The 2018 Miami recruiting class has been in the books for nearly a week now and it’s time to fully dive in to the Class of 2019.
South Florida always produces a wealth of elite prospects, and this 2019 group could be one of the best in quite some time. Usually, this translates into a special recruiting class for the Hurricanes.
Miami is off to a strong start, sitting at No. 2 in the 247Sports composite team rankings for 2019. Coach Mark Richt and his staff are far from done, though. Here are some names for Hurricanes fans to know for this new cycle:
Trey Sanders, 5-star RB, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.): The top running back in the Class of 2019, Sanders de-committed from Alabama during January, and just about every coaching staff across the country reached out. Running backs coach Thomas Brown beat everyone to the punch, and Sanders now plans to visit Miami during the spring or summer. The Crimson Tide are still high on the halfback’s list, as are Florida State and Georgia. The Hurricanes are still looking for another running back to join 3-star prospect Marcus Crowley in the class. Miami couldn’t do better than Sanders, who is originally from Port St. Joe, Fla.
Mark Richards, 4-star ATH, Wellington (Fla.): The younger brother of star Hurricanes wide receiver Ahmmon Richards has been careful never to name Miami his front-runner. The Hurricanes’ odds seem pretty good, although Richards’ recruitment could hinge on what position he wants to play in college. Some schools want him to play running back. Others, such as Miami, see him as a free safety. Right now, Richards wants to play offense, which could vault Florida, Georgia, Auburn or Oregon into serious contention.
Frank Ladson, 4-star WR, South Dade (Homestead, Fla.): Ladson backed off from a commitment to the Gators during December. His recruitment has since exploded. The pass catcher hauled in a major offer from Clemson the next day and attended the Tigers’ junior day during January. The Bulldogs are another early suitor to keep an eye on, but Miami has been pushing hard since Ladson was still a Florida commit and has a strong foothold at South Dade High School. Two of Ladson’s teammates are part of the Hurricanes’ Class of 2018.
Josh Sanguinetti, 4-star ATH, NSU University (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.): Sanguinetti is far from the most physically imposing prospect in the class. He’s just as polished as it gets. The athlete participated as both a wide receiver and a safety at the Future 50 combine before the Under Armour All-America Game this year, although he seems best suited to play defensive back. Ohio State is in the picture, but it may come down to a battle between Miami and Stanford. Sanguinetti has taken multiple visits to Stanford, Calif., already.
Jeremiah Payton, 4-star WR, Duncan U. Fletcher (Neptune Beach, Fla.): Payton is rising quickly in this class. He’s already impressed on the camp circuit and now has just about every team in the Southeast chasing him. While the wideout did take an unofficial visit to Auburn earlier this month, no one is doing a better job of recruiting Payton than the Hurricanes. Tight ends coach Todd Hartley has visited him multiple times throughout the winter and even brought Richt along once.
Tyrique Stevenson, 4-star ATH, South Dade: Stevenson is the sort of athlete who could thrive anywhere on the field because of his physicality and speed. His destiny, however, is in the secondary, likely at safety, although he could get a crack at playing cornerback, too. The former Florida commit is in a similar position to Ladson with schools such as Clemson and Alabama pushing hard. Miami’s early involvement with Stevenson should be an advantage.
Evan Neal, 4-star G, IMG Academy: Offensive line is a priority for the Hurricanes in the 2019 cycle, particularly tackles. Neal is still classified as a 4-star prospect, but at 6-8 he can play tackle at the next level. He even started at left tackle as a junior for IMG. Florida State, Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma are in the picture for Neal, but Miami may be the team to beat. The native of Okeechobee, Fla., said the Hurricanes are recruiting his parents best, and his family is made up of Miami fans.
Darnell Wright, 5-star T, Huntington (W.Va.): The Hurricanes don’t look outside the Sunshine State often. Wright is worth it, though, particularly for a team in need of tackles. The offensive lineman, who also has experience as a defensive end, is working to line up visits. Miami could get one after sending coaches to visit him multiple times throughout the fall. The Crimson Tide, the Buckeyes and Tennessee are other early schools in the mix.
Samuel Brooks, 3-star OLB, Miami Northwestern Senior: Brooks was on his way to a monster junior season before tearing an ACL during October. It meant the edge rusher didn’t quite get the ratings boost he was probably due for. Still, interest has picked up for the outside linebacker and should only increase if he returns fully healthy. The Hurricanes have made him a priority early, though. Brooks recently visited Coral Gables, Fla., for a men’s basketball game in January.
Jaden Davis, 4-star CB, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale): Davis recently released a top-10 list, which includes Miami, Ohio State, Florida and Oklahoma, among other teams. The cornerback once seemed as if he favored Florida, although things changed when former coach Jim McElwain was ousted. The Hurricanes managed to climb into good position and even hosted the defensive back for the Orange Bowl during December. Don’t count out the out-of-state schools — Davis’ cousin played for Wisconsin. A battle between Miami and the Gators, however, is a reasonable expectation.
The post Miami recruiting: Top targets for Hurricanes in Class of 2019 appeared first on Diehards.