January 25, 2007

First of two big visit weekends for Miami

[rl]Looking to finish out his first recruiting class, new Miami head coach Randy Shannon will play host during two big recruiting weekends before Signing Day. The first of these weekends begins Friday when the Hurricanes will have six official visitors - led by Rivals100 safety Major Wright.



The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder out of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Saint Thomas Aquinas is the highest-ranked recruit on campus this weekend (No. 43 in the nation). The visit will be an important one for Miami because they will get the last crack at the four-star prospect before he decides. If Miami wants to get back into the race for Wright, it will need to pull out all the stops. Expect Shannon and his new staff to do just that. The Hurricanes are currently trailing Wright's leaders - Ohio State and Florida.



The Hurricanes do have one secret weapon in their corner to help them land a commitment from Wright. A Saint Thomas Aquinas teammate, wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, has already committed to the Hurricanes. Hankerson will be taking the official with Wright this weekend. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Hankerson will likely work hard to recruit Wright to join him at Miami. That could be important when everything is all said and done.



Belle Glade (Fla.) Glades Central wide receiver Deonte Thompson will also be on campus. Thompson was originally scheduled to visit the weekend of Feb. 2, but he apparently wants to announce his decision next week. Miami smartly pushed his visit up to help accommodate his wishes. Thompson currently favors Southern Cal and Florida, but he has always been a fan of the Miami program and this there's a real chance that the Hurricanes can turn him.









Miami visitors

Lee Chambers, RB, Coffeeville, Miss.

Leonard Hankerson, WR, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Marquis Maze, ATH, Birmingham, Ala.

Jabaal Sheard, DE, Hollywood, Fla.

Christian Tupou, DE, Sacramento, Calif.

Major Wright, S, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.





One other receiver making the trip to South Beach this weekend is 5-foot-9, 165-pound, Marquis Maze. The Birmingham (Ala.) Tarrant receiver is taking his final official visit this weekend to Miami. He is down to the Hurricanes, Alabama and Tennessee, and a good visit could be enough to pull out a pledge from the three-star prospect. Originally, Maze committed to Michigan before re-opening his recruitment.



Staying on the offensive side of the ball, Mississippi State soft commitment Lee Chambers will be taking his final official visit of the season to Miami this weekend. The 6-foot, 193-pound running back from Coffeeville, Miss., committed to the Bulldogs in June before opening up things in late fall. The three-star prospect maintains he's still committed to Mississippi State - especially after a good visit to the school last weekend. However, Chambers is taking the visit to South Beach and a good trip could make him reconsider things once more.



In addition to players with offers, two defensive ends without scholarships will be taking officials to Miami. One of the two players is Hollywood (Fla.) Hollywood Hills end Jabaal Sheard. The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder currently has the Hurricanes in his top three with Pittsburgh and Rutgers, although if Miami offers it could result in a commitment.



The other player making the trip to Miami is Sacramento (Calif.) Grant three-star lineman Christian Tupou. The 6-foot-3, 260-pounder will be taking his fifth and final official visit this weekend after trips to Arizona, Brigham Young, California and Nebraska. Tupou is new on the Hurricanes board - they have only been recruiting him the last couple weeks. If Shannon and his staff hand out an offer, a commitment from the California lineman wouldn't be a surprise.



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