Lorenzo Lingard made a commitment to Miami on February 9.
What to Like: At 6-feet and 190 pounds, Lingard is one of the fastest players in the entire country. He ran a 4.53 laser 40 at a Nike Camp earlier this spring. His personal best in the 100m is 10.71 and he recently became a state champion in the 300m hurdles. Once he gets into the open field, it's over. He has outstanding straight ahead speed and he has the extra gear in the open field that allows him to score a lot of long touchdowns. He's very similar to former FSU running back Dalvin Cook from that standpoint. Lingard should start his college career at over 200 pounds so his combination of size and speed will be about as good as you'll see from a running back that age. Lingard has tremendous cut back ability. Once he plans his foot and goes, he shows off exceptional explosiveness. He runs with good balance often just bounces off would-be tacklers. He's also fresh off an incredibly productive junior season at University High in Orange City when he ran for 1,418 yards (10.9 average) and 22 touchdowns. He's the total package from a physical talent standpoint. He's also expected to graduate early and enroll in time for spring football in 2018.
What may concern you: It's hard to find any holes in his game but two things come to mind. First, he plays in a Wing-T offense in high school and doesn't get many opportunities to catch the football out of the backfield. This is something all of Miami's great running backs over the years have done well and it's definitely possible that Lingard will too but he's an unproven pass-catcher right now. As dominant as he's been at the prep level, he's not facing the caliber of competition as guys like Willis McGahee, Edgerrin James, Duke Johnson, and Mark Walton faced during their prep careers. He can't control that but there could be a small bit of transition involved once he gets to the major college level.
Bottom Line: Lingard is a big time prospect. He's widely considered the nation's No. 2 running back prospect in the 2018 class. He had a chance to play anywhere in America based on his offer sheet, which also included Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, and Florida. He made an early commitment to Miami and continues getting actively recruited by those programs and more but it's encouraging for Miami fans to know that he took unofficial visits to those four schools and more before he decided to give his commitment to Miami. It's unlikely that he'll see someone later in the year and flip his commitment. He's been very active in helping recruit other elite players to Miami in his same class. There's a good chance 2017 will be Walton's last at Miami so Lingard will have every opportunity to come in here and be the top guy from day one. He's one of two major running back commitments in the 2018 class for Miami, joining Miami Carol City's Camron Davis, a Walton clone.