Miami Columbus running back Daryl Chestnut would love to play for hometown Miami, all the 'Canes need to do is hand him an offer. (COURTESY MIAMI HERALD / November 8, 2012)
It can be assumed with great probability that the University of Miami football coaching staff was ready for Alex Collins' news that he was decommitting from his UM pledge on Wednesday.
So Hurricanes coaches were likely already preparing to get the ball rolling on whatever running back they see fit to take the place of Collins, the top running back in Broward County last season.
One player Miami knows it can reel in quickly is 5-foot-9, 190-pound Miami Columbus runner Daryl Chestnut, another one of the top running backs in South Florida. Chestnut, however, has laid his cards on the table, saying he would commit on the spot should the hometown 'Canes come through with an offer.
Knowing that Chestnut will likely wait out an offer, UM might be afforded a bit of wiggle room in its ability to shop around. Of the uncommitted players the Hurricanes are known to have offered, one big fish still looms in Richmond (Va.) Hermitage's 6-0, 220-pound back Derrick Green, the No. 1 back in the nation according to Rivals.com.
Green, who is more the size of what UM is eyeing, is visiting Auburn this weekend and will have one other visit left following a trip to Oregon in two weeks.
Miami, given the latest news, might be able to sneak in on the Green sweepstakes, but it would be a tough battle. Green has already visited Michigan and Tennessee, and most signs point to the Wolverines holding the key to his future. Green has already said his last visit will either be to Virginia Tech or Ole Miss, but that could change if Miami comes in hard.
Also out there for the 'Canes are Orlando Boone's A.J. Turman (6-0, 205) and another Virginia back in Tony Pittman (5-11, 200) of Hampton Phoebus. Turman has not expressed interest in the 'Canes, but that could change with Collins' decommitting. And if Collins decides to choose FSU, as most expect him to do, that could also turn Turman toward UM, since the Seminoles are currently in the top three for Turman, along with Georgia and Tennessee.
Miami does have a commitment from Lake Mary Prep RB Ray Lewis III (5-10, 192), but Lewis, the son of Baltimore Ravens and former UM linebacker Ray Lewis Jr., could be a defensive back at UM.
Another player the 'Canes have offered is T.J. Johnson of Cape Coral Island Coast, but his size (5-7, 153) would put him in more of a slot role if he chose to sign with UM.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.