High School Recruiting

University of Miami expects good news from top three recruits on National Signing Day

Columbus defensive back C.J. Henderson has been leaning toward Miami.
Columbus defensive back C.J. Henderson has been leaning toward Miami. pbosch@miamiherald.com

As National Signing Day nears, there will be no shortage of drama as some of the top prospects in the country make their college announcements Wednesday.

The three prospects that the University of Miami feels most confident about landing are wide receivers Jeff Thomas and Mike Harley, along with cornerback Jhavonte Dean.

Illinois product Thomas is set to announce his choice live on ESPNU at 10 a.m. Wednesday, when UM coach Mark Richt and staff are expecting some good news on the national stage.

Harley, the Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas star, will make his intentions known at 10:15 a.m on CBS Sports Network’s live Signing Day show.

The most uncertainty for the Canes is the pending decisions of defensive back prospects C.J. Henderson of Columbus and Brian Edwards of Miramar.

Things had turned in Miami’s favor in regards to Henderson over the past week, as sources told the Miami Herald that the speedster informed both Florida and Miami’s staff of his decision. He was scheduled to visit Miami’s campus Sunday night, but his no-show sparked speculation that UF was still alive in the race.

Henderson has been to Miami’s campus nearly 20 times in the past year, so missing Sunday might not be major in the grand scheme of things. He will make his decision official noon Wednesday during a ceremony at his school.

Edwards, according to sources, told Miami last week that his choice would be the Canes, but after visiting UF this past weekend, he also informed Florida coaches that he would be attending their school.

Although sources close to Edwards confirmed that his family and mother have been pushing for the hometown Hurricanes, the cornerback seems to be leaning toward Florida once again.

With the way his recruitment has shaken out, it would not surprise people close to him if his mind changed again before he is scheduled to make his announcement at 1 p.m at Miramar High.

Canes safety commit Derrick Smith spoke to the Herald following his official visit to Miami over the weekend. He credited the coaching staff, and particularly his position coach Ephraim Banda, for making him and his parents feel at home.

“My mom feels comfortable about everything and she doesn’t have to worry about anything with me coming here,” Smith said. “Coach Banda and I had a great time with good laughs and everything about it was great.”

Smith’s host on the visit was standout freshman linebacker Michael Pinckney, who is from the same Jacksonville area as Smith.

“Mike and I go way back. He showed me around Miami and he was talking to me about how I just need to come in ready to work. He was also telling me what not to do such as being late to meetings,” Smith said.

His favorite meal on the visit? Lobster from the Rusty Pelican. Smith is slated to arrive at UM in May.