Miami recruiting: Hurricanes are making their move in Georgia

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Miami is on its way to one of the best recruiting classes in the nation, and David Wilson and the DieHards.com team are in the eye of the storm to help you track the Hurricanes. Read daily notebooks here at 10 a.m. ET Monday through Friday and follow us on Twitter for the latest Miami recruiting news.


Mark Richt’s Georgia ties could pay off down the stretch

At this time two years ago, Miami’s potential quarterback of the future wasn’t on basically anyone’s radar. Jarren Williams had just wrapped up his sophomore season at Shiloh High School in Snellville, Ga., where the quarterback was brimming with untapped potential and piling up empty stats for a losing team.

Todd Wofford could see he had something as soon as Williams transferred to Central Gwinnett High School in Lawrenceville, Ga., the following spring. Williams wasn’t far from becoming the 4-star dual-threat quarterback he is now as a senior. The Central Gwinnett coach wanted to get the word out, so he called up Mark Richt.

Now the coach at Miami, Richt knew Wofford from his time at Georgia and the high school coach trusted Richt with his players — particularly his quarterbacks.

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“I called a lot of coaches that I knew. A lot of guys. Even Miami because I knew Coach Richt since he had been at Georgia,” Wofford said. “I told them that the kid had a lot of potential and I think he’s going to be great.”

The Hurricanes got in early with Williams and it paid off later. And the quarterback should just be one of the late-cycle additions Miami is poised to make in the Peach State.

South Florida will always be the Hurricanes’ most important turf and Miami could wind up with nearly 20 commits in the Class of 2018 who played at least some of their high school career in the Sunshine State. With Richt in the fold, though, Georgia is becoming a clear No. 2 option. The Hurricanes’ already have two pledges from the state with Williams and 3-star fullback Realus George, and its two most important remaining targets hail from Georgia, too.

Since No. 11 Miami’s regular-season ended with a 38-3 loss to No. 1 Clemson in the ACC Championship Game, the Hurricanes coaching staff has gone in-home with every major commitment and Miami recruiting target left. It’s meant spending a lot of time in the state Richt used to call home.

George was the first win in the state, a late-emerging senior who gave Richt exactly what his offense needed. The senior had mostly been getting looks as a defensive end or inside linebacker. Richt, though, had recruited George a bit when he was getting more serious looks as a running back.

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“Mark Richt obviously knows the players in Georgia,” said Chris Slade, George’s coach at Atlanta’s Pace Academy. “They soft recruited him a little bit when Richt was still at Georgia his sophomore year, so they knew who he was and I knew [running backs coach Thomas] Brown.”

Last week, wide receivers coach Ron Dugans stopped in Stockbridge, Ga., to meet with 4-star athlete Marquez Ezzard. On Monday, offensive line coach Stacy Searels headed to Valdosta, Ga., for an in-home visit with 3-star  tackle Jalen Goss. The Hurricanes need a wide receiver and tackle to round out their class. They may not have to venture any farther than the home of the No. 2 Bulldogs.

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Sophomore ATH Marc Britt already possesses special ability

The one thing Dennis Marroquin never had to worry about with Marc Britt was getting him the ball late in games. Even when Britt was a freshman with only about a dozen games of varsity experience under his belt, the coach at Champagnat Catholic School in Hialeah, Fla., could count on the athlete to deliver when he most needed him.

A year ago, Champagnat Catholic school was in the Class 2A semifinal and needed an offensive spark after going scoreless for more than half of a game. The Lions gave their No. 1 wide receiver the ball three times for a total of 71 all-purpose yards, capping the drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Britt.

Champagnat Catholic didn’t have as much trouble during the postseason this year, but during the 2A state championship the Lions once again turned to Britt during the second half. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound sophomore effectively buried Jacksonville’s University Christian School with a fourth-quarter touchdown.

“He’s definitely a big-time player for us. Makes big plays and makes big plays at the right moment,” said Marroquin. “He’s known to put teams away.”

Britt may not have a major national profile yet – he’s still unranked as an athlete by all the major recruiting services – but the most recent Miami pledge is a strong addition to the Hurricanes’ Class of 2020. This fall, Britt led the 2A state champion with 26 catches for 498 yards and 8 touchdowns. His blend of size and speed should make him one of the best pass catchers in Florida.

Britt has also played some free safety.

When the rankings for the 2020 class expand this offseason, Britt will surely boast at least a handful of stars next to his name. The Hurricanes being able to clamp him down before some of the heavier hitters get involved is a good sign for Miami’s future.

Britt is the first local member of the Hurricanes’ 2020 class. He claims to be a lifelong Miami fan, so the pitch the Hurricanes could make him was easy. Britt wants to help them achieve their goals.

“Keep the talent in Miami,” Britt said the pitch was, “305.”

Junior OLB Diamante Howard adds another offer

No Miami commit in the Class of 2019 has had his national profile pick up more than Diamante Howard during the past few weeks. The 3-star outside linebacker is now up to double-digit offers after Southern Mississippi became the latest to extend a scholarship offer Tuesday.

