Five 2022 Miami football prospects named top 20 in New Orleans

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13: . (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 13: . (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Five players the Miami football prospects in the Class of 2022 have been named by Crescent City Sports to “Recruiting Notes: Top 40 football recruits in New Orleans area for 2022.” Miami is recruiting the top four players in New Orleans, plus fast-rising three-star wide receiver Landon Ibieta who is ranked 16th.

Wide receiver Shazz Preston is the top-ranked recruit in New Orleans by Crescent City Sports, defensive back Jacoby Matthews is second followed by defensive tackle Tygee Hill and WR A.J. Johnson. Miami currently has four-star DT Brandon Cleveland and three-star defensive end Jamaal Johnson committed for 2022.

Miami signed the 11th ranked class for 2021. Three DBs, two DTs and three WRs in the Miami Class of 2021. Preston is one of the highest-ranked players Miami is recruiting in 2022. The St. James high school star is the 67th ranked player, ninth-ranked WR and third-ranked in Louisiana in the 247 Sports Composite for 2022.

Matthews is the 74th ranked player, sixth-ranked safety and fourth-ranked in Louisiana per the composite. Hill is 226, 17 and 11 in the composite and Johnson 236, 32nd and 12th. All but Ibieta among the five Louisianans the Miami football program is recruiting are four-stars. Ibieta is the only one not ranked in the composite.

"1. WR Shazz Preston (5-11, 188) St. James, four-star, snared 63 passes for 1,018 yards and 9 TD’s (2019), 50 grabs for 865 yards and 9 TD’s (2020) His current top “4” LSU, Mississippi State, Alabama, Ole Miss. His older brother (Shawn) is safety at Mississippi State.Tremendous catching radius, will get ball in traffic, super burst off of line. Reminds me of former LSU and NFL receiver Early Doucet athletically."

Preston has spoken with Miami chief of staff Ed Reed according to Gaby Urrutia of Inside the U and recently listed the Hurricanes in his top 10. Preston is the highest on LSU and Mississippi State according to his 247 Sports profile with Alabama and Mississippi next. Preston played in the Battle Miami 7-on-7 tournament.

"2. DB Jacoby Matthews (6-1, 210) Ponchatoula, four-star, #6 overall safety in country. Top five LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas and Mississippi State. LSU has been dream school. Currently plays QB, athletic, dominant athlete."

Matthews is Preston’s teammate on the seven-on-seven Louisiana bootleggers. Steve Wiltfong of 247 Sports named Matthews one of the top performers at Battle Miami. Per Wiltfong, Matthews showed he is physically ready to make an impact in what he termed major college football. Matthews was adept in coverage.

"3. DT Tygee Hill (6-2, 280) Karr, four-star started as freshman. Highly coveted, good leverage, reminds me of former Karr star, DT Gerald Willis. Strong hands, destroys blocks, quickness, pass rusher.Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Colorado, Virginia, LA Tech, Georgia, Miami, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State, Ole Miss and Mississippi State."

Crescent City using the comp to Lousiana native Willis gives Miami a connection to Hill. Willis was a second-team All-American for Miami in 2018 with 59 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and four sacks at DT. Adding Hill would give Miami and elite tandem in the future at DT after signing five-star Leonard Taylor in 2021.

"4. WR A.J. Johnson (6-4, 205) Newman, four-star long strider, eats up turf quickly, great catching radius, cradles ball, good route runner. Close to an Odell Beckham, Jr. prospect at Newman. Top five LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Georgia and Miami."

Johnson received his offer from the Miami football program in May. After sitting out the 2019 season, Johnson became the top receiver at Newman. Johnson plays with quarterback Arch Manning who is the nephew of NFL legends Eli and Peyton and the grandson of former Saints QB, Archie. Miami needs to upgrade its WR play.

"16. WR Landon Ibieta (6-0, 177) Mandeville, three-star, route runner, physical, good on jet sweeps. vs. Hannan had 5 grabs for 307 yards and 3 touchdowns. Tulane and South Alabama monitoring closely."

Ibieta is the big play WR Miami needs. Playing for Mandeville, Ibieta had 33 receptions for 734 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2020. Ibieta was another standout for the Bootleggers. Wiltfong praised Ibieta for clutch plays, being a reliable pass catcher in the middle fo the field and showing concentration in traffic.

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Miami doesn’t currently have a player on the roster but the Hurricanes have been traditionally been successful recruiting there. In addition to Willis, Reed is originally from Louisiana as is Reggie Wayne, the all-time leader in receptions in Miami football history. Recruiting well in a talent-rich area will help Miami’s future.