It wasn’t long ago where it was a virtual guarantee that Miami was losing Mark Fletcher, South Florida’s top running back, to Ohio State.
Once he stepped away from the Buckeyes in November, it was Florida who was immediately linked to the Plantation American Heritage product. But at the end it was Miami – not Gainesville – where the nation’s No. 8 running back would spend his college career.
That decision was made on Sunday night while wrapping up the tail end of his official visit with his hometown program. For Fletcher, who grew up in a family of Miami fans, this is a full circle moment. He will be playing his football on Saturdays in orange and green.
“They want me to bring The U back,” Fletcher said a few weeks ago on the message he was getting from Miami. “That’s what they telling all the recruits, but they want people who really want it. They’re not going to waste their time. If you don’t feel it in your heart, there’s no point of being there. They just want recruits who really want to bring The U back, and obviously want people from South Florida. They just want people who want to bring The U back to how it used to be.”
Fletcher capped off his high school career with an opportunity to win a state title, an effort that fell just short. But the 6-foot-1, 225-pounder has nothing to hang his head about, totaling 1934 rushing yards to the tune of 8.6 yards per carry, with 23 scores as a senior. Over the course of his four-year career with the local powerhouse program, Fletcher ran for over 4400 yards with 49 trips to the end zone.
Kevin Smith is hoping to bring that level of efficiency down to Dade County over the next few seasons with Miami and Mario Cristobal looking to flip the roster on the road to building Miami into a contender.
Fletcher joins a Class of 2023 backfield that also features one of the nation’s fastest prospects in Fort Lauderdale Dillard four-star Christopher Johnson. He’s also teammates with top Miami target and Top247 cornerback Damari Brown and five-star wide receiver Brandon Inniss an Ohio State commit who Cristobal has not stopped recruiting.
He becomes commit No. 25 in Miami’s No. 4 ranked recruiting class.