Recruiting: OT Navaughn Donaldson reaffirms Miami Hurricanes commitment; Jhavonte Dean update

Navaughn Donaldson, who once lifted up Mark Richt at a Georgia camp, is now one of Miami's top recruits. (AJC)

Navaughn Donaldson, who once lifted up Mark Richt at a Georgia camp, is now one of Miami’s top recruits. (AJC)

[Recruiting: Miami lands a safety commit]

[NFL Draft: Opinions mixed on Kaaya, Njoku; UM stock report]

[Seven Hurricanes and counting to play in all-star games]

We’re at the point of the recruiting season where this kind of stuff matters.

Florida State and Florida were after him, and he visited those programs and others, but Navaughn Donaldson wanted to make it clear: he’s coming to Miami.

Donaldson

Donaldson

Donaldson, who gave a verbal commitment to UM in July 2015, said on Twitter he was “closing up” recruiting and is “officially 100% Miami Hurricane.”

Donaldson took official visits to Florida, Mississippi State, FSU and North Carolina before touring UM last weekend. Miami sent a busload of coaches to Donaldson’s house after its team banquet Sunday night.

With good reason. Donaldson is a standout player at a position of great need for the Hurricanes, who have struggled up front of late.

A four-star recruit from Miami Central High, he is rated the eighth-best offensive tackle in the country — and 44th-best player regardless of position — by Rivals and 11th among tackles by 247Sports. ESPN rates him as the fifth-best guard. He will play in the Under Armour All-America Game in January.

The Hurricanes, who lose right guard Danny Isidora and backup center Alex Gall to graduation, believe Donaldson (6-foot-5, 335 pounds) could make an immediate impact somewhere along the line. They are hoping he and LSU transfer George Brown (a 6-7, 283-pound tackle) can challenge for playing time in the spring. Brown will be eligible after sitting out last season, and Donaldson plans to enroll in January.

UM also counts commitments from three-star tackles Zalon’tae Hillery (6-6, 280) and Zach Dykstra (6-6, 290) and three-star center Corey Gaynor (6-4, 280).

The Hurricanes’ 2017 recruiting class is rated 12th nationally by 247Sports (which updates its rankings as commitments happen).

* According to 247Sports, junior college cornerback Jhavonte Dean will make his college choice after visiting UM on Jan. 13. Dean (6-2, 180), who plays at Blinn College (Brenham, Texas), hails from Homestead and graduated from South Dade High. He signed with Cincinnati in 2015. He has verbally committed to Alabama.

 

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