Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — Sam Bruce was a gymnast at one point in his life — and a damn good one.
He competed in regional championships in the Fort Lauderdale area before returning his focus to football in the fifth grade.
“It was either that or ballet, and I wasn’t doing ballet,” Bruce told SEC Country.
Now, the 5-foot-8, 180-pound receiver from St. Thomas Aquinas is one of the top-rated players at his position in the entire country. He’s pegged as a 4-star across 247Sports.com and Rivals.com, and he’s reported 26 offers.
Bruce credits his success on the field to his year-and-a-half of gymnastics.
“People are at my ankles all the time,” Bruce said. “I put my hand down and they don’t know how I get out of stuff. It comes from flexibility and the things I did during gymnastics.”
How Bruce is able to escape and evade defenders is as puzzling as it is trying to pinpoint where he’ll be playing out his college career. Though he’s been committed to Miami since July, Bruce admitted he’s still considering all of his options.
“I’m pretty solid,” Bruce said. “Right now, I’m just looking around, seeing what other schools and atmospheres are like. I’m just enjoying it.”
Among those schools are Florida, Alabama, FSU and Auburn. Bruce specifically mentioned the Gators when asked which schools are recruiting him the hardest as of late.
His teammate and quarterback, Jake Allen, has also been actively recruiting him to Florida since he committed in July. Interestingly enough, Bruce’s close friend and former teammate is Jordan Scarlett, now a running back for the Gators.
But Florida has been coming on strong since coach Jim McElwain took over.
“Coach McElwain and I have built a great relationship over the time he’s been there,” Bruce said. “The day he got in, he sent me a direct message.”
The remaining three schools — Alabama, Auburn and FSU — appear to have caught his interest, too. Bruce is unsure of the exact dates but conceded to SEC Country that he’ll likely take his remaining four official visits to Miami, Florida, Auburn and either FSU or Alabama. His first official visit came on Oct. 17 to Ohio State.
He is rated as the No. 10 player in the state and No. 57 overall in the country.