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.
Miami secures another major Class of 2020 pledge
As good as Miami’s Class of 2018 is shaping up to be, the Hurricanes have a chance to be even better two years from now. There’s a long way to go, of course, but Miami’s Class of 2020 could be special.
On Friday, the already impressive group of sophomores got a bit deeper. Marc Britt of Champagnat Catholic School in Hialeah, Fla., committed to the Hurricanes, joining 4-star wide receiver Leonard Manuel and 4-star athlete Avantae Williams in Miami’s No. 2 recruiting class.
— Marc Britt(P6) (@marcbritt_P6) December 9, 2017
“When I went there, I liked the receivers,” Britt told DieHards. “They’re aggressive and fast. They go for the ball.”
Britt certainly is a bit of an unknown nationally. The athlete is still unranked by any of the major recruiting services, meaning he doesn’t push the Hurricanes up the recruiting rankings. In South Florida, Britt already has a reputation as one of the country’s rising stars, particularly for his play at wide receiver. He was a breakout performer at Miami’s Paradise Camp in July and has been on the Hurricanes’ radar ever since.
A few hours before he pledged to his hometown team, Britt showed off why. The 6-2, 180-pound sophomore pulled in one 45-yard grab and another 36-yard touchdown for Champagnat Catholic during a 24-7 win against Jacksonville’s University Christian School at the Class 2A state championship in Orlando. Britt, who also has played some free safety, finished the year with 26 receptions, 498 receiving yards and 8 touchdown catches to lead the state-champion Lions in all three categories. He’s a big-play threat, whose size also lets him be a factor in the red zone when he’s asked to win one-on-one matchups.
This offseason, when the 2020 rankings significantly expand, Britt figures to see a major jump into the rankings. He committed to the Hurricanes despite other early offers from Wake Forest, Syracuse and Purdue.
“It’s the hometown,” Britt said. “It’s my dream school.”
Miami joins Oklahoma as the only classes with three commitments in the cycle. The Hurricanes previously were one of three schools with multiple pledges in the class, alongside the Sooners and Tennessee.
It’s too early to judge how Britt would fit with the Hurricanes, but he seems pretty set in his early pledge. The athlete took at least half-a-dozen unofficial visits to Hard Rock Stadiums for Miami home games throughout the fall and called the university his “dream school” after making his commitment Friday. The Hurricanes have had some recent success landing early commitments from local wide receivers and having them follow through all the way until they’re finally able to sign as seniors. Daquris Wiggins, a 3-star wide receiver from Miami Southridge High School, is set to sign with the Hurricanes later this month after first committing as a sophomore in 2015.
Miami’s LS of the future plans official visit for Dec. 15
It won’t be just the bulk of Miami’s scholarship players in the Class of 2018 heading to Coral Gables, Fla., for their official visits during the weekend of Dec. 15. The most important preferred walk-on in the class will make his way down to campus this weekend.
Clay James, an unranked long snapper, told DieHards he’s planning to visit the Hurricanes along with nearly every other member of Miami’s incoming class. Jarren Williams, who already took his official visit for the Notre Dame game in November, and 4-star cornerback Josh Jobe, who will be visiting Alabama, are the only two currently committed members of the class who have confirmed they won’t be down in South Florida.
“I’m going for my official the same time as everyone else,” James told DieHards on Sunday.
James was one of the best long snappers in the state this season and though he won’t arrive on campus with a scholarship, the 5-11, 215-pound senior is on track to earn one by the end of his freshman season. The Hurricanes’ two current long snappers are both juniors, and Jordan Butler, the starter and scholarship player, is on track to graduate in December. James will have a chance to earn the newly vacant scholarship once Butler graduates.
“I should be the starter as long as I’m perfect in practice,” James said, “which I expect to be.”
James’ final season at Cocoa (Fla.) High School was a good one. The specialist helped Cocoa reach the Class 4A state championship this past weekend, although the Tigers ultimately fell 13-10 to Jacksonville’s William M. Raines High School on Thursday in Orlando.
