NCF On The Trail: Miami (FL) Hurricanes

If there is one program that is off to the fastest start in the 2016 class, it's the Miami (FL) Hurricanes. Al Golden and staff had five ESPN Jr 300 commitments headed into Jan. 25's Junior Day, and have added to that number with the verbals by safety Cedrick Wright and defensive end Joseph Jackson.

Four schools remain in the mix for ESPN 300 defensive tackle Rasheem Green. Arizona State, Miami, Oregon and USC will battle all the way until signing day for the nation's No. 41 prospect. With two weeks to go and one visit left, things are heating up for the big lineman.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

ESPN 300 receiver Van Jefferson is no longer committed to Georgia and the news was definitely disappointing for the Dawgs. So who’s in the driver’s seat now for the one of the best receivers in the country?

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

With 30 days to national signing day, there are still plenty of headlines left to be made in the 2015 class. One of the biggest will be how Jim Harbaugh does in recruiting’s home stretch.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

UA practice notebook: Day 2 

December, 30, 2014

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Day 2 of the Under Armour All-America game practices was overcast and rainy, but the dreary weather didn't stop Team Armour and Team Highlight from having an exciting practice.

The two teams had a spirited first day of practice, however, two offensive linemen, Keenan Walker and Lester Cotton, suffered injuries and won't be able to play in the game on Friday. With the shortage of bodies along the offensive line, ESPN 300 offensive tackle Tyree St. Louis was asked to drive up from IMG Academy in Bradenton to fill in.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Recruit and return: Miami Hurricanes 

December, 27, 2014
In most seasons, Miami’s top-20 recruiting class would be generating a lot of headlines, but with the success Florida State has had and with Florida under a new coach, it seems like a lot of folks have forgotten about the Hurricanes. They shouldn’t. Miami’s class ranks as one of the best in the ACC and is full of offensive difference-makers.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Torrance Gibson, Nick Bosa win state titles 

December, 13, 2014
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage defeated Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby 38-0 and Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas defeated Kissimmee (Fla.) Osceola 31-0 in the FHSAA class 5A and 7A state championship games on Friday. The games featured several prospects in the ESPN 300 and ESPN Junior 300, including five-star athlete Torrance Gibson and the 18th-ranked player in the ESPN Junior 300, Nick Bosa.

Snelson opens recruitment

The 25th-ranked player in the ESPN Junior 300, Dredrick Snelson, recently backed off his commitment to Miami. The 6-foot, 192 pound wide receiver said he felt he made a decision too soon in the recruiting process.

"I just felt like I did it too early," Snelson said. "I just want to do what’s best for me and give everyone an opportunity."

After opening things back up, Snelson said there are five schools he is now focusing on -- Florida, Florida State, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. He has no time frame for when he would like to make a decision.

Gibson likes what he sees from Ohio State quarterbacks

Five-star athlete and Ohio State commitment Gibson took notice when Ohio State’s third-string quarterback Cardale Jones led the Buckeyes to a 59-0 win against Wisconsin in the Big 10 championship game last Saturday. The 13th-ranked player in the ESPN 300 said he is excited about how Ohio State has developed their quarterbacks this season.

"It excites me a lot," Gibson said. "They were down to their third-string quarterback, and look what Tom Herman did with him. 59-0, that’s very impressive."

Now that Ohio State is in the inaugural football playoff and will take on Alabama in the opening round, Gibson said he will be watching the game closely.

"It’s going to be a great, close game," he said. "Urban Meyer and Tom Herman, they believe in their system. It’s going to be a good game and I’m going to keep my eye on that game."

Bosa names a leader

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Mark Walton now part of 2015 ESPN 300 

December, 12, 2014
Headed into the 2014 season, running back Mark Walton had hopes of reclassifying from a 2016 to 2015 recruit.

In November, that became a reality when the Miami (Florida) verbal commit saw the returns from the extra classes he took over the summer combined with a heavy course load this fall.

Once Walton knew where he stood regarding core classes, with a core GPA and knowing he would have the cores needed to graduate a year early, he needed only to match the SAT or ACT on the sliding scale, and he would be set to graduate in June as a member of the 2015 class.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Three reasons why Miami disappointed 

December, 12, 2014
On the recruiting trail, Miami overcame lingering uncertainty of NCAA sanctions and the loss of some scholarships to sign four top-15 classes over the past five cycles. Yet even with Duke Johnson, one of the nation’s most electric playmakers, Miami finished 6-6 and behind programs like Georgia Tech and Duke in the ACC Coastal Division. While head coach Al Golden deserves credit for navigating the Canes through rough seas, the Canes and their fan base are still hungry for a return to the glory days of The U.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

ORLANDO, Fla. — Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian defeated Delray Beach (Fla.) American Heritage 27-7 in the FHSAA class 3A state championship game on Saturday afternoon. Trinity features five players in the ESPN 300 and nine prospects who are committed to FBS schools. Here is a look at the latest recruiting updates for a few of Trinity’s top players.

