Barry Jackson

UM doubles-down in elite recruiting class; NFL official on Walton; Canes notes

Some UM football nuggets on a Wednesday:

• One of the most impressive things about UM’s No. 1-rated 2018 recruiting class is how the Hurricanes doubled down at positions, and how those players do not appear afraid of competition.

UM has non-binding commitments from’s No. 3 and No. 6 tailbacks (Lorenzo Lingard and Camron Davis), the No. 3 and No. 13 tight ends (Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory), the No. 6 and No. 16 receivers (Mark Pope and Brian Hightower) and the Nos.15, 16, and 17 safeties (Josh Jobe, Gurvan Hall and Gilbert Frierson).

Besides this coaching staff’s acument as recruiters and all of UM’s appealing assets, there are three other factors at play here in explaining why UM has been able to lure multiple top players at the same positions:

• These players do not appear afraid of competition.

• They know they have a good chance to play as freshmen. Tight end Chris Herndon is a senior; running back Mark Walton might turn pro after the 2017 season and UM is open to upgrading at safety.

• Several of these players have good relationships.

For example, Lingard told Canesport’s Matt Shodell that he and Davis have become good friends.

“We speak every week,” Lingard said. “We always talk about how we can’t wait to be there, that we’re going to work and compete and win some games and get touchdowns.”

When tight end Mallory committed, he referenced tight end Jordan in a Twitter post noted by reporter JT Wilcox: “@Brevinjordan & I can both do it all. I’m excited about [Miami’s] plans for us.”

• Kayode Oladele, an FSU oral commit who’s rated by Rivals as the No. 18 strongside defensive in the 2018 class, told Canesport that Miami has begun recruiting him and “I’m for sure considering Miami. It’s Miami and Florida State, I don’t have anyone else I’m looking at right now….

“I just like the [UM] program and I like the feeling I’m getting from coach Kool [Craig Kuligowski]. I feel like he develops players into NFL players. He’s a great coach.”

• UM still needs more defensive tackle help, and Covington, Ga.-based Darnell Jefferies, rated the No. 45 defensive tackle, said he’s considering UM, though Clemson reportedly is his favorite.

Asked by Canesport if Miami has a good chance of being in his top group, Jefferies said: “They really do.”

• Plantation American Heritage cornerback Tyson Campbell, one of UM’s high-priority targets, remains undecided and has said he might not commit until after high school football season. Rivals rates him as the nation’s No. 9 corner.

• What Canes are considered the best prospects for next year’s draft?

One AFC front office official said Walton is UM’s best prospect in next year’s draft if he turns pro and he “has a chance to be a second or third round pick. Tough, good body control, good hands. Does a lot of good things.”

The executive said senior defensive end Chad Thomas was worthy of a sixth-round pick if he had turned pro for this past draft. Scouts also will be watching senior tight end Chris Herndon, junior defensive tackles Kendrick Norton and Richard McIntosh, incoming senior cornerback Dee Delaney, senior offensive linemen Kc McDermott and Nick Linder and senior kicker Michael Badgley.

We’re in the midst of posting five blogs today.

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