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RECAP: 2021 Paradise Camp

RECAP: 2021 Paradise Camp

Stefan Adams
The fifth edition of Paradise Camp was another rousing success for Manny Diaz and his Miami Hurricanes. With a star-studded list of former players on hand to help coach and guide the prospects along the road to achievement, the kids were definitely having a good time and the vibe was electric. While from an evaluation perspective it was disappointing to see almost all of the top 2022 prospects in attendance not participate in the actual camp and the rain/lightning led to a portion of the competition being wiped out, there’s no doubt UM continued to build their program momentum on Saturday with the impressions they were able to make on some of the best players both inside and outside of South Florida.

Without further delay, let's get into the evaluation notes from Paradise 2021 and the recruiting tidbits coming out of camp. As always with camps, there was multiple things going on at once and it was impossible to see everything, but here were my takeaways.


Player Evaluation Notes

**
If I had to pick one player that impressed me the most, someone that really sizzled when watching him, I’d have to go with 2023 Mandarin (FL) WR Jeremiah Shack, who showed off the frame and fluidity to be a top-tier recruit going forward. With a well-built, legitimate 6’3” frame plus long arms, he stands out immediately from a physical aspect, but the way he moves with it is what really separated him from the pack. Shack has the type of wheels where it seems like he’s gliding out there and has very little wasted motion, easily pulling away from multiple DB’s in 1-on-1’s. He also might have had the highlight of the day when he beat a jam off the line and completely turned a DB around on a corner route, causing the DB to slip and fall to the ground, which sent the crowd into a frenzy as Shack finished off the easy catch.

**The 1B to Shack’s 1A was 2023 Allen (TX) 5-star DL David Hicks, who dominated what was an overall subpar lineman group most of the day. Hicks checks every box you’d want checked when it comes to a defensive lineman: Massive frame with little bad weight, quick first step off the line, and able to convert that speed into incredible power. Hicks is a violent and aggressive hand-fighter, and he utilized a devastating push-pull move to win more than his fair share of matchups on the day.

**2022 American Heritage (FL) 4-star DB Earl Little Jr. was pretty much the only big-name 2022 guy to compete in the competitive portion of the event. There’s not much to add to his eval from what’s already been said in the past, but he honestly looked to be a bit taller than his listed 6’0”. Of the few reps I saw him take, he didn’t get beat and stayed right on the hip of his opponent, showing the type of advanced technique and footwork that, when combined with his physical traits, has top schools across the country knocking down his door.

**The biggest surprise from my vantage was 2022 Christ the King (NY) 3-star WR Sean Wilson, who may have had the best day in terms of actual production. While he wasn’t as impressive as Shack from a pure traits perspective, it was Wilson that was seemingly always open, whether it was as a big target for his QB across the middle or acting as a red zone threat. On one 1-on-1 ball in the corner of the endzone, Wilson used his 6’5” 210-pound frame to outmaneuver the DB that was right in his face and made the grab while falling down. While he has decent speed, he’s someone you could really see flourishing if he fully embraced a move to tight end.

**Right behind Wilson for most productive might have been 2023 Edgewater (FL) 4-star RB Cedric Baxter, who showed off a well-built and compact frame with great burst. Usually known for taking carries out of the backfield to the house, Baxter showed off a strong passcatching complement to his game as well, as linebackers were struggling to stick with him most of the night and he got behind defenders with ease. Whether it was breaking to outside on a wheel route or beating his man to the inside with a studder step, Baxter just seemed to be operating on another level compared to everyone else out there.

**As for another New Yorker that impressed, look no further than 2023 Christ the King (NY) CB Tayvon Nelson. I like my DB’s extremely aggressive and physical at the line, which is a description that fits Nelson to a tee as he really bothered receivers throughout the event. Nelson also sports a college-ready build that matched up well against bigger receivers that tried to bully him and I would say he’s a little more filled out than his listed 175 pounds would indicate at this point.

