GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Sam Bruce’s recruitment just got interesting.
What has been speculated since last week became official Friday, with Miami electing not to retain wide receivers coach Kevin Beard. The former Hurricanes player told the Sun Sentinel that new coach Mark Richt is “going in another direction.”
The move could derail Bruce’s 18-month commitment to the Canes.
“It’s going to make a factor, I’ll just leave it at that. It’s going to make a factor,” Bruce told SEC Country. “There’s no guarantee that I’ll leave the University of Miami, but it’ll be something to definitely think about.”
Bruce, a four-star receiver from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was coached by Beard for two years at University High School before transferring to St. Thomas Aquinas as a junior after Beard left for Miami. Their relationship has kept Bruce committed to this point.
Bruce, who wants to major in sports broadcasting, visited Ohio State in October and said OSU’s communications school stood out to him. He’s scheduled to visit South Carolina (Jan. 15) and Florida (Jan. 22) this month.
The Gators have long been considered the biggest threat to Miami because of a close friendship with UF freshman running back Jordan Scarlett, his former high school teammate of three years. Bruce said Scarlett’s lack of playing time in 2015 didn’t bother him.
“Not at all,” he said. “Kelvin Taylor, he’s been running in Gainesville for a couple years now and you have to wait your turn. I definitely feel like the University of Florida plays their freshmen. Antonio Callaway is a good friend of mine and he had an unbelievable season this year.”
New South Carolina defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson has the Gamecocks in the mix for Bruce.
“I’ll give them a shot,” he said. “T-Rob, he’s been recruiting me since freshman year when he was at Florida. When he went from Florida to Auburn nothing changed from our relationship, and then from Auburn to South Carolina, nothing has still changed. He’s a great recruiter.”
The Hurricanes will receive the final official visit (Jan. 29) from Bruce, who said he’s taking other trips to make sure Miami is the “correct decision” for him.
“I have to give other schools a chance to show what they have to offer,” Bruce said. “I’m going to enjoy this process, these last three weeks. And on Feb. 3, I’m going to make my final decision.
“As of now, I’m still committed to the University of Miami. I am solid, but only time will tell.”