The firing of a Miami head coach just before the recruiting season really starts to take off used to be huge news. But Randy Shannon’s firing isn’t causing many ripples in the recruiting world.
Currently, Miami has just seven verbal commitments in its 2011 class, but already has four in its 2012 class.
A couple of the big names in 2011 for the Hurricanes are Tampa Alonso defensive end Anthony Chickillo, Miami Northwestern athlete Teddy Bridgewater and Brockton, Mass., cornerback Albert Louis-Jean.
The class isn’t the greatest, but there are guys who Florida’s staff has been interested in for a while.
Chickillo has already seen Florida’s interest in him increase greatly. Florida coach Urban Meyer called him Sunday morning to tell him that he was now personally recruiting him. This came shortly before it was announced that former defensive line coach Dan McCarney would be taking the head-coaching job at North Texas. McCarney’s absence probably led to Meyer’s decision to take over Chickillo’s recruitment, but he made it clear after the loss to Florida State that he’ll be focusing more of his time to recruiting in the next few months, so he could be personally recruiting a lot more of Florida’s top targets.
When Chickillo committed to Miami in September, Florida was one of the top schools in the running. A Miami legacy, it was no shocker that he picked the Hurricanes, but Florida never really got out of his ear. The coaches have been recruiting him ever since, and now the heat should be considerably turned up on him.
Now that Jeoffrey Pagan has decommitted, Florida is in desperate need for a quality defensive end. Chickillo is one of the top defensive linemen still left on Florida’s board. Rivals.com ranks him as the nation’s No. 6 defensive end.
The other Miami commitment Florida has always had some interest in is Vero Beach offensive lineman Marcus Jackson. Jackson committed to Miami in February, but has always shown interest in Florida. He was one of the top linemen at Friday Night Lights in July and was seen talking with a few of Florida’s coaches throughout the night. Jackson has been wavering on his Miami commitment for a while and a source said this weekend that Jackson’s interest in Florida only continues to grow. While Jackson hasn’t decommitted since Shannon’s firing, he has become more vocal about taking visits.
“My commitment is pretty soft right now,” Jackson told Rivals. “I have to watch and see what happens to the coaching staff and see who they hire. I have to see if I like the coaching staff they hire.”
One uncommitted player to keep an eye on is Miami Monsignor Pace safety Jabari Gorman. Florida defensive coordinator Teryl Austin paid him a visit this fall and Gorman said recently that he’s showing a lot more interest in Florida. Miami, Ohio State and Alabama are still his top schools.