Miami football signees praised for All-American bowl performances

Fromleft, Thayer linemen Samson Okunlola (Brockton),left, during a game versus St. Mark's on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021.
Fromleft, Thayer linemen Samson Okunlola (Brockton),left, during a game versus St. Mark's on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. /

Miami football four-star signees, running back Mark Fletcher and wide receiver Nathaniel Joseph plus five-star offensive tackles Samson Okunlola were all praised after their performances in the All-American Game in San Antonio on Saturday. Joseph had a nine-yard gain on the first play of the game.

Fletcher later beat the linebacker on a reception over the middle for an 81-yard touchdown. The expectation for Fletcher at Miami is for him to be a tough inside runner at 6’0, 225 pounds. Fletcher had 46 receptions for 629 yards and four TDs during his high school career. In 2022 Fletcher had 13 for 157 and one TD.

Charles Power of On3 praised Fletcher crediting the American Heritage star with a “great cut by Miami RB signee Mark Fletcher, showing some nice feet in the hole, especially for a big back.” Fletcher and fellow 2023 RB signee Chris Johnson have already been dubbed thunder and lightning.

The 5’11, 178-pound Johnson who did not participate in the high school all-star games was timed running a 10.45 100-meters last year. Fletcher is the 243rd-ranked player, 15th RB and 48th prospect in Florida in the 2023 class per the 247 Sports Composite rankings. Johnson is 294th, 15th, 48th.

Joseph who began the game as a kick returner scored a TD on a four-yard run out of the Wildcat but also had a drop late in the first half. Joseph was able to showcase his speed a few times on Saturday. Power called Okunlola one of the two “standouts along the front.” Okunlola is the third-ranked OT in the 2023 class.

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Miami signed two of the top three OTs with the top 2023 OT with Francis Mauigoa and Okunlola. Playing in the All-American game provided Okunlola with the opportunity to face elite-level competition. Thayer Academy in Massachusetts does not have the elite competition that most Miami football signees play in high school.