Fallout, feedback from Miami Hurricanes’ 12 official football visits this past weekend

·8 min read

The Miami Hurricanes’ biggest recruiting weekend in years is in the books and Miami is very happy with how it went — even though it hasn’t yet yielded any commitments.

The Hurricanes welcomed a dozen Class of 2022 prospects to Coral Gables for official visits, including their only two committed players, and nearly every one spoke glowingly about the trip.

Quan Lee, a three-star wide receiver commit, has hinted Miami could get multiple commitments out of the weekend after he and quarterback and fellow UM commitment Jacurri Brown went hard after the three wide receivers on the visit.

The Hurricanes also had one five-star recruit on campus, a blue-chip prospect from South Florida and multiple offensive lineman, and took their latest swing at a tight end.

Kaden Helms, a three-star prospect from Bellevue West in Nebraska, spent parts of Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Miami, and said by phone that the visit “exceeded my expectations,” especially after he took a self-guided tour of the school in March.

“It was a way different experience,” said Helms, who’s the No. 383 overall prospect in the 247Sports.com composite rankings for the 2022 recruiting class. “The visit itself kind of exceeded my expectations. It was really good. It was a really good time.”

Tight end Will Mallory hosted Helms for the visit and Helms said the two “clicked.” He wasn’t necessarily surprised by anything that tight ends coach Stephen Field told him, but Mallory showed him around the city and his Brickell neighborhood, which stood out.

“A big thing was hanging out with the players. I really got along with them,” said Helms, who is a four-star prospect in 247Sports’ own rankings. “The people, the relationships I built from there kind of made it worthwhile.”

The Hurricanes immediately jumped into contention for the 6-foot-5, 222-pound tight end after they offered him a scholarship in February because of the team’s track record at his position.

Field sat down with Helms and his mother for a film session to outline how Miami would plan to use him. The assistant coach emphasized to Helms that Mallory is likely headed to the NFL after next season, Helms said, and there would be chances for playing time early. Field explained how Helms could be Mallory’s successor in the Hurricanes’ offense.

“It was really helpful to see because I feel like a lot of people nowadays say they use a tight end, but they don’t really show me how they’re going to use a tight end,” Helms said. “It was good to kind of see game clips and practice clips of how they’re implementing the tight end.”

Helms has three more official visits planned for June with the Oklahoma Sooners, Auburn Tigers and North Carolina Tar Heels, and then he plans to make a decision next month.

“It kind of sucks because idealistically without COVID and all this stuff, like the dead period, I’d want to commit a little later, but right now I’m shooting for early July.”

A roundup of the other 11 Class of 2022 prospects who visited UM this past weekend:

Keithian “Bear” Alexander: The five-star defensive tackle from Fort Worth, Texas — who is rated by Rivals as the No. 4 player in the 2022 class — loved his UM visit and the Canes now appear firmly in the mix for an elite prospect who decommitted from Georgia just a week ago.

“[Miami] is definitely high on the list; they really touched my heart,” he told InsideTheU.com. “It was a great visit. [Defensive line coach Jess Simpson] is a great guy. [Coach Manny Diaz] is a great guy. So it was a great feeling to be out there... I felt family vibes...

“Like they say, it’s paradise. These coaches are very detailed and know what they’re doing. The dorms and education system — all that stood out.”

Alexander, who was accompanied by his father and girlfriend and uncle on his UM trip, will visit Southern California, Oregon and Alabama in June before another dead period starts in July. Texas A&M remains very much in play. He plans to sign in December and announce his choice at the Under Armour All-American Game.

Jayden Gibson: The three-star receiver from Winter Garden liked what he saw during his UM visit.

“They definitely moved up and finished strong, but... I’m still going to make sure I take the rest of my visits and see how it goes,” he told InsideTheU.

Gibson — who has a good combination of size (6-4) and speed — plans to visit Baylor, Tennessee and Auburn in June. He previously visited Florida and the Gators are considered the leader, according to 247 Sports. But the Canes are very much in it.

