Top Miami RB target Don Chaney Jr. dominating … as a sophomore

Don Chaney-Miami recruiting-Florida recruiting

MIAMI — Eighth-graders don’t typically get to suit up in Class 8A, and particularly not as a significant contributor for a playoff team. Even at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Miami, Don Chaney Jr. was an exception, a running back who was barely a teenager but capable of holding up in Florida’s largest classification.

When it does happen, it means a rapid national profile and lofty expectations. Chaney got his first offer from Syracuse before he even wrapped up eighth grade and now, less than two years later, he’s one of the most coveted running backs in the Class of 2020 with a 4-star rating from 247Sports.

“He was outstanding. Still a young kid, still maturing, if you can imagine that,” Belen Jesuit Prep coach Eddie Delgado said. “He was a big kid for an eighth grader, and he had great speed and agility then. You could tell he was going to be really good. I think that was clear to everybody.”

Right at the top of the list right now is the hometown school. Chaney has already visited Miami three times this fall for home games at Hard Rock Stadium and will be back in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Saturday for the No. 7 Hurricanes’ high-profile meeting with No. 3 Notre Dame.

The attention from the Miami coaching staff is warranted. Chaney, who also plays some defensive back for Belen Jesuit, led Miami-Dade County with 1,223 rushing yards during the regular season, according to the Miami Herald, and he put up his numbers while averaging more than 10 yards per carry.

If the Wolverines can make a small playoff run, Chaney will have a chance to set Belen Jesuit’s single-season rushing record and perhaps even break the career mark. His play is the primary reason the Wolverines have a chance to spring a home upset against Miami Southridge High School on Friday at de la Cruz Stadium in Miami.

“My dad’s been preparing me for the longest,” Chaney said, “so it’s expected.”

Chaney’s early football success can be traced back, at least partially, to his father. Don Chaney was a wide receiver for South Carolina during the early 1990s and even though he and his son played different positions, the younger Chaney can see the similarities whenever he watches his father’s old film. First of all, they both run in the same fashion. But more importantly, they both play with a high motor and level of enthusiasm.

That sort of motor was necessary for Chaney to become a star early in his career. Playing running back means taking a beating and Chaney didn’t have a problem handling it even as a freshman when he finally cracked the starting lineup full time.

One of Chaney’s earliest, toughest challenges came during his fourth game last season. The Wolverines fell to Miami’s Christopher Columbus High School, but Chaney broke off big play after big play, including a 50-yard shovel pass, against a defense led by Miami 4-star cornerback commit Josh Jobe.

A week later against Southwest Miami High School, Chaney returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and set up the game-winning touchdown with a long catch in the fourth quarter. Delgado said Chaney essentially single-handedly carried Belen Jesuit to the come-from-behind win.

“That was probably the moment you were like, ‘Wow, this guy’s for real,'” Delgado said.

With his local ties, massive upside and already-established level of production, Chaney sits right at the top of the Hurricanes’ current list of priorities in his class. Speculation of a potentially imminent commitment to Miami follows Chaney, although he said Florida is still right up in the mix despite the recent coaching change.

To anyone watching, though — including Delgado — it’s clear the Hurricanes are making an early, strong impression on the 5-foot-11, 185-pound athlete.

“They’re what any team wants to be. It’s where a kid wants to be. Miami — they’ll make you into a very successful man.”

The post Top Miami RB target Don Chaney Jr. dominating … as a sophomore appeared first on Diehards.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.