CORAL GABLES — It would be difficult to call Mark Richt‘s inaugural Paradise Camp anything other than an unmitigated success.
Richt, whose annual summer camps at Georgia were well received, began in the spring laying the groundwork for a Miami version of ‘Dawg Night’ in the spring, all the while he was telling people how happy he was to live in “paradise.” A recruit’s mother suggested he call his new venture that: ‘Paradise.’ The end result, which ran Friday and Saturday at UM, had everything Richt envisioned.
Even a short lightning delay didn’t throw the proceedings off course.
“I love the way coach Richt planned the whole thing,” said cornerback Al Blades Jr., a junior from Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas. “He was ready for everything.”
Miami estimated 500 players, high school coaches and Hurricanes past and present attended. The atmosphere was competitive, with most of the Hurricanes’ 2017 and 2018 commits going at it with uncommitted standouts like receivers Jerry Jeudy and Devonta Smith and Alabama commit Alex Leatherwood. A slew of highly engaged former players served as guest coaches, and Michael Irvin and Ray Lewis opened and closed the camp, respectively, with speeches (Lewis in particular left everyone talking). Richt stole the show at a Friday night on-campus pool party with a backflip off the high-dive.
“It’s always good every time I’m down here,” Miami commit N’Kosi Perry, a quarterback from Ocala-Vanguard High, said after the camp ended Saturday. “Today was probably the best day.”
Check out a few scenes from Saturday’s event, and see below for the full roundup of all stories and videos:
Watch: Ray Lewis’ passionate speech to recruits
Richt wows with pool party plunge | Staff joins him
Irvin: Richt ‘running towards history,’ not from it
Richt on Cager injury, Walton, Mullins/Wright
Highlight video, interview: QB commit N’Kosi Perry
Which UM greats were guest coaches?
Canes will always be ‘family’ to Al Blades Jr.
Family: Richt happiest he’s been in 20 years
Video: OL, DL nearly come to blows
OL commit Navaughn Donaldson locked into UM
New commits: DB Edwards | OL Hillery | DB Dent
Meet the Canes’ unofficial recruiting ambassador
Richt recruiting his nephew, 2020 QB prospect
UM focusing on Orlando for stadium backup plan