University of Miami football coach Al Golden said last month he was willing to wait until late in the game to try and land a few elite recruits from his own backyard.
The wait ends Wednesday morning. Signed and faxed national letters of intent will make everything official. And when the ink dries and ESPNU is done televising dozens of 17- and 18-year-olds performing hat tricks, the Hurricanes hope to be much better off than they were Tuesday night.
The rival Florida Gators, whose class is tabbed No. 1 in the country by ESPN, No. 2 by Rivals.com and No. 3 by 247Sports.com with less than 24 hours to go, dont appear to have much to sweat about.
In spite of losing six assistants to other programs since the end of the season, Florida State, which reportedly flipped five-star cornerback Jalen Ramsey on Tuesday and is climbing the rankings, could have the huge finish Golden was hoping for. But in many instances, the Seminoles (ranked ninth by 247Sports, 10th by ESPN and 13th by Rivals) will have to beat the Canes (ranked 23rd by ESPN, 27th by 247Sports and 66th by Rivals) in head-to-head recruiting battles to surge higher.
The big names to watch: Oakland Park Northeast receiver Stacy Coley (Browards No. 1 recruit announces at 11:05 a.m. on ESPNU), Delray Beach Atlantic defensive tackle Keith Bryant (1:45 p.m., ESPNU) and Miami Booker T. Washington linebacker Matthew Thomas (Dades No. 1 recruit, 9:15 a.m., ESPNU) and offensive tackle Denver Kirkland (Dades No. 4 recruit, 9:20 a.m., ESPNU). UM is also going head-to-head with FSU for Staten Island (N.Y.) Tottenville senior Augustus Edwards, considered the No. 1 fullback in the country by Rivals.com.
UM, which missed out on three-star junior college defensive tackle Terrell Brooks on Tuesday (he chose Baylor), is also hoping to land four-star Port St. Lucie Centennial defensive tackle Jaynard Bostwick (UM, UF, Alabama; 8 a.m., ESPNU) and Miramar High four-star linebacker Jermaine Grace (UM, Louisville; 2p.m., ESPNU).
Ultimately, it could be boom or bust for the Canes on Wednesday.
I think Bryant, Coley and Thomas all end up being part of FSUs class, Charles Fishbein of Elite Scouting Services said. A lot could happen in the next 10 hours, but I think Bryant and Coley have been heavy leans that way for a while.
Part of the reason UMs class isnt ranked high is because it is not very big, with 14 commitments. But based on star average, Goldens class is ranked 13th by 247Sports and 17th by Rivals. The worry is UM doesnt have enough talent from Florida, with only three state recruits including two from Miami-Dade: Northwestern cornerback Artie Burns and Miami Southridge safety Jamal Carter. A big finish Wednesday would change that.
I think any time youre Miami and the majority of your class doesnt come from the state of Florida, it is a valid concern, said 247Sports national recruiting director J.C. Shurburtt, who still credits UM for landing tight end Standish Dobard out of New Orleans, the No. 1 junior college tight end, Beau Sandland out of California, and All-American quarterback Kevin Olsen from New Jersey.
Every program has a fabric and the fabric of the Miami program is Dade, Broward kids with Palm Beach kids thrown in there too. If there is a disappointment it has to be that.