SAN ANTONIO — Miami has 247 Sports No. 4 in the recruiting class and three of the Sunshine State program’s draftees entered the All-American Bowl on Monday, excited about their future in Coral Gables at linebacker Top247 Malik BryantTop247 running back Marc Flecher and Top247 receiver Nathanael Joseph.
They will then be joined in Alamo City by a five-star offensive tackle Samson Okunlola and edge trim Top247 Jayden Wayne as these five begin to prepare for the All-American Bowl which will be played on January 7 (on NBC at 1 p.m. EST).
“I feel like this class can take Miami to where they’ve been the last few seasons,” Bryant said. Orlando (Florida) star Jones picked the Hurricanes over Florida over several others in July. “I think this recruiting class can accomplish a lot. With our heads down, we can accomplish a lot in Miami.
Out of Miami (Fla.) Edison, Joseph was one of the first big recruiting wins for Mario Cristobal and the freshman staff of the 2023 cycle, returning his verbal from Clemson in June.
“I love the coaching staff,” Joseph said. “Culture. Just be there. It was always where I wanted to be. I love everything about it. Can put for my hometown. When Coach Cristobal arrived and took over, it really changed everything. He made me a priority when he landed there. I just wanted to stay home and play for my hometown. When he arrived he did an amazing job recruiting me and getting a lot of guys to stay home.
“Having a class of top five scouts and bringing in all these new faces and guys that we need to be successful and win, that’s great for me,” Joseph continued. “We are coming to take over. We want to run college football. We are going to work a lot and I am happy to work with these guys.
From Fort Lauderdale (Florida) American Heritage, Fletcher chose Miami over Florida at the end of the cycle, because Miami closed the early signing period in December with as much momentum as any program in the country.
“I just see how many rookies really want to bring Miami back,” Fletcher said. He was also at one time a verbal at Ohio State. “This class of 2023, everyone seems to be taking it seriously and I look forward to working with them.
“I love that we’re the underdogs right now. Nobody expects us to do anything. We are kids off the radar. All we can do is build and I want to be part of a building program. Especially Miami.
Cristobal’s approach to the recruiting track had a lot to do with Miami holding Florida back for Bryant and Fletcher.
“I feel like he’s putting together the dream team when it comes to this recruiting class,” Bryant said. “As far as the people within the program that you will deal with on a day-to-day basis, they are really genuine. Coach Cristobal recruited me from Oregon when he was head coach there and keeping that genuine connection, he was the same with me and my family throughout the process.
“The first day Coach Cristobal came into the office, I think he’s been texting me every day since he arrived,” Fletcher said. “Seeing how much of a priority I am has really taken over.”
Now these three and their future teammates want to bring Miami back to the top.
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