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.
Miami stands out early to 4-star RB Don Chaney Jr.
Miami is clearly already prioritizing Don Chaney Jr. in the Class of 2020 and the 4-star running back likes what the Hurricanes are showing him. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound sophomore from Miami’s Belen Jesuit Preparatory School will be back at Hard Rock Stadium for the fourth time this fall on Saturday when the No. 7 Hurricanes host No. 3 Notre Dame.
The Hurricanes are still the only team Chaney has visited this season — a planned visit to Florida earlier this fall was canceled at the last moment — and his constant presence in Miami Gardens, Fla., this season has led to speculation he could commit soon.
“He seems to like Miami right now,” Belen Jesuit Prep coach Eddie Delgado told DieHards.
Chaney, however, insists it’s not a one-team race. The tailback said the Gators are still right near the top of his list because of his relationship with running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider, although obviously things could change there depending on how Florida’s coaching search shakes out. The in-state schools, though, have always appealed to Chaney, Delgado said.
Chaney, who led Miami-Dade County in rushing yards during the regular season, continues a trend of the Hurricanes prioritizing running backs with coach Mark Richt at the helm. Miami has 5-star running back Lorenzo Lingard committed in the Class of 2018, and is among the early front-runners for a number of 4- and 5-star running backs in the Class of 2019. The Hurricanes have already offered four 2020 running backs although Chaney, who also plays some defensive back, is at the top of the list.
Ranked No. 14 overall in his class by 247Sports, Chaney likes seeing this focus from Miami. He already can envision himself joining a long line of star backs to suit up for the Hurricanes.
“It pushes the next guy,” Chaney said. “Like when I get there I’m going to push Lorenzo and all them.”
Gurvan Hall prioritizes tackling work to prepare for Miami
Gurvan Hall arrived at Palm Beach Gardens Community High School for his senior season already as one of the best hitters in the state. The 4-star safety’s highlight reel is filled with crunching blows in the open field, jarring the ball away from offensive players through sheer force.
There’s a difference, though, between being a great hitter and a great tackler. During his lone season to work with Hall, Palm Beach Gardens Community coach Billy Clark wanted to bridge that gap.
“He has these huge collisions, these huge impact collisions,” Clark said. “To help prepare him for college at Miami, we wanted to help start that process of making him a great tackler and not just a great hitter.”
The result was a season which blended the natural abilities that made him a star in the first place with the sort of polish he’ll need to be able to contribute as a freshman in Coral Gables. Hall was still a terrifying presence when flying around in the open field, but he was also remarkably steady as a last line of defense for Palm Beach Gardens. Clark hasn’t officially finalized the Palm Beach Gardens’ stats from this season, but he knows Hall was one of his top 3 tacklers and there’s a chance he led the team.
For Hall to be able to contribute immediately for the Hurricanes — and Miami does start a pair of juniors at safety — he knew tackling would have to be a focus. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz says his best tacklers are the ones who play and Hall already had all the other tools to be a potential stars.
Hall still showcased those abilities despite missing out on the postseason. The nation’s No. 13 safety, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, scored a pair of return touchdowns and wrapped up his season with a 55-yard rushing touchdown Friday.
If Hall’s explosiveness can translate and his tackling is truly improved, he should be able to find the field during his first season in Miami.
“He’s one of the smoothest athletes that I think I’ve ever been around,” Clark said. “He almost looks like, especially when he gets to the open field, he’s gliding out there and it almost looks like he’s not running very hard, but he keeps running away from people.”
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