Miami Football Recruiting: Predicting All the Commits Who Will Sign on NSD
The Miami Hurricanes are bringing in at least 25 new players during the 2014 recruiting cycle, and more than 60 percent are set to make it official on national signing day.
Fortunately for Al Golden, he and his coaching staff have already been able to officially get nine prospects to the school, including Kc McDermott, Joseph Yearby and Darrion Owens.
Waiting to sign, however, are key recruits like Chad Thomas, Brad Kaaya and Kiy Hester, and other programs are using the final days as a last-ditch effort to sway the high schoolers.
Currently, 16 committed players are eagerly awaiting 7:00 a.m. ET on Feb. 5 to send in their papers, but will Miami be the recipient of each letter of intent?
The Hurricanes do not hold verbal commitments from any running backs. Joseph Yearby, the only addition, is an early enrollee. This piece will also serve as a complete update for those verbal pledges, highlighting if and where said prospects are taking official visits.
Once vastly underrated, quarterback Brad Kaaya's performance at quarterback camps and during his state championship-winning season demanded attention from top schools nationwide.
Good thing Miami already had him locked up.
Recently, Kaaya took a visit to Boise State, which was probably hyped too much, considering prior to the trip, Kaaya shot down any rumors, via Peter Ariz of CanesInsight. "I'm still visiting Boise State just because I feel like I've earned the right to do that and take these free trips that they give you, but I'm set with Miami."
Dual-threat quarterback Malik Rosier has been overshadowed by Kaaya, but the Alabama gunslinger took an official visit to Miami during the weekend of Jan. 24.
There are absolutely zero signs pointing elsewhere, so Rosier will become a Hurricane on NSD, too.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
From Braxton Berrios, the smallest receiver, to Darrell Langham, the tallest, the Hurricanes' pass-catching commits are set to go.
Berrios, of course, is already on campus, and Langham is "really excited to be a part of [the UM] program," according to Nate Adelson of 247Sports (subscription required).
Per Adelson (subscription required), Tyre Brady "loved it all" concerning his official visit and is a lock to sign.
Local offensive weapon Trayone Gray has been committed to Miami for seven months, and he will be signing with the Hurricanes.
The only snafu, though, as David Lake of 247Sports (subscription required) notes, is that Gray is "working hard to qualify." If Gray gets the grades, he will be an official member of the football team—otherwise, he may have to wait for a little while.
Herndon visited the campus in mid-January, and the Georgia tight end told Adelson (subscription required) that he "had a lot of good experiences on this visit but it’s only the start."
Four commits, four players who will sign.
Since committing in April 2013, Gibbons has not received much noteworthy attention from schools around the country. After his official visit in December, Gibbons told Adelson (subscription required), "I can’t wait to get started down there."
Linder, the brother of graduated guard Brandon Linder, did not take an official visits besides his short trip to Miami.
Both of these players will definitely be Hurricanes come next Wednesday.
With a 5-star ranking, it's no surprise programs like Florida State, LSU and Alabama were hot on the tail of Chad Thomas.
But Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald relieved all Hurricanes fans, noting Thomas said "I'm not really trying to build any suspense, get anybody wound up, rowdy. Miami coaches knew I was going to take trips. They've just told me to have fun—just not too much fun.
Per Lake (subscription required), Anthony Moten has been recruiting fellow defensive tackle Travonte Valentine, so Moten is locked in.
Demetrius Jackson's recruitment has been full of twists and turns, and according to Jamie Newberg of Scout.com, Jackson is taking an official visit to Texas.
But after the dust settles, Miami will be his destination.
Once it became clear Al Golden was not leaving for Penn State, per Adelson, Courtel Jenkins was "on board."
However, due to an "obscure" ACC rule, as Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald calls it, JUCO defensive tackle Michael Wyche will not be able to sign, which is an unfortunate blow to the class.
Essentially, Wyche may be the only casualty in the class.
Smith is a local product, hailing from Miami Northwestern High School, and he is definitely a candidate to receive immediate playing time.
Though Smith was planning on taking officials to Arkansas and Louisville, Adelson of 247Sports quotes Smith of saying "I changed my mind about those visits and closed everything down."
As for McCray, according to Ryan S. Clark of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Blanche Ely linebacker planned to visit LSU and Alabama before NSD.
McCray has not tipped his hat to a possible flip, so expect him to sign with Miami, too.
Once he decommitted from Rutgers, hard-hitting safety Kiy Hester was a terrific snag for Golden and Co.
Recently, Hester posted a picture on his Twitter account with a national letter of intent with the caption "Counting down the months till I'm on campus."
Miami coaches visited Marques Gayot, and Dieter Kurtenbach of the South Florida Sun Sentinel says Gayot "sounds like he's set to sign."
Hester and Gayot round out an entire group that appears to be sticking with their current commitment, which is rare to see in the current era of recruiting.