Coach Al Golden currently holds the 11th-ranked recruiting class for 2014, according to 247sports.com. But the class did take a hit when Golden seemed to express interest in the Penn State head coach vacancy.
With National Signing Day (February 5) only being nine days away, let’s take a look at who the Canes will be anxiously awaiting to sign on the dotted line:
Travonte Valentine: No. 5 DT (247)
Palm Bay, FL (Champagnat Catholic - Hialeah)
Considering: LSU, Miami, Texas
It’s no secret that Miami needs depth on the defensive line. The Canes want Valentine bad and he knows it. The very first day of contact for this recruiting period, Miami sent defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio and three other assistant coaches to visit Valentine.
Valentine was a former Miami commit, but decommited when Golden was expected to take the Penn State job. Now LSU is the front-runner, with Texas trying to make a late push. But don’t count the Hurricanes out of the race; Valentine has his official visit scheduled for January 31—he just took his official to LSU this past Saturday. Golden is hoping that he can get the last word in and sway Valentine back to Miami. The star defensive tackle will often be reminded how quickly he would make an impact this Saturday; the Hurricanes will be hoping that he will stay in Florida for his college career.
J.C. Jackson: No. 19 CB (247)
Immokalee, FL (Immokalee)
Considering: Florida, Miami, Florida State
Jackson is another guy that the Hurricanes could use right away on defense. It’s looking like the cornerback has it down to Florida and Miami, but does have an official visit scheduled this upcoming Saturday (Jan 31) at Florida State. But if Jackson cancels his visit to FSU, Golden is expected to make an in home visit.
It seems like Jackson is interested in immediate playing time, both Miami and Florida are able to offer it. He does have concerns about the future of coach Will Muschamp for the Gators, which could give the Canes an edge.
Miami has been all over Jackson these past few weeks, so we’ll see if Golden and his staff were able to sway him to South Beach.
Lamont Gaillard: No. 12 DT (247)
Fayetteville, NC (Pine Forest)
Considering: Georgia, Miami, Louisville
Miami has been with Gaillard during his entire recruitment process and he has never counted the Canes out. The Georgia commit does have interest in Miami and did take an official visit this past Saturday (Jan 24).
It seems the only chance the Hurricanes have with Gaillard is that Georgia’s new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt makes a bad first impression. Miami could really use Gaillard for this 2014 class, especially with the uncertainty with Valentine.
Treon Harris: No. 9 ATH/QB (247)
Miami, FL (Booker T. Washington)
Considering: Florida State, Miami, Florida, Auburn
Harris remained a secret at the quarterback position early on, but Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher saw this diamond before anyone else. Harris is a Seminole commit, but offers are flying in from all over the country. Miami, Auburn and Florida are trying to make a late push for the star quarterback.
Miami already has quarterback Brad Kaaya (No. 7-ranked pro-style QB) with a verbal commit, but is looking to add more depth at quarterback. Harris has an official visit scheduled with the Canes for January 31; Golden will have to do a lot of convincing to lure him away from FSU. But if the Hurricanes were able to land Harris on signing day, there will be quite a celebration in the coaching office.
Prediction: Florida State