Three-Point Stance: Miami's momentum, Colorado, Florida phenoms
MORE THREE-POINT STANCE: Saban's reaction, hot seat coaches, Michigan State mess | Deion at Colorado, Rhule at Nebraska, Midwest freshmen
1. Miami has momentum.
Watching Miami pull away from Texas A&M last weekend seemed like it could be a turning point, not only for Mario Cristobal’s on-field product early in his tenure, but for the ceiling of his recruiting classes. The program has doubled down on the approach, NIL included, so the final box to begin checking was the Saturday progress – so the win over a top 10 team felt immeasurable. Sure enough, the next day, Miami landed a commitment from class of 2025 four-star wide receiver Waden Charles. The local get felt like the beginning, and Thursday’s news confirmed as much when another junior made his decision public.
Less than 48 hours after dropping a top five of Miami, Florida State, Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC, top-five overall recruit Armondo Blount surprised many with his selection of the hometown Hurricanes just before UM kicked off Thursday against Bethune Cookman. Not only is a five-star commitment big news by itself, it also signals true momentum. Like Charles before him, Blount and his camp are local and attended the A&M victory, something that helps to make it an easier sell in Coral Gables. Before that point, Florida State was probably the program with the most consistent buzz with the pass-rusher.
Blount is also a critical get in that he plays a premium position, as a dynamic pass-rusher who had six sacks in his 2023 debut last month. It also resonates at his prep program, Miami Central, one that is critical for Miami to continue its recruiting pipeline. Blount makes three straight cycles under Cristobal in which a Miami Central Rocket has joined The U. It won’t hurt with the remaining several targets for Miami at the local power program, including current Florida State commitment and two-way standout LeWayne McCoy in the class of 2024.
RELATED: Blount commits to Miami
2. Colorado is now a must-see for prospects.
The college football season opened with immense curiosity around Deion Sanders and Colorado, and the Buffaloes have responded with wins thus far, upsetting TCU in Texas and blowing out former rival Nebraska in their home opener. Not bad for a program whose recruiting class is in the 70s nationally, a mark we all know won’t stand in Boulder when recruiting and/or the transfer portal is considered for the rest of the year.
With the former, though, it has turned the once-overlooked recruiting trip to Boulder a must-see stop for any high-level prospect. We’ve seen prospects from every region pivot and rush to try to set up a trip to see Prime’s program up close, to the point where Rivals has confirmed recruits trying to make public commitments to the program without committable offers in the last week. Welcome to the prime time, Buff fans.
Where there is so much noise, however, comes the business end of the recruiting game. For every no-brainer blue-chipper needing to get a closer look there are prospects on the bubble of being a ‘take’ - or not looking to do the same. The portal has long been more important to building the current roster thus far, with unprecedented overhaul success, so who is to say Prime won’t look to make similar moves beyond 2023? While it’s a great problem to have when it comes to talent acquisition it isn’t the easiest to navigate. It’s the recruit’s word versus perception until pen meets paper. That means CU coaches cannot comment on the status of some of these offers until said recruit signs with the Buffs. It opens the door for fraud commitments, quick decommitments and other changes of heart that don’t always play well in the perception game for college coaches.
The ball is in Colorado’s court here, as Prime expressed this week.
"We're receiving so many calls at this point right now that it's absurd," Sanders said on Tuesday. "Just inquiring about what we do and how we do what we do, visitation and desiring to come on an unofficial or official visit."
The on-field hires are proving to be a strength under Sanders, and with more eyes and potential resources in Boulder, you wonder if a bulkier recruiting staff is to follow this breakout start to the season.
3. A pair of Florida phenoms are on fire.
It’s been just three games for the defending Florida state champion Cocoa Tigers thus far in 2023, but there is a new duo that has taken the Sunshine State by storm in the process. It’s 2026 quarterback Brady Hart and 2025 wide receiver Jayvan Boggs. Hart, on a head-turning 6-foot-4 frame, has already crossed over the 1,000-yard mark as a passer, to go along with 10 touchdown passes thus far. Nearly half of those yards are accounted for by Boggs, who is counted upon even more when it matters, as he has seven of Hart’s TDs to his name. Just as impressively, the last two opponents Cocoa has faced are also state-championship caliber in Venice High School and Ft. Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas.
As one may expect, the emergence has resulted in plenty of new scholarship offers on the recruiting trail. Hart is up to nine tenders less than a month into his varsity career, with Penn State and South Florida jumping in on Wednesday. One of the programs tracking him without sending an offer out - Florida - will host Hart for the prime time game against Tennessee on Saturday evening. Hart was at Miami last weekend and he has plans to visit Central Florida relatively soon, too. Boggs’ seven touchdowns have come against the last two marquee opponents, including four against St. Thomas Aquinas, a secondary full of Power Five prospects or verbal commitments. Venice, where he hit pay dirt a trio of times, features elite Florida State commitment Charles Lester, who lined up against Boggs for most of that performance.
“He’s one of the best receivers in the state,” Hart said of Boggs. “He is an unreal, smooth route-runner and his plays after the catch are incredible.”
Boggs added offseason offers from Ohio State, Florida, UCF and several others. He’ll join Hart at Florida on Saturday before setting a game trip to Ohio State in October, most likely for the Penn State game.