On Saturday night in Coral Gables, the Hurricanes held yet another successful Paradise Camp on campus. No need to spend much time on the intro, because the CIS Staff was there and we all had different perspectives on what went down. With plenty to share, we present the Post-Paradise Roundtable.
Q1: "They are who we thought they were." Which prospect only further reinforced the idea that he is the baller you've known him to be?
Stefan Adams: Jeremiah Payton proved yet again why he’s considered a top 100 prospect in the country. While the stakes weren’t as high as the Opening, the performance was the same. He can beat you in so many different ways and he’s more than just an athlete. You can tell he’s an advanced route runner at this stage and Payton is one that works to be great. The fact that he played when so many other top guys sat out says a lot about his competitive nature and drive to dominate.
Cory Grimes: One of the most underrated players in the entire 2019 class, Marcus Crowley, seemed to be head and shoulders above the rest of the backs at Paradise Camp. A strong and decisive runner, who plays behind his pads, Crowley is a complete back. I’ve loved this kid’s game from the get go. In my first time seeing him up close and personal, I like it even more. In 1-on-1’s, his impressive route running was leaving linebackers in the dust, and he looked excellent catching the ball. Crowley will be a great addition to an already plentiful backfield in 2019.
Matthew Suero: Jadon Haselwood did not play the entire time, but he made the most of the reps he had. The number one receiver in the country definitely lived up to his ranking. Even though he did not have anyone covering him, you could just watch the way Haselwood moved and tell he was a beast. Creating separation from defensive backs is extremely easy for him.
Erick Marrero: I have two players here: 2021 Miami OG commit Laurence Seymore and 2021 Miami DE commit Donell Harris. Seymore showed everyone what he could do, including head coach Mark Richt, who couldn’t believe how dominant Seymore was at Paradise Camp despite being only a freshman. Seymore only lost one rep at the event and showed everyone why he will be one of the top players in 2021. Donell Harris also showed me he’s going to be one of the top players in 2021. Harris showed off his speed and athleticism in front of defensive line coach Jess Simpson. Harris easily beat 2020 Oakleaf top 50 OT Jalen Rivers and possibly a future five-star 2021 OT Marcus Tate in 1-on-1 at the camp. Harris also told me this year will be his last year playing basketball, so I expect Harris to get a lot better at his craft and you should expect to see him a lot stronger a year from now.
Geo: Jeremiah Payton. Strong performance from him and made multiple big plays on the night. Payton and Gray were having a friendly competition that night, where each got the better of each other on separate reps. Payton’s confidence just oozes; he will go out and compete with the best.
Q2: Stock Alert: Who most raised their profile at the event?
Adams: I’m going to stick with my prediction from the preview and say Jaiden Francois proved me right. Francois was the best DB at the event and even showed off some positional versatility by working at corner. What impressed me the most is that Francois is best known for his work inside the box and making plays at the line, but showed he can run and cover with just about anyone. Francois had multiple interceptions as well, demonstrating great ball skills. He can really do it all and he’s a future star for the Canes.
Grimes: The duo of South Dade DB’s and recent Miami commits, Keshawn Washington and Jaiden Francois, were standouts among the DB group on Saturday. Washington has a long, wiry 6’3” frame and showed he can cover some serious ground during his reps in 7-on-7. He showed his range on several deep balls as he stayed over the top and beat the receiver to the spot as he ran from the middle of the field to the sideline. Francois was sticky in coverage all night running stride for stride with every receiver he faced. He snagged a couple picks for good measure. Both these guys are somehow unranked, but that won’t last for long. The Miami coaching staff has known these two could play and the rest of the country will soon know.
Suero: Cornelius Nunn was one of the top performers at the camp. The 3-star defensive back played well above his rating making play after play in coverage. Nunn showed his range while playing safety, but also showed his versatility by being able to switch to cornerback. The current Syracuse commit gave Coach Banda a lot to think about, and some reports say a flip could be on the way. You have to wonder if his offer would be committable without such a strong Paradise performance.
Marrero: I cannot speak for any other position groups since I was strictly focused on OL vs DL, but 2019 Buford DT Jalar Holley had a very good camp at Miami, which ultimately forced the coaching staff to take his commitment. Holley showed off a couple of moves and his speed which plenty of fans were excited about. Another player that I believe raised their profile at the event was 2020 Gulliver Prep DT Westley Neal. Neal currently has offers from FSU and Michigan, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Miami continues to monitor him over the course of this upcoming football season. Neal won a majority of his reps and has incredible power.
Geo: This is a hard one because Harvey, Crowley and Nunn all made strong cases, but I will go with Jahfari Harvey here. The way he was getting around the edge during drills was very impressive. He won multiple reps against some of the top offensive linemen that showed up to the event. I would be shocked if he didn’t receive a 4th star by the end of the cycle. Crowley was the best RB at the event and Nunn was easily one of the four best DBs at the event.