The snapper was perfect this fall, nailing all 34 of his attempts during punts, and hitting all 93 of his field-goal and extra-point attempts. He’s been playing the position full time since his sophomore year, when he transferred to Cocoa and committed to Miami as a preferred walk-on in July.
“I thought I played pretty well,” James said. “I guess I was perfect on snaps, but there were some that weren’t necessarily up to my standards.”
And in two years, he could be doing it for a national championship contender. More than anything, the Hurricanes’ play this season is what has stood out to James. In less than a week, he’ll get his best sense of what the next few years could be like.
“The fact that I’m joining a top-10 team in the country next season is surreal,” James said. “I never could have expected I’d do something like that.”
Patrick Joyner doubles down on Miami pledge
It took Patrick Joyner less than a week of being a Miami commit to become the latest member of the Hurricanes’ 1,000-percent club. On Thursday, the 3-star weak-side defensive end from South Dade High School in Homestead, Fla., became at least the seventh member of the class to tweet he’s “1,000-percent” committed to Miami.
— Patrick Joyner Jr. (@JoynerPatrick) December 7, 2017
Joyner’s status with the Hurricanes was never a significant question mark. His late decision to flip from Florida State indicated he’d given plenty of thought to his commitment. He also told DieHards that Miami is his “dream school.” He had, after all, committed to the Seminoles before the Hurricanes had even offered him a scholarship.
The 6-3, 209-pound senior does not, however, plan to sign during the early-signing period from Dec. 20-22. Joyner isn’t on track to early enroll, so he’ll hold off until National Signing Day to make his pledge to the Hurricanes official. Unless something particularly strange happens during the next few months, though, he’ll suit up for Miami next season.
Miami continues to work on young prospects
Miami is getting close to signing about half its 2018 class, continues to make progress with its 2019 class and already possesses the top-ranked 2020 class. Now the Hurricanes are starting to make some significant moves in the Class of 2021.
Miami stopped by Miami Palmetto High School in Pinecrest, Fla., on Thursday and went straight for a pair of freshmen. The Hurricanes extended scholarship offers to cornerback Corey Collier and wide receiver Jason Marshall, increasing the amount of offers sent out by Miami to 2020 prospects by 33 percent.
— Corey Collier Jr™ (@RealCoreyxx) December 7, 2017
Blessed to receive an offer from the university of Miami pic.twitter.com/ICOPf5Ib3J
— Jason Marshall jr. (@nolimitjay_1) December 8, 2017
Collier and Marshall, like the rest of the players in their class, are still unranked and Marshall doesn’t have a profile on any of the major recruiting services. Both are already physically advanced prospects and at least Collier has already earned some national attention. The 6-2, 170-pound defensive back now has three offers, including one from Boston College.
Marshall is a totally under-the-radar prospect, and the Hurricanes are his first public offer. He didn’t record any offensive stats for Miami Palmetto this season, but at 6-1 and 175 pounds his frame is already intriguing. Both he and Collier should be major contributors during the coming years for Palmetto, which suffered a first-round playoff loss this season.
Collier is the first freshman defensive back to pick up an offer from the Hurricanes. Marshall is the second wide receiver, joining Jacorey Brooks of Miami’s Booker T. Washington High School.
The Hurricanes weren’t done for the weekend, though. Miami stopped by Bradenton, Fla., to visit IMG Academy. The Hurricanes already have a number of top targets playing at IMG, including incoming 4-star wide receiver Brian Hightower. The list grew during the visit as Miami sent out an offer to Jermaine Burton, a 4-star sophomore wide receiver in the 247Sports rankings.
— Jermaine Burton (@jdb_wr16) December 9, 2017
Burton, who is originally from Atlanta, was one of the Ascenders’ top sophomores this season despite IMG’s constant uncertainty at quarterback. The 6-2, 180-pound pass-catcher pulled in 14 receptions and finished second on the team to Hightower with both 332 receiving yards and 3 touchdown catches.
Burton now holds a dozen offers, all from Power 5 programs.
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