**While the OL play overall left something to be desired, one standout was 2022 Skyridge (UT) 3-star OL Tapuvae Amaama. While he might need to trim some bad weight off his frame, there’s no doubt that he has the strength to be a true road grader that blasts open holes in the run game on a consistent basis. He is very much an “attacking” OL prospect in that he fires off the ball with great power, and he is very active with his hands in looking to pummel his opponent into submission instead of simply trying to battle to a stalemate. Miami OL coach Garin Justice liked what he saw as well, extending an offer to Amaama after camp concluded.

**2023 Miami Northwestern (FL) 4-star WR Andy Jean continues to produce every time I see him. He has a very smooth stride that allows him to excel at getting behind the defense, while also adding superior concentration, hands, and ball skills to make difficult catches look easy.

**QB play is notoriously spotty at these types of events, but one gunslinger that made an impression was 2025 Trinity Christian Academy (FL) QB Colin Hurley. On target most of the night, Hurley showcased great zip on his passes while also looking poised beyond his years in quickly surveying the field and going through his progressions if his first option was not available. He’s probably a smidge under his listed 6’0” height, but he obviously has plenty of time to grow further and it doesn’t seem to be much of a concern for the Miami staff at this point, as they extended him an offer following the event.


Recruiting Tidbits

**
2022 Monsignor Pace (FL) 5-star DE Shemar Stewart enjoyed his experience at Paradise Camp and said it “was a vibe out there.” He spent a lot of time talking with Calais Campbell and Jaelan Phillips and said their overall message to him was to “keep working hard and stay hungry”, referring to not being distracted by the attention and the hype that comes with being a top-tier recruit. Stewart feels DL coach Jess Simpson is a good person and experienced coach that would help him get to the next level. Listed Georgia and Ohio State as two other visits he was impressed with at this point. Said DVD told him tonight “Pace. UM. First round.” and that’s been a consistent main message from the Miami corners coach. Says he has no upcoming planned visits and that he’s eyeing early signing day in December as a possible decision day.

**2022 American Heritage (FL) 4-star DE Marvin Jones Jr. said after camp that he expects to take his recruitment to early signing day, while highlighting his talk with Jaelan Phillips as one of his favorite moments of the day. Likes the amount of guys Simpson has put in the league. Says his coaching style translates to the NFL. Bama, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and FSU getting OVs. 5th undecided.

**In terms of when we could see a commitment, 2022 American Heritage (FL) 4-star CB Earl Little Jr. is in the same boat as his teammate Jones Jr., in that Little Jr. is currently planning to make a final decision on early signing day. He pointed to strong relationships with the coaches recruiting him as a key factor for where he ultimately ends up. Liked how the UM coaches taught him, similar to Heritage. Liked the competition and number of coaches at Paradise better than the FSU camp. USC, Bama, Oregon, and Miami standing out of the schools he’s been too. LSU and Bama getting officials in the fall. Still considering taking one to Miami.

**2022 Miami Central (FL) 4-star LB Wesley Bissainthe showed up with his family and all were dressed head to toe in Miami gear, even though he was originally expected to spend a second straight day at Florida State. While he was long gone before interviews could begin, Bissainthe spent most of his time at the camp hanging around DeMario Tolan and Manny Diaz.

**2022 Homestead (FL) 3-star DT Daniel Lyons says Miami continues to come at him hard and that his main contacts at UM are Jess Simpson, Pop Cooney, and Manny Diaz. He pointed to UF, FSU, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, and Ole Miss as other schools in the mix for his signature, while also saying he intends to use an official visit with the Hurricanes. Key factors for Lyons include early playing time, the culture of the program, and his relationship with the coaches.

**2022 St. Peters Prep (NJ) 3-star TE Trent McGaughey made his first-ever trip to Miami for Paradise, saying he was impressed by the high level of the facilities and that UM’s tight end tradition is what he’s attracted to most about the program. Because he’s moved so much in the past due to his father’s NFL coaching career, he says he has no problem going to a school out of state, and will go “somewhere that wants me the most and somewhere I can win.”

