Barry Jackson

A look at UM’s targets and commitments on offense with early signing period 1 week away

We examined where UM stands with defensive recruiting, by position, in this piece.

Here’s a look at where UM stands on offense, with three oral commitments on that side of the ball and others considering the Canes in advance of next week’s early signing period:

Quarterback (none committed): Though the Canes initially told 2020 QB recruits that they don’t intend to take a 2019 quarterback, Miami is now leaving its options open, knowing that it’s down to three on scholarship at the position.

Though UM has been aggressively pursuing four-star Sam Howell, a Florida State commit, Howell didn’t mention UM at all in an update he provided Monday to Rivals’ Adam Friedman.

“I’m 100-percent committed to FSU,” Howell said. “I’m waiting to see who they hire as the offensive coordinator. I’m also waiting to see who North Carolina, another school I’m interested in, hires for offensive coordinator. I still plan on signing in the early signing period unless something happens to change that.”

UM has made preliminary inquiries on at least three quarterbacks: Tampa-based two-star Charlie Dean, former Texas Tech commitment Maverick McIvor and North Carolina-based Kennique Bonner-Steward, a Temple oral commitment.

Bonner-Steward has 18 offers but most from smaller schools.

Dean — a former UCF commit — reportedly has only one reported Power 5 offer (from Maryland) and told Canesport: “What coach [Jon Richt] said is if Sam Howell falls out, they’ll be knocking on my door.” Dean has visited Toledo and Harvard.

McIvoy plans to wait until February to sign. His 16 offers include UM, Southern California, Arizona State, Minnesota, Iowa, Rutgers and Washington State.

Miami’s other option is not taking a prep quarterback but adding a grad transfer. The Canes need to protect themselves if Cade Weldon transfers, which would leave Miami with only N’Kosi Perry and Jarren Williams on scholarship.

There’s nothing to suggest Weldon will transfer, but UM lost two scholarship QBs to transfers in the past two years. Williams is fully expected to remain with UM and battle Perry for the starting job.

Running back (none committed): UM has a decent chance to land Sebring’s three-star DJ Williams, the nephew of former UM star Edgerrin James and Rivals’ No. 29 running back. Williams, who is expected to drop his non-binding commitment to Appalachian State at some point, is also considering Texas and Georgia.

The Canes at one point appeared to have a very good chance to land Wellington’s Mark Antony Richards, who can play running back or receiver, but now that’s not something Miami can necessarily count on.

He liked his Auburn visit last weekend and raved about the Gators after his visit there, noting that coach Dan Mullen”knows how to win. That has really stuck out. The explosiveness of [the offense] sticks out. I like how they are trying to give those guys the ball in space.”

He’s also considering UM and Penn State.

UM also remains in touch with Rockland’s three-star Jalen Mitchell, Rivals’ No. 60 running back.

But the Canes don’t need more than one back in this class because they’re losing none of their top four backs unless Travis Homer turns pro. Trayone Gray departs, but UM has Realus George at fullback. And running backs Lorenzo Lingard and Camron Davis will be only sophomores next season.

Receiver (one committed: four-star Jeremiah Payton): UM badly wants Georgia-based five-star Jadon Haselwood, who has Miami among five serious options. But he still is considering Georgia (despite previously de-committing from the Bulldogs) and won’t announce until Jan. 5. The Canes remain very much in this battle, and Haselwood would be the gem of this class if he picks UM.

UM doesn’t expect four-star Hollywood Chaminade Madonna receiver John Dunmore to flip from Penn State, though the Canes have been trying. UM coaches will take an in-home visit with Dunmore and his family on Tuesday evening, per Canesport.

But the Canes, according to Rivals, have interest in three-star Lake City receiver T.J. Jones, who’s a January option.

If Haselwood joins Payton in this class, UM would have a bunch of highly-recruited receivers next year: those two, Brian Hightower and Mark Pope, plus Mike Harley Jr., Daquris Wiggins, Marquez Ezzard and Evidence Njoku. It remains to be seen if Lawrence Cager will stay at UM or transfer.

Tight end (one committed: Tampa’s three-star Larry Hodges): Miami lost out to Texas A&M for target Jalen Wydermyer but remains firmly in the mix for Lakeland-based Keon Zipperer, Rivals’ No. 16 tight end who has visited Alabama, LSU and Florida and will visit UM this weekend.

Rivals predicts Zipperer will end up at Miami, but the Canes face formidable competition.

UM also has reached out to Homestead’s three-star Rahmod Smith, a UNLV commit, and might offer him in they don’t get Zipperer.

UM has four returnees at the position: Brevin Jordan, Will Mallory, Michael Irvin Jr. and Brian Polendey.

Offensive line (three-star Georgia-based center Jakai Clark committed):

Clark, who flipped from Illinois, was a good pickup on Monday, and UM is pursuing more than half dozen others, including Butler transfer Tommy Kennedy (visiting UM, Oklahoma and Texas; has one year of eligibility left); five-star Evan Neal (many expect him to end up at Alabama) and four-star IMG Academy guard Dontae Lucas (an FSU commit, but UM has a real chance to get him to flip).

Neal visited with UM coaches on Tuesday morning at IMG Academy in Bradenton, and his brother Edrick told Canesport that Miami remains very much in the mix, with a decision likely to be announced on Dec. 19.

Other UM targets: three-star Georgia-based guard Nick Pendley (projects as a left tackle and probably won’t sign in mid-December), Central guard Maurice Smith (a Boston College commit whom UM offered late); two-star New York based tackle Adam ElGammal ( a Cincinnati commit who’s visiting UM this weekend); Mississippi State commit and three-star tackle Darius Washington of Pensacola West Florida Tech and three-star Palm Beach Central tackle Renato Brown (likely won’t decide until January or early February).

Here’s my story from earlier Tuesday on UM defensive coordinator Manny Diaz interviewing for the head coaching job at Temple.

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