Howard remains an intriguing junior prospect for the Hurricanes, although Miami has asked him to move to safety for his senior year at Miami Southridge High School. Southern Miss obviously isn’t the most high-profile offer, but the Golden Eagles’ interest comes on the heels of offers from Florida and Syracuse during the past two weeks. The 6-2, 178-pound linebacker also holds offers from Louisville, Tennessee and No. 2 Georgia.

Commit stats tracker

The high school season is finished and about half of Miami’s Class of 2018 is only about a month away from arriving on campus. In the final edition of the 2017 stats tracker, we’ll take a look at how everyone in the class finished up their last year of high school before they join the Hurricanes:

(**-indicates stats may be incomplete)

RB Lorenzo Lingard

  • High school: University (Orange City, Fla.)
  • Team record: 5-4
  • Last week: University High School did not qualify for the postseason.
  • Season stats: 207 carries, 1,700 yards, 26 touchdowns; 10 catches, 142 yards

  • Next: Lingard will next take the field in the Jan. 6 U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. The 5-star running back will early enroll.

CB Al Blades Jr.

  • High school: St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
  • Team record: 11-2
  • Last week: St. Thomas Aquinas High School’s season came to a surprisingly early end during the state semifinals earlier this month.
  • Season stats: 25 tackles, 3 passes defended
  • Next: Al Blades Jr. will still have one more game before joining Miami. The 4-star cornerback will play in the Under Armour Game All-America Game on Jan. 4 in Orlando.

WR Mark Pope

  • High school: Miami Southridge
  • Team record: 6-3
  • Last week: Miami Southridge High School fell to Miami High School during the second round of the postseason in November.
  • Season stats: 17 catches, 416 yards, 4 touchdowns; 4 carries, 47 yards, 1 touchdown; 1 fumble lost**
  • Next: Mark Pope will next suit up in January for the Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. The 4-star wide receiver will early enroll.

TE Brevin Jordan

  • High school: Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
  • Team record: 13-2
  • Last week: Brevin Jordan helped Bishop Gorman High School, ranked No. 14 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25, win its ninth straight state championship earlier this month.
  • Season stats: 53 catches, 1,111 yards, 12 touchdowns, 1 2-point conversion; 9 carries, 58 yards, 3 touchdowns; 1 tackle
  • Next: The 4-star tight end, who has also occasionally played outside linebacker, will next play in the Under Armour Game in January in Orlando.

CB Josh Jobe

  • High school: Cheshire (Conn.) Academy
  • Team record: 8-1
  • Last week: Cheshire does not participate in postseason play.
  • Season stats: 3 interceptions, 2 pass break-ups; 9 tackles; 2 tackles for loss
  • Next: Josh Jobe will next take the field in January for the Army Bowl in San Antonio.

QB Jarren Williams

  • High school: Central Gwinnett (Lawrenceville, Ga.)
  • Last week: Central Gwinnett High School did not qualify for the postseason.
  • Season stats: 214 for 348, 3,015 yards, 28 touchdowns, 4 interceptions; 115 carries, 554 yards, 10 touchdowns, 3 fumbles lost

  • Next: Jarren Williams is slated to play in January at the Army Bowl in San Antonio. The 4-star dual-threat quarterback will early enroll.

Gurvan Hall

  • High school: Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) Community
  • Team record: 3-6
  • Last week: Palm Beach Gardens Community High School did not qualify for the postseason.
  • Season stats: 3 catches, 77 yards, 1 touchdown; 2 carries, 58 yards, 1 touchdown; 2 pass break-ups; 19 tackles, 2 tackles for loss**; 1 kick-return touchdown, 1 punt-return touchdown
  • Next: Gurvan Hall’s next time suiting up will be in January for the Under Armour Game in Orlando.

RB Cam’Ron Davis

  • High school: Miami Carol City Senior (Miami Gardens, Fla.)
  • Team record: 8-4
  • Last week: Miami Carol City Senior High School bowed out of the postseason during the region-championship round in November.
  • Season stats: 114 carries, 510 yards, 8 touchdowns; 8 catches, 185 yards, 1 touchdown**
  • Next: Cam’Ron Davis’ high school career is over.

DT Nesta Silvera

  • High school: American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)
  • Team record: 14-0
  • Last week: Nesta Silvera saved his biggest play of the season for the final game of his career. The 4-star defensive tackle picked up a fumble and ran it back 60 yards for his first touchdown of the year. The senior also recorded 9 tackles and 1 sack to help American Heritage School to a 44-15 rout of Baker County High School of Glen St. Mary, Fla., at the Class 5A state championship game Friday in Orlando.

  • Season stats: 107 tackles, 31 tackles for loss, 12 sacks; 1 fumble recovery, 1 touchdown
  • Next: The No. 3 Patriots won their fourth state championship in five years. Silvera now looks ahead to January, when he’ll play at the Army Bowl in San Antonio.

