On Wednesday, about half of the Miami recruiting class will be locked in place. The early signing period is on the horizon and at least 15 members of the Hurricanes’ Class of 2018 are expected to sign their national letters of intent. About a dozen of those are planning on early enrolling.
Getting some important signatures will let Miami move on to some additional priorities before National Signing Day in February. This month’s prediction only has one major addition from a month ago. The Hurricanes seem set on adding a fourth wide receiver if possible now and they’re looking for one in a state that is quickly becoming a favorite for this coaching staff.
QB (1): 4-star Jarren Williams (Lawrenceville, Ga.)
Miami’s quick pivot from Artur Sitkowski in the wake of the 4-star pro-style quarterback’s de-commitment in November yielded an upgrade for Miami. The Hurricanes secured a verbal commitment from Jarren Williams during the first week of December, just before the 4-star dual-threat quarterback vaulted to No. 113 overall in the 247Sports composite rankings.
I would like to start by thanking the man above, and everyone who has been involved in this process with me. Im glad to say that I’ve finally made my decision!! @Left__Field__ pic.twitter.com/PMnpFSEifO
— J D U B (@Jarren2Williams) December 6, 2017
Miami needs to land a top-tier quarterback during every cycle and Williams fits the bill. He’s now regarded as the nation’s No. 7 dual-threat prospect and should be able to immediately come in and push quarterback Malik Rosier for the starting role. Down the road, Williams and quarterback N’Kosi Perry should compete for the long-term starting job.
Williams plans to sign Wednesday and early enroll with the Hurricanes. This was a tremendous win for No. 11 Miami, which got the quarterback to de-commit from Kentucky, then fended off No. 5 Ohio State and No. 7 Auburn to secure the U.S. Army All-American’s pledge.
Misses: Artur Sitkowski
RB (3): 5-star Lorenzo Lingard (Orange City, Fla.), 4-star Cam’Ron Davis (Miami Gardens, Fla.), 3-star Realus George (Atlanta)
The Hurricanes rounded out their group of running backs last month when they secured a pledge from 3-star fullback Realus George in November. He and 5-star running back Lorenzo Lingard are set to sign their national letters of intent on Wednesday while 4-star running back Cam’Ron Davis says he’s “10,000-percent committed.”
With these three, Miami has one of the strongest groups of running backs in the country. Lingard ranks No. 2 nationally. Davis, who was a finalist for one of the last spots in the Under Armour All-America Game, checks in at No. 8. Because of his position, George didn’t get much national attention, but he is considered the top fullback in the country. All three will have a chance to contribute early for different reasons.
Lingard alone would make this an elite haul. The Army All-American will early enroll and should be able to split carries with running back Travis Homer from Day 1. Davis is a fitting complement with his skill as both a receiver and blocker.
Misses: James Cook, Jalen Patterson, Crishaun Lappin
WR (5): 4-star Mark Pope (Miami), 4-star Brian Hightower (Bradenton, Fla.), 4-star Marquez Ezzard (Stockbridge, Ga.), 3-star Daquris Wiggins (Miami), unranked Will Huggins (Bradenton)
The Hurricanes will get all three of their committed scholarship wide receivers on campus next month. Mark Pope, Brian Hightower and Daquris Wiggins all play to sign national letters of intent on Wednesday, then arrive in Coral Gables, Fla., in January. Miami can now shift its full focus to finding a fourth wideout.
Right now, Marquez Ezzard sounds like the most likely option. The 4-star athlete — he also plays some free safety — hosted Hurricanes wide receivers coach Ron Dugans for an in-home visit earlier this month and is expected to take an official visit to Miami in January. The Hurricanes will have plenty of competition for the former Florida State commit. Ezzard already officially visited Oregon and has lined up another with Mississippi in January. Florida and the Seminoles are also in the mix.
Even if Miami can’t land Ezzard, this is still a good haul. Pope and Hightower, a pair of Army All-Americans, should be immediate contributors and Wiggins will be a good long-term piece in the mold of wide receivers Lawrence Cager or Darrell Langham. Will Huggins committed as a preferred walk-on and is a teammate of Hightower’s at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The Hurricanes aren’t exactly scrambling for a fourth, hence the lack of top targets beyond Ezzard, but the Georgia native is another big target who could compete for early playing time.
Misses: Terrace Marshall, Jacob Copeland, Tyquan Thornton, Jacob Copeland, JaMarr Chase
TE (2): 4-star Brevin Jordan (Las Vegas, Nev.), 4-star Will Mallory (Jacksonville)
The only position on offense where Miami may have a better haul than at running back is at tight end. Brevin Jordan is now the No. 3 tight end in the country. Will Mallory isn’t far behind at No. 9. With tight end Christopher Herndon graduating, the Hurricanes have two potential tight ends of the future coming in this summer. Both are taking their official visits this weekend and Mallory plans to sign his national letter of intent on Wednesday even though he can’t early enroll.
While Jordan as of now doesn’t plan to shut things down during the early signing period, the 4-star tight end has always been solid in his pledge to Miami. Even after No. 4 Alabama offered during the fall, the senior said he was “10,000-percent committed.”
Both 4-star tight ends should be able to compete for playing time immediately, and Jordan in particular should challenge tight end Michael Irvin II for the starting job. Either way, the Hurricanes will be able to go back to the two-tight end sets coach Mark Richt likes — something Miami couldn’t do consistently this season.
Misses: Jeremy Ruckert, Braden Taylor
OL (4): 4-star Delone Scaife (Miami), 4-star Cleveland Reed (Fort Meade, Fla.), 3-star John Campbell (Orlando), 3-star Jalen Goss (Valdosta, Ga.)
Two of the Hurricanes’ three current commits will join the team for the spring semester. The third seems to be pretty solid in his pledge. Still, Miami needs to find another offensive tackle. This should be the biggest priority on offense between now and National Signing Day.
Guards Delone Scaife and Cleveland Reed and tackle John Campbell are taking their official visits this weekend. Scaife and Campbell plan to sign their national letters of intent on Wednesday before they early enroll, and the Hurricanes hope they can get Reed to follow suit and sign this week even though he won’t enroll early. Reed is, however, still considering other official visits to North Carolina and No. 3 Oklahoma. Holding on to the 4-star offensive guard will be another priority. He and Scaife could compete for the starting left guard job next season.
Tackle is still the thinner position for Miami in this class. Even Campbell, a 3-star offensive tackle, could potentially kick inside down the road. This makes Jalen Goss an ideal fit despite his relatively low profile. The 3-star offensive tackle was previously committed to the Gators as a tight end, and his athleticism paired with his 6-foot-7 frame makes the Georgia lineman a true tackle with some upside. The Hurricanes also could add a walk-on to this group. Unranked offensive guard Moose Griffith has a preferred walk-on offer from the Hurricanes.
Misses: Nicholas Petit-Frere, William Barnes, Richard Gouraige, Christian Meadows
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