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Early Fireworks: Five-Star Defensive Lineman Flips Commitment to Miami



Miami is setting off explosive fireworks ahead of the early signing day period, which begins on December 20th, only three weeks from today. Five-star Defensive Tackle Justin Scott, hailing from St. Ignatius High School in Chicago, Illinois, made it public this evening and flipped his commitment from the Ohio State Buckeyes to the Miami Hurricanes. Scott had been committed to Ohio State since July.

Mario Cristobal and his coaching staff are certainly celebrating a massive victory on the trail, and Scott’s addition is a crucial one for the future of the program. The Hurricanes are in need of adding star talent to their defensive tackle room due to multiple graduations at the position and the likelihood that star defensive tackle Leonard Taylor III will declare early, foregoing his senior season at the University of Miami to enter the 2024 NFL Draft. There is some well-deserved praise to be given, though. A lot of credit for landing Scott’s commitment tonight in Miami’s recruiting class goes to defensive line coach Joe Salave’a, who faced plenty of criticism from Miami fans this season for some recruiting miscues after some national pundits put in the airwaves that “Miami will have the best defensive line class in the country.” But what counts is when elite recruits sign on the dotted line, and this victory is a big step in the right direction.

Justin Scott shared the reason why he decided to change his mind about his commitment to the Ohio State Buckeyes by saying, “I reached out to Coach Salave’a about two weeks ago to let him know I wasn’t 100 percent with my commitment to Ohio State. I was having second thoughts, and things happened kind of quickly from there. They weren’t too surprised when I told them because they always felt I wanted to be at Miami. My biggest attraction to Miami was the coaches—how genuine they are, how they always treated me, and how they make me feel like part of their family. From the first time they offered me to now, they never changed.”

That comes as no surprise, according to a source close to the Miami football program, as they felt they were very close to having Scott join the 2024 recruiting class the very same week four-star running back Kevin Riley announced his commitment to the Hurricanes over the summer. Unfortunately, that did not happen as Scott’s parents had convinced him to take more visits to Michigan and Ohio State, the latter of whom he ended up committing to after wrapping up his official visit tour in June.

Justin Scott joins an exceptionally impressive defensive line class alongside four-star pass rushers Marquise Lightfoot, Elias Rudolph, and Booker Pickett Jr., and three-star Cole McConathy (the state of Alabama’s sack leader during the 2023 season), as well as four-star defensive tackle Artavius Jones and Miami-Dade 4M-3M Defensive Player of the Year Daylen Russell.

Scott is the second prospect that head coach Mario Cristobal and the Miami Hurricanes have flipped a commitment away from the Ohio State Buckeyes since Cristobal’s arrival in Coral Gables. During the 2023 recruiting cycle, Miami flipped Mark Fletcher Jr., a four-star running back who is now a current star in Miami’s running backs room. This happened in December 2022 before the early signing day period. Ironically enough, the Hurricanes are still in play for two high-profile recruits from South Florida in the 2024 recruiting cycle, both of whom are current Buckeyes commits: St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) four-star running back Jordan Lyle and five-star wide receiver Jeremiah Smith from Chaminade-Madonna Prep. Miami will continue to chip away at those two as we get closer to early signing day.

With a massive commitment from a five-star prospect in Justin Scott, you know that means Miami moves up in the recruiting rankings too. The Hurricanes have climbed from the 11th composite-ranked recruiting class for the 2024 team rankings all the way up to the 5th spot in the country according to the recruiting industry services, and there is plenty of time on the clock for Miami to continue building on its recruiting class as they position themselves for a strong and commanding finish.



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