August 6, 2009

Ask Jamie: 'Canes losing ground in backyard?

Jamie Newberg is a football recruiting analyst for He tackles your questions in his weekly mailbag feature.
Previous mailbags:
July 30: What's left for the Wolverines?
July 24: WVU class best in the Big East?
July 16: Brewster building at Minnesota
Can Ohio State land Jeff Luc, the nation's top linebacker recruit? Why isn't Miami having a blockbuster recruiting class with all that high school football talent in south Florida? Can Auburn land the nation's top three running backs - Lache Seastrunk, Marcus Lattimore and Michael Dyer? Can California sign Robert Woods and Owamagbe Odighizuwa? What will Kyle Prater do? And can Tennessee turn Barry Brunetti or Tyler Bray?

We answer those questions in this week's recruiting mailbag.

Jamie's Mailbag
Can 'Canes keep them home?

I have noticed that there is a ton of talent in south Florida this year. Miami usually cleans up in a situation like that, but this year, Randy Shannon's staff doesn't seem to be reeling in these kids. What is going on here?

-- Zach from Dallas
Miami is one of the more intriguing teams in this year's recruiting "race" simply because there is so much talent in south Florida. Fifty-two prospects in the preseason Florida Top 100 are from Dade (Miami), Broward (Ft. Lauderdale) and Palm Beach (West Palm Beach) counties alone, including two of the state's top three prospects - athlete Matt Elam of Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer and cornerback Lamarcus Joyner of Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas.

One would think Shannon's Hurricanes would have their pick from their backyard. Miami has 14 commitments, including six from south Florida. I think Miami is off to a nice start but it's not like the Hurricanes are on fire, especially given the talent in their backyard.

To be honest, it's somewhat perplexing as to why they are not doing better. I suppose you have to take into consideration that the competition level is absolutely fierce, given that just about every program in the country wants to get their share of south Florida kids. Miami has to fend off Florida and Florida State, as well as Ohio State, Notre Dame, USC, Michigan, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, etc.

The key to UM's recruiting success for the rest of this cycle will be what it does on the field this fall. A good season on the field means Miami will close with a bang. And that's a little frightening with all those big-time players in south Florida.

Luc leaving the state?

In your opinion, is there any chance linebacker Jeff Luc, from Port St. Lucie (Fla.) Treasure Coast, commits to Ohio State?

-- Brian from Toledo, Ohio
At this point, I don't think Luc leaves the Sunshine State. I think he will pick between Florida and Florida State, but I would never rule out Miami.

Having said that, Luc never has claimed a leader. In fact, just this week, he narrowed his list to nine schools: Alabama, Florida, FSU, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Ohio State, Tennessee and USC.

Luc already has seen a ton of schools on unofficial visits; the key will be to see who he visits officially this fall. Luc, the nation's No. 10 overall recruit, plans on graduating in December and enrolling early.

Cal in the mix

How much of a chance do you think California has of landing five-star athlete Robert Woods? And what are Cal's chances of landing defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa?

-- Evan from Fairfield, Calif.
Cal is off to a nice start with its 2010 recruiting class, and I think they are in the thick of it with Woods - from Gradena (Calif.) Junipero Serra - and Owamagbe - from Portland (Ore.) David Douglas.

I think the Bears are trailing USC right now for Woods, while I think Cal has as good a shot as any for Odighizuwa.

Cal is also in the mix for four-star athlete Anthony Barr, from Los Angeles Loyola.

Getting greedy

With Marcus Lattimore's decision to include Auburn in his top five, is it conceivable Auburn could sign him, Lache Seastrunk and Michael Dyer? And would they take them all if that were the case?

-- Turner from Mobile, Ala.
First, no way any coach would turn down the opportunity to sign three great running backs like Seastrunk of Temple (Texas) High, Dyer of Little Rock (Ark.) Little Rock Christian and Lattimore of Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes. You can never have too many backs.

In Lattimore's case, while Auburn has a good shot, I hear more and more South Carolina talk with him each day.

As for Dyer, I would be concerned with Bobby Petrino and the home-state Razorbacks.

With Seastrunk, it's anyone's guess.

I think Auburn lands one of these guys. Which one? I don't know.

Can they land two? It's doable.

All three? I would be floored.

Vols closing in on a QB?

Do you see Kyle Prater going to Tennessee? Will Tennessee get Barry Brunetti or Tyler Bray?

-- Mike from Chattanooga, Tenn.
Prater, a wide receiver from Hillside (Ill.) Proviso West, recently said he favored USC and that was when he was coming off an unofficial visit to Tennessee. Still, I really like the chances of Illinois here, and Oklahoma and Alabama are other powerhouse recruiting programs to keep a close eye on with Prater.

I still don't know what to make of Tennessee's quarterback recruiting. I do not get the feeling Brunetti - from Memphis University School - will budge from his West Virginia commitments, at least not right now. Meanwhile, after committing to San Diego State and having a good Elite 11 camp last month, things are really picking up for Bray, a four-star prospect from Kingsburg (Calif.) High. He now has a scholarship offer from the Vols and has skyrocketed up their quarterback board to the top. I wouldn't be surprised if he officially visits Tennessee early this fall.

What does this mean for the Vols? It sounds like they may have finally found their guy. But first things first, Bray has to visit and we'll see what happens from there.

Jamie Newberg is a recruiting analyst for Click here to send him a question or comment for his mailbag. is your source for: College Football | Football Recruiting | College Basketball | Basketball Recruiting | College Baseball | High School | College Merchandise
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