**Rob Likens did not leave 2023 Mandarin (FL) WR Jeremiah Shack’s side post-camp. Seems like a kid Miami could really push for in the future. Talking to him after camp, Shack said Likens is the coach he has the best relationship out of any school thus far. Feels like he will fit well in Miami’s offense and runs a similar spread style at his HS. This was his third visit to Miami since things opened up in June and he said he felt Paradise was the most organized camp he’s been to that also had a lot of hype and atmosphere to it. Has been to UF in the past and has an upcoming visit to GT planned as well.

**2023 Allen (TX) 5-star DL David Hicks made the trip from Texas to visit for Paradise, saying he enjoyed both working with Jess Simpson in drills and meeting Calais Campbell as highlights of the day. Pointed to Miami’s success at getting DL’s into the first round and his fit in their defensive scheme as aspects that he likes most about the Hurricanes. Has made 14 visits now that campuses have opened up, including LSU, Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, and Clemson to name a few. Not in a rush to commit and will evaluate his many options over the next few months before narrowing things down to a top 10-12 after his junior season.

**2023 Gulliver Prep (FL) 4-star ATH Jalen Brown is high on the direction of the Miami program and expects big things from UM in the future. He specifically highlighted the talent UM brought in during the 2021 cycle as something he’s looking forward to seeing and feels he would be a great fit in Miami’s style of offense. Brown listed the Canes, Notre Dame, LSU, Florida State, Georgia, Tennessee, and Ole Miss as some of his early standouts, but expects to put out some sort of top group next month.
 

Comments (89)

Thanks for the write-up.

This class is going to be heavily influenced by our team's results on the field. It was smart for Manny to do this in a year with a very limited amount of scholarship available.

It's fine to go after the big-time recruits who have multiple top-end offers but the long game requires patience and results.

I think we've got the roster to do it. I'm just not sure Manny has the coaching abilities. But kudos to him for believing in himself and the staff he's put together. If they go down they are going down swinging for the fences.

Win this season and I think we are going to be in a great spot moving forward. Lose and we are back in the portal / loading up on 3 stars.
 
The fifth edition of Paradise Camp was another rousing success for Manny Diaz and his Miami Hurricanes. With a star-studded list of former players on hand to help coach and guide the prospects along the road to achievement, the kids were definitely having a good time and the vibe was electric. While from an evaluation perspective it was disappointing to see almost all of the top 2022 prospects in attendance not participate in the actual camp and the rain/lightning led to a portion of the competition being wiped out, there’s no doubt UM continued to build their program momentum on Saturday with the impressions they were able to make on some of the best players both inside and outside of South Florida.

Without further delay, let's get into the evaluation notes from Paradise 2021 and the recruiting tidbits coming out of camp. As always with camps, there was multiple things going on at once and it was impossible to see everything, but here were my takeaways.


Player Evaluation Notes

**
If I had to pick one player that impressed me the most, someone that really sizzled when watching him, I’d have to go with 2023 Mandarin (FL) WR Jeremiah Shack, who showed off the frame and fluidity to be a top-tier recruit going forward. With a well-built, legitimate 6’3” frame plus long arms, he stands out immediately from a physical aspect, but the way he moves with it is what really separated him from the pack. Shack has the type of wheels where it seems like he’s gliding out there and has very little wasted motion, easily pulling away from multiple DB’s in 1-on-1’s. He also might have had the highlight of the day when he beat a jam off the line and completely turned a DB around on a corner route, causing the DB to slip and fall to the ground, which sent the crowd into a frenzy as Shack finished off the easy catch.

**The 1B to Shack’s 1A was 2023 Allen (TX) 5-star DL David Hicks, who dominated what was an overall subpar lineman group most of the day. Hicks checks every box you’d want checked when it comes to a defensive lineman: Massive frame with little bad weight, quick first step off the line, and able to convert that speed into incredible power. Hicks is a violent and aggressive hand-fighter, and he utilized a devastating push-pull move to win more than his fair share of matchups on the day.

