The six-man signing class new UT coach Donnie Tyndall left behind at Southern Miss is expected to lose a player soon.
Willie Carmichael, forward from Wekiva High School in Apopka, Fla., confirmed to the News Sentinel on Friday that he completed the online paperwork necessary to be released from his National Letter of Intent.
Carmichael (6-7, 195) said new Southern Miss coach Doc Sadler agreed to grant the release.
“He said he wouldn’t like to be held back if he was in my position,” Carmichael said.
For Tennessee fans, the obvious question is this: could Carmichael — along with any other potential Southern Miss defections — be added to a UT roster that is all too familiar with see-you-later signees.
Former UT coach Cuonzo Martin’s four signees were released when Tyndall came on board, and only one (forward Philip Cofer) has shown an interest in being re-recruited by the Vols.
Carmichael wouldn’t mind wearing orange.
“That would be first on my list if it’s possible,” he said of potentially following Tyndall to UT. “But I’m waiting to get released so I can talk to other coaches again.”
Carmichael also floated the idea of a package deal. He said he is close with point guard Rasham Suarez, a Southern Miss signee who just finished his sophomore season at the College of Central Florida, an Ocala-based JuCo. While Carmichael said Suarez (6-3, 205) has not made up his mind about his future, the two have at least discussed the possibility of making a jump together.
Carmichael said he might investigate prep school options if he can’t play with Suarez. He also said he isn’t closing the door on being re-recruited by Sadler and Southern Miss. So, things are fluid.
Carmichael is a three-star recruit according to 247Sports’ composite ranking. The scouting system ranks him 25th among Florida prospects in the 2014 class. His offer list at the time he signed with Southern Miss, according to 247Sports, consisted of Cincinnati, Jacksonville, James Madison, Murray State, Stetson, Tulsa and Wichita State.
This is what Tyndall had to say about Carmichael in a Southern Miss press release after Carmichael signed on Nov. 21, 2013:
“Willie is a long, athletic, front-line player. He can play a couple different positions. He’s a great athlete who plays with a high motor. He reminds me of a young Kenneth Faried, in that he plays extremely hard. He runs the floor and is not afraid to compete at the highest level.”
Suarez is unranked by 247Sports. His offer list when he signed with Southern Miss included Butler, Middle Tennessee State and North Texas.
According to his Central Florida profile, Suarez averaged 14.9 points and five assists as a sophomore while shooting 35.2 percent from the field and 28.9 percent from the 3-point line.
The native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, helped lead Central Florida to the NJCAA national championship as a freshman. Previously, he played for a Findlay Prep team that won a national championship before he transferred to Jonesboro High School (Jonesboro, Ga.), where he graduated.
Here’s what Tyndall had to say about Suarez when he signed at Southern Miss:
“Rasham is a proven winner. He’s won a high school state title, a prep school national title and he won a national championship last year in junior college. In my opinion, he’s the best point guard in all of junior college. He’s a guy who is tough. He has great size for the point guard position. He can shoot it, he can go to the foul line. But, most importantly, Rasham is a guy who is about winning. He’s my type of guy.”
These are two names to keep track of as Tyndall works agains the clock — spring signing period ends May 21 — to patch a roster.
The rest of the Southern Miss signees can be found here.