2022 RB Alston recalls UM spring practice visit, breaks down recruitment

2022 RB Alston recalls UM spring practice visit, breaks down recruitment

Stefan Adams
As one of the only out of state recruits to take in a Miami Hurricanes spring practice this March before things were shutdown one week later due to COVID-19 concerns, 2022 Woodward Academy (GA) RB Damari Alston made the trip to Coral Gables with his entire family to get a better idea of the UM program.

“We visited during my spring break, I think it was their first or second day of spring practice,” Alston said of UM. “As we were out there, we were watching all the players work out and how the coaches coach. Afterwards, we got taken around the facilities. We didn’t get to see the academic side, but we saw all the football facilities, the locker room, things like that.”

The 5-11 205 pound back also was one of the only recruits to get a glimpse of new OC Rhett Lashlee’s offense as it was first being installed during the early days of spring, and Alston came away impressed.

“I was definitely watching the running backs, they had some good drills going on,” Alston said. “I showed up towards the end of the practice where they were doing 7-on-7’s and offense vs. defense type stuff. It was looking pretty solid, everything was moving fast, the tempo was good and the team looked good.”

As part of the trip, Alston was able to sit down and talk with UM running backs coach Eric Hickson to start building a relationship with his potential future position coach.

“He was basically telling me this new offense is a killer,” Alston said of Hickson. “They run a similar offense as my high school right now, so he said me going to Miami would be the best fit for me because I’m already working on that type of stuff. He was basically telling me I would be a game-changer at the University of Miami. He was talking about getting me to a game this year if they do have a season. I hope that happens.”

As one of the only schools Alston’s been able to visit thus far in his process, he says Miami is currently in a strong position to become a factor in his recruitment.

“The culture is really good and even the academics are great – Miami’s a private school and I heard it’s really hard to get in,” Alston said. “The fans are hyped and the games are hyped. I went to a game a few years ago and I know the games are live. I love the coaches. I’ve talked to coach Hickson and he said he’s going to get me on a Zoom call with the entire offensive staff one day so we can all chop it up and share some laughs together.”

Elsewhere in his recruitment, the Woodward Academy star has already attracted tons of early attention from some of the top programs in the country, and Alston says he has already formulated a plan for how he sees things playing out in the future.

“I’m talking to Miami, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Oregon, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, South Carolina, North Carolina,” Alston said. “All those teams I’m probably keeping a ‘once a week’ deal with, we communicate at least once a week.

“Right now, I’m kind of going with the flow of everything, staying calm. I’ll probably start narrowing down my schools pretty soon, especially if we don’t have a season. I don’t want to talk to 50 coaches a day, so if we don’t have a season, I’m definitely going to be focused on a group of 10 or 12 schools throughout this year. I’d say around spring or summer of next year, I’ll be committed.”

Another campus Alston was able to get on this spring was Georgia Tech, a program that represents the local school for the Atlanta native.

“They were in spring practice too, I was with my dad and a few friends,” Alston said of the Yellow Jackets. “We didn’t really get to do a whole tour since practice got out pretty late, but watching the practice, the intensity was good, they had really good music playing. And Georgia Tech will probably be in my top schools because it’s home to me, it’s in the middle of Atlanta.”

What will Alston be looking for in a program when he is ready to make a decision?

“First, me and my family are big on academics, so we’re looking for a good school that going to keep me going after football where I can get a good job, have my own business, and make my own money,” Alston said. “Next, I’d probably say the team chemistry – how is the team doing, how are the coaches coaching, are the players getting along, what’s the routine all the time? Third, I’d probably say the history of the athletic program. I don’t want to join a really bad team and my stock goes down. I want to be under a great head coach.”

As a sophomore in 2019, Alston recorded 889 rushing yards and 10 TD’s on the ground, along with 22 catches for 161 receiving yards and 2 TD catches.

“I would say on the field, I’m actually really hyped. Before the game, I get all my teammates fired up. Basically, my style as a running back, I’m an all-purpose back. I can catch the ball out of the backfield, I’m doing kickoff return, punt return. To separate yourself as a running back, now adays, they want a running back that can catch, so that’s what I think I do differently from other running backs.”

 

Comments (8)

Solid kid. Looks to run the ball well and breaks tackles. Wouldn’t say he has elite speed but plenty fast enough. A nice pickup if we can remain in his commitment list as he pairs it down.
 
Woodward is a good school, good program and used to be in our conference.
they’ve have a number of D1 athletes every year and quite a few grads who have or are playing in the nfl. If he’s playing that much for Woodward as a sophomore then he’s good.
 
I believe this is Deejay Dallas alma-mater. Alston would be a perfect fit in Lashlee’s offense as he can do a lot of things in the backfield. He catches, blocks, short yardage, on the outside, w/ speed, w/ power. He’s got a Portis/Edge feel to his game.
 

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6'5"
220
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