“We’re excited about this year’s early enrollees,” head coach Mark Richt said. “As a group, they embody the qualities we’re looking for as Hurricanes. These young men will get a head start on all aspects of our off-season program, which will give them the opportunity to compete right away.”
The 10 early enrollees have begun taking classes full time and are participating in offseason conditioning to prepare for spring football.
Seven of the 10 early enrollees are from the state of Florida.
Robert Burns | RB | 5’11”/216 | Miami, Fla. | Gulliver Preparatory School
Four-star running back prospect by ESPN… Three-star prospect by 247Sports, Rivals and Scout…Selected to 2017 Under Armour All-America Game… Rated No. 67 prospect nationwide regardless of position on ESPN300…Ranked No. 7 running back nationwide by ESPN…Rated No. 25 running back nationwide in 247Sports’ Composite Rankings…Rushed for over 1,200 yards in high school career with 15 rushing touchdowns…Had 265 yards junior year…Totaled 900 yards with 13 touchdowns in first two varsity seasons…Coached by Earl Sims at Gulliver Prep…Chose Miami over offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State and Ohio State, among others.
Offensive Coordinator Thomas Brown on Burns: “Robert has all the physical tools to be an every down back. He is built to wear defensives down, and has enough speed to create explosive runs.”
Amari Carter | DB | 6’0”/188 | Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. | Palm Beach Gardens High School
Four-star safety prospect by ESPN…Three-star prospect by 247Sports, Rivals and Scout…Ranked No. 238 player nationwide regardless of position in ESPN300…Ranked No.5 on Palm Beach Big Board and Super 11 pick by Palm Beach Post…Had 60 tackles and three interceptions during junior year at Palm Beach Gardens…Coached by Rob Freeman at Palm Beach Gardens…Chose Miami over offers from Auburn, Clemson, LSU, Michigan and Notre Dame, among others.
Safeties Coach Ephraim Banda on Carter: “At the safety position, the most important thing we look for is toughness and tackling. Amari excels in both of those factors.”
DeeJay Dallas | ATH | 5’10”/205 | Brunswick, Ga. | Gylnn Academy
Consensus four-star prospect by 247Sports, ESPN, Rivals and Scout…Played quarterback, receiver, running back and defensive back at Glynn Academy…Also returned punts and kicks…Ranked No. 15 athlete nationwide by Rivals and No. 190 overall prospect regardless of position…Rated No. 230 prospect nationwide on ESPN300…Earned No. 259 ranking on 247Sports’ Composite Rankings…Rushed for 1,139 yards and 13 touchdowns during junior year at Glynn…Added 678 passing yards and seven passing touchdowns…Led Terrors to 11-2 record in final year…Rushed for 168 yards to go along with 135 passing yards in final game of high school career in state quarterfinals …Chose Miami over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Georgia, among others.
Wide Receivers Coach Ron Dugans on Dallas: “DeeJay is a very athletic kid has great vision and is very electric with the ball in his hands.”
Navaughn Donaldson | OL | 6’8”/375 | Miami, Fla. | Miami Central High School
Consensus four-star offensive line prospect by 247Sports, ESPN, Rivals and Scout…Selected to 2017 Under Armour All-America Game…Ranked No. 8 offensive tackle nationwide and No. 44 prospect regardless of position by Rivals…Rated 87 prospect nationwide on ESPN300…Ranked fifth-best player at position by ESPN…Rated No. 69 player nationwide on 247Sports Composite Rankings and No. 68 in Top247 rankings…Preseason All-America by USA TODAY entering senior season at Miami Central…Won state championship junior year with Rockets…High school teammate of fellow early enrollee Waynmon Steed…Coached by Roland Smith at Central…Chose Miami over offers from Florida, Florida State, Georgia and Louisville, among others.
Offensive Line Coach Stacy Searels on Donaldson: “Navaughn Donaldson is a very talented and large human being. He’s very athletic for his size, he has punch and power and has played at the highest level here in Miami. We’re excited to have him come in and compete for a job this year.”
Zach Dykstra | OL | 6’6”/305 | Spirit Lake, Iowa | Spirit Lake High School
Consensus three-star offensive line prospect by 247Sports, ESPN, Rivals and Scout…Ranked top-50 offensive tackle nationwide by ESPN…Ranked No. 5 player in state of Iowa by ESPN…Rated No. 7 player in state by Rivals…Chose Miami over offers from Iowa, Iowa State and Vanderbilt, among others.
Offensive Line Coach Stacy Searels on Dykstra: “Zach has good size and is very athletic. He moves his feet well and has the possibility to play all five positions.”
