With 10 days remaining until the 2014 National Signing Day, the University of Miami is already making inroads with next year’s class.
On Friday, Jordan Cronkrite and Tarvarus McFadden — two rising prospects in South Florida — received long-awaited scholarship offers from the UM coaching staff Friday, two days ahead of the Canes’ Junior Day event on Sunday.
The school will host some of the area’s top Class of 2015 prospects on campus with many hoping to further their connections with UM’s staff and some trying to get offers of their own.
Cronkrite, a running back from Westminster Christian rated four stars by multiple media outlets, has been eager to get offer from the Hurricanes and plans to attend the event.
“It’s exciting,” said Cronkrite, who also has Florida State, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama among his suitors. “[I] got to talk more with my parents about the future.”
As for McFadden, rated a five-star cornerback by Rivals from Plantation American Heritage, the UM offer came after saying last Saturday he was barely in contact with the coaching staff.
“Better late than never,” McFadden wrote on Twitter in response to Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas receiver Sam Bruce, a sophomore who was invited and expected to attend the event.
Quite the change from his comments during the South Florida 7-on-7 Express tryouts where McFadden — who has offers from more than 20 schools — said “I guess they’re not recruiting me.”
McFadden will attend UM’s event alongside teammate Torrance Gibson, who is rated a five-star quarterback by 247Sports and has been recruited by UM since he was in eighth grade when Canes coach Al Golden took the job in 2010.
“We talk about it [playing together in college] from time to time,” McFadden said, “but we’re just going to wait and see how it plays out. If it happens, it happens.”
Another set of teammates who could join forces at the next level — especially at UM — are Cronkrite, athlete Tim Irvin and tight end Devonaire Clarington.
Irvin, the nephew of former Hurricanes standout and NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, did not confirm he will be attending UM’s junior day, but the four-star prospect has taken a handful of unofficial visits to the school in the past year.
Clarington, who will be in attendance, is a 6-6, 220-pounder who will play at Hialeah Champagnat Catholic next season. Staying close to home and “seeing my family after practice” are aspects he’s factoring in his decision with Alabama, USF and Georgia also paying him the most attention.
“It would be nice [to keep playing together] because we have that chemistry,” Cronkrite said. “We could help each other compete so it would be nice.”
St. Thomas Aquinas has the most confirmed players attending Sunday’s event with seven, and a possible eighth still deciding.
Bruce, FAU running back commit Jordan Scarlett and cornerback Rashard Causey are the most well-known players of the group with cornerback Damon Arnette, and offensive lineman Samuel Clausman and Philip Parchment also attending.
Aquinas wide receiver Devante Peete, who is likely to attend, is a 6-6, 200-pounder who holds the school in high regard. He wants to visit Alabama, FSU, LSU and Ohio State in the coming months.
“Miami is always going to play a big, major [role] in the recruiting process with me because I’ve been growing up a Miami fan,” Peete said.
Other players expected to attend: FSU commit and Miramar cornerback Tyrek Cole, West Virginia commit and Miramar receiver Khalil Lewis, Miami Killian safety Jaquan Johnson, Coconut Creek Monarch receiver Calvin Ridley and safety Shawn Burgess-Becker.