The University of Miami football team hosted its annual Junior Day on Saturday, giving Class of 2017 recruits a chance to congregate on campus, peruse what UM has to offer and meet with the new coaching staff headed by Mark Richt.
Although the only movement in the 2017 commitment list was the loss of a commit without gaining any, it was an overall positive experience for recruits on hand.
▪ First, the one that got away: St. Thomas Aquinas four-star linebacker Tyler Dunning. Noting that he “didn’t feel comfortable” to the Miami Herald, he pulled a coach aside at Junior Day and let him know he was decommitting. Dunning added that the new staff wasn’t recruiting him very hard. He was unsure if he would even attend Junior Day until Friday night, and his decommitment appeared imminent since a CaneSport report early last week quoted him as saying he’s “open.”
▪ Other Aquinas Raiders to show were five-star wide receiver Trevon Grimes, four-star running back Kyshaun Bryan and offensive linemen Zack Sweeney and Cody Bowes.
Grimes always listed Ohio State as his favorite, but he previously told the Herald that he’d take a look at UM.
Bryan says he has great rapport with Richt and offensive coordinator/running backs coach Thomas Brown from their time at Georgia. Bowes doesn’t have a UM offer but has said it is his top school.
▪ Carol City four-star wide receiver Kevaughn Dingle said he had productive one-on-one talks with Richt and wide receivers coach Ron Dugans.
Dingle says he is close to committing to the Canes, but is “still doing a little thinking” with West Virginia and Tennessee in the mix.
▪ Another high-priority Carol City recruit is four-star linebacker/defensive end De’Andre Wilder. He lists UM as his favorite, but wants to explore options, take more visits and make a decision after his senior season.
“The coaches seem all in on winning and making sure the home talent stays home – great guys and great facilities,” Wilder says.
▪ Dingle and Wilder’s Chiefs teammate, three-star defensive tackle Rashad Colson who has offers from Temple and Baylor in hand, really thinks a UM offer could bump the Hurricanes to the top of his list.
“It was such an amazing atmosphere throughout the whole entire campus,” Colson said. “Ever since [I was] a kid I pictured myself playing for the University of Miami and hopefully that offer will come soon.”
▪ Another prospect who says the Canes would shoot to the top if they offer is Neptune Beach Fletcher offensive tackle Cordavien Suggs.
“I liked the coaches. They have great energy, and I liked the facilities,” said Suggs, a 6-7, 260-pounder who lists South Carolina, Tennessee, Memphis, Louisville and Wake Forest offers.
▪ Palm Beach Gardens three-star safety Amari Carter says UM is one of his top schools with UNC, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin and Notre Dame.
“I enjoyed [Junior Day] a lot,” Carter said. “They did a great job with their presentations and keeping us involved. The vibe was great.”
▪ Miami Central linebacker Waynmon Steed, a UM commit who missed his entire junior season with a shoulder injury, called UM “home sweet home” in a Twitter post, and committed four-star defensive lineman of Dillard, Jon Ford was also there.
▪ UF four-star offensive lineman commit Kadeem Telfort, who was once committed to the Canes, was present, as well as Gator lean Bruce Judson, a two-way player from Cocoa. Others from out of state to visit include Mobile (Alabama) St. Paul’s Episcopal four-star defensive end Ryan Johnson, running back Nicholas Sims from nearby Murphy High, Houston (Texas) Lamar four-star safety Grant Delpit, a trio of players from Brunswick (Georgia) in wide receiver Shawn Smith and linemen D’antne Demery and Jabori Williams, according to their social media posts from Coral Gables.
▪ Younger recruits were also on hand. Coral Gables 2018 defensive back Gilbert Frierson scored a scholarship offer from UM. Another sophomore who will be a top priority in Champagnat linebacker Donovan Georges was there, as well as Loganville (Georgia) Grayson’s highly-coveted 2019 prospect Owen Pappoe.