Signing the top South Florida players critical for Miami football

The recent commitment of five-star wide receiver Jacorey Brooks committing to Alabama was a big blow to the 2021 Miami football recruiting class. Brooks is the latest star WR to leave South Florida for the Crimson Tide.

Signing five-star WR Jacorey Brooks would have been a huge addition to the 2021 Miami football recruiting class. The Hurricanes are currently 12th in the 2021 cycle after losing athlete Chamon Metayer earlier this week. Metayer was projected as a WR/tight end hybrid in the new Miami up-tempo spread offense.

Metayer’s commitment might have been mutual with Miami holding commitments from two TEs for 2021 and reportedly only wanting to take two in the class. Metayer had been thought of as a possibility to play defensive end but he wanted to be on the offensive side of the ball. Miami has not received a commitment from a WR.

With the commitment of Brooks to Alabama, the Miami football staff will turn its primary attention at WR to four-stars Jacolby George and Romello Brinson. George will announce his commitment on June 6 and Miami is the leader to sign him. Miami is one of four teams favored to sign Brinson.

In article updating recruiting earlier this week, The Athletic examined where Miami is in recruiting. The Athletic’s primary focus was on where is Miami in relation to Alabama with consistently losing the best WRs from South Florida to the Crimson Tide. To return to elite Miami has to sign South Florida’s best players.

This commitment (of five-star WR Jacorey Brooks) is more interesting from the Miami side of things because Brooks was such a high priority for the Hurricanes. Manny Diaz has the Hurricanes off to a great start in 2021, with 14 commitments and a class that currently ranks No. 10 in the country.

Diaz and his staff are doing what UM must do: Keep kids at home. All but one of the Hurricanes’ commitments are from the state of Florida and 12 of the 14 are from South Florida. But what needs to happen for Miami to be “The U” again?

Elite players from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties — the ones like Brooks — have to stay home.

They can’t be going to Alabama, which has reached into South Florida regularly for receivers: Amari Cooper from Miami Northwestern, Calvin Ridley from Coconut Creek Monarch, Jerry Jeudy from Deerfield Beach High, Xavier Williams from Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna and Thaiu Jones-Bell from Miami Carol City.

The top three players in Miami’s recruiting class are from South Florida. But the highest-rated player in the class is four-star guard Laurence Seymore of Miami Central, the No. 23 player in the state and a national top-175 prospect overall.

Brooks is the No. 7 player in the state, and it felt like Miami had a real chance to land him, too, especially if the Hurricanes had showed more improvement under Diaz in 2020. Maybe Miami can get back in the picture with Brooks.

Or maybe this is the beginning of another Alabama recruiting boom, something that nobody — not Miami nor anyone else — can stop.

Brooks is committed, not signed. The early National Signing Day where 75 to 80 percent of players sign now is in December. Seven of the eight crystal balls on Brooks have him signing with Alabama with the lone holdout projecting him in 2021 to sign with Florida. Miami has to decide how much energy to expend on Brooks.

Next: 4-star WR Jacolby George expected to commit to Miami

If the Miami football program can sign Brinson and George that would be a huge coup for 2021. Miami has not had a top-end WR since Ahmmon Richards was forced to retire from football during the 2018 season. Signing a playmaker like Brooks or having someone and develop into one is critical for the future of the Miami offense.

 

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