This past weekend proved to be an eventful one on the recruiting trail for the Hurricanes.
The two major, national high school all-star games were played on consecutive days; the Army All-American Bowl on Saturday and the Under Armor All-American Bowl on Sunday.
As is tradition, both games featured players announcing their college choices to the nation by selecting their school’s hat from a table at different time during the games.
This “hat trick” has proven to be unkind to the Canes in the past, particularly at the Army game.
At this year’s installment, Miami had a true shot at two players who made their announcement. The first was North Carolina offensive lineman Xavier Nixon, who had Miami in his final group along with Florida, LSU and North Carolina. Nixon was considered a long shot to be a ‘Cane but briefly picked up a Miami hat during the announcement; he then dashed the hopes of Hurricane fans hoping to land the star lineman by throwing it on the ground and placing the Florida cap on his head.
The other player that Miami had a shot at was William Campbell, a defensive tackle from Detroit who wowed spectators during the week of practice. Although a report leaked about an hour before the announcement that Campbell had told Miami coaches he was coming to Coral Gables, he instead chose to stay in-state with the Wolverines.
After striking out on Saturday, Canes fans were left with the consolation that Co-MVP Bryce Brown is still on his way to Coral Gables and that Sunday would see the announcement of three more players that the Canes had a shot with.
The first of these three announcements at the Under Armor game was Ray Ray Armstrong, the 6’4”, 220 lb athlete from Seminole High School in Sanford, Florida. Armstrong exacted a bit of payback by picking up a Florida hat before casting it aside in favor of the Miami hat on his table.
The second announcement was made by Armstrong’s teammate Dyron Dye, a 6’4” and highly regarded defensive end. Dye made Miami two-for-two on the night by announcing that he would be a Cane.
The third announcement was made by the teammate of Armstrong and Dye, receiver Andre Debose, considered by many to be the best receiver in the state of Florida and possibly the nation. Debose denied Miami the trio by announcing for the Gators, but Miami’s impact was still felt around the nation.
The impact of the weekend could be great. Armstrong may be the type of athlete that contributes right away, probably as a linebacker. Dye will make a good defensive end after putting on weight and figures as a pass rusher in the rotation in the coming years. Debose will visit Miami with his teammates (that is the current plan, anyway) and many feel he could still be a Cane on signing day. However, the two commitments can be plugged in at positions of need and add more talent to a recruiting class that continues to take shape.