Devin Gil has his outfit for Wednesday morning all picked out and ready to go.
“I’m going to be wearing a yellow, long-sleeve shirt, blue vest, blue Nike Huaraches [sneakers] with yellow laces and my Michigan tie,” Flanagan High’s All-State linebacker said. “[All-State safety] Josh [Metellus] said he’s going to have on a long-sleeve, blue polo with blue jeans and a blue bow tie.
“The plan is to fax [the National Letters of Intent] first thing in the morning and then look good for that signing at one o’clock.”
Gil, who once envisioned wearing green and orange on National Signing Day back when he was a University of Miami commitment, will be one of at least four players from Miami-Dade and Broward Counties signing with the Wolverines on Wednesday. His former teammate, four-star middle linebacker Devin Bush Jr., is already there.
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After failing to sign a player out of Dade or Broward since 2010, Michigan was one of the nation’s out-of-state football powers who came back and hit the area hard this season. The Wolverines were hardly alone.
Of the 91 seniors in Dade and Broward who ended the day Tuesday already committed to play for a Football Bowl Subdivision program, only 27 were planning to play college football in-state next season (UM 6, FAU 5, FIU 4, Florida 4, UCF 4, FSU 3, USF 1). That means that the nation’s biggest hotbed for high school football talent is again exporting plenty of it.
And schools such as Michigan (ranked 6th by 247Sports.com composite team rankings), Utah (five local commitments), Syracuse (four) and Toledo (four) are among the happiest recipients.
“A lot of guys come down and do a great job recruiting this area,” said national recruiting analyst Ryan Bartow of 247Sports.com, who sites LSU’s Corey Raymond, Alabama’s Mario Cristobal and West Virginia’s JaJuan Seider as the best out-of-towners year in and year out.
“But I think two guys have really done a better job recruiting South Florida this cycle than anybody, and the first one is Nick Monroe from Syracuse. That’s a new staff at Syracuse. Nick had relationships when he was at Bowling Green, but to have that condensed track and be able to close with those four players [Dillard three-star linebacker Kenneth Ruff and defensive tackle McKinley Williams, Fort Lauderdale three-star defensive end Jaquwan Nelson and Homestead three-star linebacker Rashad Smith], I think that’s a heck of a job.”
“But I think the South Florida recruiter of the year who has done the best work in his career in South Florida is coach Dennis Erickson. He came down here at 67 years old recruiting for Utah and got [Gatorade Player of the Year and star quarterback] Tyler Huntley, [receiver] Demari Simpkins and [running back] Zach Moss out of Hallandale and then [linebacker] Donovan Thompson from Miami Central late, who is probably pound for pound the best football player in Dade County. Dennis, when he comes down here, he gets what he’s looking for. Nobody came down and did a better job than Coach Erickson.”
There are still about another dozen undecided recruits in Dade and Broward who will announce their intentions Wednesday, and plenty more who could flip their current choice at the last second. Some could stay in-state.
But others, such as Miami Central four-star safety Jamel Cook, a longtime Florida State commitment, could end up opting to head out of the state to a school such as USC, a school he visited with close friend and Miami High star receiver Pie Young late in the recruiting process.
Coconut Creek All-American cornerback Trayvon Mullen will be among the more prominent announcements the nation keeps its eyes on. He’s making his decision — between FSU, LSU, Louisville, Clemson and TCU — at 9:10 a.m. on ESPN.
“I’m probably just going to use the hats,” Mullen said last week when asked if he was planning to use any props. “I’m going to be pretty straightforward with it. I’m going to tell the coaches the night before out of respect. They took all that time to recruit me.”
Columbus three-star defensive end Joshua Uche, one of those five locals headed to Michigan, also was a University of Miami recruit at one point. He, like Gil, said picking Michigan was easy. They both love coach Jim Harbaugh and the direction the Wolverines are going.
Gil said the Wolverines started to recruit him in June, after Bush visited Michigan unofficially and showed coaches tape of him and his teammates at Flanagan. A few days later, then-defensive coordinator DJ Durkin (now the head coach at Michigan) came to Florida and offered the rest of the Flanagan trio scholarship offers. The Falcons had one of the stingiest defenses in the state.
