Joseph Yearby, RB, Miami Central (SENTINEL STAFF PHOTO)
The James Coley effect appears to be in full operating mode at the University of Miami.
It's hard to say what impact, if any, James Coley's defection from Florida State had on the Seminoles 2013 recruiting class, but it's already apparent with the 2014 period in full swing.
Miami and new offensive coordinator Coley, who left FSU in January, coaxed Miami Central running back Joseph Yearby into flipping his Seminoles' commitment to the Hurricanes, which was first reported by Josh Darrow of South Florida High School Sports on Tuesday.
Yearby's flip could play a huge role in Miami's attempt to regain ownership of its own backyard like the Hurricanes of old.
Miami saw 2013 Dade County players like LB Matthew Thomas (FSU), S Michael Johnson (Marshall) and OL Denver Kirkland (Arkansas) of Booker T. Washington, WR Jesus Wilson (FSU), RB Daryl Chestnut (Indiana) and RB Lorenzo Woodley (UMass) of Columbus, S Ahmad Thomas of Central, DE Paul James of Norland, and LB Stacey Thomas of Gulliver Prep,
They did keep CB Artie Burns of Miami Northwestern and S Jamal Carter of Miami Southridge at home, and managed to lure two Broward County prospects in WR Stacey Coley of Northeast High and and LB Jermaine Grace of Miramar, but other than that, most of the top-notch locals headed north. There were 26 other top-ranked Broward and Palm Beach county players who signed elsewhere.
Not that UM was recruiting everyone, and the Canes didn't even offer some of them, but there is a lot of talent leaving the best three-county area for high school football in the country.
Yearby could raise some eyebrows among 2014 Miami locals. Getting a jump on the class with a national-caliber running back like Yearby, who also has an equaly talented teammate Dalvin Cook drawing early looks, can only help as Coley begins to spin his recruiting mantra across South Florida, home-cooking style. Miami Central teammate OL Trevor Darling is already onboard, as are Dade County QB Alin Edouard of Hialeah and Palm Beach County WR Travis Rudolph of West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman.
The groundwork is set. Now all Coley has to do is drill into the core. He knows the area. If the looming NCAA penalties are not too harsh, this could be the beginning of something big for UM's future stranglehold on one of the best exports in South Florida.
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.