Hurricane warning through signing dayPosted: Friday December 27, 2002 7:43 PM
Attention all coaches: TheInsiders.com has issued a Hurricane Warning from Christmas Day through National Signing Day on Feb. 5. Hurricane Larry in Coral Gables is strong, predictable and gaining momentum. All regions, from South Florida, to the Northeast, and all the way to California, are under siege.
The Miami Hurricanes have now taken over as the team when it comes to college football recruiting. As one college coach said to me, “Miami doesn’t have to recruit prospects, prospects recruit Miami!”
Miami head coach Larry Coker and staff will once again put together a stellar group, re-fortifying the offensive and defensive lines and getting other position standouts as well. Kyle Wright, the nation’s No. 1 quarterback prospect, has committed to Miami and will report to Coral Gables next month. The Hurricanes, who dominate South Florida recruiting, already have commitments from three Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely standouts -- running back Tyrone Moss and offensive linemen Andrew Bain and Cyrim Wimbs.
Nate Robinson, the nation’s No. 1 defensive tackle prospect, just committed to Miami. Linebackers Tavares Gooden and Glenn Cook and offensive linemen John Rochford, Kevin Williams and Derrick Morse, all are headed to Miami and they are big-time prospects. Throw in one of the top junior college tight ends, Kevin Everett, and you have the makings of a great start.
Look for the ‘Canes to close strong; they are gaining momentum as we head into January and should be tough to beat on most prospects they really want to sign.
Miami should battle the Florida Gators on several fronts, including linebacker Earl Everett, wide receiver Andre Caldwell, defensive back Demetrice Webb, and defensive end Tranell Morant, just to name a few.
They are going out of state to battle college football powers all over the country for such players as tight end Greg Olsen, center John Sullivan, defensive end Tim Washington, wide receivers Whitney Lewis and Craig Davis, safety Daryl Johnson, defensive tackle Lawrence Dampeer, defensive end Kirston Pittman, just to name a few.
The point is, be very wary of the Hurricanes because nowadays, they win more recruiting battles than they lose. Based on last week’s team recruiting rankings, Miami was ranked No. 10 in the country by TheInsiders.com, but they will be climbing and climbing the rankings fast.
Leak back from Iowa
Five-star quarterback Chris Leak is back from his fifth and final official visit. The last trip went to Iowa. Leak, from Charlotte (N.C.) Independence High School, is the highest rated uncommitted quarterback. But that will soon change.
"Iowa was first class," Leak said. "Brad [Banks] was awesome and he showed me around. Coach [Kirk] Ferentz and [Ken] O'Keffe are great guys and I love their system. Iowa City seems like a great place and I was very impressed by their facilities. Iowa is a place where I feel real comfortable, like any regular person." Leak visited the Hawkeyes after the Shrine Bowl on Saturday in Rock Hill, S.C. He led North Carolina to a 28-0 victory over South Carolina, throwing for 185 yards and three touchdown passes. He flew to Iowa City on a private jet on Saturday and back to North Carolina late Sunday night. He then spent the day in Atlanta, taping Countdown to Signing Day on Fox Sports Net South.
It has been a whirlwind fall for the record-breaking signal caller. This season, he led Independence High School to their third consecutive state championship. Over the past three seasons, they went 47-1. Leak, who started as a freshman, ended his career throwing for an astounding 15,593 yards and 185 touchdown passes (a national record). This season alone he threw for 64 touchdowns.
During the season, he took official visits to Florida, Florida State, Texas and Southern Cal.
"At Iowa, I love their offense and all the players. It seems like the coaches and players are one big family and I love their coaching staff,” Leak said.
"Southern Cal's coaches, especially coach [Pete] Carroll and [Norm] Chow seem so sincere and trustworthy. Coach Chow has a great offensive mind and they care about your future.
"I have known Mack Brown at Texas for a long time. He recruited my brother when he was in high school and I was in middle school so I feel real good and comfortable with him. Same with Florida State. They recruited my brother and Nick Maddox when they came out of high school. Plus, Bobby Bowden is just incredible.
"At Florida, I had such a good time. I hung out with Rex [Grossman] and talked football. I have been real impressed with coach [Ron] Zook and how serious he is about football and the future of that program."
Now it is decision time for Leak. The timetable ends on Jan. 5 at the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. Leak hopes to have an announcement at halftime of that game.
"That's the plan but if I am not ready I will not commit. Right now, I have not made a decision. I have not eliminated any of the five teams."
Over the past few weeks, Bowden has attended an Independence practice, Zook and Florida offensive coordinator Ed Zuanbrecher and Chow from Southern Cal have attended playoff games, and Ferentz from Iowa has made in-home visit.