Q3: Many top guys sat out at Paradise. Who were you expecting to see, but were disappointed that they did not compete?
Adams: I’ve seen a lot of these guys up close and in-person already, but one I hadn’t was Lloyd Summerall, and after seeing his potential on tape, I wanted to see if he could hold up in a live camp setting. Even though he didn’t perform (he was told not to by Coach Richt), he walked right by me at one point and let me tell you, he is every bit of his 6’5”-6’6” listed height. Summerall is a Gregory Rousseau clone and his length is unreal. Obviously he has to put on more weight for the next level, but he has the frame to do just that.
Grimes: With fall camp for high school only a couple days from Paradise Camp, I expected many of these guys to sit out of the competition, but there are a few I really wish I got the chance to see go for a spin on Saturday. A guy I coached as a freshman while he was at Gulf Coast High School, Dominic Mammarelli, is one that I would have loved to see compete. He’s dealing with an injury of sorts and preparing for the season, which is understandable. He’s incredibly raw and has endless potential. He was ranked the top TE in the class, but quite frankly, no one really knows just how good he can be. No one has really seen that much of him. He’s still learning the game, especially at TE. When he was with me as freshman, he was mostly utilized as a defensive end. It would have been nice to see what a year of experience under his belt did for him at the tight end position. I assure that he has been extremely well coached over at Naples High School, and I am intrigued to see what Mammarelli does in his junior campaign.
Suero: I did not know whether Braylen Ingraham was going to compete or not, but I really wanted to see him play. The 4-star defensive lineman also did not compete at the June 16th Miami camp. I wanted Braylen to work out, not because he has to prove something, but because I want Coach Simpson to be able to work with him. While I am confident that Ingraham will commit to Miami on October 23rd, I do know that he still really likes Coach Kuligowski. If Simpson was able to work with him, I think he would start to forget about Coach Kuligowski pretty quickly.
Marrero: I was disappointed to not see Lloyd Summerall and Keon Zipperer compete at Paradise, but after speaking to them after the event, they both told me Mark Richt personally told them not to compete because he has seen “enough” of both of them. So since they had a valid reason not to compete, I’m shifting my focus to the cornerback group. I was also very disappointed to see Te’Cory Couch not compete. People have told me they are skeptical on why Miami decided to take Couch as some schools have been dropping him on their boards, so why would he not show people he belonged in the class and compete against some of the top wide receivers in the nation? Did he want to feel like a star at the event because he was committed? And if that is the reason, then why did Miami’s highest-ranked commit Jeremiah Payton compete at the event and continue to show everyone why he’s easily one of the top 3 receivers in the state in 2019?
Geo: I really wanted to see Samuel Brooks Jr., Braylen Ingraham, Avery Huff, Keon Zipperer and Dominic Mamarelli compete. Especially Brooks and Mamarelli coming off of injuries. Those were a few of the guys I was looking forward to watch competing that night. Although they did not compete, it was still a great event overall.
Q4: A big story from camp was how deep and talented the 2020 class is beginning to look. Who was your favorite standout from 2020?
Adams: I already answered Francois in the “Stock Up” question, so I’m going to go with a different Miami commit here in Henry Gray. He got beat once all night that I saw, was running stride for stride with guys like Jeremiah Payton and Marcus Rosemy, made many pass break-ups, and grabbed a pick. The local class at DB, and many other positions, is loaded and the Canes have already taken full advantage in getting Francois, Gray, and Keshawn Washington on board.
Grimes: Overall, my top performer of the day was the 2020 WR from Columbus High, Xzavier Henderson. He was giving DB’s hell all night and made a home for himself in the end zone. He showed precise routes and the speed to beat guys over the top. The brother of Florida Gator cornerback CJ Henderson was oozing confidence all night. My favorite clip of the night is Henderson torching Henry Gray on a post route, catches the ball over his shoulder, and looks for the nearest camera guy to run to, which happened to be me and my iPhone. As a coach, I could tell immediately that this guy likes to compete. South Florida is looks to have an extremely talented bunch in 2020 and Henderson is no exception. I look forward to seeing more from him these next two years, and let’s hope he makes better life decisions than his brother and doesn’t end up in Gainesville.
Suero: My favorite 2020 player is and has been Marcus Rosemy. Rosemy had a good day Saturday and received some coaching from Coach Dugans, as well as Mike Harley, after almost all of his reps. While Rosemy did not light it up during 7-on-7, it was not because he wasn’t getting open. There were many plays where Rosemy had his man beat down the sideline and the QB did not even look his way. Eventually, Rosemy got frustrated and even asked why he was running. While he has no big highlights to show from his performance, the tape will show that he dominated most corners.
Marrero: There were so many good defensive and offensive line players in the 2020 class at the camp, but I was impressed with Wesley Neal and Jalen Rivers. Neal is underrated right now, but I really expect his stock to rise after his performance at Paradise Camp. Rivers has always impressed me since I saw him at last year’s Paradise Camp. Rivers was beat a couple of times by Donell Harris and that is fine; he handled most everyone else. Rivers is going to be a name to watch for Miami fans next cycle as I believe he will be Miami’s top offensive tackle target.
