrived in Miami in 2016. The coach reeled in the Hurricanes’ best recruiting class in about a decade with the Class of 2018. He has landed blue-chip quarterbacks in every cycle since he has arrived. Most importantly, he has thrived at recruiting the Miami metropolitan area, keeping prospects from the most talent-rich area in the country home at an excellent rate.
RELATED: 2019 Miami recruiting big board
One of Richt’s more underrated gifts, though, is his ability to get the Hurricanes off to good starts in every cycle. Miami boasted the top-ranked 2018 class late last summer, took a top-5 Class of 2019 into the new year and still holds the No. 1 spot in the 247Sports composite rankings for the Class of 2020. It’s too early to have rankings for the Class of 2021, but the Hurricanes should be among the nation’s best once they’re available.
With unranked safety James Williams and unranked guard Laurence Seymore both committed, the Hurricanes have already locked up two of the Miami metro area’s best for 2021. There might not be any imminent commitments — although Paradise Camp in July could always sway someone — but the Hurricanes are positioned well with some of the class’ best thanks to early offers. Who are some of these names to know for the next few years? DieHards has you covered with a way-too-early guide to the 2021 class:
T Marcus Tate, unranked, NSU University (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Marcus Tate seems to be as patient as just about any prospect at this point early in the cycle. He also, however, is one of the few players to explicitly name Miami to an early list of favorites. The Hurricanes offered the 6-foot-4, 293-pound offensive lineman from NSU University School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Jan. 23 and made him feel like a priority when he attended an underclassman day March 31. The young prospect is well on his way to being the Miami area’s top tackle prospect in the 2021 cycle.
“When I first got there, I was surprised because they made me feel like I was a priority there; they really wanted me really badly, so that started standing out to me,” Tate told DieHards in May. “[Offensive director of player development Jorge] Baez — he showed me around by myself; he took me to watch the broadcasting program and everything.
“And also my mom was very happy, so that made me happy.”
Tate is getting ready for only his second season of football. The unranked tackle was primarily a basketball player until last fall, when gave football a shot. He quickly became a starting right tackle for NSU University and should get a chance at left tackle this coming season. LSU is the other early suitor of note; Tate grew up rooting for the Tigers.
OLB Branden Jennings, unranked, Sandalwood (Jacksonville)
Branden Jennings is a somewhat new target for the Hurricanes, even this far out. Miami doesn’t lack for familiarity with the outside linebacker, though. Jennings is the younger brother of linebacker Bradley Jennings Jr. Those family ties should only help the Hurricanes as they try to pitch the 6-3, 225-pound linebacker from Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville.
Jennings’ family ties, however, will probably also make Florida State a major suitor. Bradley Jennings, the young prospect’s father, was an All-American linebacker for Florida State in the early 2000s, and the Seminoles offered the younger Jennings on May 21. Still, the elder Jennings certainly isn’t opposed to watching his sons play for his alma mater’s fiercest rival, and Miami has recruited exceptionally well in Jacksonville since tight ends coach Todd Hartley arrived. Jennings will certainly visit soon and the Hurricanes could start to make him a priority as he could play any linebacker spot.
QB Carlos Del Rio, unranked, McEachern (Powder Springs, Ga.)
Carlos Del Rio earned Miami’s most recent 2021 offer after a standout performance at a Mark Richt Football Camp on June 16 in Coral Gables. The unranked dual-threat quarterback from McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Ga., matched older quarterbacks throw for throw to catch quarterbacks coach Jon Richt’s attention.
The Hurricanes were only the third school to offer the 6-2, 186-pound quarterback, joining Florida and Michigan. Del Rio is also only the second quarterback to receive a Miami offer so far in the 2021 cycle. At this point, he appears to be the Hurricanes’ No. 1 target at the position.
WR Jacorey Brooks, unranked, Booker T. Washington (Miami)
Jacorey Brooks might be on his way to 5-star status in the 2021 class. The unranked wide receiver from Booker T. Washington High School in Miami was the most impressive receiver at the Mark Richt Camp on June 10 in Coral Gables. The sophomore went toe-to-toe with top upperclassman defensive back prospects, even winning a jump ball against 4-star cornerback Tyrique Stevenson.
Brooks was one of the first 2021 prospects the Hurricanes offered in April. The 6-2, 175-pound receiver already claims nine other offers from Florida State, North Carolina State, Syracuse, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Baylor and Nebraska. The young prospect also visited Miami for an underclassman day March 31.
— David Wilson (@DBWilson2) June 10, 2018
DE Donell Harris, unranked, Booker T. Washington (Miami)
Booker T. Washington brought just about its whole team to the Richt Camp on June 10, which included a sizable group of linemen. Donell Harris was far and away the top defensive lineman at the camp, which let him walk away with an offer from defensive line coach Jess Simpson.
The Hurricanes were the fourth to offer the unranked weakside defensive end, following N.C. State, Syracuse and Baylor. The 6-3, 195-pound defensive end looks like a safe bet to be the top defensive lineman for Miami in the 2021 cycle, which means the Hurricanes will do all they can to keep the young prospect from leaving home.
“I would love to go to Miami,” Harris told DieHards after he picked up the offer. “I’ve been working so hard to get this offer.”
CB Corey Collier, unranked, Miami Palmetto (Pinecrest, Fla.)
Corey Collier is one half of a lockdown sophomore cornerback duo at Miami Palmetto High School in Pinecrest, Fla. The unranked cornerback was one of the earliest recruits the Hurricanes pinpointed in 2021. Miami offered the young prospect in December and hosted him for a visit March 3.
Ultimately, it may be hard for the Hurricanes to beat out the Seminoles for Collier, though. The 6-0, 163-pound defensive back is a Florida State legacy, which might give the Seminoles an early leg up on one of Florida’s best in 2021.
Commits: Williams, Seymore
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