UM Has Interesting Recruiting Options at CB

Marcus Benjamin

The transfer portal is designed to create options for college athletes. UM sophomore cornerback Christian Williams, a native of Daphne, Ala., is trying to create such an option for himself.

Williams elected to enter his name in the transfer portal this week after finding himself fourth on the depth chart behind starters D.J. Ivey and Al Blades Jr., and sophomore Te’Cory Couch.

Williams’ departure means 17th-ranked UM must fill that void when it comes to recruiting cornerbacks.

Markevious Brown of Bradenton (Fl.) IMG Academy is the best cornerback on Miami’s list. Brown, an SI All-American candidate, seems to have a fierce competition going Miami and Auburn. Arkansas, Ole Miss and Virginia Tech were also named top schools by Brown.

Brown will be in action Thursday when IMG faces Orlando (Fl.) Edgewater, the Class 7A runnerup, and Edgewater receivers Christian Leary (Alabama commit) and Tommi Hill (Arizona State commit).

“We’re trying to get Markevious to make our class better,” said Miami Northwestern safety Kamren Kinchens, a 2021 UM commit.

In the meantime UM, which visits 18th-ranked Louisville on Saturday, must move ahead.

Coach Manny Diaz has a couple of players in mind to replace Williams. Freshmen Isaiah Dunson and Brian Balom will be the first candidates tapped.

As for cornerbacks in the 2021 recruiting class there’s Tim Burns Jr., of Miami Northwestern, and Malik Curtis of Ft. Myers (Fl.) Bishop Verot, who is also making plays in the passing game as a receiver. Curtis (5-11, 160) draws comparisons to Travis Benjamin, the ex-UM and NFL wide receiver.

Here’s a look at other cornerback options for UM in recruiting.

--Florida State commits Omarion Cooper of Lehigh Acres (Fl.) and Kevin Knowles of Hollywood (Fl.) McArthur are two cornerbacks to keep an eye on in case the program in Tallahassee begins to implode. The Seminoles started the season with a 16-13 disappointing loss to Georgia Tech, a team picked by most to finish last in the ACC by most.

Miami has offered both cornerbacks and it wouldn’t be surprising if either flipped to Miami.

--Louisville has had plenty of success recruiting out of South Florida and Derrick Edwards from Miami Palmetto is an example of how the Cardinals continue to pull talent from UM’s backyard.

Edwards committed to Louisville in June. Miami Northwestern wide receiver Brashard Smith committed to Miami in July and his other teammate, defensive tackle Leonard Taylor, committed to the Canes in August.

Perhaps it’s time for the Hurricanes to make a push for Edwards to keep more homegrown talent to stay at “The Crib.”

--Jacolby Spells of Plantation (Fl.) American Heritage is another prospect that would significantly bolster the Miami cornerback position. Spells made play after play last season at wide receiver and now makes the switch to cornerback in his junior year, which he says is his more natural position.

We get our first look at Spells on this Friday when American Heritage plays Hollywood (Fl.) Chaminade-Madonna.

Among players not offered by Miami there’s an interesting gathering.

--Brian Blades II of Plantation (Fl.) American Heritage is the son of a Miami legacy of the same name. A breakout senior season could land an offer for Blades Jr., who should have plenty of showcase games to prove himself playing alongside the talented Spells as well as safety James Williams, a SI99 member and UM commit, aggressive safety Boogsie Silvera, the younger brother of starting Miami defensive tackle Nesta Jade Silvera.

Other Potential Flip Candidates

Antwan Massie, Miami Northwestern, UAB commit

Torrie Cox Jr., Hollywood (Fl.) Chaminade-Madonna, Ohio commit

Tyler Gaskin, Deerfield Beach (Fl.), Navy commit

Omar Simpson Jr., Fort Lauderdale Stranahan, UAB commit

Travis McNichols, Miami Northwestern, Appalachian State Commit

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