So what will it boil down to for Chris Leak?
-- Jamie Newberg, TheInsidersRecruiting.com
No. 1 DT makes commitment
Nate Robinson, the top-rated defensive tackle in the country by TheInsiders.com, is committed.
"I'm a Hurricane, baby!" Robinson said.
At 6-foot-4 1/2 and 310 pounds, Robinson committed to the University of Miami on his visit last weekend. "I met with the coaches and everything and they asked what I was going to do," he said. "I told them I'm coming. Then coach [Larry] Coker asked me about taking other visits. I don't think I will, but I haven't really decided."
Robinson, who will take the ACT next month after coming up two points short, said he had a chance to hang out with several players.
"It was tight," he said. "All the guys were hanging out. D.J. Williams was my actual host but all the players were incredible. That's all me at Miami. I can't wait to start. The whole situation is where I need to be."
Robinson said his knee is doing much better these days. "My knee is straight," he said. "It's coming along just great. I'll be 100 percent real soon. I ain't playing basketball this year, but I'll be throwing the shot and discus during track season."
The standout defender said one thing he liked a lot about his visit to Miami is how well everyone gets along.
"It's a big family thing," he said. "Vince Wilfork's mom passed away and a bunch of players and coaches went to the funeral with him. Everyone's real tight. The coaches are great. Coach Coker treats every kid like a diamond, no matter how long they've been there."
Robinson said he's excited about the future.
"You're going to see Nate Dog on national TV next year," he said. "I'll be ballin’. I want to help them win some more national championships. I saw the rings from last year and I kept saying to myself that I need one of those for me."
-- Mike Bakas, TheInsiders.com
Top Florida TE is headed West
Patrick Danahy, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound tight end from Sarasota (Fla.) Cardinal Mooney had narrowed his choices down to Stanford, Georgia Tech and Wisconsin and announced he would be joining the Cardinal.
"It was a very tough decision for him," Danahy's mother said. "All three schools were great and offered a lot but I think the main factor for him was the overall academics and long-range plans Stanford offered. The other two are great universities as well but we went to visit Stanford on Patrick's official visit, we were all blown away.
"I really didn't want him to go that far, but once we saw Stanford, we realized what an incredible place it is. From a football standpoint, Patrick really liked coach [Buddy] Teevens and formed a special bond with him. It was such a tough decision and it was really hard on Patrick to call the other coaches and tell them what he was doing but he is very excited about his choice."
Danahy took official visits to all three of his finalist and was also looking at Florida and Duke. All but the Gators had offered a scholarship.
-- Greg Biggins, PacWestFootball.com
S. Carolina standout names top three
Anthony McDaniel's South Carolina squad had their hands full with North Carolina in the Shrine Bowl on Saturday, but McDaniel had an excellent week of practice and saw his stock soar through the week. He has set three official visits with his three favorites thus far.
"I'm going to Clemson on Jan. 10, South Carolina on Jan. 17, and Tennessee on Jan. 24," said McDaniel. "Those are the three teams I'm looking at the hardest right now. All three of them are recruiting me to play defensive end right now."
At 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, McDaniel has the frame to be an immediate contributor at defensive end, but he could also grow into an offensive or defensive tackle.
-- Scott Kennedy, BorderWars.com
Miami snares offensive lineman
At 6-foot-3 and 350 pounds, Andrew Bain says he is going to the University of Miami.
"I pretty much knew all along that's where I wanted to go. With Cyrim and Tyrone going there too, it made things easier,” Pompano Beach (Fla.) Ely’s standout offensive lineman said.
Bain picked the Canes over FSU and Ohio State. "Basically, it's the best situation for me," he said. "The future is real bright and I think we're just going to reload with another great recruiting class this year. Hopefully we can continue winning like they are now."
The standout lineman said he got a chance to look at the depth chart. "They're losing some guys and they're bringing some back," he said. "They have one senior guard starting and one sophomore. The other guys haven't played much yet so hopefully I can go in and compete with them."
-- Mike Bakas, TheInsiders.com
Top offensive lineman goes on 'gut'
Martin O’Donnell is going to Illinois. "I knew it would come down to a gut feeling." said Downers Grove (Ill.) South offensive lineman.
"I liked both Stanford and Nebraska but I knew that Illinois was the place for me.
"I felt at home when I visited Illinois. I felt more comfortable with the players and the coaches at Illinois than I did at Stanford or Nebraska."
O'Donnell, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound, offensive tackle is one of the very best prospects in the nation.
-- Chris Pool, PoolRecruiting.com