Breaking Down Miami's Chances at Landing Top 5 National Signing Day Targets
As national signing day approaches, the Miami Hurricanes' coaches are targeting a handful of high school prospects to complete one of the nation's top classes.
Head coach Al Golden and his unchanged staff are busy on the recruiting trail, visiting the schools and homes of the 'Canes' top targets.
For this breakdown, recruits like Chad Thomas who are currently committed to Miami will not be a focus. Though chatter has emerged of some pledges heading elsewhere, the likelihood of any flips happening is worth little more than this mention.
Conversely, two of Miami's top five targets are committed elsewhere but have shown legitimate interest in the 'Canes while another appears to be near the top of Golden's board.
Note: All rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.
Pertinent Update: Peter Ariz of CanesInSight notes Brad Kaaya is "all set" on Miami, silencing all rumors of the California quarterback attending a different university.
Travonte Valentine, Defensive Tackle
Travonte Valentine, who decommitted from Miami earlier this month, will choose between the Hurricanes and LSU.
The 4-star defensive tackle is clearly the most important target remaining, evidenced by Miami sending the cavalry of Mark D'Onofrio, Jethro Franklin, Hurlie Brown and Paul Williams to visit Valentine, per David Lake of 247Sports (subscription required).
Looking forward, Valentine is scheduled to take an official visit to LSU on Jan. 24.
If he returns home without committing to Les Miles, the Hurricanes' chances figure to land Valentine increase marginally when he announces on signing day.
But that's a big if.
Chances: 49 Percent.
Gavin Bryant, Linebacker
Not all news is good.
Gavin Bryant has been discussed as a possible flip from Tennessee to Miami, but all hopes of that happening have just about vanished.
According to Ryan Callahan of 247Sports (subscription required), the 4-star linebacker "felt at home" during his official visit to Knoxville, Tenn.
Of course, getting Bryant on campus could pay large dividends, and Golden and Co. will likely attempt to get him to Coral Gables, regardless of his affirmation.
But although Miami will continue pursuing him, Bryant is rather set on Tennessee.
Chances: 1 Percent.
J.C. Jackson, Athlete
J.C. Jackson's recruitment is another one of those changes-every-day sagas.
Just last week, the battle for the 4-star athlete was between Florida State and Miami. Now, it looks like Florida, where Jackson is considered a soft commit, is atop the picture with the Hurricanes.
Luke Stampini of 247Sports (subscription required) notes Jackson's father Chris expects Golden to make a visit soon but is unsure of the date. Per Stampini, Chris also says that while Florida's Will Muschamp stopped by, FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher "ain't said nothing yet."
Jackson took his official visit to Miami on Dec. 13, 2013 and traveled to Gainesville, Fla. on Jan. 17.
This one will likely come down to signing day.
Chances: 25 Percent.
Treon Harris, Athlete
Many fans have wondered why the Hurricanes are not in better position to land local athlete and FSU commit Treon Harris.
Well, Harris wants to play quarterback at the collegiate level, and Miami did not extend an offer for Harris to play behind center until early January.
Via Harris' brother, Safid Deen of The Miami Herald says the Booker T. Washington standout is "open to listening to [the 'Canes], but they’re trying to make up a lot of ground in a short time."
Golden and Co. are making a concerted effort to close on Harris, but don't hold your breath on this one, folks.
Chances: 5 Percent. And That's Probably Generous.
Brayden Lenius, Wide Receiver
Brayden Lenius has emerged as one of the final pieces to the 2014 class.
Per Lenius' 247Sports profile, Golden visited him on Jan. 16, and the 6'5" wideout will be taking an official visit to Coral Gables on Jan. 31.
The unranked receiver is a teammate of Brad Kaaya, the 4-star gunslinger who will battle Kevin Olsen for the starting job for years to come.
Peter Ariz of CanesInSight notes Lenius told his quarterback if [Kaaya is] at Miami, then [Lenius] wants to be at Miami.
Until a development explicitly states Lenius is heavily considering another school, expect the receiver to sign with the Hurricanes.
Chances: 80 Percent.