HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Te’Cory Couch waited only a handful of snaps to make one of the biggest plays of Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory School’s spring scrimmage on Wednesday. A few plays into the first drive of the game, of the Lions’ young quarterbacks left a pass short on the left side of the field. Couch was ready to pounce.
The 4-star athlete came back to the ball and pulled in the first interception of the game. A few seconds later, Couch dashed into the end zone untouched for the first touchdown of the intrasquad scrimmage.
Plays like those are what has turned Couch into one of the most coveted prospects in the Class of 2019. The defensive back — whom Chaminade-Madonna generously lists at 6-foot-1, 161 pounds — can change the game even with some of his physical limitations. Tennessee landed him early, but other high-profile suitors stepped in when the Volunteers fired coach Butch Jones. On April 15, Couch flipped his commitment from Tennessee to Michigan while on an official visit in Ann Arbor.
I thank god and my parents, and coaches for help lead me in making this difficult decision but I am proud to announce that I am flipping my commitment to the university of Michigan 〽️🔵#GoBlue 🔵 pic.twitter.com/LTcT06FZw7
— T©️(MD)⚠️ (@TecoryC_16) April 15, 2018
“It went great. My parents loved it. I loved it. I felt it was best to just go in and commit,” Couch told DieHards after the game at the Lions’ football field. “It was cold. I didn’t like it that much, but I can deal with it.”
His decision isn’t stopping others from trying to take their final shots, however. Safeties coach Ephraim Banda was one of two Miami assistant coaches to watch the South Florida prospect wrap up the spring. They got to speak very briefly and organized a plan to talk again soon. Couch says he hears from the Hurricanes about every other day at this point and Miami isn’t out of the running to ultimately land the Under Armour All-American’s signature after Couch visited for the Hurricanes’ junior day March 24.
UM🙌🏽 junior day🌴‼️ pic.twitter.com/CoPkRjc9gO
— T©️(MD)⚠️ (@TecoryC_16) March 24, 2018
Miami has clearly set a profile for the defensive backs it covets. Only one scholarship cornerback on the 2018 roster will check in at shorter than 6-1. The Hurricanes are content to use undersized players in the slot like they do with defensive back Trajan Bandy, but they don’t want to make a habit of it.
Couch is the sort of prospect who can make up for his lack of height with some other tools. The No. 18 athlete in the 247Sports composite 2019 rankings, Couch possesses a longer wingspan than his size would suggest, allowing him to cover larger defenders. Throughout spring, Couch battled with wide receivers John Dunmore and Elijah Canion, both of whom are about 6-3 and claim double-digit offers. Couch had to play bigger than he is.
“I don’t think I’m going to see other receivers like that in a game, so it just gets me ready for that. And at the college level, there’s receivers that big, so I’m just getting ready for it now,” Couch said. “Just attacking the ball more because they’re taller, so they can get to the ball easier.”
In the spring scrimmage Wednesday, Chaminade-Madonna’s offense only tested Couch twice. Once, the defensive back scored a touchdown. The other time, Couch batted away a pass intended for 3-star wide receiver Marlin Mayo.
Couch will primarily line up at cornerback this season, although he can also play free safety. For the Hurricanes, Couch’s role would most likely be as the successor to Bandy in the nickel. The athlete will almost certainly be back on campus again in the summer, although no dates are firm yet.
“They’re still coming after me,” Couch said. “They just let me know they’re still recruiting me. The recruiting process is not over. I’m still a top player on their board and they would love to coach me into a man.”
Odds and ends:
- Cameron Williams is as physically impressive as ever. The 3-star weakside defensive end, who committed to Miami on Jan. 20, logged 1 sack.
- Willie Moise, the Lions’ top Class of 2020 prospect, didn’t play. The 4-star defensive tackle, who committed to the Hurricanes on March 1, was nursing an arm injury.
- Dunmore made a couple nice plays, including one impressive catch and run on a long 3rd down. One pass thrown to the 4-star wide receiver, however, was intercepted.
— David Wilson (@DBWilson2) May 16, 2018
- Slotback Grantis Poole was the most productive offensive player on the field. The senior scored a pair of touchdowns from 60-plus yards. Nebraska is the only school from a Power 5 Conference to offer so far. That could change soon and Florida Atlantic offered after the game. He’ll probably be Chaminade-Madonna’s top running back this coming season.
- Canion was the other under-the-radar prospect to turn heads. The unranked 2020 wide receiver is a legit 6-3 and used his frame to win a couple jump balls, although he did drop a potential highlight-reel touchdown. Florida State, Georgia Tech, Florida, Kentucky, Arkansas, Penn State and Florida Atlantic have already offered.