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The Miami Hurricanes are getting set for one of their busiest recruiting weekends in years with a dozen prospects planning to take official visits, including a five-star defensive tackle, four other blue-chip prospects and one of South Florida’s best defensive backs.
Bear Alexander, a five-star defensive lineman from Georgia, is the headliner, but Plantation American Heritage’s Jacolby Spells is another of the most important players set to be in Coral Gables this weekend.
Spells is a four-star cornerback, according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings, and had a breakout season in 2020. After primarily playing wide receiver as a sophomore, Spells moved to corner as a junior to earn second-team all-Broward County honors from the Miami Herald after recording 32 tackles and an interception as a converted wide receiver.
“When he came, we had some pretty good guys ahead of him and he was such a talent that we had to get him on the field, so that first year, to help the team, he played some receiver. We knew eventually he would move to corner,” said American Heritage coach Patrick Surtain, who was a two-time All-Pro cornerback for the Miami Dolphins. “He has all the intangibles to be a really good corner. ... He’s a legit 10.5, 10.6 guy [in the 100-yard dash] and obviously with him playing receiver his ball skills naturally carried over to the defensive side. He’s physical. He doesn’t mind coming up and tackling.”
The Hurricanes were early to offers a scholarship way back in 2019, which helped them get an early edge in his recruitment. Now he claims nearly 30 offers and has official visits planned with the Syracuse Orange and Indiana Hoosiers after he officially visited the West Virginia Mountaineers last weekend.
Miami is the favorite, according to the 247Sports Crystal Ball. Spells was also at the Hurricanes’ “First Day Out” cookout June 1.
“It’s the hometown team,” Surtain said. “He thinks he can go in there and play right away, and they’ve shown a tremendous amount of interest in him. I know he liked Miami early on in the process and obviously he still does. He’s going to choose what’s best for him at the end of the day.”
A full list of the 12 visitors expected this 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 - announced on Monday he’s decommitting from Georgia and will visit UM for several days this week, including an official visit this weekend. Alexander visited Texas A&M last week.
▪ Jacurri Brown: The four-star Valdosta, Georgia-based quarterback is one of only two UM non-binding commitments for 2022, but he’s trying to lobby others to join this class.
Brown — rated by Rivals as the No. 6 dual-threat quarterback and 213th-best overall player in 2022 — will make his first official visit to UM’s campus on June 11 and hasn’t ruled out taking other visits, with North Carolina and Texas A&M among his most aggressive suitors.
▪ Quan Lee: The three-star receiver from Gainesville is UM’s other 2022 commitment, besides Brown.
He caught 44 passes for 916 yards and 11 touchdowns last season and scored another TD on a kickoff return.
Lee played on the same 7-on-7 team as UM quarterback commit Brown when the two were freshmen.
▪ Cameron Williams: The four-star prospect from Duncanville, Texas — rated by Rivals as the No. 26 offensive tackle and 188th-best prospect overall — also plans to visit Texas and Oklahoma, which is considered the team to beat for the 6-6, 370-pounder who could end up at guard. He previously visited Oregon.
▪ Isaiah Horton: The four-star wide receiver from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is rated by Rivals as the 24th-best receiver and 216th-best player in the 2022 class.
The Gators are considered the favorite — Horton has said he always has wanted to attend UF — and Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Mississippi and Georgia also are in the mix.
▪ Justin Medlock: The three-star prospect from Manville, Texas — rated by Rivals as the 10th best inside linebacker in the 2022 class — has more than two dozen other offers, including Oklahoma and Ohio State. He hasn’t named a favorite but has developed a strong relationship with UM assistant coach Jonathan Patke
▪ Spells: The three-star prospect from Plantation American Heritage — who has played receiver in high school but is being recruited as a defensive back — also is visiting Indiana and West Virginia and has interest in Penn State and Syracuse. The Canes have a decent chance, as noted above.
▪ Georgia-based offensive tackle Falentha Carswell: He hasn’t played football since his freshman year of high school, opting to focus on basketball instead. But several schools — including Miami — believe he has the size (6-7, 275 pounds) and athleticism to be an FBS level offensive tackle.
UM was his first offer a couple of weeks ago, and Oregon, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State and Mississippi are among others that have subsequently offered. He plans to visit Oregon June 25.
▪ Isaiah Bond: The three-star receiver from Buford, Georgia, committed to the Gators on May 9 but hasn’t closed the door on UM, at least not publicly.
On one hand, he told Rivals of his decision to commit to the Gators: “I couldn’t have made a better decision.”
But then asked if he could end up at another school instead, he said: “As of right now, that’s not on my head, but you never know what God’s plan is.”
▪ Kaden Helms: The three-star prospect from Nebraska is rated by Rivals as the 19th-best tight end in the 2022 class. He took an unofficial visit to Arizona State last week — leaving with a favorable impression, per Rivals.
In the next three weeks, he’ll take official visits to UM, Oklahoma, Auburn, and North Carolina.
▪ Leyton Nelson: The three-star prospect from Orlando, rated by Rivals as the No. 46 offensive tackle in this class, visited Pittsburgh last week and now will visit Miami, Tennessee and Louisville. Pittsburgh made a strong impression.
▪ Jayden Gibson: The three-star receiver from Winter Garden lined up visits to UM, UF, Baylor and Tennessee. He has a good combination of size (6-6) and speed. He’s familiar with South Florida; his grandfather lives in Fort Lauderdale.