The appropriately named “Paradise Camp,” brought exactly that, paradise, for University of Miami Hurricanes recruiting. This past weekend, new Head Coach Manny Diaz hosted the fourth year of one of the most successful recruiting weekends in college football. Paradise Weekend was introduced to the Canes’ football program back in 2016 by former head coach Mark Richt.
Recruits and their families were invited to Coral Gables for the weekend to visit the campus and learn all about what Miami could offer in their four years playing college football. Players would train with some of the best coaches, and current/former NFL players to come out of the Miami program.
Manny Diaz welcomes participants to Paradise Camp.
— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) June 22, 2019
And, here are some of Miami’s biggest wins from the weekend:
The sheer number of recruits- in total, 86- attenting Paradise Camp was impressive. Among the group were 4 five-star recruits, 19 four-star recruits, 32 three-star recruits with the rest having not been graded, yet.
So far, the Canes have landed 4 commits from the weekend alone for both the 2020 and 2021 classes.
For the class of 2020, the first commit of the weekend was Miami Columbus three-star defensive end, Elijah Roberts. Roberts has been wavering on his verbal commitment over the past few weeks with several others.
Second, was Nashville Overton 3 star offensive tackle, Chris Washington, who told 247Sports and InsideTheU that he gave a verbal pledge to Diaz, picking the Miami over Ole Miss, Indiana, Wake Forest and Cincinnati.
Washington is the 3rd lineman and 18th overall commit for Class of 2020, which now ranks No. 8 on the 247Sports’ Composite Team Rankings.
Among the rest of the 2020 class is five star running back Don Chaney, four-star Oakleaf offensive tackle Jalen Rivers, Miami Northwestern wide receiver Marcus Fleming, McDougle Technical Institute defensive end Samuel Anaele, Suffield (Conn.) Academy quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna Prep defensive lineman Willie Moise and South Dade cornerback Jaiden Francois.
The 2021 class had two new commits as well. Fort Lauderdale Plantation wide receiver Jacolby George and Saint Petersburg Lakewood linebacker Cortez Mckenzie. Again, according to 247Sports, Miami now has 10 commits for the 2021 class and that is ranked No.1 by them.
The Canes also hosted two “Official Visits,” who couldn’t actually participate in the camp, but got to experience “the U” nonetheless. Keshawn Lawrence, a four-star safety, who is also considering LSU, South Carolina, Ole Miss and Tennessee.
The second was Alabama commit, Dazalin Worsham, who is a four-star wide receiver from Trussville, Alabama. Worsham hasn’t given any indication whether he’s wavering on his commitment to the Tide, but he did tweet this photo a few days before camp:
— Dazalin Worsham (@dazalin4) June 20, 2019
I’m sure a flip would be “the cherry on top” of an already very successful recruiting weekend for Miami.
Will Canes turn things around in home opener?
The excitement behind first year Miami Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz is quickly losing steam as the once ACC powerhouse has now found themselves as an unranked, middle of the pack team in their conference with an 0-2 record. Granted, they have had some bigger tests than most teams in the first two weeks of play, but still, there is too much talent on this team to have had such a lackluster start.
So, today has to be the day for Diaz to see some success as he heads into his first home game as the Canes head coach. Even if it’s against an FCS team, it will give the Canes the boost they need to turn the season around. They have a lot of young talent who can certainly bring Miami back to its state of prominence and there is still a lot to be hopeful for as they head into their first kickoff in Hard Rock Stadium this season.
History is certainly on Miami’s side. In their all time series with Bethune-Cookman University, Miami has a perfect 4-0 mark against the Wildcats, winning all four games by 3o points or more. Also, Miami has not lost a home opener since 2006, and have emerged victorious in its last 12 home openers, most recently, a shoutout 77-0 victory vs. Savannah State last season.
Amidst the two early losses, RS Freshman QB Jarren Williams has looked strong. In his first ever collegiate start against Top 10 ranked Florida, Williams finished 19-for-30 for 214 yards and 1 TD. He looked even better in week two against ACC opponent North Carolina, throwing for 309 yards on 30-for-39 passing with two touchdowns and no picks. He’ll likely put up even bigger numbers today against a significantly weaker defense. He’s now the ranked fourth among ACC Quarterbacks.
Williams also has strong targets in RB DeeJay Dallas who rushed for 107 yards on 14 carries, averaging 7.6 yards per rush vs. UNC, as well as TE Brevin Jordan who leads the team with 161 receiving yards (80.5 per game).
On the defensive end, Miami has one the best linebacker trios in college football right now with Zach McCloud, Michael Pinckney & Shaq Quarterman. These three have started nearly every game together since arriving to University of Miami as early enrollees in 2016.
UM’s starting offensive line now has three freshman. True freshman LT Zion Nelson, redshirt freshman RT John Campbell, Jr. and true freshman Jakai Clark who made his first start against the Tar Heels. The young UM offensive line looked much improved in week two, but they still allowed four sacks and aren’t up to the caliber they need to be to be considered a solid offensive line. However, facing a FCS level opponent like Bethune-Cookman, the starting five on the offensive line should be able to grow confident together this week.
Should Miami be upset with the way they’ve started this season, for sure. But, the 0-2 start does not have to reflect what the rest of the year will look like. This week is the perfect opportunity for the teams nine new starters so far this season to get more comfortable and build some confidence, and get the second string guys playing time to give the team more depth all around.
Even with defeat Canes legend Irvin passionate about future
MIAMI IS BACK!!!! Well, at least they are, according to Hurricanes legendary WR Michael Irvin and a social media post Monday morning.
First, Irvin was seen getting Canes fans hyped at a rally Friday night prior to Miami’s opening loss to rival Florida in Orlando Saturday night:
MICHAEL IRVIN IS READY FOR MIAMI VS. FLORIDA
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 24, 2019
Irvin was also a guest on ESPN’s “College Gameday” show at Disney World and got very animated on Saturday morning with Gators legend/Heisman winner, Tim Tebow:
— ESPN (@espn) August 24, 2019
Well, despite the hype, the Hurricanes played a sloppy game with lots of penalties and turnovers. Some of this was to be expected with a first year head coach in Manny Diaz and a redshirt freshman QB making his first start in Jarren Williams. As we wrote though, Williams showed promise at times despite sacks and misfires, at times for the offense.
Well, Irvin was back on social media Monday (apparently after a morning workout) and wanted Canes fans to know he is encouraged and to keep that same energy even after the loss:
— Michael Irvin (@michaelirvin88) August 26, 2019
In the :60 post, Irvin made it very clear that the Canes “gave it to the Gators,” and he was so adamant about that, he even said it twice. He was also very encouraged about the way his team played, especially with multiple freshmen on the O-line and a young QB.
“If it weren’t for a few mistakes, the Canes would have walked away with the win!,” Irvin emphasized.
Irvin, who was a two time All American receiver for the Gators in the 80s, part of the 1987 National Championship team and later a Pro Football Hall of Famer with the Cowboys, was a good sport and congratulated the Gators. But, he did leave us with a great quote to end his speech,
“I don’t care what ya’ll say, we will never die. We will never quit, and we will never go anywhere. So, eat that on your breakfast, lunch, and dinner plate.”
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