Miami didn’t get a commitment this past weekend but it managed to make the biggest splash when it was confirmed that Miramar, Fla., four-star cornerback Tracy Howard will take his fifth and final visit to Coral Gables -- just 25 minutes from his house.
Howard, the nation’s top-rated cornerback, was thought to be considering LSU or Alabama with his final visit but will stay close and has all but turned this into a three-team, in-state battle between Florida, Florida State and Miami.
All three programs feel very confident they will land Howard, but we expect all three to make a major final push just to be sure.
FSU has had its top South Florida recruiters -- Eddie Gran and James Coley -- on Howard most of the time, but this week head coach Jimbo Fisher will make the final pitch. Howard does have family ties in Tallahassee, as his sister is a student at Florida A&M.
Florida generated some buzz this weekend when signee Brian Poole put a picture of him and Howard up on his Twitter account. The Gators staff fired the first shot several weeks ago when Will Muschamp and six assistants sat with Howard’s mom, Shaiy, at the Class 8A state championship game to watch Miramar take on Plant (Tampa, Fla.).
Miami also has a few things working in its favor. It’s the closest school to home and two of Howard’s good friends -- Miramar teammate Malcolm Lewis and Columbus (Miami) defensive back Deon Bush -- are committed to Miami and have been in Howard’s ear for quite a while.
As with everything going on in Miami recruiting right now, head coach Al Golden will be a major part of Howard’s visit. Expect the head coach to spend plenty of time with Howard and his family.
Howard’s final decision will come on signing day.