"He originally committed to Buffalo," said Buffalo (NY) Canisius coach Brandon Harris. "It's not a recruiting hotbed here. I had a history with Miami. I coached Billy Sanders. Zach Miller, I coached him when he was highly recruited by Miami several years ago. Cuirtis Johnson was my position coach at Idaho and he spent several years as the wide receivers coach at Miami. He's now with the Saints. When Turner Gill left for Kansas, they came in just before the holidays about vaious opportunities. We put a video together and sent it out and all hell broke loose after that."
When Gill left for Kansas, as Harris mentioned, several other major college programs entered the mix.
"Miami came in, Arizona has been in, Oklahoma has been here," Harris said. "You had schools asking, 'where did this kid come from?' and all wanted him to come for a visit. He was supposed to go to Oklahoma for a visit last weekend but he had a basketball tournament and they didn't get back this week. When Miami came in, they got the trip scheduled right away. He's scheduled to go to Arkansas next week."
Miami defensive coordinator John Lovett is the one recruiting Gaines for the Canes.
"When Coach Lovett was here seeing him, he saw that he could put weight," he said. "They like him on the inside or outside. We had him at both."
Gaines, who does not yet have an offer from the Hurricanes, played all over the field for Coach Harris this season and the head man talked about that.
"He played all over the field -- tight end, tailback, receiver, linebacker, safety," he said. "We run a very similar offense to a lot of teams out there. We spread our athletes all across the field. He had over 110 tackles on defense and caused some fumbles and had some interceptions. He started at tight end for us but was a little undersized. He was a mismatch for safeties and linebackers. He caught about 26 balls and caught six touchdowns off those. We also played him at tailback, in the slot, played it all. We like to create mismatches and we were able to do that with Jimmy."
Harris believes Gaines' best days are way ahead of him and he talked about that.
"I think the biggest upside there, and the folks in New York haven't gotten the memo because they start their kids so late, is he's going to be 17 in March," he said. "He's young and he's 6-3 and 216 is what we had him at. He's at about 208 now with basketball season. He's a kid who's still growing and has a big upside."
Gaines is good to go academically as well.
"We're considered a top five school nationally academically," Harris said. "He's a high B-plus kid, could be an A-kid. He's qualified."
Stay tuned, as Scout will have coverage of Gaines' official visit to Miami at the end of the weekend.