Miami head football coach Mark Richt continues to dazzle on the recruiting trail and he secured another gem on Sunday when class of 2018 4-star cornerback Al Blades Jr. offered his verbal commitment to play for the Hurricanes.
On an emotional Father’s Day for recruits across the country, Blades Jr. paid tribute to his late father, Al, on Twitter by wishing him a Happy Father’s Day and re-committing to the Hurricanes.
— ⚜Al Blades⚜ (@AlBlades_Jr) June 19, 2017
Blades Sr. prematurely died in a car crash in 2003 after an illustrious career with the Hurricanes that ultimately led to an NFL career. Blades Jr. was only 3 when Blades Sr. died.
Blades Jr., who decommitted from Miami after Al Golden was fired, is back where he belongs. The Blades name is synonymous with “The U” and Blades Jr. will not only follow his father’s footsteps, but also those of his uncles Bennie and Brian.
Blades Jr. bypassed offers from the likes of Alabama, Michigan, Penn State, LSU, Tennessee and Florida State to recommit to the Hurricanes.
Miami is home, and from all accounts this commitment was one that shocked few.
It’s just a natural, perfect fit for both parties.
Blades spoke with Andrew Ivins of InsideTheU.com on why he reaffirmed his commitment to the Hurricanes:
“Miami doesn’t have to be sold, it speaks for itself,” Blades Jr. told InsideTheU. “Ever since (Mark Richt) came on board I have talking a lot with (cornerbacks coach Mike Rumph) and (safties coach Ephraim Banda). They just kept saying that they want me bad and that they want me to be a part of the family.”
Blades Jr. is more than just a legacy commit — he’s an high-impact recruit.
The 6-foot, 170-pound cornerback from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas High School) is universally rated as a 4-star recruit and 247 Sports rates him as such. The site ranks him as the No. 77 overall prospect in the 2018 class and the 12th-best cornerback in the country. Also, 247 Sports regards Blades as the 16th-best football player in Florida.
Blades, like his father and his uncle Bennie, does a tremendous job of tracking the football while coming up with lots of interceptions. He is quick, strong and always active, and he covers so much ground on the field.
He is versatile enough to also thrive at playing safety.
Richt’s 2018 recruiting haul is only second to Ohio State on 247 Sports’ recruiting rankings and the two programs have been waged in a tug of war for the top-spot claim. With Blades, Richt has 18 commits lined up to be future Hurricanes.
Miami is building quite a future secondary with this class. Blades will team with fellow 4-star cornerbacks Josh Jobe and Gilbert Frierson, as well as 4-star safety Gurvan Hall to form a future fearsome unit.
Just like his father before him, Blades Jr. figures to play an integral role in the Hurricanes’ defense. Don’t be surprised if Blades Jr. replicates his father’s awesome achievements.