As National Signing Day came to a close, the University of Miami’s recruiting class finished ranked No. 23 nationally, according to Rivals. The self-proclaimed “Swag 16” recruiting class stands to improve the Hurricanes’ offense significantly for this upcoming season.
The biggest addition to the offense is wide receiver Sam Bruce. The St. Thomas Aquinas graduate originally committed to the Canes back in July 2014, but a recent surge by Ohio State caused some concern that he would leave for Urban Meyer’s squad. Bruce reaffirmed his commitment to Miami on Jan. 25 and signed his letter of intent to the Canes on National Signing Day.
The four-star recruit could make an impact on the Canes’ offense as early as his freshman season. Although the 5-foot-8, 180-pound player is small in stature, he is a blazing-quick receiver who can break in and out of routes with great acceleration.
“[Bruce is a] great kid, a dynamic player. We’re just ready to see what he can do with the ball in his hand at this level,” Wide Receivers Coach Ron Dugans said. “He’s a great addition because he brings in a different skill set that we needed.”
Head Coach Mark Richt also raved about Bruce’s athleticism.
“Sam Bruce is a very explosive player when it comes to changing direction, quickness [and]toughness. He is a very well-put-together guy,” Richt said. “He obviously has very good ball skills. I think a lot of people would say he’s more of a slot receiver and I think he can obviously play there, but I think he has the ability to get on the edge a little bit as well with his speed.”
Bruce, rated ESPN’s No. 67 recruit in the country, will have a chance to be a key receiver for the Canes in their 2016 campaign, as the Canes saw the departures of their top receivers in 2015 in Rashawn Scott and Herb Waters. If for some reason Bruce does not fit into the rotation at receiver, he still figures to be a dynamic return-man for the Canes.
The Canes did not stop strengthening their receiving corps at Bruce. The team also added four-star receiving recruits Ahmmon Richards and Dionte Mullins. Mullins, a West Palm Beach native, is an athletic receiver who turned down scholarship bids to top programs such as Alabama, Auburn and Clemson for Miami.
“When you talk about raw ability at that position, he’s what you’re looking for,” Richt said of Mullins.
The Canes also added running back Travis Homer. Homer is rated as the No. 10 running back in the nation according to 247Sports and has the ability to take any carry the distance. Brown is “absolutely” okay with him being the only running back in this class.
“I’m very excited about him. He’s got some great ability, some homerun ability, but also is a very versatile guy. He can do multiple things out of the backfield,” Brown said.
The Canes added offensive lineman Tre Johnson as well as two three-star tight ends in Jovani Haskins and Michael Irvin Jr., the son of former Hurricane Michael Irvin. Michael Irvin Jr. also attended St. Thomas Aquinas with the aforementioned Bruce.
The main beneficiary of these signings will be Jack Allison. Allison, an early enrollee back in January, may be the Canes’ most important catch of the recruiting class, as he should be the Canes’ future quarterback. Rivals’s No. 9-ranked quarterback in the 2016 class is a traditional pocket passer who can pick apart defenses.
“He throws the ball extremely well and he is very smart. I know he’s going to work hard and do his very best to help us win,” Richt said.
Allison truly believes in the future of the Canes’ program.
“I think we’re on the brink. In the next couple years, we’re going to be a serious contender,” Allison said.