Paradise Camp 2016: Navaughn Donaldson, Alex Leatherwood go hard in trenches

It gets rough in there, in case you didn’t know. If you needed more evidence of how hard offensive and defensive linemen fight — and it is a form of fighting — take a look at this clip.

The left guard is Marquis Hayes, a three-star prospect from Maryland Heights, Missouri. The defensive tackle with whom he nearly comes to blows is three-star George Ellis III, of Plantation-American Heritage. The left tackle, who shouts, “That dog bite!” on his way back to the line, is five-star Alabama commit Alex Leatherwoodfrom Pensacola-Washington High.

Leatherwood (6-6, 327) won his matchup with three-star Mississippi commit Bryan Jones (6-5, 240) in the second half of the clip. The All-American was one of the top overall players at the camp, along with Miami commit and right tackle Navaughn Donaldson (6-5, 340) of Miami Central.

After the camp, Leatherwood, the No. 3 offensive tackle in the 2017 class, told 247Sports that he would be back to UM for an official visit this fall. He also plans to visit Alabama, USC and Michigan.

[Hurricanes will always be like ‘family’ to Al Blades Jr.]

Donaldson, the highest-rated commit on UM’s board, will try to flip Leatherwood from Alabama. Though he was once so excited to get a Georgia offer that he hoisted Mark Richt off the ground, he told the Post he has no problem recruiting for the Hurricanes.

“I try to talk to anybody who’s interested,” said Donaldson, a four-star recruit and the No. 15 offensive tackle. “I talk to everybody. I’m not going to be in their ear about it, but I’m going to say a few words. If they listen, I’ll keep talking. If they don’t, oh well.”

Paradise Camp “did boost [Miami] up some,” he said. “Everything was well-planned and executed. It basically showed how everything is run here. Everything’s at a fast pace, up-tempo.”

Like many other recruits, Donaldson thought Ray Lewis’ speech was “amazing,” he said. “I really paid attention to it because he was one of my idols that I looked up to when I was young, being a Baltimore Ravens fan. To be able to see him in person, that’s one of the advantages of being a Hurricane.”

However, Donaldson said he doesn’t model his game after any particular player.

“I have my own style,” he said. “I adjust to whatever [defensive] end is in the game. If I go against somebody that’s fast, I’ll adjust accordingly. If I go against somebody that’s strong, I’ll adjust to it.”

(Major thanks to Steve Gorten, who interviewed Donaldson and several other recruits for the Post on Saturday.) 

PARADISE CAMP 2016

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OL commit Navaughn Donaldson locked into UM
New commits: DB Edwards | OL Hillery | DB Dent
Meet the Canes’ unofficial recruiting ambassador
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Offensive lineman Marquis Hayes and defensive lineman George Ellis III nearly come to blows at Miami's Paradise Camp. (Matt Porter)

Offensive lineman Marquis Hayes and defensive lineman George Ellis III nearly come to blows at Miami’s Paradise Camp. (Matt Porter)

 

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