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.
Florida WR commit Frank Ladson: ‘The U is back’
Frank Ladson’s Florida pledge won’t stop him from praising and even rooting for the hometown team. The 4-star wide receiver from South Dade High School in Homestead, Fla., will visit Hard Rock Stadium for the third time in four weeks Saturday and will be rooting hard for No. 7 Miami to upset No. 3 Notre Dame in Miami Gardens, Fla.
“Miami is showing me The U is back,” Ladson told DieHards on Thursday. “Undefeated right now. Hopefully, they can pull out the W on Saturday.”
Ladson led South Dade to a first-round postseason win Thursday in Miami, catching 3 passes for 33 yards and 2 touchdowns during a 21-3 win against North Miami (Fla.) High School at Nathaniel “Traz” Powell Stadium. While he wore a Gators T-shirt beneath his jersey, Ladson also rocked a Hurricanes wristband on his right arm. The 6-foot-4, 170-pound junior, ranked No. 22 at his position by the 247Sports composite rankings, is one of two Buccaneers who Miami is pushing hard to flip from Florida, and Ladson is clearly interested.
— David Wilson (@DBWilson2) November 10, 2017
— David Wilson (@DBWilson2) November 10, 2017
Ladson for now remains committed to the Gators, although he was caught off guard when coach Jim McElwain was ousted last month. Saturday will mark Ladson’s second visit to Miami Gardens, Fla., since Florida made the coaching change and the receiver said he’s developed a strong relationship with Hurricanes wide receivers coach Ron Dugans since he attended the Syracuse game on Oct. 21.
Miami’s pitch to the local wideout is simple — the Hurricanes are trending in the right direction and Ladson is talented enough to help the hometown team contend for national titles. Miami, Ladson said, views him as a dangerous deep threat with rare size.
“I can stretch the field,” Ladson said. “I’m a speedy guy. I can run by defenders and stuff like that.”
McElwain’s departure will mostly benefit the Hurricanes in the Class of 2019 and particularly at South Dade. Tyrique Stevenson, a 4-star athlete for the Buccaneers, is Miami’s other top flip target, and he’s visited the Hurricanes even more frequently than Ladson.
With both prospects, a lot will come down to whom the Gators hire as McElwain’s replacement. But with the hometown team on the rise and commitments suddenly uncertain, Miami is in position to benefit with both.
“I have a whole other year,” Stevenson told DieHards last month, “so I’m not looking into it that deeply until the new coaches get there.”
Appreciating Lorenzo Lingard’s monster senior season
The most impressive member of the Hurricanes’ Class of 2018 isn’t heading to the postseason, which is a shame because no one was more reliable at putting up eye-popping stat lines than 5-star running back Lorenzo Lingard.
“I knew he was a great athlete and we were very excited about the opportunity to have him come to University High School,” University coach Brian Kells told the Orlando Sentinel on the day Lingard received his honorary U.S. Army All-American jersey. “But once I got to know him, it was the type of kid he was.”
His career numbers are just as remarkable as any single game or single season he put together for the Titans. The halfback touched the ball 523 times during his career, racking up 4,831 total yards and finding the end zone 67 times.
It wasn’t quite the goal Lingard set out for at the start of the year — he wanted to chase some of Derrick Henry’s state records, which would have required an extended postseason run — but there’s good reason that he’s the No. 3 running back in the country.
What immediately stands out when watching Lingard is that he doesn’t rely on doing one specific thing well. The tailback is just as adept at pounding the ball across the goal line from a few yards out as he is at breaking off runs that span more than half the length of the field. During his final game alone, Lingard scored 4 touchdowns, with 1 coming from inside the 5-yard line and the others all going for longer than 40 yards.
There’s a reason the 6-2, 190-pound athlete has his sights set on the 2020 Summer Olympics.
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