“Michigan has done a great job,” Bartow said. “They potentially could land the top recruit in the country tomorrow at one o’clock in Rashan Gary. They’re going to hot spots in the country to get dudes. And that was kind of by design. When they did those 10 satellite camps this summer — one in Atlanta, Tampa, Miami, Houston, Dallas, L.A. — those are the spots I spend my whole year going to because that’s where the dudes are.
“They went the extra step and extra level and it’s going to pay off.”
247sports composite top national recruits
Player, position, school, height/weight College
1. Rashan Gary, DT, Paramus Catholic (N.J.), 6-5, 293 Undecided
2. Dexter Lawrence, DT, Wake Forest (N.C.), 6-4, 327 Clemson
3. Gregory Little, OT, Allen (Texas), 6-5 1/2, 305 Ole Miss
4. Shea Patterson, QB, IMG Academy (Bradenton), 6-1 1/2, 192 Ole Miss
5. Jacob Eason, QB, Lake Stevens (Wash.), 6-5 1/2, 208 Georgia
6. Ed Oliver, DT, Westfield (Houston), 6-2, 277 Houston
7. Levonta Taylor, CB, Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, Va.), 5-11, 182 FSU
8. Nick Bosa, DE, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale), 6-4, 265 Ohio State
9. Derrick Brown, DT, Lanier (Buford, Ga.), 6-4, 317 Undecided
10. Ben Davis, LB, Gordo (Ala.), 6-3, 240 Undecided
11. Mique Juarez, LB, North Hill (Torrance, Calif.), 6-1 1/2, 231 Undecided)
12. Isaac Nauta, TE, IMG Academy (Buford, Ga.), 6-3 1/4, 244 Georgia
13. Mecole Hardman Jr., ATH, Elbert County (Ga.), 5-10, 169 Undecided
14. Demetris Robertson, WR, Savannah Christian Prep (Ga.), 5-11 3/4, 175 Undecided
15. Lyndell Wilson, OLB, Carver (Montgomery, Ala.), 6-2, 220 Undecided
16. Oluwole Betiku, DE, Juniperro Serra (Gardena, Calif.), 6-3 1/2, 240 USC
17. Jonah Williams, OT, Folsom (Calif.), 6-5, 296 Alabama
18. McTelvin Agim, DE, Hope (Ark.), 6-2 1/2, 268 Arkansas
19. Jeffery Simmons, DE, Noxubee County (Macon, Miss.), 6-3 1/2, 277 Undecided
20. Miles Sanders, RB, Woodland Hills (Pittsburgh, Pa.), 5-11, 199 Penn State
21. Kristian Fulton, CB, Archbishop Rummel (Metairie, La.), 6-0, 177 Undecided
22. Jack Jones, CB, Long Beach Poly (Calif.), 5-11, 164 Undecided
23. Rashard Lawrence, DT, Neville (Monroe, La.), 6-3, 305 LSU
24. Benito Jones, DT, Wayne County (Waynebsoro, Miss.), 6-2, 285 Ole Miss
25. Caleb Kelly, LB, Clovis West (Fresno, Calif.) 6-3 1/2, 215 Undecided
Local commitments by FBS conference
There are 91 players committed to FBS programs in Miami-Dade and Broward with another dozen yet to announce their intentions. Here’s where the current commitments are headed, by conference:
ACC: 16 (UM 6, Syracuse 4, FSU 3, North Carolina 1, N.C. State 1, Duke 1)
Big Ten: 16 (Michigan 5, Illinois 3, Ohio State 2, Wisconsin 2, Maryland 2, Purdue 1, Nebraska 1)
Conference USA: 12 (FAU 5, FIU 4, Western Kentucky 2, Marshall 1)
MAC: 12 (Toledo 4, Northern Illinois 3, Akron 2, UMass 1, Bowling Green 1, Kent State 1)
American: 9 (UCF 4, Navy 2, USF 1, Cincinnati 1, Tulane 1)
SEC: 9 (Florida 4, Vanderbilt 1, Tennessee 1, Georgia 1, Arkansas 1, South Carolina 1)
Pac-12: 9 (Utah 5, Oregon State 2, Colorado 2)
Mountain West: 5 (Air Force 3, Nevada 1, Colorado State 1)
Independents: 4 (Army 3, Notre Dame 1)
Big 12: 3 (Iowa State 2, Kansas 1)