Barry Jackson

Key UM recruits offer range of reaction on their level of commitment

Southridge wide receiver Mark Pope (3) celebrates on the sidelines after catching a late fourth quarter touch down pass to take the lead as Miami Southridge plays Orlando Dr. Phillips for Class 8A state football championship at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Sat., Dec. 10, 2016
Southridge wide receiver Mark Pope (3) celebrates on the sidelines after catching a late fourth quarter touch down pass to take the lead as Miami Southridge plays Orlando Dr. Phillips for Class 8A state football championship at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Sat., Dec. 10, 2016 adiaz@miamiherald.com

A six-pack of UM notes on a Monday:

• Miami Southridge receiver Mark Pope, whose has kept alive some suspense in his recruiting in recent months, said this to The Miami Herald on Saturday about his Hurricanes commitment:

“It’s solid. It’s just this is where I’m from. It’s Miami. It’s my home. Why would I want to leave? My family has a 20-minute drive to come see me play.”

But then later in the day, he told Rivals.com: “I told Miami I was going [to visit Florida]. They just asked me ‘Why? Why visit?’ I just told them I want to look and see what’s best for me. Florida is losing five receivers. That’s why they really need me, but it’s going to be about my visit there and my visit to Miami. I just have to see.”

Pope said Florida and UM will be his only official visits. Rivals rates Pope the No. 6 receiver and No. 25 overall prospect of 2018.

Southridge wide receiver Mark Pope talks about his game-winning touchdown catch in the Class 8A state championship on Dec. 10, 2016.

• Conversely, a few other players at High School Media Day on Saturday left no doubt about their intentions.

St. Thomas Aquinas four-star cornerback Al Blades Jr. said his commitment is “100 percent” and he’s trying to persuade teammate Asante Samuel to drop his FSU commitment “and come over to UM. I talk to him a lot about it.”

Rivals rates Samuel the nation’s No. 3 cornerback prospect for 2018 and Blades the sixth-best.

• Hialeah Champagnat four-star prospect Gregory Rosseau said he has 18 offers but “I am pretty set with Miami. Before, LSU and Georgia [were tempting] but they are out of the picture now.”

He said UM plans to use his as an outside linebacker and defensive end.

And four-star Carol City running back Cam’ron Davis said he is “100 percent committed” and is trying to lure Plantation American Heritage cornerbacks Patrick Surtain Jr. and Tyson Campbell to UM. Here’s what Surtain and Campbell said about where they stand.

• Surtain and Campbell say four-star American Heritage defensive tackle Nesta Silvera has been trying to persuade them to come to UM, but Silvera was coy when asked about the certainty of his UM commitment. Our exchange on the topic:

So Nesta, are you 100 percent committed? “I don’t know how you put a percentage on it.”

Are you sure you’re going to enroll at UM? “I mean I’m still committed.”

Will you take visits elsewhere? “Florida and Ohio State.”

Do you think ultimately you will end up with Miami? “I don’t know how to answer that question for you.”

OK then.

Silvera, a four-star defensive tackle, is critical to this UM class, especially because it’s possible Kendrick Norton and/or Richard McIntosh Jr. could turn pro after this season.

• North Broward Prep receiver Kevin Austin, rated the No. 23 wide receiver in the country by 247Sports, is planning to announce his choice Friday. Austin has Notre Dame, Miami, Tennessee and Duke among his lead candidates.

Deerfield Beach linebacker Rosendo Louis, who has been offered by both UM and FSU, plans to declare his intentions on Aug. 18.

• One UM source said last week that it had become clear that junior Tyler Gauthier was likely to win the starting center job ahead of Nick Linder. So Linder’s decision to sit out the year and then change schools as a grad transfer shouldn’t be hurtful unless Gauthier is injured.

UM also loves the upside of its new backup center, freshman Corey Gaynor.

Susan Miller Degnan has more on Linder’s transfer and injury update on Evidence Njoku elsewhere on the web site. Please click here for news on the Dolphins’ depth chart and a future Hall of Famer counseling Dolphins receivers.

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