RECAP: Paradise Camp delivers yet again

RECAP: Paradise Camp delivers yet again

Stefan Adams
The fourth edition of Paradise Camp was another rousing success for Manny Diaz and his Miami Hurricanes. With this being the inaugural Paradise held within the IPF, the atmosphere of the camp took on a whole new feel as UM continued to build their program momentum on Saturday. 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.

Without further delay, let's get into the standouts at Paradise and the tidbits coming out of camp.

Top Performers


Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Glastonbury, CT (Suffield Academy)

The Connecticut gunslinger far exceeded my expectations both on and off the field. Put simply, Van Dyke looks like the real deal. He didn’t miss on a single throw and was threading the ball all night, most notably on a sweet post route outside the numbers to Xavier Restrepo, an NFL throw. His favorite targets were Restrepo and Darnell Washington in 7-on-7’s. Even better, Van Dyke also showed his chops as a recruiter, and he was all over both Washington’s, Darnell and Chris.

Don Chaney, RB, Miami, FL (Belen Jesuit)

Chaney was a beast in the cat and mouse drills, and he unleashed multiple sick spin moves on the poor, unsuspecting LB’s. It was a mismatch all the way for the size, speed freak from Belen and he showed yet again why he’s a 5-star talent.

Xavier Restrepo, WR, Deerfield Beach, FL (Deerfield Beach)

To nobody’s surprise, Restrepo had his way with any defender that lined up across from him and the Deerfield slot ate all camp. He was just made for these types of camps, and Restrepo easily created separation thanks to his quick feet and great route running. Also showed a great connection with his future QB Van Dyke. Miami fans are going to love this guy in a few years.

Darnell Washington, TE, Las Vegas, NV (Desert Pines)

Probably the top overall performer, and it wasn’t particularly close. No defender even really came close to sticking with Washington at Paradise and there was a deep DB field in attendance: he ran right by guys that played him too close, and he boxed out and bodied guys on jump balls that tried to give him space. Had the connection working with Van Dyke all night and was tearing up the middle of the field. He proved without a shadow of a doubt that he is indeed one of the top players in the nation.

Jalen Rivers, OL, Orange Park, FL (Oakleaf)

Rivers looked at home working at left tackle most of the night; he’s trimmed some bad weight from his frame and gained some quickness on the edge. He sure looked like he could stick at tackle after all, and the length and physicality has always been there with him. An exciting prospect for Barry to mold.

Chris Washington, OL, Nashville, TN (Overton)

Of the few reps I saw, he won them all. He proved he was a take tonight against a tough DL field. Long, tall, and athletic, just the prototype of what Butch Barry is looking for. Looked much more filled out in his frame than his listed 270 pounds, so he’s already on his way to adding good weight. Washington committed to the Canes following the camp.

Jaiden Francois, S, Homestead, FL (South Dade)

What more is there to say about Francois at this point? He performs at a high level every time I see him and he was flying all around the back end during 7-on-7’s making play after play. I believe he is the best defender in South Florida in 2020.

Avantae Williams, S, Deland, FL (Deland)

Williams was one of the prospects that I really wanted to watch on Saturday and I felt he lived up to the hype at Paradise. He could play anywhere in the defensive backfield at the next level and he was tough for receivers to separate from. Williams also showed off his blazing speed by winning the 2020 Fastest Man competition.


Yulkeith Brown, WR, Miami, FL (Gulliver Prep)

The easiest way to describe Brown’s game would be to say he looks like he is playing Madden against the computer on Rookie mode out there on the field. He had a sick catch over Ladarius Tennison that drew raves from the crowd, and his straight line burst and quick cuts were too much to handle for most DB’s. Brown is a special talent that continually shows up at events and is one of my favorite players in the 2021 class.

Jake Briningstool, TE, Brentwood, TN (Ravenwood)

Briningstool earned an offer from the UM staff simply based on the look test during the Friday party, and he didn’t disappoint when it was time to take the field on Saturday. Brevin Jordan was comparing him to Will Mallory during drills and that comparison seems apt to me. Briningstool has a gigantic 6-6 215 pound frame but moves very fluidly and doesn’t sacrifice speed.

Laurence Seymore, OL, Miami, FL (Miami Central)

Somebody get him some maple syrup, because Seymore was back to his pancaking ways this weekend. He obliterated UF DE commit Tyreak Sapp on two reps and has a natural strength to him that is god-given. He’ll be a fixture on the interior of Miami’s line for years to come.

Tyler Johnson, LB, Homestead (South Dade)

Johnson was stifling in the cat and mouse drills, winning every rep I saw out there. He proved he could stick at linebacker long term and that versatility will go a long way in providing value to Miami, because his speed rushing in off the edge is a problem for offenses.

James Williams, S, Fort Lauderdale, FL (Western)

Williams is just physically overwhelming for most receivers and it’s really not even fair in most matchups. He can do it all, playing zone or man, and sports impeccable ball skills as well. Williams had a nasty over the top interception where he leaped and took it away from a receiver right in front of his face, sending the crowd and campers into a frenzy.


Deland’s Avantae Williams won fastest man for the 2020 class, beating out Winter Park’s Marcus Clarke.

**Guys like 2020 Miramar S Brian Balom, 2021 Vero Beach DE Keanu Koht, and 2021 Miami Northwestern DB Tim Burns earned offers after the event. Burns in particular had an awesome one-handed catch during individual drills. I’m putting in a UM pick for Burns as well as I heard some good news from a few sources on him.

**Going into the camp, I was told by a source close to the situation that Alabama had built a bit of a lead for Darnell Washington. However, that same source tells me that Miami really did make a move this weekend and is likely to get an official visit. The Canes rolled out the red carpet for Washington and made him a priority on a weekend that was filled with top prospects, something that wasn’t lost on his family. Michael Irvin and Brevin Jordan also joined in the recruiting effort during Friday’s banquet at Hard Rock. Washington and 2021 LB Jonathan Flowe had dinner together with their respective families along with Coach Field after the camp.

