Barry Jackson

UM adds another blue-chipper in recruiting; Canes personnel notes

Jon Ford, Dillard High School Football.
Jon Ford, Dillard High School Football. Sun Sentinel

UM’s 2018 recruiting class, already rated No. 1 nationally by Rivals, got even stronger Monday evening when four-star Orlando-based offensive tackle John Campbell became the Hurricanes’ 19th oral commitment.

Rivals rates Campbell the 10th best offensive tackle in the 2018 class and the 124th best player nationally.

ESPN, however, doesn’t list him among its top 30 offensive tackles or 300 best players overall.

“It's a great day to be a massive, strong, agile, roadgrading Cane!” Mark Richt tweeted, prohibited by NCAA rules to name Campbell specifically. “Our QBs just got safer and our RBs just found more room to run! U Family!”

Campbell, who has been playing left tackle for Orlando Dr. Phillips, told Canesport that he picked up a UM scholarship offer on Christmas eve, his sixth offer at the time. He eventually would have more than 40 offers and chose Miami over Florida.

"Just the feeling that goes around at Miami is different," Campbell told Canesport. "I’m not going to sugarcoat anything with coaches; I just tell them how I feel. They treated me like I’m their family. They’re real.

“[Offensive line coach Stacy Searels] was saying I’m a top priority, that I can come in and do big things at Miami. He said he loves the way I play, loves my film and needs more guys like me that can get the job done."

Campbell also said: “I’ve been building a relationship being good friends with [UM freshman offensive lineman] Navaughn Donaldson. I feel like that’s a brother to me now. Different players at different places I reach out to, they don’t really want to talk to you.”

With Campbell’s commitment, moved UM back to the No. 1 spot in its recruiting rankings, past Ohio State.

• Every member of UM’s 2017 recruiting class has now enrolled except one: three-star Fort Lauderdale Dillard defensive lineman Jon Ford.

Ford (pictured above) originally was expected to arrive for Summer Session 2, which began this week, but did not. UM did not clarify whether his absence is related to any academic or clearinghouse issues.

His mother told Canesport that he’s now expected to arrive in early August, with practice beginning Aug. 1.

Four other 2017 recruits arrived at UM in recent days: four-star defensive end D.J. Johnson, four-star linebacker De’Andre Wilder, three-star receiver Evidence Njoku and punter Zach Feagles.

Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said everyone on campus is excited to see Johnson, who reportedly had more scholarship offers than any player in the country last season.

• Meanwhile, the basketball team welcomed its best recruiting class ever to campus in the past few days: guard Lonnie Walker (rated the 12th best recruit by ESPN), point guard Chris Lykes (rated 46th best), power forward Deng Gak (rated 92nd), plus Mt. St. Mary’s transfer guard Miles Wilson, who isn’t eligible to play until the 2018-19 season.

The other member of UM’s incoming class, New Zealand forward Sam Waardenburg (6-9, 205), enrolled in January.

ESPN rates UM’s freshman group 10th in the country.

Though UM has one scholarship left, the Hurricanes aren’t sure they will use it. They would prefer to add a transfer with that scholarship.

• Couple other football notes: Linebacker Mike Smith will also be used at fullback, UM says. Marquez Williams, drafted in the seventh round by the Jacksonville Jaguars, was UM’s fullback when Richt used one last season…

Diaz says no decision has been made on whether former Miami Central linebacker Waynmon Steed, who arrived in January, will redshirt this season after undergoing surgery on a torn ACL last November.

• One UM official said freshman running back Robert Burns was impressive before a shoulder injury sidelined him for much of spring ball.

“Physical, can cut, lots of movement skills for a guy that big,” the official said.

Richt has said Burns will be ready to go for the Aug. 1 start of practice.

Here’s my July 4 post with Dolphins notes, including some eye-opening comments from Ndamukong Suh and some personnel items.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz