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Florida State, Miami in the early lead for 2016
St. Thomas Aquinas wide receiver Sam Bruce

There’s no player in South Florida with as much upside as Class of 2016 prospect Sam Bruce.

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Bruce, a former Davie University School receiver now at Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, was the best player on the field during South Florida Express 7-on-7 tryouts this past weekend, earning the distinct honor Sunday of being the first invite to play in the 2016 U.S. Army All-American Bowl game.

And the praises Bruce earned from his peers and national media members barely do him justice.

“He may be the first 5-8 five-star [prospect],” ESPN national recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton said.

Added five-star 2015 cornerback Tavarus McFadden from Plantation American Heritage: “He’s not even human.”

Only a sophomore, Bruce has received scholarship offers from as many as 17 schools in the country so far, including Miami, Florida State, Florida, Notre Dame, USC and Clemson to name a few. While he’s garnered so much attention at such a young age, his mind is in the right place.

“Being humble is definitely the hardest thing because of all the publicity, and the reporters, and the awards,” Bruce said. “It’s just a matter of being humble.”

While it may be early for Bruce to decide on a school, this tweet during the ACC title game this past December between Florida State and Duke makes it seem he already has everything figured out.

On the Seminoles, Bruce said “I love how they get their ball to their receivers in space, and let them use their athletic abilities to get to the end zone. That’s one of the most intriguing things I like about Florida State.”

The University of Miami, Central Florida, and Clemson University also stick out for Bruce, who said interacts with UM and UCF the most on Twitter.

“Miami is like a backyard school,” Bruce said. “I grew up in a Miami [fan] household – Miami Dolphins and University of Miami – so my family definitely wants me to say here and go play for the Canes.

“My family will definitely have a great impact on my decision.” Bruce is also looking for a school with a great coaching staff “to build a great relationship with my positional coach” and a great business or sports broadcasting program that is close to home.

“I’m not really looking to go far, but if I have to, I will,” Bruce said. “But I have two years left. So anything can change.”