Kevin Toliver II remains firm in his commitment

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

UA jersey tour: Kendrick Norton

November, 20, 2014
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Four-star lineman Kendrick Norton joined five-star teammate Kevin Toliver II and ESPN 300 linebacker Jeffery Holland in being presented with their Under Armour All-America Game jerseys Thursday afternoon in a ceremony sponsored by American Family Insurance. The ceremony took place in front of friends, coaches, teammates and media members at the Trinity Christian School auditorium in Jacksonville, Florida.

The 99th-ranked prospect in the ESPN 300 said he felt honored to be selected to one of the top All-America games in the country.

“It just really cool that I’m maybe one of like 100 guys that gets to participate in this event. It’s an honor to play in the game."

Norton at one time was committed to FSU, but has since backed off and is considering other schools such as Miami, Florida, Ole Miss and UCLA. Though ranked as an offensive guard, Norton prefers the defensive line and several teams are recruiting him as a defensive tackle.

“I’m basically wide open,” Norton said of his recruitment. "I’m going to take a second look at Florida but basically I’m wide open. Miami wants me on the defensive line. They’ve been recruiting me real hard. Al Golden, Jethro Franklin, they talk to me every day.”

So far the ESPN 300 lineman hasn’t taken any official visits but that will soon change.

"I haven’t taken any official visits yet but I might go to Ole Miss on Jan. 29 and I’ll probably go to UCLA after the season,” he said. "Probably Miami after the season too."

Seven questions with Kendrick Norton

Who was the best player you ever saw play in the Under Armour game?

Norton: I remember watching Jamie Harper (former Trinity Christian running back) growing up. I didn’t really know who he was until I got to Trinity and I found out he actually played here but I remember watching him in the game.

If you could start a team with any other player in your class who would it be?

Norton: I’d say my entire team. I think we have a great team.

If you could go one-on-one with any other player in the country who would it be?

Norton: Whoever's the No. 1-ranked offensive guard in the country. Whoever that is, I'd want to take him on.

What's your earliest football memory?

Norton: My ninth-grade year, it was the first time I’d ever been trap-blocked. He hit me and my helmet came flying off.

If you could take on a professional athlete in their sport, who would it be and why?

Norton: Kobe Bryant. He’s the first person that came to mind other than LeBron.

What would you like to improve on before you get to college?

Norton: Just make sure I’m in shape and work on my first step and pad level.

What’s something about yourself that not many people know about?

Norton: I’m a comedian.

There have been some interesting names linked to the Florida opening, but several coaches believe Marshall's Doc Holliday could be a good recruiting fit in Gainesville. Plus, many expected ESPN 300 OT Chuma Edoga to flip from USC to Georgia, but it looks like the Trojans have won the battle in the end.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

ESPN 300 receiver Tyron Johnson said he’s “80 percent” sure of where he’s going but things could change dramatically if LSU steps up its pursuit. The battle to land Nick Brossette will be one of the biggest storylines heading into the final months of recruiting.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Central receiver Terrell Chatman committed to Miami early on, but that hasn’t stopped other schools from coming after him. His teammate, Kevin Henry, is working hard to ensure he’ll end up at Oklahoma State.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

#AskLoogs: Miami's chance to impress

November, 12, 2014
Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation senior analyst Tom Luginbill a question about your team? Tweet it to @TomLuginbill using the hashtag #AskLoogs.

Yes, when it comes to making an impression of the future at Miami and whether Miami is closing the gap. This is a young, talented Miami team and a performance in front of a big crowd (which it don’t often get at Sun Life Stadium) could make a big and long-lasting impression. Keep in mind Florida prospects are initially going to look at the big three and then begin to taper down from there which is why getting as many 2016 and 2017 prospects to this game is critical (over 100 are expected by the way). Environment and competitiveness are ultra-important because when these kids go on a visit to Gainesville or Tallahassee you don’t want the Miami home game experience to fall short in comparison. FSU is on top right now and if they keep winning it isn’t going to slow down anytime soon so it’s up to the competitors to find on edge either on the field or in other areas.

Some are expecting more than 150 prospects in attendance from the 2015-17 classes. Some of the headliners are Rasheem Green, John Houston Jr., Bar Milo, Jordan Scarlett, Sam Bruce, Jack Allison, Cedrick Wright, Brendan Loftus, Tyler Gauthier, Patrick Bethel, Michael Jackson, Charles Perry, Te'Von Coney, Calvin Ridley, Shawn Burgess-Becker, Da'Vante Phillips, Carlton Davis, Davante Davis, Saivion Smith and Devin Bush Jr.