Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas four-star wide receiver Sam Bruce has been committed to the Miami Hurricanes for the past 18 and a half months.
But all that matters is the school he signs with on National Signing Day in nine days. On Monday, Bruce reaffirmed one final time that it would indeed be UM on the Tony Sands Show on BBS Radio.
“The next three-four years, I will be playing football at the University of Miami,” Bruce said on the radio show Monday night.
The explosive and agile 5-8 receiver, who began receiving FBS scholarship offers his freshman season, stuck with the Hurricanes despite growing chatter that he would go elsewhere after the firing of former coach Al Golden and dismissal of wide receivers coach Kevin Beard.
“Who doesn’t want to play [at] home, man? I’m playing in front of my people, playing in front of my city,” Bruce said. “I’ve been playing here forever, and I don’t want to take that away from my people.
“I want to play in front of my fans that have been my fans since the beginning.”
Bruce came to his final decision on Sunday night after a discussion with his family upon returning from his official visit to UM.
“I just felt at home,” he said of the visit.
His mother Tracye Wilkerson, who has been known to play a major role in helping Bruce decide, joined the radio show moments before Bruce for an interview.
Bruce’s other finalists were Ohio State and South Carolina. He visited the Buckeyes in October and the Gamecocks on Jan. 15.
Bruce was also previously considering the Florida Gators but eliminated them when he scratched his visit scheduled for the past weekend and replaced it with the decisive trip to Coral Gables, which he moved up from its original Jan. 29 date.
Bruce won’t get to play for the wide receivers coach he dreamed he would end up with throughout the recruiting process, but he was able to grow at peace with that reality over time.
“Of course it affected me, knowing that if I chose Miami that I wouldn’t be able to be coached by Kevin Beard,” Bruce said. “I just had to sit down with my family and do all the praying about it and come to a decision.”
Bruce had previously said UM's decision on Beard would "make a factor."
"There's no guarantee that I would leave the University of Miami, but it'll be something to definitely think about," he said after the Under Armour All-America game on Jan. 2 before a final decision had been made on Beard. UM has since hired former USF wide receivers coach Ron Dugans.
Beard was known to be close to Bruce as a long-time mentor. He coached him at Davie University School, where Bruce played as a freshman and sophomore before transferring to Aquinas.
Bruce had 46 receptions for 427 yards and four receiving touchdowns plus three more rushing touchdowns as a senior on Class 7A state champion St. Thomas Aquinas.
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