Miami football 2020 recruiting class could have shuffling in secondary

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 21: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 21: (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The 2020 recruiting class for the Miami football team is very much in flux. The Hurricanes currently have the nation’s 14th best-recruiting class and third in the ACC. A pair of defensive backs are on the fence about signing with Miami.

Cornerback Jaiden Francois is currently committed to the Miami football program. Ohio State and Penn State are continuing to recruit Francois. Safety Avante Williams originally committed to Miami de-committed in May 2018 and committed to Oregon in December 2018. Williams is still committed to Oregon.

Francois is the 286th ranked player, 24th ranked cornerback and 49th ranked player in Florida in the Class of 2020. All three crystal ball predictions from 247Sports project Francois to Miami. In an ESPN article titled “Which college football recruits could flip their commitments?” Francois and Williams are two of the players profiled.

All three of the prognosticators that have Francois to Miami write for the 247Sports Miami centric website Inside the U. Andrew Ivins, David Lake and Christopher Stock all project Francois to sign with Miami. Francois is currently the second-highest-rated defensive player and highest-rated defensive back committed to Miami for 2020.

ESPN ranks Francois slightly higher as their 263rd ranked player in the Class of 2020. The mothership has Francois as the 21st ranked cornerback and 46th ranked player in Florida for 2020. Ivins and Lake have mentioned on their podcast Beyond the Smoke to keep an eye on Francois’ commitment.

"CB Jaiden FrancoisHomestead, Fla./South Dade High SchoolESPN 300 rank: 263Committed to: MiamiOther schools pursuing: Ohio State, Penn StateFrancois has already had an interesting recruitment as he originally committed to Miami in 2018, decommitted a few months later, then re-committed to the Hurricanes in February. He has remained committed ever since, but other schools are coming after the 6-foot, 175-pound corner.Ohio State and Penn State have both been mentioned as schools he could visit this fall, but has yet to schedule those visits. Francois has maintained that he is still committed to Miami, but he is keeping his options open."

Williams is the cousin of current Miami running back Lorenzo Lingard. Lingard has yet to play this season after suffering a season-ending injury in October of 2018. If the Miami football program can somehow sign Francois and Williams it would be a huge boost to the Class of 2020.

Adding Williams and keeping the rest of the recruiting class intact would push Miami ahead of Oklahoma to the eighth-best class in 2020 from 14th. A cornerstone of Francois and Williams in the secondary would give the Hurricanes one of the best secondaries in the country for years to come.

Miami led the nation in pass defense by over 10 yards per game in 2018. The losses of cornerback Michael Jackson and safeties Jaquan Johnson and Sheldrick Redwine after the 2018 season have significantly dropped the Hurricanes pass defense in 2019. ESPN seems high in the potential of Williams flipping.

"S Avantae WilliamsDeLand, Fla./DeLand High SchoolESPN 300 rank: 43Committed to: OregonOther schools pursuing: Georgia, Florida, MiamiWilliams had been committed to Miami at one point in the process but decommitted in May. He eventually committed to Oregon in December 2018, but continued to take visits after that. Despite those visits, he has remained committed and has not decided to switch.He is still planning more visits, though, with Oregon and Georgia both bringing him on campus in the future, according to Williams. Miami and Florida are also after him, so he has a lot of voices in his ear.Oregon is going to fight to keep him given he is one of the top defensive recruits in the country, so it will be tough for other schools to pry him away."

Miami head coach Manny Diaz, and co-defensive coordinators Blake Baker and Ephraim Banda who is also the Hurricanes safeties coach will battle with Oregon head coach and former Miami offensive lineman Mario Cristobal to sign Williams.

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Cristobal and Oregon have had success in the last few years signing players from South Florida. The Miami football program needs to be successful in signing the most elite players from South Florida if they are going to re-establish themselves as an elite program.