Barry Jackson

Two of nation’s best cornerbacks say they’re considering UM

Plantation American Heritage cornerback Tyson Campbell
Plantation American Heritage cornerback Tyson Campbell

Plantation American Heritage teammates Patrick Surtain Jr. and Tyson Campbell, two of the nation’s best cornerback prospects, said Saturday they are seriously considering UM, which would bolster one of the nation’s top recruiting classes if the Hurricanes can land either.

The Hurricanes, whose 2018 class is rated first or second by major services, faces longer odds for Surtain than Campbell.

Surtain Jr., son of former Dolphins standout cornerback Patrick Surtain, said LSU is “still at the top” but listed Miami among seven other schools he’s considering. The others: Alabama, Florida State, Clemson, Ohio State, USC and Florida.

Surtain Jr., rated the nation’s No. 1 2018 cornerback prospect and No. 2 overall prospect by Rivals, said LSU has “a great program and great coaches and my type of playing skills would translate to their defense.”

But he reiterated that UM remains in the mix.

Asked if UM has a real chance, Surtain Jr. told me: “Yeah. I’ve been talking to Miami a lot, talking to coach [Mark] Richt, coach [Mike] Rumph, coach [Ephraim] Banda. I’ve been talking to them lately. Hopefully I can get a official up there and visit some

games and go around the campus more and [talk to] some of the players.

“Miami is a great program. Coach Rumph and coach Banda do a great job with the defensive scheme. I feel like my defensive style could fit in their scheme too by the way they play. I feel Miami is bringing that swag back like the old school Canes.”

But does part of him want to get away for college?

“In some sorts in my mind, but that’s not really a major, major decision,” he said. “Whatever feels right, what school I feel most comfortable with” is where he will end up.

He said UM freshmen Mike Harley and Trajan Bandy and two UM oral commitments - St. Thomas Aquinas cornerback Al Blades Jr. and American Heritage teammate/defensive tackle Nesta Silvera - have been encouraging him to attend to UM.

Meanwhile, has reported that UM is the front-runner for Campbell, a 6-2 corner who is rated the eighth best cornerback and 63rd best player overall by Rivals.

Campbell told me he doesn’t have a favorite or a list of finalists but said UM is “one of my top schools. It can always be good to stay home. But at the same time, it may not be the best opportunity. I’ve got to keep those other schools in mind.”

He listed Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, Georgia, Alabama, Clemson and LSU as those other schools that also appeal to him.

So is he leaning toward leaving? “At this point, I don’t really know,” he said. “Some days I think about leaving. Some days I think about staying.”

Asked what’s most appealing about UM, he said “opportunity to play [quickly]. It’s home. The future they have is looking bright.”

Campbell said teammate Silvera is urging him to attend UM.

UM already has oral commitments from three cornerbacks rated among ESPN’s top 200 overall prospects for 2018: Blades Jr. (rated 37th by ESPN), Josh Jobe (110) and Coral Gables’ Gilbert Frierson (183), as well as South Dade three-star prospect D.J. Ivey.

Jobe will play his senior season at Chesire Academy in Connecticut because he has exceeded the South Florida age limit to play high school football, Columbus coach Chris Merritt told colleague Andre Fernandez today, while adding that Jobe is still a UM commitment.

I covered the Dolphins’ scrimmage and the Dolphins’ annual high school media day - simultaneously - both at Hard Rock Stadium today and will have more to report on UM recruiting (from today’s event) in the coming days, so please check back.

Here’s my post on the Dolphins signing an FIU player at a need position. Here’s my post with lots of Dolphins nuggets from today... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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