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Miami Southridge safety Jamal Carter chooses UM

            For the second time in a week, the University of Miami football team boosted its secondary with one of Miami-Dade County’s best.

            Miami Southridge senior safety, ranked among the top 20 players in the country at his position, committed to the Hurricanes Thursday afternoon at a ceremony at his high school auditorium.

            Carter chose UM just four days after the Hurricanes landed a commitment from Miami Northwestern’s Artie Burns, another of the nation’s top defensive backs.

            “I’ve been liking the Canes since I was a little kid,” Carter said. “Coach [Al] Golden is smart and I think he’s going to help bring the Canes back to how they were in the old days.”

Carter, ranked No. 18 among the country’s safeties by Rivals.com, started every game last season for Southridge. The Spartans had one of the top defenses in the county and advanced to the Class 8A regional finals.

Carter said he made up his mind to go to Miami two weeks ago. He had narrowed his top choices to UM, FSU, LSU and Hawaii. He said his commitment to the Hurricanes is solid.

Should he sign with Miami, Carter would add to a secondary growing in young South Florida talent that already includes freshmen Tracy Howard (Miramar) and Deon Bush (Columbus).

Carter, whose height is 6-2, has bulked up from 180 pounds to 215 in the offseason under the tutelage of former UM assistant and Southridge coach Don Soldinger, who will serve as the Spartans’ strength coach this coming season.

Carter would also give the Hurricanes another weapon in the kick return game. Last season, Carter returned seven punts for touchdowns at Southridge.

“Jamal is the kind of player that can get all the players around him going on the field,” Southridge coach Lamont Green said. “He’s a great talent, a great person and I think he’ll do well.”

Green coached Carter in Optimist leagues growing up when he played for the Palmetto Raiders. Then, Carter became friends with his would-be future teammate, Bush.

“It’s going to be a battle between all of us over there, but I think we all have a chance to become the next great players at UM,” Carter said.

For the immediate future, Carter hopes to take Southridge a step further this coming season.

“We already had the aggressiveness last season,” Carter said. “But I think being a smarter team and having the discipline brought by coach Green, we’ll see what happens this season.”