Recruiting News & Notes (Jan 9)

National Signing Day is exactly four weeks away and while the Hurricanes have a loaded recruiting class already, a few key prospects remain undecided. Read on for all the latest.

* The Hurricanes will sign three quarterbacks next month and two of them will already be on campus. Cannon Smith and Jacory Harris are both expected to enroll for the spring semester, which starts next Monday. The two will join Robert Marve as the only scholarship quarterbacks on the roster this spring.

* I spent some time with Taylor Cook at the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando last week. He wasn't participating because he's still recovering from a knee injury he suffered in the last game of his senior season. He told me his knee feels fine and that he'll be at 100-percent within a month. Cook said the Miami coaches were hoping he'd enroll early but Cook said he wanted to finish out of high school career like most students and will arrive at UM sometime this summer.

* The running back situation is pretty clear -- it's Jamie Harper or no one. After signing three running backs last year, getting one this year wasn't a major priority unless a big time player wanted to come here. Well, Harper's a big time player. He is scheduled to visit Miami later this month but after watching him interact with the Clemson commitments all last week in Orlando, I'd be real surprised if he ended up anywhere other than Death Valley.

* The Hurricanes will get a boost of competition this spring at the fullback position, as Patrick Hill and John Calhoun are expected to enroll later this month. Hill is a Juco transfer and could very well be Miami's starting fullback in 2008. Calhoun, interestingly, became the first student in Sebastian River High's history to graduate high school early.

* With five wide receivers already committed, getting a sixth one isn't a huge priority. However, the Hurricanes are still lacking a big body at the receiver position. That's why someone like Miami Northwestern's Tommy Streeter would be an ideal addition to this class. Streeter has kept private his true feelings on the recruiting process all year so it's been very difficult getting a good feel for what he plans on doing. The Canes are still in it but he could very easily end up somewhere else. If Streeter doesn't come, keep an eye on Laron Byrd from Louisiana. Byrd told last week that he plans on taking a visit to Miami in early February. Byrd, 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, was excellent at the Miami summer camp back in June and was singled out by a lot of the other players there as being a camp standout. The Canes would probably like one of the two but don't be surprised if they don't add any more receivers.

* The tight end position is a lot like the running back spot -- it's Dwayne Allen or no one. The Canes were pursuing Bo Reliford for awhile but he told earlier this week that the Canes are no longer recruiting him. Allen is a longshot, too. When spoke to him after the All-America Game last Saturday, Allen really only talked about Georgia, the school he's been committed for for the last several months.

* The big news of this past week along the offensive line was Matt Patchan's decision to go with the Gators over the Hurricanes. His decision made Northwestern's Benjamin Jones that much more of a priority. Jones will be in Clemson this weekend and LSU next weekend but there's a very good chance he'll join several of his teammates in this year's class. Brandon Washington looks to be the only interior offensive lineman in this class. He plans on visiting North Carolina, LSU, and Clemson over the next three weekends before seeing UM in early February. It'd be a shocker if he ended up signing somewhere else.

* The D-Line class is very good right now and it has a chance of getting a whole lot better in the coming weeks. Marcus Forston showed why he's widely considered the nation's No. 1 defensive tackle prospect with a strong showing all week at the U.S. Army All-American practices. Forston is expected to enroll at UM next week. Pahokee's Micanor Regis is also strongly committed and hasn't taken any other visits since his commitment to the Canes. The same goes for Andrew Smith, who told last night that one of his main focuses is now on getting his GPA up in order to become a full qualifier by the summer.

* Jeremy Lewis told earlier this week that he plans on visiting Clemson this weekend. He's already been to LSU and Tennessee and he'll see Miami later this month. While he's taking other visits, I'd be real surprised if he ended up somewhere else.

* The Canes are still in the running for defensive end Toby Jackson from Georgia and Gavin Hunter from Tennessee. Jackson visited Miami in December and has an offer from the Canes but it's going to be tough pulling him out of SEC country. Hardin favors the Canes but doesn't have an offer yet. He's trying to bring his grades up and is expected to visit Miami later this month.

* A new name on the recruiting radar is Keith Wells, who reported earlier this week plans to visit Miami later this month. Wells is a four-star defensive end prospect who was outstanding in the Offense/Defense All-American Game last week in Miami. He's been an FSU commitment for awhile but is now opening things up some. It's hard to really tell what UM's chances are until he takes his visit.

* The biggest name left on the recruiting board on the D-Line has to be Corey Liuget, who is widely considered a top 5 player in Florida. Liuget committed to Illinois in mid-season but the Canes never stopping going hard after him. He's now saying it's between Illinois and Miami and I won't be at all surprised if he switches at the last minute. Can you imagine a Forston/Liuget combo at tackle? Wow.

* The news at linebacker came from this past weekend when Sean Spence announced that he'll be visiting Florida this coming weekend. While I don't think the visit will end up happening, Spence is expected to start classes at UM next week. Arthur Brown, another five-star player, is also expected to start classes next week. So is Jordan Futch.

* Zach Kane, Brandon Marti, and Antonio Harper are linebacker commitments who aren't taking any other visits. Kane told two weeks ago that he's very excited for his in-home visit with Coach Shannon later this month. Harper continues rehabbing his knee from an injury suffered this past season. Marti will enroll this summer after Gulliver told him he wasn't able to graduate early.

* Two linebacker commitments are still taking visits -- Ramon Buchanan and Marcus Robinson. BUchanan told last week that he plans on seeing Florida next weekend and possibly Illinois later in the month. While he's been committed to Miami since the summer, the Gators never stopped going after him hard and it's a situation to keep a close eye on. Robinson committed to Miami early on but took visits during the season to LSU and USC and plans on seeing Florida State and Florida over the next two weekends. It's hard to imagine him going anywhere else, especially since linebackers coach Micheal Barrow coached at Homestead in 2006.

* In the secondary, it seems like there's a lot of action going on. The Hurricanes have commitments from safeties C.J. Holton, C.J. Odom, and Joseph Wylie so far. The number one target appears to be cornerback Brandon Harris, who says he's wide open among his five finalists -- Miami, Florida, LSU, Ohio State, and UCF. I think the Canes have an excellent chance with him, however, and considering there's a strong possibility he could start opposite DeMarcus Van Dyke next season, considering his brother goes to UM, and considering that two of his teammates and best friends are committed to UM, I'd be surprised if he went elsewhere. T.J. Bryant remains a priority at corner and while he plans on visiting here later this month, it'll be hard to pull him away from Florida State. Safety Daniel Andrews is coming on a visit with Harper later this month and appears to be a longshot to be in this class. George Baker and Justin Feagin are in-state players who appear to be backup plans, although it's unlikely that either of them will be in this class.

* Kicker Jake Wieclaw is expected to enroll at UM next week and challenge for the starting kicking job in 2008. He's currently recovering from a broken ankle, however, that he suffered during the season while playing receiver.

* Because there's no school, Miami won't be hosting any official visits this weekend. The first set will begin next weekend and continue for three straight weekends. Stay tuned, as will continue keeping you updated on all the latest.

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