RCS Miami: Five teams that should be pleased
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The second stop of the Rivals Camp Series was Sunday at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, and a bunch of top Florida prospects showed up and showed out on the day. Here are the five teams that should be pleased, based on what recruits said and how top targets performed.
RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info for 2022 series
There were a ton of Miami targets at the camp and with so many of them residing in the area there was little surprise that Miami was a main topic of conversation at the camp. A few players that Miami has a chance of landing left the camp with MVP honors on the day. Offensive line MVP Payton Kirkland, defensive line MVP Dylan Stephenson and defensive back MVP Brayshon Williams all hold the Hurricanes in high regard.
Aside from Hurricanes targets winning half of the positional MVP honors, the Canes are also in great position with four-star ATH Fred Gaskin, who was incredible at defensive back. Four-stars Derrick LeBlanc and Malik Bryant, along with a host of underclassmen that received invites to the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge, are players that Miami has a serious shot of landing. The Hurricanes will hit a home run if they are able to land even a handful of these uncommitted players.
The Florida Gators always have a large presence at this camp, and this year was no different. The one big difference was that unlike in some years past, the Gators are going toe to toe for many of the same players who also have Miami at the top of their list. With new coaches at both schools, there seems to be a new recruiting rivalry brewing within the state.
Like Miami, Florida is also in great position with the Orlando trio of four-stars: Malik Bryant, Payton Kirkland and Derrick LeBlanc. It is also thought to be a battle between the Gators and Hurricanes for Fred Gaskin, who may have been my favorite player on the day. Three-stars Rod Gainey and Gernorris Wilson were other standouts that have Florida toward the top of their list.
Louisville is a team that dozens of prospects mentioned when talking about the schools that stand out early in their recruitment. The Cardinals have done a great job making the Miami area a priority in recruiting, and by the overwhelming response from prospects it is paying dividends.
A few important names for Louisville fans to keep an eye on from the camp are linebacker MVP Gerral Blue Jr., OT Jordan Church and ATH Kenneth Kelly. All three were standouts on the day and have Louisville toward the top of their list.
Tennessee was mentioned by more than a handful of prospects during interviews on Sunday. The Vols' high-flying offense - along with the relationships they've built with many of the area's elite - was definitely a topic of conversation on the day.
Four-star running back Sam Singleton is far from making a decision, but there are many signs that point to Tennessee being a favorite in his recruitment. The Vols are also a contender for 2024 four-star WR James Madison, who took home MVP honors at his position on the day, as well as four-star DL MVP Dylan Stephenson. Tennessee is trying to battle in-state programs Miami, Florida and Florida State for a commitment.
5. FLORIDA STATE
Florida State was another popular team on Sunday, as many of the Sunshine State's prospects are high on the Seminoles as well. Among the Seminoles' top targets at the camp: four-star 2024 OLB Booker Pickett, who will be one of the highest recruited players at his position when his high school career comes to an end.
Jamorie Flagg, a four-star DE from Miami, is a player that Florida State should have a good shot at after getting him on campus for a visit in June. Xavier Porter is another four-star DE for Florida State fans to keep an eye on, and he will visit Tallahassee in April. Porter says the Seminoles' staff has shown him the most love in his recruitment and he loves the program's culture. Another four-star - OG Eddy Pierre-Louis - is a top 2024 target for Florida State, and the Seminoles are one of only two visits that he has set in stone at the moment.