High School Recruiting

This star linebacker — sought by Alabama and Georgia — transfers to Miami Central

Star outside linebacker Jesus Machado, a Class of 2020 prospect with offers from Alabama, Georgia, Florida State and others, has left Champagnat Catholic to join Miami Central.
Star outside linebacker Jesus Machado, a Class of 2020 prospect with offers from Alabama, Georgia, Florida State and others, has left Champagnat Catholic to join Miami Central. dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Star outside linebacker Jesus Machado, a Class of 2020 prospect with offers from Alabama, Georgia, Florida State and others, has left Champagnat Catholic to join Miami Central.

Machado, a natural pass rusher at 6-1 and 205 pounds, will work on dropping into coverage so he can prepare for the skill sets he will need in college.

“He’s a winner,” Central coach Roland Smith said of Machado.

The Rockets, who have won five Class 6A state titles in the past eight years, will play another tough schedule in 2018, including a trip to Washington DC to play St. John’s.

Central finished 9-3 last season, losing to eventual state champions Miami Northwestern in the playoffs. The Rockets placed an amazing amount of players in college — 24, according to defensive line coach Corey White, who handles much of the recruiting.

The Rockets had five Division I running backs on last year’s roster, which is, frankly, more than many Division I colleges.

But that list has been pared down now that four-star runner James Cook has signed with Georgia, 2021 recruit Amari Daniels has transferred to Miami Jackson, and 2019’s Willie Davis bolted for Chaminade.

Daniels has offers from Miami, Georgia, Louisville and Texas A&M, but he left for the Generals when his father was named was named the new coach at Jackson.

Central still has two top running backs remaining, Lexington Joseph, a 5-9, 180-pounder from the Class of 2019; and Kejon Owens, a 5-11, 185-pounder from the Class of 2020.

Joseph has offers from Pitt, Boston College, South Florida, East Carolina and Tulane. Owens has offers from Louisville, FIU, Central Florida, Kentucky and Syracuse.

Central has four other 2019 players with Division I offers, including quarterback Maurice Underwood, a 6-3, 180-pounder who has committed to Marshall.

Offensive lineman Maurice Smith (6-3, 290) has offers from FAU, Mississippi State, Marshall, UAB, Indiana, Tulane and Liberty; outside linebacker Tatum Bethune (6-0, 215) has offers from Boston College, UNLV, Auburn, UAB and Tulane; and defensive lineman Andre Auguste (6-1, 275) has an offer from FAU.

Central’s Class of 2020 includes wide receiver Josue Ultima (6-3, 175), who has offers from Tulane and Boston College; and cornerback Henry Gray (6-1, 175), who has offers from Miami, Boston College, Kentucky, South Florida, Baylor, Syracuse and more.

“Both Ultima and Gray have skill and speed but also that length that scouts covet,” White said.

Central’s youngest prospect is Laurence Seymore, a 6-2, 280-pound offensive line recruit from the Class of 2021. He dominated a Hurricanes camp as an eighth-grader, White said, whipping junior and senior linemen, and Miami quickly offered a scholarship. After that, South Carolina also offered.

“Laurence could play guard or tackle,” White said. “His father is 6-foot-5, so there is the real chance he is still growing.”

THIS AND THAT

▪ Of IMG Academy’s top 11 football recruits from the Class of 2018, only wide receiver Brian Hightower – who signed with Miami – stayed in-state.

Hightower joins two scholarship IMG players on the Hurricanes roster, offense tackle Tyree St. Louis and defensive end Scott Patchan.

As for the Class of 2019, Miami has offers out to seven IMG players including the top two running backs in the nation, Trey Sanders and Noah Cain, ex-Miami High offensive lineman Dontae Lucas and top-three defensive end Nolan Smith.

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