Miami holds a significant edge in Dade County as all of these prospects are basically within 20 minutes of the university. The 'Canes have capitalized early with Norland stand-outs Duke Johnson, Keith Brown, and Ereck Flowers.
It is tough to find a better player in the state than Johnson. We were at four Norland games last year- each against stiff competition- and Johnson was the best player on the field in each of those contests. He is an elite RB/CB prospect. Brown possesses all the talent including 4.5 speed. Consistency will be the key for him senior year. Flowers was one of the Spring's biggest risers in the state and he jumped on the Miami offer. He has a ton of potential long-term.
Miami has also added DBs A.J. Leggett and Larry Hope. Leggett has the best hips in the state and is a very physical DB. On the field he is one of the top CB prospects in the state. Hope was a surprise pick-up after an early camp session. He is long and possesses good speed.
Ricardo Louis committed to Auburn about 10 days ago showing the strength of that National Championship. At 6'2, 205 Louis is an elite athlete and one of the more coveted players in the state. There is a question as to his future position, Louis wants to play WR and that is where Auburn recruited him. Other schools see more upside as a Safety. The Tiger's will have to hold off Miami amongst others to get his signature.
Louisville brought in an impressive haul of Dade County prospects in 2011 led by Teddy Bridgewater and Charles Gaines. They added Brandon Snell and Teko Powell from Norland early this year. Snell has elite hands and quickness, and it bodes well for Louisville that he is related to Bridgewater. Not the biggest WR, but he makes plays and would seem to be an excellent slot candidate. Powell has been iffy on the commitment and we would say there is a long way to go there. One thing is for sure, the 'Ville is not done in Dade.
Donaldven Manning made an early commitment to Virginia Tech, but has not acted like it, he is planning several trips this summer. He possesses good cover skills, but is rail thin. He transferred to Central and will be a key member of their secondary.
Northwestern DT Imarjaye Albury jumped on an early West Virginia offer. The jumbo athlete is all about upside. The Moutaineers are always active in South Florida and have offers out to several more players.
There is another D-1 school in Miami and that is FIU. Northwestern QB E.J. Hilliard accepted an early offer. He was terrific when filling in for Bridgewater a year ago and really developed during the 7on7 season. It will be his team in 2011 and he has some elite weapons to throw to.
Deon Bush is one the elite athletes in the state. At 6'1 the combo DB runs like the wind, jumps out of the gym, and has rare agility. Physically he is exactly what schools are looking for at the CB position. Miami is the favorite, but look for FSU, Auburn, and several other southeastern schools to make a legit run at him.
Amari Cooper has received multiple BCS offers despite missing a large portion of his junior year with injury. The silky smooth 6'1+ wide-out has all the tools and he was extremely impressive at camps. He recently earned a Miami offer at their camp and the Canes are seen as the leader.
Herbert Waters has been one of the hardest players for colleges to evaluate. He moved all around as a junior, but is viewed as a WR/CB. Just when you start leaning to CB, Waters goes off in his Spring game at WR. Bottom line, the 6'0 athlete will be a player that continues to picks up offers throughout the process.
Vernon Davis does not possess special size or speed, but he is more than adequate at each and makes plays on both sides of the ball. He is a player who has to be seen live a few times to appreciate his skill-set. Expect the offers to keep rolling in.
Bilal Marshall will need to make a choice between QB and WR. He holds many BCS offers and schools are split on where to play him. He needs to fill out, but at 6'3 while being a fluid athlete, he has a lot of upside.
DeAndre Jasper will likely line up at WR at the next level, but he also possesses intriguing upside at CB. He is strong with a thick build and plays both ways. He had a stronger sophomore season on the field, but should be the focal point of the offense as a senior.
Gheirry Vanderkup was a side-arm slinging maestro at the Tampa 7on7 as he led his team to the title. He will not play QB in college and figures to line up at WR or perhaps S. He was under the radar until the Spring where he reeled in a slew of offers. He is considered very open on the recruiting trail.
Robert Conyers has very quietly built a very impressive offer sheet. He was the top linemen at the ESS South Florida combine where he showed tantalizing upside. He is over double digit offers and should see that list grow.
Five to watch
Ernest Freeman. The RB was injured as a junior and will likely need to have a strong senior season to re-gain momentum on the recruiting trail.
Samad Hinds. The 6'4 former basketball player has the tools, but is very raw at this time. He has the ability to be a difference maker and will get the opportunity playing for Central, one of the nations best teams.
Torry Clayton. We love his hard running style and build. He has offers and will camp this summer at several major universities where he will have the chance to reel in some more. Tough as nails.
Pedro Sibiea. An early UF offer has not been followed up by many more. The 6'3, 260 defensive line has the tools, but needs to make a bigger impact on the field in 2011.
Nequan Phillips. Another player that has to be seen live to appreciate his physicality and natural play-making ability. He holds just one offer and should be seeing more attention from BCS schools.