High School Recruiting

Herbert commit gives UM haul along offensive line

Kai-Leon Herbert committed to UM.
Kai-Leon Herbert committed to UM. ctrainor@mamiiherald.com

The best news for the University of Maimi football team this week was American Heritage offensive lineman Kai-Leon Herbert’s commitment on Wednesday night. Fresh off of a visit to Miami last week, Herbert decommitted from Michigan and flipped to the Canes just three days later.

The four-star prospect Herbert joins an impressive list of Hurricanes offensive line commits in Navaughn Donaldson, Corey Gaynor, Zach Dykstra and Zalon’tae Hillery. He was originally scheduled to visit Gainesville this weekend but canceled the trip after his Miami commitment.

UM’s group of official visitors this weekend is highlighted by commits N’Kosi Perry, Jonathan Ford and Derrick Smith. Major priority receiver target Devonta Smith from Louisiana is also visiting Coral Gables this weekend.

As Miami looks to finish extremely strong at both wide receiver and defensive back, the biggest mystery remaining on the board is Smith, who is also looking at Alabama, LSU and FSU. Smith visited UM last July for its paradise camp recruiting event, and will be taking his official visit through Sunday. Like the Canes did last weekend with Herbert, a strong visit could potentially swing things in their favor as Smith intends to announce on National Signing Say on Wednesday.

Perry is a prospect who some within the program expect to be a major player in the upcoming quarterback battle. The disadvantage for Perry in the competition is that he will not be enrolled in school until May.

UM coaches did an in-home visit with Ford earlier in the week, and he is slated to sign with the Canes on Wednesday. Smith committed to the Hurricanes in mid-December, and defensive coaches are excited about his ability as a physical safety who can either play near the line of scrimmage or in center field.

Maryland-based running back Anthony McFarland chose the hometown Terrapins over the Hurricanes on Friday afternoon, announcing via Bleacher Report’s Snapchat page. It was a surprise recruiting loss for UM, which was expecting him in their class until Tuesday night when McFarland met with Maryland coaches for a final time. He told them he was choosing the Canes, but Maryland got him to delay his announcement from Wednesday morning to Friday.

A source told the Miami Herald that McFarland had been committed to Miami coaches since October and that as late as Monday night he was texting UM coach Mark Richt with excitement about next season’s Canes team.

Miramar defensive back Brian Edwards is visiting Florida this weekend. The Gators lost a commitment from blue-chip prospect Elijah Blades earlier in the week, and Columbus prospect C.J. Henderson is leaning toward Miami, so Edwards has become pivotal for Florida. He also appears to be favoring the Hurricanes at this point, according to multiple sources.