Things are going well for Mark Richt in Palm Beach County.
His home county has been a fertile ground for the Boca Raton High grad, who added another Palm Beach Post All-Area player of the year in his second recruiting class.
Lake Worth High defensive end Jonathan Garvin, whom we named defensive player of the year Thursday, will follow wide receiver Ahmmon Richards to Coral Gables.
Richards, from Wellington High, was our 2015 offensive player of the year. In his first year at UM, he broke Michael Irvin‘s 31-year-old program record for receiving yards by a freshman, and led all freshmen nationally in yards (934, with three touchdowns on 49 catches). He had Miami’s longest reception of the season, a 77-yard touchdown against Virginia, and led all freshmen in yards per catch (19.06).
And he had the proper attitude, too.
If Miami can get the same production from Garvin, Richt will be pleased. In a season that lasted just nine games — Hurricane Matthew wiped out one contest, and Lake Worth missed the playoffs — Garvin (6-4, 220) had 88 tackles and a school-record 25 sacks. He is considered a three-star recruit by most websites, which seems low.
The Hurricanes don’t care about his rating, just that he’s coming. He admits he was “kind of star struck” by the SEC schools that recruited him, but he’s all-in on Miami.
“That’s really where I wanted to go for the longest,” he said. “I remember when I was younger, after the game, I would throw up the ‘U’ … I’ve always been a fan.”
Also heading to Miami next week as an early enrollee: Palm Beach Gardens High safety Amari Carter, a first-team defensive selection. Carter recorded 41 tackles, five tackles for loss and two interceptions in his senior year.
Including Richards, Miami’s 2016 signees from Palm Beach performed exceptionally well as freshmen. Linebacker Zach McCloud (Santaluces High) started 12 of 13 games and made several outstanding plays, and running back Travis Homer (Oxbridge Academy) was named special teams newcomer of the year at the team’s awards banquet for his hard-hitting work on coverage teams.
UM has an early pledge from Pahokee cornerback Akeem Dent, who is considered among the top recruits nationally in the sophomore class.