**I mentioned this in another thread a few days ago, but I was told by a source close to the situation that Tennessee pushed CB Keshawn Lawrence very hard to get him to cancel his official visit to Miami. He obviously said no, a good sign for the Canes. I’m told the family preferred Tennessee coming into the visit as well, but no word yet on if Miami changed their mind. Lawrence looked like he was having a good time at Paradise, chatting up most everyone and throwing up the U. A decision is going to come within the next month, maybe less, and the staff feels this is not over in the slightest despite many feeling Tennessee is the clear favorite.

**I could definitely see WR Dazalin Worsham commit to Miami at some point and a program source believes the Canes are in a really good spot with him following his OV, but that he wants to take more visits before making a decision. In another thread, I mentioned how I was told Alabama has essentially stopped recruiting him, so Worsham is going to be free game. Miami is pushing him the hardest of anyone right now. Worsham’s mentioned wanting to take OV’s to LSU and Texas A&M to CIS in the past.

**A big priority this weekend was to try and lock up S Ladarius Tennison or at least make serious headway. The staff feels they are in a favorable position for Tennison following Paradise and will continue to push him for a commitment.

**Some thought that Miami had thrown in the towel on S Avantae Williams, but I’m told Miami and coach Banda never gave up on him and has stayed in constant contact with Williams the entire cycle. A source close to the situation feels Georgia is in the best position to land a flip if he defects from Oregon, but it was certainly huge for UM to get him back on campus this weekend. We’ll see if UM can continue to make up ground during the season and Williams is not going to make a final decision until December signing day.

**I talked a bit to recent DL commit Elijah Roberts’ mother on the sidelines during the event. She said the original reason for Elijah’s decommitment was because he felt he committed too early and wanted to see other schools to be 100% sure of his decision; Roberts and his family felt it would be disrespectful to the Miami coaching staff to take other visits while committed to Miami. Mrs. Roberts and Elijah were talking about committing before the Paradise event on Friday; she told him they won’t be doing any more visits if he committed to Miami again and he agreed he was ready to completely end his recruitment. She doesn’t believe some schools like FSU will give up right away, but they felt it was a relief to commit and that it was important to get this commitment out of the way so that Elijah could focus on school and his senior season. They were worried when coach Simpson left, but coach Stroud has eased all her concerns and Stroud was a key reason for the commitment. She mentioned multiple times how much the family loves Stroud.

**I tried to make it a point to see Miami CB commit Justin Hodges, but with the layout of the camp for media and the general commotion of everything, I only saw two reps involving him getting thrown on. He won one and lost one, but Hodges was running pretty good to my eye; mildly encouraging but didn’t see enough to make a real judgment.

**New offeree 2021 OL Michael McLaughlin from Stoneman Douglas has a great frame, but is really raw and struggled most of the night. They had to pull him off the field at one point for a private tutorial because he was getting beat off the snap every time with either poor technique or weak strength. Remember, he was playing TE up until 2 weeks ago when Miami offered him as an OL at the Manny Diaz camps, so big learning curve here and he is probably 250 pounds soaking wet right now.

**Despite losing his reps to Seymore, 2021 STA DE Tyreak Sapp provided one of the best moments of the night. Sapp absolutely bowled over a kid at center on a rep, and then started laughing and talking trash to him as Nesta Silvera egged Sapp on and celebrated with him. Sapp is a Gator commit but is still interested in Miami.

Comments (94)

@Stefan Adams , would there be an easy way of finding who attended last paradise camps besides searching for articles like these from previous years?

Thanks for all the write ups.
Great write up and analysis, Stefan!

That’s some great news regarding Tennison. Kid is the truth and a must get for this class, in my opinion. Also encouraging news regarding Lawrence and Washington (TE).

Chaney and Seymore are grown *** men. Glad that they are gonna put on for this U.
Idk... I don't feel good if he does not leave committed. If he goes back home I think Tenn will win out unfortunately.

Dead period coming up. It’s pretty common for kids to make commits during this period, and often times this is when kids flip or spurn their hometown team because they can lay low after.
And how many off them were already committed? This thing you quoted tells me nothing

Dude it’s a camp. Lost in all the glitz and glamour it’s still just a glorified camp. (although the best camp in the country at this point) No top prospect or at least the ones you a hoping for, are going to commit at a camp in June. It’s laying groundwork for an OV. Getting guys like Washington and even Flowe to come cross country on there own dime is priceless. You don’t think lil Flowe isn’t going to tell big bro how crazy it was and how he needs to OV to Miami when he gets home? Couple that with a good-great season and we are in a great position to land some studs in the Winter.

Getting Elijah Roberts back at a position of need is huge as well. Relax.
For all the effort that goes into this event, it doesn’t really produce more than one commitment, which I’m sure some would deem successful.

I def no longer put stock into who the coaches “feel good” about
Well it's more than the Coaches. This write up had me thinking we got all the kids we wanted and needed.
For all the effort that goes into this event, it doesn’t really produce more than one commitment, which I’m sure some would deem successful.

I def no longer put stock into who the coaches “feel good” about
Paradise Camp is about players building relationships with coaches and players with other players. This is one of the few opportunities for future Canes to meet their fellow peers. From what I read, I believe this camp was a huge success. The fact that Van Dyke is recruiting Washington and other players is huge.!!! It tells me that Van Dyke is locked in. I'm sure there were several guys that want to play with Van Dyke after they saw him in person., how he performed, and his personality.

The only commitments that really matter are the ones on signing day.