Miami recruiting mailbag: Assessing Hurricanes’ options at running back

Arguably the most important Miami recruiting weekend of the spring is fast approaching. The Hurricanes will host dozens of elite Class of 2019 prospects at the Greentree Practice Fields for an elite junior day event Saturday. Big-name commitments could occur and even if not the Hurricanes will have a chance to establish their position with some of the nation’s bests.

One of those key positions could be running back. Although not a major need for Miami this cycle, the Hurricanes have a wealth of elite options to follow up a tremendous haul in the Class of 2018. At least a handful of top targets at the position should be on campus Saturday, so let’s take a look at where things stand in today’s mailbag. As always, you can either email your questions to davidbwilson22@gmail.com or hit me up on Twitter at @DBWilson2. I also host a weekly Facebook Live chat every Tuesday, when I’ll answer questions in real-time.

Let’s get to the mailbag:

There’s a long way to go in the recruitment of Trey Sanders. With nine months until he signs in December, though, Miami is better positioned than anyone. The 5-star running back visited twice in the past six weeks and has an excellent relationship with running backs coach Thomas Brown. If he were to sign today, Sanders’ choice would be the Hurricanes.

Sanders typically plays his recruitment close to the vest, so it’s tough to get a read of who might be Miami’s biggest challenger. He visited Florida this weekend and his mother is high on the Gators, but Florida isn’t a major threat yet. We’ll see if he visits a few more times now that his brother is a walk-on in Gainesville, Fla.

Some have speculated Florida State could be a top choice because the rising senior from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., is originally from Port St. Joe, Fla. Sanders doesn’t know the new staff well enough yet, though. Alabama is tough to count out, although players rarely de-commit from a school then wind up signing there later. Texas would like to insert itself into the mix after offering the halfback in December.

Georgia, however, is a safe bet to wind up as the Hurricanes’ toughest challenger. Coach Kirby Smart was a reason Sanders committed to the Crimson Tide in the first place — Smart was previously Alabama’s defensive coordinator — and the Bulldogs have proven capable of landing elite 5-star prospects no matter where they’re from. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound tailback will almost certainly make his way to Athens, Ga., soon, at which point I expect Georgia will become a major suitor.

Mark-Antony Richards should be in attendance Saturday, although I wouldn’t bank on a commitment from the 4-star athlete anytime soon.

Richards, at least for now, is set on becoming an offensive player at the next level. A running back for Wellington (Fla.) High School, Richards might have higher upside as a free safety, which is where the Hurricanes have primarily recruited him. He’s spent most of the offseason working out on offense, though, earning running back MVP at a Rivals 3 Stripe Camp stop in Miami and working as a wide receiver at The Opening Miami regional. Schools like Florida, Georgia, Auburn and Oregon have consistently been more open to letting Richards play offense like older brother Ahmmon Richards.

Still, the Hurricanes would be crazy to let positional vision be a reason for a legacy, who the 247Sports composite rankings consider a top-50 national recruit, slip away. The visit Saturday is a chance for Miami to reestablish itself as the front-runner for the 6-1, 195-pound rising senior.

The post Miami recruiting mailbag: Assessing Hurricanes’ options at running back appeared first on Diehards.

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