The Work: Jeudy, Donaldson, and much more

The Work: Jeudy, Donaldson, and much more

Peter Ariz
**Where to start on Jerry Jeudy? First, let's look back to the summer when Jeudy committed to the Crimson Tide. Those within the Miami football offices assured me that this staff would not give up on Jeudy. I wouldn't say they were "confident" in their chances to flip him, but they truly felt like his decision was much closer than some had made it seem. A source close to Jeudy told CanesInSight that the Canes gave him a lot to think about after Paradise Camp and that there was a point after that where some believed Miami had put themselves in position to land a surprise commitment before Saban sealed the deal. However, Canes WR coach Ron Dugans stayed in contact with Jeudy over the past few months and Miami knew that they had to conduct the recruitment as far under the radar as possible. The staff put the wheels in motion to get the nation's top-ranked wide receiver on campus beginning last Thursday, a day before Deerfield Beach's state semifinal game against Southridge. Step one was Dugans setting up an in-home visit with Jeudy, which was facilitated through the help of Jeudy's brother. Dugans stressed the importance of getting in-home with Jeudy and he even made it known that Mark Richt was planning to clear his entire schedule -- regardless of other visits he had planned to be there for that in-home visit. So, Dugans and Richt visited Jeudy on Monday night and were able to convince him to take a visit. According to a source, there wasn't even necessarily a hard sell needed -- this was something that Jeudy had been considering doing for some time and Miami coaches were confident they would get him on campus before the dead period, as I had alluded to on the podcast two weeks ago. Regardless of reports out there, the plan had been for it to be an official visit. Miami wasn't sure if he would stay through the weekend, but they wanting him getting all of the normal benefits of an official visit. Jeudy ended up staying through the weekend, which was a good sign, but is also not something to look too deeply in to. The major thing to point out here is that although Miami put the absolute full-court press on Jeudy this weekend, this visit was not something that he was "forced" into taking. Miami also knew that if word got out too soon about the visit, then there could be a move made by Alabama to try and prevent the visit. Jeudy alerted the Bama staff that he'd be taking the trip the night before he got on campus, and there was nothing that they could do to stop it at that point.

So now the big question -- where does Miami stand after the weekend? This is going to be a heavyweight battle down the stretch. As now-legendary CIS poster Tweed has put it, "Miami is at the table" and have given themselves a legitimate chance down the stretch. This was not a courtesy visit. This staff is very big on only allowing kids to visit if they are serious about their intentions, and they were not going to go through the trouble they did to set it up for someone who was going to disrespect the process.

As I had posted in the thread yesterday, I'm told Jeudy stood next to Richt during the 7-on-7 portion of practice yesterday and was fully engaged. Richt was paying extra close attention to both Jeudy and Navaughn Donaldson this weekend, according to multiple sources.

What's next? Look for Bama to go in-home with him today and that will give them a better idea of where they are and the sort of room that Miami has made up.

One more thing I will point out for those who missed it in the thread. Bama receiver Calvin Ridley and Jerry Jeudy's relationship is well-versed at this point. Jeudy looks at Ridley as a big brother and it was one of the big reasons why he chose the Crimson Tide in the first place. Sources tell CanesInSight that the two have discussed his decision, and that Ridley has not only given him his blessing to sign with the Canes, but is telling him that Miami is a very good situation for him, especially as his family endures a difficult situation.

You can never underestimate the power of Nick Saban and Alabama, but the Hurricanes are very much alive in this race. It would not shock me to see Miami also try to get another in-home with Jeudy tonight to wrap up the weekend and stay in his head, but again the staff wants to avoid being "pushy" here, while still pulling out all the stops that they can.

To once again quote Tweed, there's no point in making predictions or putting percentages on Miami's chances right now. All you can do is give Richt and staff credit for their handling of the situation and getting a program-changing type prospect like Jeudy to give Miami a serious look, against the odds.

**Navaughn Donaldson was equally as important of a prospect on campus this weekend for the Hurricanes. I had been told for weeks heading into the visit that Miami was not worried about a flip to UF or FSU prior to this weekend, and that this visit only solidified that more. A UF source even told CanesInSight that they realistically expect Donaldson to stick with his commitment. Florida State believes that they are still alive, but with Donaldson enrolling early and coming off of a strong visit to Miami, it would be very difficult for the Noles to make a big push as the dead period strikes tonight at midnight. Donaldson and running back commit Robert Burns were "attached at the hip" this weekend as well, according to a source.

**As I've posted for about a month, C.J. Henderson continues to lean strongly in UF's direction and a couple different sources close to Henderson do not believe that his official visit to Miami this weekend will have any effect on him changing his mind. It is likely that we hear less and less of Henderson's name being associated with Miami as he nears an announcement. The Canes will focus their attention at defensive back on junior college cornerback Jhavonte Dean, who will visit January 13th weekend, as well as Miramar defensive back Brian Edwards, who Miami defensive coaches believe can play either cornerback or free safety in their scheme. Edwards will take an official visit to Miami January 27th-29th, the final weekend before national signing day. Southridge safety Antwan Collier remains on the radar as well, and would almost certainly commit on the spot if Miami chooses to offer.

**Last thing and it is not recruiting related, but as CanesInSight reported two weeks ago, it still appears that tight end David Njoku is headed to the NFL draft. Multiple people close to the program say that Njoku has given nearly every indication that the Russell Athletic Bowl will be his final as a Hurricane.

Mark and Jon Richt have also already had multiple meetings with Brad Kaaya and his support system that will be helping him make his decision on whether to stay for his senior season, or declare for the NFL draft. My personal opinion, and I stress "opinion" because this is not something set in stone, but I believe Kaaya is also leaning towards foregoing is final season to enter the draft. I would expect for him to have a decision made prior to the bowl game and then look for a final announcement shortly thereafter.

Comments (284)

Saban is going to drop his biggest bag yet during Jeudy's in home. That'll probably solidify his Bama commitment
Thanks Pete, let's just hope for the best at this point
Tough news re: Brad and David, but trending way way way up with Jeudy. Let's hope Napier/Satan/Cristonoballs or whoever else is coming down from Bama gets explosive diarrhea and unwillingly defecates their pants mid visit to the Jeudy household so they are never allowed back and the savior Pastor Richt can come in and deliver the promised one to Coral Gables
Good luck to Kaaya going anytime before the 4th Rd. Pete, where does Miami stand with Mckitty with the potential of Njokubleaving?
Can't blame Njoku for leaving. Kaaya would be making a huge mistake leaving early. Chance next year to solidify legacy and make a lot more money. But whatever. Kids gotta make the best decisions for themselves.
Been said a billion times these past few days, but shout out to Boss Tweed.
Feels great to have a shot with Jeudy. Wonder if BK potentially leaving would have any impact on his decision? I hope the Canes can get Jeudy to a few bowl practices, if permitted, showing BK and Allison slinging it around. Maybe Perry and Jeudy could throw the ball around some at said practice . . . if Perry visits as well!!
Incredible details in Jeudy this so why we come here and maybe I'm alone but I think Kaaya stays
Shireffs or Allison next season?

Njoku is a beast, but we good at TE w Herndon, Irvin, and maybe even Haskins.
Tough news re: Brad and David, but trending way way way up with Jeudy. Let's hope Napier/Satan/Cristonoballs or whoever else is coming down from Bama gets explosive diarrhea and unwillingly defecates their pants mid visit to the Jeudy household so they are never allowed back and the savior Pastor Richt can come in and deliver the promised one to Coral Gables
Great job as always Pete. Keep up the Great work !!!
Sucks about Brad and Njoku but the other news is amazing.