**2022 American Heritage (FL) 4-star DB Earl Little Jr. was pretty much the only big-name 2022 guy to compete in the competitive portion of the event. There’s not much to add to his eval from what’s already been said in the past, but he honestly looked to be a bit taller than his listed 6’0”. Of the few reps I saw him take, he didn’t get beat and stayed right on the hip of his opponent, showing the type of advanced technique and footwork that, when combined with his physical traits, has top schools across the country knocking down his door.

**The biggest surprise from my vantage was 2022 Christ the King (NY) 3-star WR Sean Wilson, who may have had the best day in terms of actual production. While he wasn’t as impressive as Shack from a pure traits perspective, it was Wilson that was seemingly always open, whether it was as a big target for his QB across the middle or acting as a red zone threat. On one 1-on-1 ball in the corner of the endzone, Wilson used his 6’5” 210-pound frame to outmaneuver the DB that was right in his face and made the grab while falling down. While he has decent speed, he’s someone you could really see flourishing if he fully embraced a move to tight end.

**Right behind Wilson for most productive might have been 2023 Edgewater (FL) 4-star RB Cedric Baxter, who showed off a well-built and compact frame with great burst. Usually known for taking carries out of the backfield to the house, Baxter showed off a strong passcatching complement to his game as well, as linebackers were struggling to stick with him most of the night and he got behind defenders with ease. Whether it was breaking to outside on a wheel route or beating his man to the inside with a studder step, Baxter just seemed to be operating on another level compared to everyone else out there.

**As for another New Yorker that impressed, look no further than 2023 Christ the King (NY) CB Tayvon Nelson. I like my DB’s extremely aggressive and physical at the line, which is a description that fits Nelson to a tee as he really bothered receivers throughout the event. Nelson also sports a college-ready build that matched up well against bigger receivers that tried to bully him and I would say he’s a little more filled out than his listed 175 pounds would indicate at this point.

**While the OL play overall left something to be desired, one standout was 2022 Skyridge (UT) 3-star OL Tapuvae Amaama. While he might need to trim some bad weight off his frame, there’s no doubt that he has the strength to be a true road grader that blasts open holes in the run game on a consistent basis. He is very much an “attacking” OL prospect in that he fires off the ball with great power, and he is very active with his hands in looking to pummel his opponent into submission instead of simply trying to battle to a stalemate. Miami OL coach Garin Justice liked what he saw as well, extending an offer to Amaama after camp concluded.

**2023 Miami Northwestern (FL) 4-star WR Andy Jean continues to produce every time I see him. He has a very smooth stride that allows him to excel at getting behind the defense, while also adding superior concentration, hands, and ball skills to make difficult catches look easy.

**QB play is notoriously spotty at these types of events, but one gunslinger that made an impression was 2025 Trinity Christian Academy (FL) QB Colin Hurley. On target most of the night, Hurley showcased great zip on his passes while also looking poised beyond his years in quickly surveying the field and going through his progressions if his first option was not available. He’s probably a smidge under his listed 6’0” height, but he obviously has plenty of time to grow further and it doesn’t seem to be much of a concern for the Miami staff at this point, as they extended him an offer following the event.


Recruiting Tidbits

**
2022 Monsignor Pace (FL) 5-star DE Shemar Stewart enjoyed his experience at Paradise Camp and said it “was a vibe out there.” He spent a lot of time talking with Calais Campbell and Jaelan Phillips and said their overall message to him was to “keep working hard and stay hungry”, referring to not being distracted by the attention and the hype that comes with being a top-tier recruit. Stewart feels DL coach Jess Simpson is a good person and experienced coach that would help him get to the next level. Listed Georgia and Ohio State as two other visits he was impressed with at this point. Said DVD told him tonight “Pace. UM. First round.” and that’s been a consistent main message from the Miami corners coach. Says he has no upcoming planned visits and that he’s eyeing early signing day in December as a possible decision day.

**2022 American Heritage (FL) 4-star DE Marvin Jones Jr. said after camp that he expects to take his recruitment to early signing day, while highlighting his talk with Jaelan Phillips as one of his favorite moments of the day.