WR Brian Hightower

  • High school: IMG Academy (Bradenton)
  • Team record: 8-0
  • Last week: No. 2 IMG does not compete in postseason play.
  • Season stats: 35 catches, 445 yards, 5 touchdowns
  • Next: Brian Hightower’s next game will be the Army Bowl in January in San Antonio. The 4-star wide receiver will early enroll.

G Delone Scaife

  • High school: Miami Southridge
  • Team record: 6-4
  • Last week: Southridge’s season ended during the second round of the playoffs in November.
  • Season stats: N/A
  • Next: Delone Scaife’s next appearance will be in January at the Under Armour Game in Orlando. The 4-star  guard will early enroll.

CB Gilbert Frierson

  • High school: Coral Gables (Fla.) Senior
  • Team record: 4-5
  • Last week: Coral Gables Senior High School did not qualify for the postseason.
  • Season stats: 11 catches, 356 yards, 5 touchdowns; 1 kick-return touchdown; 3 punt-return touchdowns
  • Next: Gilbert Frierson’s high school career is finished. The 4-star cornerback plans to early enroll.

TE Will Mallory

  • High school: Providence (Jacksonville, Fla.)
  • Team record: 3-6
  • Last week: Providence School missed out on the postseason.
  • Season stats: 21 catches, 364 yards, 3 touchdowns
  • Next: Will Mallory’s high school career is finished. The 4-star tight end plans to sign his National Letter of Intent next Wednesday.

Cleveland Reed

  • High school: Fort Meade (Fla.) Middle-Senior
  • Team record: 5-5
  • Last week: Fort Meade Middle-Senior High School missed out on the postseason.
  • Season stats: N/A
  • Next: Cleveland Reed will next suit up in January for the Under Armour Game in Orlando.

CB D.J. Ivey

  • High school: South Dade (Homestead, Fla.)
  • Team record: 9-2
  • Last week: South Dade High School stumbled during the second round of the postseason in November.
  • Season stats: 74 tackles; 13 pass break-ups, 6 interceptions; 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery; 1 2-point conversion run
  • Next: D.J. Ivey’s high school career is over. The 4-star cornerback will early enroll.

WR Daquris Wiggins

  • High school: Miami Southridge
  • Team record: 6-4
  • Last week: The Spartans bowed out of the postseason during the second round in November.
  • Season stats: 9 catches, 133 yards, 3 touchdowns; 1 carry, 1 yard**
  • Next: Daquris Wiggins’ high school career is complete. The 3-star wide receiver will early enroll.

DE Gregory Rousseau

  • High school: Champagnat Catholic (Hialeah, Fla.)
  • Team record: 8-2
  • Last week: Gregory Rousseau got to showcase everything he does well during his final high school game. The 3-star weakside defensive end led Champagnat Catholic School with 9 tackles, 3 1/2 tackles for a loss and 2 1/2 sacks. The senior, who has primarily played free safety and wide receiver, also caught a 2-point conversion during the Lions’ 24-7 win against Jacksonville’s University Christian School at the Class 2A state championship Friday in Orlando.
  • Season stats: 84 tackles, 13 1/2 tackles for a loss, 10 1/2 sacks, 1 safety; 1 forced fumble; 8 passes defended; 3 catches, 34 yards, 2 touchdown, 5 2-point conversions

  • Next: Rousseau’s high school career is complete. He plans to early enroll.

John Campbell

  • High school: Dr. Phillips (Orlando)
  • Team record: 11-2
  • This week: Dr. Phillips High School won its first Class 8A state championship with a 17-7 win against Atlantic Community High School of Delray Beach, Fla., on Saturday in Orlando. John Campbell started at left tackle.
  • Season stats: N/A

  • Next: Campbell’s high school career is over. The 3-star tackle plans to early enroll.

DE Patrick Joyner

  • High school: South Dade
  • Team record: 9-2
  • Last week: The Buccaneers fell during the second round of the postseason in November.
  • Season stats: 91 tackles, 16 sacks; 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries; 6 pass break-ups
  • Next: Joyner’s high school career is over. The 3-star weakside defensive end plans to sign his national letter of intent on Dec. 20.

FB Realus George

  • High school: Pace Academy (Atlanta)
  • Team record: 5-5
  • Last week: Pace’s playoff run ended with a first-round loss in November.
  • Season stats: 57 carries, 306 yards, 2 touchdowns; 5 catches, 78 yards, 1 touchdown; 43 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 8 sacks; 1 pass defended
  • Next: Realus George’s high school career is finished. The 3-star fullback plans to sign his national letter of intent on Dec. 20.

K Bubba Baxa

  • High school: Pasadena (Texas) Memorial
  • Team record: 6-3
  • Last week: Pasadena Memorial High School fell during the opening round of the postseason in November.
  • Season stats: 37 for 37 extra points, 4 for 9 field goals, 2 50-plus field goals; 3 40-plus field goals
  • Next: Bubba Baxa’s high school career is complete. The 3-star kicker plans to sign his national letter of intent next on Dec. 20.

Miss a previous edition? Find every post of DieHards’ daily Miami recruiting notebook right here.

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