Barry Jackson

Departing UM player helping in pursuit of a potential replacement

Plantation American Heritage defensive end Andrew Chatfield attempts to make a tackle in an August game against Booker T. Washington. Chatfield took an official visit to UM this past weekend.
Plantation American Heritage defensive end Andrew Chatfield attempts to make a tackle in an August game against Booker T. Washington. Chatfield took an official visit to UM this past weekend. pportal@miamiherald.com

Here’s one of the many neat things about the UM football program, a tradition that has carried on for years:

Former players taking the time to mentor or help current or future Canes.

One example this season: linebacker Shaquille Quarterman said that Jon Beason had texted him with tips, thoughts and video clips after games.

And here’s another: Graduating defensive end Chad Thomas sent this Twitter message to Plantation American Heritage defensive end Andrew Chatfield during his official visit to UM this past weekend.

@Drew_Chatfield that talk we had came from the heart yo. Everything I do is solid and this was one of those things. That 9 is yours now, go brazy with it. #HSBDTS

Eveyone would understand if Thomas was solely focused on preparation for the NFL Draft. That he’s taking time in UM’s recruitment of a player is admirable, even if it’s not all that unusual.

Chatfield, one of the players UM badly wants with one of its eight remaining available scholarships, did not commit in the immediate aftermath of his visit but tweeted: “I had a great Official visit at University of Miami. #305” and tweeted multiple pictures of himself wearing that No. 9 jersey formerly worn by Thomas.

University of Miami football coach Mark Richt talks about the 18 players who signed on Dec. 20, 2017 to play at UM.

Rivals rates Chatfield as the 224th-best prospect in this recruiting class.

But the Canes still want more defensive line help beyond Chatfield, end Gregory Rousseau (who signed and is enrolling this week) and tackle Nesta Silvera (who has said he plans to sign Feb. 7).

Miami is pursuing, among others, College of the Canyons (California) defensive end Dorian Gerald and Jamarcus Chatman, the three-star, 266-pound end/tackle from Georgia who plans to visit later this month.

▪ Five-star receiver Mark Pope, who signed with the Canes on Dec. 20 from Miami Southridge, told Canesport that he is trying to enroll this month, with Jan. 24 the deadline for students to enroll in classes for the spring semester.

Pope is trying to quickly take a class he didn’t know he needed for early enrollment. He told Canesport that it’s 50-50 if he will join 10 other expected early enrollees at UM. If he can’t do it, he would enroll in January.

Miami Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt addresses the media after UM lost to the Wisconsin Badgers 34-24 in the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Saturday, December 30, 2017.

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