Isaiah Bond: The three-star receiver from Buford, Georgia, committed to the Gators on May 9 but is now strongly considering the Canes after a positive experience on Miami’s campus this weekend. He’s visiting Alabama next weekend, then will decide whether to stick with the Gators or flip to UM or Alabama.

Jacurri Brown: The four-star Valdosta, Georgia-based quarterback remains one of only two UM non-binding commitments for 2022, and his visit this weekend was “another great experience,” he told Canesport. “This place is amazing and I’ve probably only experienced 25% of it.”

Brown — who had been on UM’s campus previously — has spent time trying to lobby others to join this class, particularly Gibson and Bond. He told Canesport he’s “100 percent locked in” with UM but still might take a few other visits.

Quan Lee: The three-star receiver from Gainesville is UM’s other 2022 commitment, besides Brown, and emerged from his visit even more convinced he made the right decision. He told InsideTheU.com that he no longer plans to take any other college visits.

He caught 44 passes for 916 yards and 11 touchdowns last season and scored another TD on a kickoff return.

Cameron Williams: The Canes made a favorable impression on the four-star prospect from Duncanville, Texas — rated by Rivals as the No. 26 offensive tackle and 188th-best prospect overall.

The UM visit “moved Miami up for sure,” he told Canesport.

But Williams told 247 Sports that Oregon and Oklahoma stand out to him at this stage. He already has visited Oregon and plans to visit Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma.

Isaiah Horton: The four-star wide receiver from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, loved his UM visit and is now strongly considering the Canes, UF, Tennessee, and Alabama. He visits Alabama later this month.

Horton — who is rated by Rivals as the 24th-best receiver and 216th-best player in the 2022 class — told Canesport that his UM visit was a 10 on a scale of 0 to 10.

Justin Medlock: The three-star prospect from Manville, Texas — rated by Rivals as the 10th-best inside linebacker in the 2022 class — spent time with fellow Texan Corey Flagg (his host on the visit) and with UM assistant Jonathan Patke, with whom he has cultivated a strong relationship.

“Miami is most definitely up there for me,” said in a message.

“This made Miami move up with me,” he told Canesport.

He has more than two dozen other offers, including Oklahoma and Ohio State, who some consider the favorites. He had no other visits lined up as of Sunday evening and hasn’t identified a favorite.

Jacolby Spells: The three-star prospect from Plantation American Heritage — who has played receiver in high school but is being recruited as a defensive back — left his visit impressed with UM.

“Everything went great this weekend. I had fun,” Spells told InsideTheU. “Seeing the school for the first time instead of being on Zoom all the time. Seeing it was great.”

He told Canesport that UM and West Virginia are his top two schools at the moment, in no particular order. He visited West Virginia earlier this month and will take an unofficial visit to Georgia and an official visit to Indiana. Spells is targeting Aug. 1 for an announcement.

Georgia-based offensive tackle Falentha Carswell: In less than a month, he has gone from a player who didn’t have an FBS offer to someone of great interest to the Canes because of his size (6-7, 275 pounds) and the staff’s belief that his skills will translate to offensive tackle despite his lack of experience in the sport.

He has not played football since his freshman year of high school, opting to focus on basketball instead.

Carswell told Canesport that Miami “felt like home” and he could make a decision in the next couple of weeks.

UM was his first FBS offer — in late May — and Oregon, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State and Mississippi are among others that have subsequently offered. He plans to visit Oregon June 24.

Leyton Nelson: The three-star prospect from Orlando, rated by Rivals as the No. 46 offensive tackle in this class, told 247 Sports that his visit to UM helped the Canes’ chances. He visited Pittsburgh last week and will take an unofficial visit to Utah and official visit to Louisville. Tennessee also remains in the mix.

Also notable: Four-star Fort Myers-based cornerback Chris Graves took his official visit to UM during the first weekend of June but returned this past weekend to do a workout for Canes coaches, something that is now permitted by the NCAA. There’s a decent-to-good chance he ends up in this Canes class. Five-star defensive end Shemar Stewart was also on campus Sunday for an unofficial visit.

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