Barry Jackson

UM lining up recruiting visits; Canes nuggets

Miami head coach Mark Richt talks to his team during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Virginia Tech at Lane stadium in Blacksburg, Va., Thurs., Oct. 20, 2016. Virginia Tech defeated Miami 37-16.
Miami head coach Mark Richt talks to his team during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Virginia Tech at Lane stadium in Blacksburg, Va., Thurs., Oct. 20, 2016. Virginia Tech defeated Miami 37-16. AP

Some UM notes on a Wednesday:

There’s a big recruiting weekend on tap at UM, with more than a half dozen prospects expected on campus.

Among those expected, per Canesport.com:

• Daytona Beach-based safety Cyrus Fagan.

UM is making a big push to snag the FSU oral commit, who’s rated the nation’s No. 7 safety by Rivals.com.

It will be challenging to get him to flip, but if UM doesn’t, it could make an offer to Southridge safety Antwan Collier, who has indicated to Canesport that he will accept an offer from UM if he gets one.

Fagan is the only reported visit this weekend by a player not already committed to UM, though others could surface.

• Tampa-based quarterback Cade Weldon, a UM oral commitment.

He is projected to enroll at UM in January and told Canesport.com that he would like a chance to battle for the starting job if Brad Kaaya turns pro. Otherwise, he would be content redshirting.

Weldon isn’t considered quite as exciting a prospect as UM’s other QB oral commit, N’Kosi Perry, but don’t sell him short.

He can run, threw for 3135 yards at Tampa Jefferson this season and has good bloodlines (son of former FSU quarterback Casey Weldon, a former All-American and 1991 Heisman Trophy runner-up).

• Lake Worth defensive end Jonathan Garvin, a three-star defensive end who’s orally committed to Miami.

He had an absurd 59 tackles for loss and 18 sacks this season and is projected to graduate early.

• Miami Central offensive tackle Navaughn Donaldson, a UM oral commitment.

Rated the No. 8 offensive tackle and No. 44 overall prospect by Rivals, Donaldson is as close to a must-get for UM as anyone in Miami’s class.

He told me in August that UM coaches contacted him every day and he’s 70 percent committed to Miami. But FSU is pushing hard. Asked by Canesport.com last week if FSU is close to UM, he said: “I can’t say for sure right now.” So UM needs to close the deal here.

• Central High linebacker Waymon Steed, a UM oral commitment.

He’s coming off major knee surgery but expects to be ready to start next season. He appears fully committed to UM.

• Two safeties who are orally committed to UM: Southridge’s Billy Gibson and Palm Beach Garden’s Amari Carter.

UM feels an urgent need at safety and these two three-star prospects appear firm in their commitment and intend to enroll early. UM assistant coaches Ephraim Banda and Mike Rumph recently brought a projector to Carter’s house to watch film, Canesport.com reported.

• Miami Gulliver running back Robert Burns.

He’s the only running back orally committed to UM and UM wants to add two. Views vary somewhat on Burns; ESPN ranks him among the top 80 players in the country but Rivals rates him a three-star player and the nation’s No. 23 back.

• Jacksonville-based Bradley Jennings Jr., a UM oral commitment who’s rated the No. 29 outside linebacker prospect by rivals.com.

UM has three linebackers committed and is starting to develop needed depth at that spot.

NOTABLE

• UM is making a strong push for four-star Maryland-based Anthony McFarland, a 5-8 running back who’s rated by rivals as the No. 3 all-purpose back and No. 135 prospect in the 2017 class. He has a top two of UM and Maryland, but Alabama might enter the picture.

• Buffalo (NY) Erie Community College defensive end/linebacker/fullback Jack Pope committed to UM as a preferred walk-on, per Canesport. UM wants him as a defensive end; he had 13 sacks last season.

• A UM official said the Hurricanes – based on feedback - aren’t convinced Brad Kaaya would definitely go before the third round, but views are mixed (some have him going much higher) and discussions between Kaaya and Mark Richt are ongoing.

ESPN analysts don’t rate Kaaya as a first-rounder any more; Mel Kiper his dropped him to sixth among draft-eligible quarterbacks behind UNC’s Mitch Trubisky, Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes, Washington State’s Luke Falk, Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer and Clemson’s DeShaun Watson.

Meanwhile, Kiper raised Stacy Coley to eighth among receivers: “talented player.” Coley previously hadn’t been in Kiper’s top 10.

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