Shalala Student Center ahead of drills on the university’s intramural fields.
“After [prospects] get over the fact that they’re like, ‘Wow, this guy’s really in front of me,’ they realize there’s a brotherhood between the guys now and the ones that played even 25 years ago.”
Some of the legends coached on the field, along with current UM players and coaches, guiding high school players through various drills. Some of those prospects who haven’t been offered by Miami were competing to prove themselves worthy of one.
The event allows Miami to make a lasting impression on recruits it already knows are top targets, evaluate players they may recruit more actively in the future and allow them all to see why those involved really feel UM is exactly what they say it is — Paradise.
“Just the name of the camp is indicative of how we feel, how I feel about this place,” Richt said. “It does look like a resort here. We do feel like we live down here in paradise.”
For Richt and his staff, it’s also an opportunity to pitch some of the projects the team has underway on campus: the indoor practice facility nearing readiness with the turf beginning to get laid out on Saturday, a $155 million dorm reconstruction and the recent stadium renovations among them.
“Things that were hurting us in the past have become positives for us,” Richt said.
Among committed players to attend, although mostly not participating in drills, were ChaminadeMadonna defensive backs Keontra Smith and Te’Cory Couch.
“It feels good spending some time out here, getting to be where I want to be for the next few years after this season passes,” Couch said.
Smith said he’s been working on convincing uncommitted Wellington athlete Mark-Antony Richards to join them in the 2019 recruiting class.
“I actually roomed with him at The Opening [a national Nike event]. We talk a lot about football and him committing to Miami,” Smith said. “Just give him some time.”
Richards, the younger brother of UM standout receiver Ahmmon Richards, was one of the top targets present. Five-star Georgiacommitted wide receiver Jadon Haselwood participated in drills, coming down to Coral Gables from Georgia. Four-star Lakeland tight end Keon Zipperer was in attendance. Palm Beach Central 2020 receiver Bryan Robinson and University School 2021 offensive lineman Marcus Tate were among a lengthy list of other elite prospects.
In the Friday portion of the camp, football staff, coaches and players held the pool party in which Richt took his signature back flip off a diving board. It has become as synonymous with the event as anything About 200 high school football recruits visited the University of Miami's campus in Coral Cables for the third annual Paradise Camp on Saturday, July 28, 2018.
Friday night netted the Hurricanes three commitments — all from South Dade High and all in the
2020 class. Offensive lineman Jonathan Denis, athlete Keshawn Washington and defensive back Jaiden Francois all pledged to UM.