Sunday, May 27, 2018
Colleges

Free of NCAA worries, Miami signs deep class

CORAL GABLES — With NCAA sanctions no longer hovering over the program, Miami's class is touted as its best since Al Golden became coach four years ago.

There were no late steals from other schools. And while not full of five- and four-star prospects, the depth prompted rivals.com to rank the class 12th in the nation while scout.com ranked it 11th.

"We have a lot of guys that every­body wanted," Golden said.

"In years past, we haven't been in that business to the extent we were this year. I think that's a reflection of moving the program forward and not having the NCAA to deal with."

Worst wait: After late drama, DE Chad Thomas signed. The longtime oral commitment set Miami fans' nerves on edge recently by visiting — and raving about — Alabama. He also considered Florida State.

Ultimately, though, he stepped up to the podium, announced he was attending Miami, threw up the "U" with his hands and pulled out a Hurricanes jacket.

"I'm a man of my word. If I say something, I'm going to do it," said Thomas, the No. 3 defensive end in the nation, according to 247sports.com. "I was just thinking. Everyone comes to that point in their life when they have to think about something and make a decision.

"I just thought about it a lot over this past month, and it still came down to UM."

Still teammates: DE Demetrius Jackson, Thomas' teammate at Miami Washington and also a longtime oral commitment, signed without the drama. The consensus four-star recruited is considered a raw prospect after playing basketball for most of his life.

He was emotional soon after signing his letter of intent and said he's counting the moments until he arrives in Coral Gables.

"I never would have thought I'd be going to the University of Miami for football," Jackson said. "That shows you how God works. It's an amazing feeling. I'm still speechless. I wish my grandmother was here to see this. It's a great experience. You never think you'll be at this point in time."

Still teammates as well: OL Nick Linder and DT Anthony Moten of Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas will remain together with the Hurricanes.

Moten is the No. 7 defensive tackle in the nation, according to rivals.com.

"The (Miami) coaches mentioned it from Day 1 of my senior year, 'We need you. We need you,' " he said. "Even when I committed to Florida, they stayed with me, and I wanted to go somewhere that needed me."

Linder, whose brother is former Hurricanes offensive lineman Brandon Linder, is a consensus three-star recruit.

"It's a huge thing growing up and always rooting for Miami," he said. "And watching Brandon play there for the past four years, knowing that's my destiny right now … I couldn't be happier right now."

Got away: DT Travonte Valentine of Hialeah had orally committed. But he reopened his recruiting last month and on Wednesday signed with LSU.

Information from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel was used in this report.

Comments
FSU football fans: How do you remember Jimbo Fisher?

FSU football fans: How do you remember Jimbo Fisher?

Former Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher should be back in the state next week for the SEC's spring meetings in Destin. It is, to my knowledge, his first big trip back to Florida since leaving for Texas A&M in December.With that in mind, my questi...
Published: 05/25/18
FSU starter Josh Ball faces Title IX suspension over dating violence accusation

FSU starter Josh Ball faces Title IX suspension over dating violence accusation

Florida State starting offensive tackle Josh Ball faces a university suspension after a Title IX investigation found him responsible for dating violence.The suspension came to light in a Facebook post Monday afternoon by Sandra Sellers, an FSU studen...
Published: 05/22/18
Willie Taggart will take more fourth-down chances than Jimbo Fisher. But how many more?

Willie Taggart will take more fourth-down chances than Jimbo Fisher. But how many more?

TAMPA — Florida State coach Willie Taggart fielded an interesting question near the end of his Q&A with fans during Sunday's booster stop at Armature Works.Are the Seminoles going to be going for it more on fourth down?"We will be goin...
Published: 05/21/18
Athlon: Florida Gators, FSU and Miami will all finish in top 20

Athlon: Florida Gators, FSU and Miami will all finish in top 20

One of the first big nuggets from preseason college football magazines is out: Athlon's top 25.The site considers its rankings a prediction of where teams will be at the end of the year, not the beginning.Alabama and Clemson are 1-2 (no shock). Miami...
Published: 05/21/18
Taggart delivers a bolt to area

Taggart delivers a bolt to area

TAMPA — After spending four years as USF’s football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it’s no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," he sai...
Published: 05/20/18
Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

TAMPA – After spending four years as USF's football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it's no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," ...
Published: 05/20/18
ACC football announces early kickoff times, TV info for FSU, Miami games

ACC football announces early kickoff times, TV info for FSU, Miami games

The ACC has released some kickoff and TV information for the first three weeks of the season:Week 1 (previously announced)Miami vs. LSU (in Arlington, Texas): Sunday, Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m., ABCVirginia Tech at Florida State: Monday, Sept. 3, 8 p.m., ESP...
Published: 05/18/18
Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Old, unofficial news is expected to become old, official news today with a formal announcement that Florida State and Boise State are kicking off the 2019 season in Jacksonville.  A lot has changed since the schools announced the series (FSU pla...
Published: 05/16/18
FSU-Boise State to open 2019 season in Jacksonville

FSU-Boise State to open 2019 season in Jacksonville

What had been an open secret for months is now open and shut: Group of Five power Boise State will face FSU at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville in the teams' 2019 opener.A formal announcement is expected Wednesday, but the '19 schedule on Boise's offi...
Published: 05/15/18
RHP Mark Moclair’s versatility proves valuable to University of Tampa

RHP Mark Moclair’s versatility proves valuable to University of Tampa

TAMPA — He’s the accidental pitcher who can’t be pigeonholed into a defined role. He’s a well-spoken economics major who morphs into fire-breathing intensity on the mound. And he’s one of the biggest reasons why the University of Tampa Spartans are p...
Published: 05/15/18