Geo: This one is very close between Henry Gray, Jaiden Francois, Keshawn Washington, Jalen Rivers and Marcus Rosemy. I am going to give the nod here to Jaiden Francois. He had an almost perfect event in coverage. He is a quick and twitchy athlete with good size. I just keep recalling in my mind how much I kept praising him during the event. Keshawn showed he has incredible range and proved he can play safety on the next level. Henry Gray was almost neck and neck with Francois when it came down to the CB’s who competed on the night. Rosemy can make an argument for possibly being the best WR in the tri-county, regardless of class, at the moment. At the end of the night though, Jaiden Francois stole the show for me as the best 2020 performer.
Q5: What was your perspective on how the camp went, from the visitors, to the competition, to the atmosphere?
Adams: For me, I love that the fans come out and watch the camp. Along with the music blasting and the former legends hanging around, it really takes the atmosphere to the next level. It sucked that some of the potential celebrity coaches had issues getting certified, because seeing the kids get coached up by the legends was one of the best parts of the previous Paradise Camps. Still, guys like Warren Sapp that were able to coach were really getting into it and hyping the kids up after big plays. And even with many top guys sitting out, the level of competition was still very high. You can just feel things are different at Mark Richt’s Miami and the culture of “players coaching players” was on display at Paradise as well, with Shaq Quarterman and Mike Harley standouts in that department. Another successful event for UM and if you needed any more evidence to know if the kids were feeling it, six commitments says it all.
Grimes: I’ve been to countless camps as a player and as a coach, but now I got my first taste as a media member. For me, it was a personally exciting moment, and I was just soaking it all in. Overall, Paradise Camp had tremendous energy. Even with many top guys not participating, the competition level was exceptional. My favorite part of the camp was the current UM players and how they were interacting with the recruits. Guys like Shaq Quarterman were thoroughly guiding the young guys through drills. During individuals, Shaq would get with just about every LB and give them something to think about for their next rep. I spotted Will Mallory and Brevin Jordan actually running through the individual drills with the tight ends. By the way, Will Mallory looks like a grown man. He has filled out great since he was last seen in high school.
Another of my favorite moments was when I saw a couple exchanges with Jeremiah Payton and Nesta Silvera. Silvera kept giving Payton a tough time and the two were going back and forth talking smack for a while. All in jest of course. This is the kind of stuff you want to see. The current guys are fully bought into the program and are willing to do whatever it takes to get UM to the top. They are creating a brotherhood and home like atmosphere for these recruits. The coaches often get credit for landing the top recruits, but these current players play a role in it too.
Suero: Overall, you have to view this camp as a success. At the time I am writing this, we are sitting at six commits in one weekend and could have one more on the way. While the visitors list was not 100% ideal, it was pretty good for competing against every other school in the country. The wide receivers and defensive backs had some really good battles going on and everyone was really into it. The excitement from the coaches and the current players really helped the overall environment of the camp. There were also a whole lot of people watching from behind the fence, which could have put some extra juice into the players.
Marrero: It was a great camp, in my opinion. I really liked how engaged Warren Sapp was with the offensive line and defensive line. Sapp, the current coaches, and players were all hyping up the prospects after each rep. Miami continues to do a great job in bringing big-time talent on campus for big events.
Geo: It was honestly a great camp. Miami had a huge amount of blue-chippers on campus and potential future 4 and 5 stars in some underclassmen as well. The competition was fierce among the WR’s and DB’s and the OL/DL. Miami didn’t really get any big name arms down for the camp at QB and got a few key RBs in Crowley, Bowman, and Holmes to compete. The LB’s received coaching from current and former players and coaches. The TE group was thin on the night, but Cane Berrong from Georgia in the class of 2021 made some plays. The atmosphere was great; once the 1-on-1’s started, you could really see the kids getting into it and the competition kept elevating. Paradise Camp is just the premiere event in the state of Florida in regards to off-season camps, as I mentioned last week. Only a select group get to come out and compete.
I just don't get the coaches telling certain guys "You are good, no need to compete. Ive seen enough" but freakin' Jaden Hasselwood the #1 player at his position in the country is out there with his cleats on taking on all challengers. Payton too. Part of me is wondering if the a UM staffer told them this but not Richt.
And if this is going to be a camp where they just want commits and guys at the top of their big board to get together, hang out, take pics with UM Alumni and cart around campus then stop promoting it as a camp that pits the "best against the best" because that's damn sure why Hasselwood said he was coming in the first place in an article I read. I just don't want to camp to get watered down in only its 3rd year of existence. Kids like Couch, Munoz, Inghram, Brownlee, etc should have been out there competing especially once they saw Payton, Hasselwood and Big Baby Seymoure out there man-handling fools. JMO.