Is 4.46 really true, bc some people claimed that he runs a 4.6-4.7, not that I really care bc he is a dog, just wondering.2020 South Dade (FL) 3-star CB Jaiden Francois committed to the Canes last Sunday night after his junior day visit to Miami.
The 6-0, 185-pounder is currently a consensus 3-star in the national rankings. According to the 247Composite, Francois is the #376 player nationally, the #29 CB in the country, and the #60 player in the Sunshine state. His commitment moves Miami’s 2020 class ranking to #3 on 247Sports and #3 on Rivals.
This is Francois’ second Miami commitment before the end of his junior year of high school. Francois committed to Miami back in July just before Paradise Camp, in a blitzkrieg moment that saw Francois and two of his teammates (Keshawn Washington and Jonathan Denis) commit to Miami back-to-back-to-back within hours of each other. At the time, Francois said that playing for the Canes was a lifelong dream, and that he didn’t need to see other schools.
At the beginning of his junior year, UM was really the only big program on Francois, but that changed after a 2018 season that saw him lead Dade County in interceptions with 12 and develop into a true lockdown corner. Schools like Auburn, FSU, UGA, Ohio State, and Penn State then got involved and really blew up Francois’ recruitment, making him reconsider if he committed too early; from then, it was obvious UM would have a fight on their hands. Manny Diaz departure for Temple and seemed to give him the excuse he needed to open things up and he decommitted from Miami the same day back in December; however, Diaz’s return as head coach made him reconsider and Francois came back into the fold at junior day last week.
Francois is somebody Miami identified early on as a player they’d love to add to Category20 and for good reason: Francois shows on tape that he has a nose for the football and displays an impeccable football IQ. He is comfortable oscillating back and forth from the box to playing deep and would make a great lockdown corner or a ballhawking safety at the next level. Francois was timed this summer at 4.46 seconds in the 40 as well.
Watching Francois up close at Paradise Camp this past year made me an even bigger fan of his game. Francois was the best DB at the event and showed off some positional versatility by working at boundary corner after previously mostly playing safety and nickel at South Dade. What impressed me the most is that, up until then, Francois was best known for his work inside the box and making plays at the line, but showed at camp he can run and cover with just about any receiver on the outside. Francois had multiple interceptions as well, demonstrating the great ball skills that would carry over into his junior season and help him lead Dade in INT’s. He can really do it all and he’s a future star for the Canes.
Francois is the 9th commit overall in Category20 and first corner in the class. It is almost a certainty that Miami takes two corners this cycle, but three would not be out of the question, especially if there are transfers or guys moved to other positions.
Like Francois, Miami Central 4-star Henry Gray is also a former UM commit that decommitted after Manny Diaz left for Temple. As one of the top corners both locally and in the nation, UM has stayed on him and got Gray on campus for junior day. However, Gray is going to be a much tougher battle to get back into the fold than Francois, and has made no secret of his interest in Clemson and Ohio State.
Trinity Christian 5-star Fred Davis is a prospect that favored Miami early and always talked highly of the Canes. Some even thought he could join Francois on the commit list and pledge to UM early on. Davis came down to a Miami game this year as well. However, as of late, he has opened up the process much more, and has started looking at other schools such as Alabama, UF, Ohio State, and UGA. Davis is being recruited as a true blue-chipper right now, and the Canes will have to go toe-to-toe with some of the best programs in the nation to land him.
Cocoa 4-star ATH Caziah Holmes is also being considered for cornerback by the staff, but could also play running back and is electric with the ball in his hands. Holmes has not been shy naming the Hurricanes as his early leader, and like Davis, also visited UM for a home game this season. UM is in a very good spot right now for Holmes and many have predicted him to end up in UM’s class, but with Signing Day for the 2020 class a year away, a lot can change from now until then.
Recent local offers include Miami Central 3-star Jalen Harrell and Chaminade-Madonna 3-star Deidrick Stanley. Both are saying all the right things to make Miami think they are in very good spots for both right now and the pair attended Junior Day last week as well. Harrell in particular is one to watch out for that could really rise in the rankings in the coming year and become one of the top CB’s in the country.
Outside of South Florida, UM recently offered names like Saguaro (AZ) 5-star Kelee Ringo and Sandalwood (FL) 3-star Jahquez Robinson, who have both shown at least some initial interest in taking visits to UM. It’s too early to say just where Miami sits with either, though.
This off-season, Miami loses corners Michael Jackson and Jhavonte Dean to graduation. The Canes won’t lose anyone to graduation in the 2019 off-season, so by 2020, it is likely a senior Trajan Bandy is in his third year starting at one corner spot. By that time, we’ll likely know if Al Blades Jr. and/or Gilbert Frierson has stuck at corner, and can assume one of them or DJ Ivey is also starting. Behind them, Francois will compete with Nigel Bethel, Christian Williams, and Te’Cory Couch for a spot in the CB rotation as a true freshman, with the hopes he can develop into a starting level player by his sophomore season in 2021. If he stays on track in his development, Francois can be an All-ACC level player or better by the time he leaves UM.