NCF On The Trail: Demetrius Jackson

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One of the top high school programs in the country, Miami Booker T. Washington, lost its head coach on Monday as Tim “Ice” Harris resigned to take a position with the Miami Hurricanes. Miami announced the move on its official website.

Harris will join Al Golden’s staff as assistant director of football operations, and with his extensive experience in South Florida he will be the primary liaison with high school coaches.

Miami signed just four prospects from South Florida in 2013, but after an apparent change in recruiting philosophy the Hurricanes signed 14 players from the talent-rich area in 2014. By adding Harris, who has 24 years of coaching experience in the Miami area and compiled a 99-10 record in his two stints at Booker T. Washington, the Hurricanes are looking to increase their stronghold on the fertile recruiting area.

Booker T. Washington had seven players sign with FBS schools this year, but only two, Chad Thomas and Demetrius Jackson, signed with Miami. Harris’ own son, quarterback Treon Harris, signed with Florida, but by adding Tim Harris to their staff, the Hurricanes are hoping to start a pipeline from the nationally recognized high school.

The 2015 Booker T. Washington class is not quite as strong as its 2014 class, but the area surrounding the school is loaded with talent so Golden picked a great time to add Harris to his staff. Ten of the top 100 players in the 2015 ESPN Junior 300 are from South Florida. The No. 11-ranked junior in the country, athlete Torrance Gibson (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage), is the top South Florida prospect and has visited the Hurricanes multiple times.

Landing a prospect like Gibson, who wants to play quarterback in college, will only help with other elite prospects in the area such as defensive back Tarvarus McFadden (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage), wide receiver Da'Vante Phillips (Miami/Central) and wide receiver Calvin Ridley (Coconut Creek, Fla./Monarch).

Harris is easily one of the most recognizable names in South Florida high school football, and his experience and connections in the area should only help the Hurricanes continue to recruit at a very high level.

Top position classes: DL 

February, 14, 2014
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With national signing day in the books, RecruitingNation is looking at the top position classes. For the full series, click here.

Nationally (and SEC)
Texas A&M went into the 2014 class knowing that size and athleticism was an absolute must on its defensive front. And Kevin Sumlin and staff delivered on those glaring needs. Leading the way is No. 1 defensive end and five-star player Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/James Martin), who has the size, speed and power combination to be a difference-maker early on next fall. The 6-foot-5, 247-pound Garrett is joined at defensive end by ESPN 300 No. 203 Qualen Cunningham (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton), and high three-star Jarrett Johnson (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes), who has a nonstop motor. While the Aggies have some talented young defensive tackles, continuing to add size and athleticism to the interior was a must. No. 150 DeShawn Washington (Nederland, Texas/Nederland) and four-star early enrollee Zaycoven Henderson (Longview, Texas/Longview) add disruptive explosiveness and athleticism.

The Aggies had the nation’s best defensive line class; here’s which schools had the best in each of the remaining power conferences:

Most important targets: SEC 

December, 10, 2013
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Evaluating the most important recruiting targets for each school in the SEC for the Class of 2014:

Alabama
CB Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover)
6-foot, 180 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 9
The Crimson Tide have already put together the No. 1-ranked class in the country, and adding a playmaker such as Humphrey would cement their status as the top recruiting class for the 2014 cycle. Humphrey is an athletic cornerback who has great size and would be a natural fit in coach Nick Saban's system. FSU is also in the picture for the five-star defensive back, and Alabama will have to fight to keep this electric playmaker from leaving the state.


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Commits shine in Florida state title games 

December, 8, 2013
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ORLANDO -- The Florida High School Athletic Association's class 1A through 4A state championship games were played this weekend in Orlando, Fla. The games featured several prospects who are committed to top programs, as well as some uncommitted prospects. Here's a closer look at who had some of the best performances.


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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings.

Zack Darlington
Tom Hauck for Student SportsNebraska coach Bo Pelini has to make a tough decision after 2014 QB commit Zack Darlington got injured.
Today's offerings: With questions about Zack Darlington’s future lingering, Nebraska coach Bo Pelini has to make a tough decision about recruiting another quarterback in the 2014 class. There’s still plenty of meat left on the bone for the 2014 class; and the Miami Central-Miami Booker T. Washington game will showcase seven Cane and Gator recruits.


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Recruiting is not always about just getting the 25 best players to complete a class. Each school has to recruit to its needs, which changes each class. Here is the biggest need for each ACC school and what its coaching staff is doing to address it.


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ESPN 300 defensive end Trent Harris (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) committed to Miami (Fla.) on Monday afternoon. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound athlete announced his decision on a live webcast with the Orlando Sentinel. The No. 114-ranked player in the country also had offers from Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, among many others.

Harris said he was relieved to make his decision.

"It's a big relief now," he said on the webcast. "I just want to go play football now."

The four-star end admittedly grew up a Florida fan, but he said the Hurricanes presented a better opportunity for him.

"It was difficult," he said. "That was my dream as a kid. But I grew up and I got to realize what's going to help me the most in my future and that's the University of Miami.

The Hurricanes are picking up an explosive pass rusher.

"Harris is a prospect with some good natural tools," his Recruiting Nation scouting report reads. "He has the ability to explode off the ball and good things can come with that. Can be a tough run defender and with some development and refining can be a disruptive pass rusher. Lacks in ideals in some areas, but initial quicks and strength will catch attention and could allow him to be a very productive college defender. "

The Hurricanes have 24 commits, including 10 in the ESPN 300. Miami is No. 7 in the RecruitingNation class rankings. Harris will join Miami Booker T. Washington teammates Chad Thomas and Demetrius Jackson as defensive end commits for the Hurricanes.

Canes continue South Florida surge 

July, 20, 2013
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Miami continued its hot streak on the recruiting trail Saturday as four-star ESPN 300 defensive end Chad Thomas (Miami/Booker T. Washington) gave his pledge to the Hurricanes. Thomas will join Booker T. Washington teammates Nigel Bethel, who committed to Miami on Friday, and Demetrius Jackson as 2014 Miami commits.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Thomas announced his decision on Twitter and later confirmed it via text message. In his text, Thomas said Miami was just the best fit for him.

"Yes I have committed to Miami," the text read. "I went to some top schools this week and from what I need and wanted, Miami had the best to offer."

Thomas totaled 39 tackles, including 4.5 sacks, as a junior.

If Thomas continues to add size, he has a chance to be a very good player on the next level.

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Jackson leaves hardwood for gridiron

June, 29, 2013
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Demetrius Jackson (Miami/Booker T. Washington), a 6-foot-4, 225-pound prospect yet to play a single snap of high school football, has accepted a scholarship offer from Miami (Fla.), the Miami Herald reports.

Jackson, a second team All-Dade basketball selection, competed in Booker T. Washington's spring game and registered a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery.

"People may not know much about him right now, but they will, " offensive coordinator Tim "Ice" Harris Jr. said. "He's a freak athlete who played plenty of football growing up. He just turned his focus to basketball in high school. But he knows his best way to a scholarship is football. A lot of schools who saw him this spring were impressed."

Arkansas and Florida International have also offered Jackson for football. He attempted to commit to the Razorbacks last week, but Jackson hasn't visited campus and the pledge wasn't accepted.

Miami's rapidly expanding 2014 class now has 19 verbals.

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