February 02, 2011 — Coral Gables — First over the fax machine was the National Letter of Intent from Rashawn Scott, a 6-2 wide receiver from Melbourne, Florida, who caught 31 touchdown passes in his senior year and still found time to dabble a bit on defense, snagging three interceptions as a safety.
Then came the letter from Phillip Dorsett, a speedster from St. Thomas Aquinas High who spurned offers from the Florida Gators, Ohio State Buckeyes, and Georgia Bulldogs to sign with his “dream school.”
The sun had not quite risen on the morning of February 2, yet National Signing Day was at full throttle at the University of Miami, where signed letters of intent from high school recruits who had verbally committed to play for the ’Canes began streaming through the fax on the second floor of the Hecht Athletic Center just after 7 a.m.
New UM head football coach Al Golden and his assistant coaches were ecstatic about the signees. For the past few weeks they have been working furiously on very little sleep, traveling around the state to solidify verbal commitments and lure new recruits who hadn’t considered signing with Miami. And it was a monumental task, given that Golden has been on the job for less than two months.
In that timeframe, he hired his coaching staff, reviewed reels and reels of video of potential recruits, and hit the road on recruiting trips.
“Obviously, this is an exciting day for University of Miami football and our coaching staff,” Golden said at a press conference in the Edgerrin James Room. “It’s the culmination of five or six weeks of intense recruiting to get to this point.”
Golden said his coaching staff achieved its recruiting goals, primarily to secure a kicker and punter who will compete for starting positions and obtain depth at the linebacker, cornerback, and defensive line positions.
“It’s a heavy defensive class,” he said.
Among some of the other signees: Linebacker Gionni Paul from Lakeland, Florida, an ESPNU and Rivals.com three-star prospect who verbally committed to UM on January 28 after originally committing to Arizona State; linebacker Denzel Perryman from Coral Gables High, described as a punishing tackler; and defensive end Anthony Chickillo, a five-star prospect and third-generation Hurricane football player, following his father, Tony, and grandfather, Nick, who both played in the NFL.
UM signed 16 recruits as part of its 2011 class, including two early enrollees: Miami Central cornerback Thomas Finnie and Fork Union (Virginia) Military Academy defensive lineman Olsen Pierre.
For the complete list of UM’s 2011 recruiting class, click here.
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