Barry Jackson

Several top recruits enrolling at UM this week; Heat trade report

Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt before the start of the game as the University of Miami takes on the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando Wed., Dec. 28, 2016.
Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt before the start of the game as the University of Miami takes on the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando Wed., Dec. 28, 2016. adiaz@miamiherald.com

A six-pack of Heat and UM notes:

• Ten UM recruits said they expect to enroll this week, a group that might include a future starter at quarterback and a high-impact offensive tackle, among others.

Here’s who is expected on campus as early as Wednesday, according to Canesport.com’s Matt Shodell and other recruiting sites: quarterback Cade Weldon (wants a chance to compete for starting job); running back Robert Burns (ESPN’s No. 67 player in this 2017 class), safety Amari Carter (UM is worried about depth at safety), linebackers Bradley Jennings and Waymon Steed (who is coming off a serious knee injury), elite offensive lineman Navaughn Donaldson (will begin his UM career at right tackle), offensive tackle Zach Dykstra, defensive end Jonathan Garvin (25 sacks for Lake Worth High this season), tight end Brian Polendey and four-star cornerback Deejay Dallas (can also play receiver).

• UM is thin at receiver, with essentially nothing for 2017 beyond a projected top five of Ahmmon Richards, Lawrence Cager, Braxton Berrios, Dayall Harris and Dionte Mullins. (Darrell Langham is on the roster but didn’t catch a pass last season.)

The Hurricanes, who have one oral commitment at the position (three-star Evidence Njoku), are hot after five-star receiver DeVonta Smith (UM, LSU and Alabama are finalists), four-star Illinois-based receiver Jeff Thomas (will visit UM and Louisville) and three-star Winter Park receiver Jordan Pouncey, a former Notre Dame commit.

Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt talks about the victory over West Virginia in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Wed., Dec. 28, 2016.

• Pouncey, according to Canesport, will be among six on-campus visitors this weekend, a group that also includes cornerback target Jhavonte Dean, four-star Virginia-based defensive lineman Elijah Conliffe and three UM oral commitments: defensive end DJ Johnson, Njoku and cornerback Trajan Bandy.

Dean, considered the top junior college cornerback, is an Alabama commitment but a family member told Herald contributor/caneinsight chief Peter Ariz that Dean likely will flip to UM. Dean is a four-star prospect with good size (6-2).

Rivals rates Conliffe’s as the No. 16 defensive tackle in the nation. He has numerous offers, including from Alabama and UF....

FYI: Former UM defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio has resurfaced in the same job at the University of Houston.

• Freshman guard Bruce Brown has been everything UM could have hoped for. Beyond averaging 10.9 points, 3.2 assists and 1.6 steals, his 7.3 rebounds per game lead all major conferences among freshmen guards. UM has its guards watch film on Russell Westbrook to push them to become good rebounders.

Brown is excited about playing in front of Dick Vitale, who will call Thursday's Notre Dame-at-UM game with Karl Ravech (7 p.m, ESPN). "Knowing he will be there watching me play is amazing," he said.

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said today of Jim Larranaga: "He's had great guards. His success has been based on the guard play they have. They still have very, very good guards. They're playing the slowest of anybody in the league.”

• ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported that the Heat has made every player available in trade talks, and not even Hassan Whiteside is untouchable.

“Up and down the roster, literally every player is available,” Lowe reports. “No one is untouchable, not even Hassan Whiteside.”

I have not independently confirmed that Whiteside is available, and no other NBA reporter is reporting that. ESPN’s Marc Stein said the Heat has a very high asking price for Goran Dragic, diminishing the chances of a trade.

This is the second Heat trade report in recent weeks. The Heat vehemently denied Chris Mannix’s report that Miami had spoken to Sacramento about a trade involving Dragic.

UPDATE: A Heat spokesperson said Tuesday night that Whiteside is not available in trade discussions.

• Not only did Justise Winslow finish his short-circuited second NBA season with the third-lowest shooting percentage of any starting small forward (35.4, ahead of only Robert Covington and Al Farouq Aminu), but this was more surprising: Players guarded by him shot 49.2 percent, worst among all starting small forwards. He has much to prove next season.

  Comments