Miami is on its way to one of the best recruiting classes in the nation, and David Wilson and the DieHards.com team are in the eye of the storm to help you track the Hurricanes. Read daily notebooks here at 10 a.m. ET Monday through Friday and follow us on Twitter for the latest Miami recruiting news.
Ahmmon Richards’ younger brother visits Auburn
Mark Richards has thought about playing for Auburn since at least middle school. The 4-star athlete from Wellington (Fla.) High School in Palm Beach County, was entranced by the Tigers offense before he even reached high school and then, during Richards’ sophomore year, Auburn became the second Power 5 school to extend an offer.
Richards picked up his offer from the Tigers not long before they played their annual rivalry clash with Alabama. Richards immediately knew he wanted to check out the Iron Bowl this year when it moved back to Auburn, Ala.
“I planned on going to this game since last year. I really have,” Richards told DieHards. “This is a game I definitely wanted to come to because I wanted to see how the atmosphere was going to be, I wanted to see them play some good competition, I wanted to see how the coaches would play against this team.”
The game visit was Richards’ first to any school other than Miami, where his brother Ahmmon Richards is a star wide receiver. The No. 7 Hurricanes have been the presumed favorite to land the No. 15 junior athlete in the 247Sports composite rankings, although the No. 2 Tigers are firmly in the mix, as well — especially after watching them beat then-No. 1 Alabama 26-14 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
“Everything about the trip was great, really,” Richards said. “The player personnel people, they took really good care of me. The fans is really what got to me. Especially Kerryon Johnson — when he got injured, hearing the fans cheer his name I was just like, ‘Damn.’
“They care about all their players.”
— Mark-Antony Richards (@mark21richards) November 26, 2017
Richards is one of the most coveted prospects in the Class of 2019 because of his standout play as both a running back and free safety for Wellington (Fla.) High School. Most schools, Richards said, will allow the 6-foot-1, 192-pound junior to choose his position at the next level.
Auburn, like Miami, is one of those schools. Former special teams coach Scott Fountain was Richards’ primary recruiter at Auburn before he left for a job at Georgia. Now Richards mostly talks with wide receivers coach Kodi Burns and defensive backs coach Greg Brown.
The running backs, though, are always what stood out about Auburn and if Richards were to choose the Tigers, he sees himself taking handoffs.
“I think I would go to Auburn as a running back. That’s a good running back school. I love the offense,” Richards said. “I really like the way coach [Gus] Malzahn ran things. The play calling really also caught my eye. That’s the biggest thing was the play calling. How they use Ryan Davis, also how they use Kerryon Johnson, quarterback Jarrett Stidham — really seeing how they beat the Alabama defense because that’s probably the best defense in the country.”
Of course, Richards still has the Hurricanes right at the top of his list, too. The Palm Beach County native spends most weekends watching Miami from the stands and plans to be in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday when the Hurricanes face No. 1 Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.
RELATED: 2018 Miami recruiting big board
This trip to Bank of America Stadium will present Miami’s biggest game in more than a decade, surpassing even the Hurricanes’ win against then-No. 3 Notre Dame earlier this season. Richards was there for that one, too, and it only further elevated his opinion of the program.
“I have a couple friends and that’s all they told me about before Ahmmon went there. ‘Miami — no one goes there. Nobody’s watching the games,’ ” Richards said. “Seeing all the fans out there was pretty cool. I’m not gonna lie.”
Where does Cam’Ron Davis fit in Miami’s RB picture?
Miami Carol City Senior High School of Miami Gardens, Fla., didn’t have much trouble getting through the regular season. With an elite defense and a wealth of talent, the defending state champion was never at risk of missing out on the postseason. It barely even had to use Cam’Ron Davis, its 4-star running back committed to the Hurricanes.
“Just doing everything that the coach says. That’s all it is,” Davis told DieHards after a blowout win against Miami Southridge High School in October. “Really, I’m saving my body because we’ve got eight more games left, so coach really is just putting me in, putting me in and then giving me a break. That’s all it is.”
Miami Carol City finally unleashed Davis during the postseason and he consistently delivered. The senior, who has also occasionally played outside linebacker, shredded his first-round opponent for 181 rushing yards, scored a touchdown against his second-round opponent and then piled up more than 100 yards from scrimmage on Nov. 24 during a 23-15 road loss to Miami Northwestern Senior High School. The 5-10, 193-pound senior provided a reminder of why he’s considered the nation’s No. 8 running back.
During the regular season, though, Davis got a chance to show why he should be a useful piece for the Hurricanes early, even as he joins a suddenly crowded backfield. Travis Homer should start at running back and Lorenzo Lingard, an incoming 5-star running back, could contribute as a runner and kick returner. There could be space for a third-down running back capable of doing little things, like block and catch passes in the flat.
“I’m versatile,” Davis said. “I play everything. Whatever position they put me at, I’m going to play. I’m going to do it for the team.”
Miami’s winning ways impress 5-star CB Tyson Campbell
Tyson Campbell isn’t surprised with the way the Miami metropolitan area has rallied around this year’s Hurricanes. There’s nothing South Florida loves more than a winner and Miami is delivering the region one this fall.
“South Florida — everybody wants to be a winner,” Campbell told DieHards. “If we weren’t winning, nobody would know who American Heritage is. We just want to win.”
Campbell took his time to see the red-hot Hurricanes firsthand in November when Miami hosted the Fighting Irish for its biggest win in more than a decade. The Hurricanes will try to top that win Saturday in the ACC Championship Game when Miami will try to upset top-ranked Clemson and win the league for the first time.
Hardrock Stadium I’m on the way ‼️ #canesbaby ☢️❇️
— Tyson Campbell™ (@tysoncampbell_) November 11, 2017
It will be another chance to impress the Hurricanes’ top remaining target, although the atmosphere for the one game he was able to attend impressed him alone.
“It was a good atmosphere,” Campbell said. “It was great to see the Miami fans supporting their hometown team. I had a good time.”
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