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.
Dual-threat QB Jarren Williams plans to commit next week
This time next week, Miami could have its quarterback of the future. Jarren Williams, a Class of 2018 dual-threat quarterback with a 4-star rating by the 247Sports composite rating, will make his college choice next Wednesday, he announced Wednesday on Twitter.
Commitment date 12/6/17
— J D U B (@Jarren2Williams) November 29, 2017
While the senior from Central Gwinnett High School in Lawrenceville, Ga., didn’t list the schools he will be deciding from, it appears his decision will come down to the Hurricanes, Ohio State and Auburn, with Miami and the Buckeyes out in front after hosting the quarterback for official visits this month. Williams canceled an official visit to Auburn originally scheduled for last weekend.
Williams’ latest decision has come together quickly. The signal caller previously committed to Kentucky before de-committing during his official visit to Coral Gables, Fla., the weekend of Miami’s win against then-No. 3 Notre Dame. He took a trip to Columbus the following weekend and was impressed with both programs.
He raved about the Hurricanes, in particular, to 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong after watching Miami secure the biggest win of coach Mark Richt’s tenure.
“The atmosphere, it was real electric,” Williams said. “The fans, they were really into the game and real passionate. Also just being able to see everything, see the campus, and I got to sit down and talk to [Richt] and get to know them a lot better. The highlight was getting to know them better and getting to be around the team. It was a real good experience for me.”
Williams had a monster senior season and although he’s slotted lower in the 247Sports composite rankings than 4-star pro-style quarterback Artur Sitkowski, Williams seems to be an upgrade from the former Hurricanes commit. The 6-foot-3, 211-pound Williams completed 214 of 348 passes for 3,015 yards, 28 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions this season. The U.S. Army All-American also ran for 554 yards and 10 touchdowns on 115 carries, although he did lose 3 fumbles.
Sitkowski, who flipped his commitment to Rutgers on Nov. 1, was benched during his lone season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The quarterback’s upside may be higher, but Williams is the safer bet as a player who can compete with N’Kosi Perry for the starting quarterback job when Malik Rosier leaves.
Junior OLB Diamante Howard prepares for move to safety
The typical Friday night for Diamante Howard could start with the 3-star outside linebacker lining up at his typical position. A few snaps later, the junior could move up to defensive end or kick inside to middle linebacker. The next possession, maybe he’d move out to be a nickel defensive back or even all the way out to cornerback when Miami Southridge High School played cover-2.
Howard’s greatest skill right now is his versatility and during the next year he plans to add another position to his résumé. The defensive utility man is ready to move to safety in anticipation of his career with the Hurricanes.
“Miami — when they talk to me they say they see me basically as a safety,” Howard told DieHards on Wednesday, “so that’s what they’re going to train me at.”
Howard certainly has lineage at safety. The 6-2, 178-pound athlete is a second cousin of former Hurricanes All-American Sean Taylor and wore No. 26 this season.
While it’s not wise to ever compare anyone to Taylor, Howard at least has the blend of linebacker and secondary skills which helped make Taylor great. Howard can be just as effective playing inside the box as he is in coverage.
“It was always my role,” Howard said of his undefined position. “I’d play nickel or I’d play inside linebacker, or I’d play D-end or if we’re in cover-2 I’d go to corner.”
Next season, though, he plans to make a full-time move to his future position as a senior-laden Miami Southridge roster will be looking for a new leader on its defense.
And wherever Howard ultimately ends up, he’ll be happy to suit up for the Hurricanes’ defense. The linebacker, ranked No. 25 at his current position in the Class of 2019, attended a handful of Miami games this season and has of course been impressed by the Hurricanes defense.
Both the linebackers and defensive backs are standing out.
“I like the DBs and the linebackers because everybody’s focused,” Howard said. “Everybody does their job.”
Miami impresses top in-state OLB with breakthrough season
Anthony Solomon was always going to give Miami a hard look. The 4-star outside linebacker’s mother is an alumna and playing at nearby St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Solomon as always had a connection to the school.
What’s standing out about this season in Miami Gardens, Fla., is how the rest of the community is now following Solomon’s lead. The top-ranked Florida junior outside linebacker has attended a handful of games this season, but none were more important than the Hurricanes’ wins against Virginia Tech and Notre Dame earlier this month. The raucous environment caught Solomon off guard.
“It was crazy. I haven’t been to a UM game in a while where it was fully packed and everyone was screaming,” Solomon said. “It was a neat experience, everybody from a whole bunch of different cultures. It was like the whole city came together.
“To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much, but when I got there it was crazy. I was shocked. I felt like a wave of energy smack me in the face.”
Solomon’s recruitment is still wide open at this point, although Miami and Michigan are at the front right now. He also frequently hears from the Hokies, Clemson, South Carolina and Ohio State.
Don’t expect a decision anytime soon. Solomon knows he wants to get back to Ann Arbor, Mich., in the spring — he was there for the Wolverines’ spring game this year — and is looking at a midseason commitment next fall.
The family ties with the Hurricanes, though, should play a major role.
“My mom went to UM,” Solomon said, “so UM’s kind of been flowing through my family for a while.”
Offers pour in for another under-the-radar Miami commit
A day after one 3-star Miami junior offensive tackle commit picked up a Power 5 offer, another added two more. Renato Brown, an in-state lineman, announced offers from Louisville and Pittsburgh on his Twitter account Wednesday.
Blessed to receive an offer from the university of Louisville pic.twitter.com/zi7SXosdIq
— Renato Brown (@Renato__59) November 30, 2017
Blessed to receive an offer from the university of Pittsburgh pic.twitter.com/YcEKGn6DGK
— Renato Brown (@Renato__59) November 30, 2017
Brown, like fellow lineman Brandon Cunningham, committed to the Hurricanes relatively early during his recruiting process. The junior from Palm Beach Central High School in Wellington, Fla., still has a relatively small list of offers, and only had additional Power 5 interest from Syracuse, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee when he made his verbal pledge in September. South Florida was also one of the first schools to offer the 6-5, 310-pound offensive lineman.
Schools are recruiting Brown on both sides of the ball and he hopes to play defensive tackle at Miami. As a defensive lineman, Brown recorded 42 tackles, 5 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception this fall.
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