2019 Miami Palmetto S Cornelius Nunn committed to the Canes late last night after spending the day on campus at UM with his mother.
The 6-0, 170-pounder is currently a 3-star in the national rankings. According to the 247Sports Composite, Nunn is the #499 player nationally, #47 S in the country, and the #63 player in the Sunshine State. His commitment makes Surge19 the #19 overall class in the team rankings on both 247Sports and Rivals.
Nunn’s recruitment has been a bit of a whirlwind. He originally received his Miami offer back in March on Junior Day and Nunn wanted to commit on the spot. Unfortunately, UM was not ready to take his commitment at the time and were waiting on some other names that were higher on their board at DB. A similar situation happened with Auburn as well, but the third time was the charm, as Nunn went ahead and gave a commitment to Syracuse in June and they accepted.
Instead of sulking though, Nunn went out and proved on the field why he should be a take at a high Power 5 program with a huge off-season that carried over into his senior year at Palmetto. The 6’0” 170 pounder got Nick Saban’s attention by running a 4.40 timed 40 at an Alabama camp over the summer, landing an offer from the Crimson Tide on the spot. Nunn followed that up by showing out at both CB and S at Paradise Camp in July, and he was easily one of the top overall players in a loaded field of participants. From then on, he was a no doubt take for UM and has also been one of the best players in Dade County so far in the 2018 season, dominating the competition at both receiver and DB. He's also made a slow climb up in the rankings in the most recent updates.
As a prospect, Nunn flies all over the field, showing great range and recovery speed. It’s Nunn’s length that really sets him apart though, as he’s just able to get to so many more passes and tip away close calls. Receivers find it very difficult to separate from him and it seems Nunn’s only improving every time I see him. He shows great acceleration to close out crossing routes over the middle and disrupt passing lanes.
He’s also proven to be dynamic as a receiver this season at Palmetto and is simply playing on another level as an athletic specimen. Playing receiver has only helped to improve Nunn’s ball skills as a defensive back and he can snare the ball at the highest point thanks to well-timed leaps. Even though he’s listed as a safety, with his versatility, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him playing all around the defensive backfield at Miami, and UM has even been talking to him about striker as well. Nunn plays with passion and is a true “football player” in every sense.
Nunn's commitment brings the total class numbers to 18, and he is the Canes' second take at safety, joining Chaminade-Madonna 4-star Keontra Smith. The Canes need to up their raw numbers at the position in this class with both starters due to graduate and only three returning players; as such the preferred number would be to take three if it’s an elite guy, but the Canes would also be fine with the two they have if no such player wants in.
For the potential final spot in the class at safety, UM has focused in on two elite local talents. Miami Southridge 4-star Tyrique Stevenson has been at the top of Miami’s wish-list for practically the entire cycle. Just like over the spring and fall, the 4-star DB has continued to visit Miami heavily throughout the season (most recently for the FSU game) and the Canes have held steady in Stevenson’s mind. Despite all that, Stevenson was considered a UGA lean up until two weeks ago, but a source close to the recruitment says UGA has backslid with the talented prospect recently. Miami hasn’t been in a better spot in this recruitment for quite some time, and they’re making an all-out push to get him to go with his heart and stay home. Also, watch out for a program like the Crimson Tide to become more involved, as Bama has been hanging around the fringes of this recruitment for a while now.
After ignoring him for most of the cycle, Miami started really pushing hard on St. Thomas Aquinas 4-star Jordan Battle and he took an official visit to UM in June, only for him to commit to Ohio State shortly afterwards. When the scandal at Ohio State happened just before the season, Miami had some momentum here, and especially with people close to Battle. However, last month, OSU retained Urban Meyer, and that’s really all that Battle wanted to hear from the beginning. UM’s momentum died out a lot in the past few weeks and it’s looking like he’ll stick with OSU as of now, but Miami (along with Oklahoma) will continue to push here and hope they can sway him. An encouraging sign was that Battle did visit for Miami-FSU 2 weeks back.
Pine Forest 3-star Martin Emerson has been the only 2019 prospect to earn an offer during the season, so he’s in a bit of a unique situation. Outside linebackers coach Jon Patke also went up to Pensacola to visit the Mississippi State commit last month and evaluate him during a live game. It’s still too early in this relationship to say how strong the interest is on either side, because even if Miami misses on Stevenson and Battle, I’m not sure if Emerson is a take for this class.
Wellington 4-star ATH Mark-Antony Richards could end up at safety as well, but lately Miami has been pursuing him as a running back.
While that has the potential to be a more than solid top 3, there is absolutely nothing behind them. Nunn and his classmate Smith will have to come in ready to play, because the Hurricanes will hope to get a few quality reps from their fourth safety, and Nunn could even see time in third down nickel/dime packages in his freshman season. Nunn will use these backup reps to become comfortable in college and when Carter leaves after the 2020 season, Nunn will be counted on to provide starter-level contributions.
FYI Rivals has him and Crowley as two Florida prospects on the rise, both will most likely be getting a fourth star in their next rankings.
Nunn has taken over more than one game this season and his versatility and speed are becoming impossible to deny. The three-star prospect had a solid offseason and his carrying that momentum into his senior year.
A one-time Syracuse commit, the dynamic athlete recently backed away from his pledge and is thought to be leaning toward Miami, though nothing on that front is official. Nunn plays both ways on the high school level but his college future is likely at defensive back.
Like we said way back when, let battle roll out and take nunn, who is a True Cane at heart. Db's in Miami/South Florida and across the nation know they are in Great hands with coach rumph and coach banda. This is the guy i always wanted in this class, while battle is a balla he's not a True Cane at heart, nunn is and those are the type of players that belong here.
Shout out to coach rumph, the silent assasin putting in great work.
Looks like Miami is making sure they don’t lose this kid to auburn. Smart move by Richt and Brown. Got Nunn and Smith committed and hopefully can land Stevenson somehow. This will allow us to put MAR on offense where he really wants to be to start.