CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Mark Richt’s first Miami recruiting class has a distinct Florida feel.
Of the 18 new Hurricanes, 17 of them hail from the Sunshine State. Among them include five early enrollees, and the class got stronger Wednesday with the signing of wide receiver Ahmmon Richards — who was considered to be on the bubble.
"We truly believe we got guys that can help us win," Richt said. "And that’s what it’s all about."
The class also includes Michael Irvin Jr., the son of Hall of Famer and former Hurricane great Michael Irvin. He’ll play tight end, as will newcomer Jovani Haskins of Bergenfield, New Jersey — the only non-Floridian who signed in this class.
Other things to know:
Top 25 Class: No.
Best in class: Sam Bruce, WR, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The 5-foot-8 star from longtime powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas High is considered to be a slot receiver, but the Hurricanes see him getting to the outside as well. Bruce seemed to be wavering on his commitment in recent weeks, but he was the one that Miami fans did not want to see get away. "Very explosive player," Richt said.
Best of the rest: Jack Allison, QB, Parrish, Florida and Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Orange Park, Florida. Allison is the heir apparent to Brad Kaaya as Miami’s starting quarterback and jumped at the chance to enroll at what he long considered his dream school. And Quarterman — along with fellow mid-year linebacker enrollees Zach McCloud and Michael Pinckney — gives Miami immediate depth at that position and should be in contention for playing time in the fall.
Late addition: Ahmmon Richards, WR, Wellington, Florida. He was a Miami commit before the Hurricanes fired Al Golden, and then re-opened his process to the point where some thought he would get away.
One that got away: Tyler Byrd, CB, Naples, Florida. The consensus four-star prospect flipped his commitment to Tennessee — where former Miami interim coach Larry Scott is now on staff — on Tuesday night. Byrd was considered someone who would have been a key performer in 2016 for the Hurricanes.
How they’ll fit in: There’s clearly spots to fill, and Richt didn’t get all of Miami’s needs taken care of in his first class. But there’s a slew of talent returning, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Getting that trio of linebackers in early might be critical, and having Miami legacies like TE Michael Irvin Jr., S Jeff James (Edgerrin James’ nephew) and DE Pat Bethel (son of former Miami TE Randy Bethel) in this class won’t hurt.