Jonathan Garvin | DL | 6’4”/229 | Lake Worth, Fla. | Lake Worth Community High School
Four-star defensive end prospect by ESPN…Three-star prospect by 247Sports, Rivals and Scout…Ranked No. 279 player regardless of position on ESPN300 rankings…Ranked No. 22 defensive end by ESPN and No. 33 by Scout…Dominated in final year at Lake Worth, finishing with 97 tackles, 59 tackles for loss and school-record 18 sacks…Totaled 93 tackles, including 36 tackles for loss and nine sacks in junior year at Lake Worth…Added six forced fumbles and one interception for Trojans in 2015…Coached by Micah Mays at Lake Worth…Chose Miami over offers from Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Oklahoma and Tennessee, among others.
Defensive Line Coach Craig Kuligowski on Garvin: “Jonathan is big, tall, fast, athletic and an extremely productive player. He has a single vision for success and won’t stop until he gets there.”
Bradley Jennings, Jr.| LB | 6’0”/231 | Jacksonville, Fla. | Sandalwood High School
Consensus three-star linebacker prospect by 247Sports, ESPN, Rivals and Scout…Ranked No. 36 outside linebacker nationwide by Rivals…Had 146 tackles and 10 tackles for loss in junior season at Sandalwood…Added three forced fumbles and two sacks for Saints in 2015…Selected to 2015 Florida Times-Union All-First Coast Second Team…Coached by Adam Geis at Sandalwood…Chose Miami over offers from Florida State, Louisville, Michigan and North Carolina, among others.
Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz on Jennings, Jr.: “The first thing that stands out with Bradley is his toughness. He’s a bruising presence in the middle of the defense. He’s stout versus the run. He has good vision and instincts.”
Brian Polendey | TE | 6’6”/218 | Denton, Texas | Guyer High School
Consensus three-star tight end prospect by 247Sports, ESPN, Rivals and Scout…Ranked No. 11 tight end nationwide by ESPN…Ranked No. 20 tight end in 247Sports’ Composite Rankings…Rated No. 24 tight end by Rivals and No. 25 tight end by Scout…Born in Eugene, Ore., and grew up in state of Washington…Finished junior year with nine receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns…Coached by John Walsh at Guyer…Chose Miami over offers from Arkansas, Colorado, Houston and Michigan, among others.
Tight Ends Coach Todd Hartley on Polendey: “Brian brings an unbelievable amount of physicality to our room. He plays tough, nasty, and will absolutely finish every play by putting his man on his back. He is extremely intelligent, which will allow him to pick up on our system quicker and put himself in a position to contribute earlier. He also runs and catches the ball well to do what we need him to do in our offense at a high level.”
Waynmon Steed | LB | 5’11”/203 | Miami, Fla. | Miami Central High School
Consensus-three-star linebacker prospect by 247Sports, ESPN, Rivals and Scout…Ranked No. 19 inside linebacker nationwide by Rivals…Rated No. 22 inside linebacker by 247Sports… Suffered torn ACL during senior year… Missed junior season with shoulder injury…Finished sophomore season at Central with 83 tackles, leading team to state championship…High school teammate of fellow early enrollee Navaughn Donaldson at Miami Central…Coached by Roland Smith at Central…Chose Miami over offers from Colorado, LSU and NC State, among others.
Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz on Steed: “Waynmon Steed has great instincts and great quickness. He’s able to see the play very quickly, is able to diagnose what’s going on and is able to beat the running back to the spot. He just has a great natural feel on how to play the linebacker position.”
Cade Weldon | QB | 6’3”/204 | Tampa, Fla. | Thomas Jefferson High School
Consensus three-star pro-style quarterback prospect by 247Sports, ESPN, Rivals and Scout…Ranked No. 19 pro-style quarterback nationwide by Rivals…Rated No. 23 pro-style quarterback by ESPN…Totaled 3,135 passing yards and 19 touchdowns in senior year…Completed 61 percent of passes in final campaign and rushed for 368 yards and one touchdown…Missed junior year due to knee injury…Threw for over 2,100 yards with 20 touchdowns in sophomore year at Jefferson…Father Casey was 1991 Heisman Trophy runner-up under then-Florida State offensive coordinator Mark Richt…Chose Miami over offers from Kentucky, South Carolina and Wake Forest, among others.
Quarterbacks Coach Jon Richt on Weldon: “Cade is a big and physical quarterback that has the ability to play with his arm and feet. I personally feel that he was one of the most underrated players coming out of the 2017 class. I can’t wait to see him compete.”