Barry Jackson

UM football coach wants early recruits to ‘sign the dadgum’ paperwork

Champagnat's Gregory Rousseau (5) advances a blocked punt as Champagnat plays Jacksonville University Christian.
Champagnat's Gregory Rousseau (5) advances a blocked punt as Champagnat plays Jacksonville University Christian. adiaz@miamiherald.com

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday:

▪ With the first ever early signing period just two weeks away, coach Mark Richt has a message to UM’s 21 oral commitments:

“Sign the dadgum thing and get it rolling!”

Appearing on WQAM’s Hurricane Hotline, Richt said he expects 10 or 11 of UM’s oral commitments to sign between Dec. 20 and Dec. 22. Published reports have 12 or 13 signing.

According to caneinsight’s Peter Ariz, these players have said they will sign early:

Defensive backs Gilbert Frierson and D.J. Ivey; tight ends Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory; running back Lorenzo Lingard, fullback Realus George; receivers Mark Pope and Daquris Wiggins; offensive linemen Delone Scaife and John Campbell; and linebacker/defensive end Gregory Rousseau.

Jordan, Lingard, Pope, Campbell and Frierson are all considered elite prospects, and the others are also well-regarded.

Four-star quarterback Jarren Williams also is signing early and enrolling in January, per Canesport.

▪ Josh Jobe, the former Miami Columbus High corner who’s attending school and playing football in Connecticut this year, also plans to sign in December. But it’s no longer clear whether he will pick Miami.

Jobe told Canesport that he will choose between UM and Alabama and won’t take an official visit to Miami but will visit Alabama the weekend before he signs.

He said he still considers himself a UM commitment. Asked whether it would be difficult to say no to UM, he said: “It’d be tough, but I have to make my decision.”

▪ Add four-star Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. to the list of FSU commits that UM is trying to flip.

Samuel Jr. is rated by Rivals as the No. 6 cornerback and No. 39 overall prospect for 2018.

What are the chances of UM flipping him?

“I mean, it’s a chance,” Samuel told Canesport’s Matt Shodell. “I just have to feel comfortable with the situation in the program.”

▪ Meanwhile, UM appears to have possibly made inroads with its top two cornerback targets — Plantation American Heritage teammates Patrick Surtain and Tyson Campbell.

The five-star Surtain, rated the No. 1 corner and No. 6 overall player by Rivals, has long been considered a lean toward LSU but told our Manny Navarro last week that he’s considering UM and seemed to enjoy his in-home visit with Canes coaches this week.

“Great in-home visit with UM,” Surtain tweeted this week in a picture alongside UM defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph and safeties coach Ephraim Banda.

Campbell, rated the 11th-best corner and 88th-best prospect by Rivals, also tweeted: “Great in-home visit with The University of Miami.” The aforementioned three coaches were in his photo, along with defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski.

“I can say it was encouraging for Miami because they’re local and it went well,” Campbell’s father, Lucius Campbell, told Canesport.com.

▪ Among the reasons QB Williams committed to UM this week: “Mark Richt’s offense, I feel I’m a great fit for it,” Williams told Canesport. “What he does with his quarterbacks and how he develops them, I think I can be very successful in his system. … Coach Richt, sitting down with him he’s a great guy, great coach, great person, great father.

“I know about coach Richt, what they’ve done with their QB’s, put them in the league. Just being down there [for his UM visit], I felt like this is a place where I can see myself living after football, making connections and networking down there. Coach Richt is a very genuine coach, genuine guy, he coaches players hard and has expectations. He’s turned the program around and moving in the right direction. And being able to sit down with [UM coaches] and get to know them better made a difference for me, and also seeing the offense and how I fit.”

▪ Couple quick things: Richt said on Hurricane Hotline that UM not only needs more talent, but he needs to add “more alpha dog mentality to this team.”… Last week, we reported that UM people were very confident that junior safety Jaquan Johnson will not turn pro and instead will return to UM for his senior season. Ariz is now reporting that’s definite....

In the wake of Lonnie Walker scoring 26 points in 28 minutes against Boston University of Tuesday, UM basketball coach Jim Larrañaga said on Hurricane Hotline that the staff will work with Walker on his dribbling so he can get to the basket more often. “When he takes the ball to the rim, his speed, quickness and elevation are so high and his skill-making and shot-making allow him to do some special things on the court. … Not only is starter Dejan Vasiljevic 21 for 50 on threes (42 percent), but Larrañaga said he has been doing a “fantastic” job defensively.

Please click here for a six-pack of Thursday Marlins notes, including a Giancarlo Stanton update and interesting comments about Derek Jeter and Stanton from outspoken former Marlins president David Samson.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

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