The 2018 Miami Hurricanes recruiting class which at this point is by far the best in the country, just landed another major recruit. This time, however the recruit comes from what could be considered the first family of the Miami Hurricanes. Al Blades Jr., the son of the late Al Blades made the announcement that he will attend Miami on Father’s Day.
Blades Jr. is a four star DB from St. Thomas Aquinas High School. His father was a standout at Miami, played for the San Francisco 49ers after coming out undrafted for two seasons before he died. Blades Sr. died in an auto accident in 2003, when he and former high school teammate Martel Johnson were driving in South Florida. Johnson also perished in the crash.
Blades Sr. was a standout safety for Miami and was named All Big East his senior season in 2000. He’s the youngest of three Blades brothers who played for Miami. Brian Blades played wide receiver for Miami, where Bennie Blades played DB. Brian played for the Seahawks, where Bennie played for the Lions. The elder Blades brothers played when Miami was at it’s height. Al Blades came to Miami when it was smack in the middle of NCAA sanctions. He was actually a key member in the turn around, which included some big time plays in the 1998 win against then undefeated UCLA. A game many historians credit as the turning point that brought Miami back to dominance.
A quick personal story, Al Blades lived on my floor in the Pearson dorms in 1998. I remember a few times prior he would try to intimidate me in the elevator, which usually didn’t work. Just something some players at the time tried to some of us. I usually just brushed it off. Anyways after the win against UCLA, I went up to Al and said a simple, “good game.” He gave me a quick smile, said “thanks my man.” Then every time after that when he saw me, he said what’s up like we were cool. When he passed away, that made me sad. Anyways it’s funny how success humbled Al Blades more than the other way around.
Back to his son, Al Jr, who’s listed at 6’1 and according to Rivals is the sixth best CB and 35th best overall player in the country. This isn’t just a legacy passing over generations, this young man has some serious skills. He mentioned that the decision to choose Miami was that they are rebuilding. Makes you think that he wants to do something similar to what his late father did at the school. The fact is, though that Miami is a little further along on their rebuilding process now than they were when Al Sr. signed on to play for Miami. Either way Blades Jr. could indeed be around when Miami really has turned the corner. By doing that he will be part of an already rich legacy of Blades’ who are clearly the first family for the Canes.