**In terms of when we could see a commitment, 2022 American Heritage (FL) 4-star CB Earl Little Jr. is in the same boat as his teammate Jones Jr., in that Little Jr. is currently planning to make a final decision on early signing day. He pointed to strong relationships with the coaches recruiting him as a key factor for where he ultimately ends up.

**2022 Miami Central (FL) 4-star LB Wesley Bissainthe showed up with his family and all were dressed head to toe in Miami gear, even though he was originally expected to spend a second straight day at Florida State. While he was long gone before interviews could begin, Bissainthe spent most of his time at the camp hanging around DeMario Tolan and Manny Diaz.

**2022 Homestead (FL) 3-star DT Daniel Lyons says Miami continues to come at him hard and that his main contacts at UM are Jess Simpson, Pop Cooney, and Manny Diaz. He pointed to UF, FSU, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma, and Ole Miss as other schools in the mix for his signature, while also saying he intends to use an official visit with the Hurricanes. Key factors for Lyons include early playing time, the culture of the program, and his relationship with the coaches.

**2022 St. Peters Prep (NJ) 3-star TE Trent McGaughey made his first-ever trip to Miami for Paradise, saying he was impressed by the high level of the facilities and that UM’s tight end tradition is what he’s attracted to most about the program. Because he’s moved so much in the past due to his father’s NFL coaching career, he says he has no problem going to a school out of state, and will go “somewhere that wants me the most and somewhere I can win.”

**Rob Likens did not leave 2023 Mandarin (FL) WR Jeremiah Shack’s side post-camp. Seems like a kid Miami could really push for in the future. Talking to him after camp, Shack said Likens is the coach he has the best relationship out of any school thus far. Feels like he will fit well in Miami’s offense and runs a similar spread style at his HS. This was his third visit to Miami since things opened up in June and he said he felt Paradise was the most organized camp he’s been to that also had a lot of hype and atmosphere to it. Has been to UF in the past and has an upcoming visit to GT planned as well.

**2023 Allen (TX) 5-star DL David Hicks made the trip from Texas to visit for Paradise, saying he enjoyed both working with Jess Simpson in drills and meeting Calais Campbell as highlights of the day. Pointed to Miami’s success at getting DL’s into the first round and his fit in their defensive scheme as aspects that he likes most about the Hurricanes. Has made 14 visits now that campuses have opened up, including LSU, Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, and Clemson to name a few. Not in a rush to commit and will evaluate his many options over the next few months before narrowing things down to a top 10-12 after his junior season.

**2023 Gulliver Prep (FL) 4-star ATH Jalen Brown is high on the direction of the Miami program and expects big things from UM in the future. He specifically highlighted the talent UM brought in during the 2021 cycle as something he’s looking forward to seeing and feels he would be a great fit in Miami’s style of offense. Brown listed the Canes, Notre Dame, LSU, Florida State, Georgia, Tennessee, and Ole Miss as some of his early standouts, but expects to put out some sort of top group next month.
Did anybody catch the ball
 
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Thanks for the recap.

I'm surprised we are still even really involved in Marvin Jones Jr recruitment. Seems pointless imo.
Hopefully we can get Shemar Stewart to commit before NSD.

Nearly every Fan UM predicts FSU to go .500 or worse. Why wouldn't we stay on all their top players? That 52-10 beatdown might not be fresh in his memory now , we have a chance to refresh him.
 
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The outlook about The U seems to very positive among top recruits. It is imperative that we play baga tough or beat that azz and that should be our only loss. Do that, more SOFL, in state and OOS top recruits will sign.
 
Someone needs to be on the lookout for a splash watch lol need someone to pop before the dead period. I hear July is a big month but who is supposed to make announcements that we feel really good about?
 

2022 Commits

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6'0"
160
Lexington, MS
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205
Valdosta, GA
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175
Fort Myers, FL
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6'1"
185
Mandeville, LA
MLB
6'1"
210
Manvel, TX
OT
6'7"
275
Sandersville, GA

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