If you do the math, there are still another eight spots to fill in the University of Miami's 2009 football signing class. Which means there is still ample room to add some of the nation's top future college football players. But if you a chance this weekend to watch the U.S. Army All-American game and the Under-Armour All-American games you know what coach Randy Shannon has already got lined up looks pretty special.
I know I'm not breaking any news here (I had a long day out covering the Dolphins-Ravens playoff game) but if you don't know by now I'll repeat it: the Canes added two major studs to their collection of 19 commitments Sunday night when they picked up verbals from Sanford Seminole High's Ray Ray Armstrong and Dyron Dye.
Three weeks ago before Seminole rallied from a 21-0 deficit to beat Miami Northwestern in the Class 6A state championship game, I got a chance to speak to both of Armstrong and Dye as well as their coach. Although Miami lost out on the third part of the special Seminole trio (receiver Andre Debose chose Florida), there's no doubt the Hurricanes landed special players. And unlike a lot of those guys you hear about being 6-4, 215 pounds only to find out they're really 6-2, 200 -- these guys are legitimately as large as advertised and just as good.
Armstrong (6-4, 215) tossed the winning touchdown pass to Debose in the 6A state title game and ran for another score, outleaping the Bulls into the end zone. What impressed me that night wasn't just that he had the athleticism to play quarterback, running back and receiver, it was his physical toughness. He started at safety and was in on a number of tackles and always looking to lay the wood. ESPN rates him the 18th best recruit in the country and Rivals and Scout each list him as a 4-star recruit. But his addition to UM's class gives the Canes its most special defensive player and someone I truly believe will make an immediate impact like Sean Spence this season. He's too physically gifted and strong not too. His coach called him a Sean Taylor-type player when I spoke to him before about Armstrong. If you watch his highlight reel, you see some of the similarities.
Dyron Dye (6-5, 230) could potentially make the same type of impact. He played both tight end and defensive end in high school and has tremendous burst and athletic ability. What impresses me the most about Dye is that he already has the NFL body. With some coaching, he could be really special. I think he has the potential to move over to tight end and play that at the next level if he wanted to. But all signs are point right now to a future at defensive end. Check out his highlight tape.
> As good as Miami's two additions are, I think no player might be better in the country than running back Bryce Brown, who earned National Player of the Year honors at the U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio. UM recruit Brandon McGee told me last Friday he was thoroughly impressed with Brown during the East's practices. He called Brown a special player.
Bryce proved it to the nation Saturday. After dropping a pass that would have gone for a touchdown in the first quarter, he hauled in two long touchdown passes in the second half -- a 60-yarder and a 41-yarder -- displaying his speed and athleticism in earning co-MVP honors. He also led the East with 44 yards rushing on seven carries. While there are reports out there Brown could end up switching schools, I'm not buying it.
> Not all of the Canes had great AA games. Defensive back Prince Kent got beat a few times at the Under-Armour game including by fellow Canes recruit Jamal Reid, who shined at receiver. Miami has plans to try both Kent and Reid at corner. But I'm beginning to believe Kent might be better off at safety and Reid at receiver, a place where he routinely makes plays. McGee played well at corner in the U.S. Army game, but not spectacular. Maybe one of those eight remaining scholarships should be invested on another legit cornerback.
> Later this week, I'm going to start my interview tour with current Canes commitments and potential recruits. I'm also planning on picking up the recruiting podcasts with Larry Blustein and Charles Fishbein.
> One quick basketball note. Did anybody see Boston College's upset of No. 1 North Carolina Sunday? The Eagles were picked to finish last in the ACC and some folks were thinking the Tar Heels might go unbeaten. Guess not. The Eagles are 13-2 and host the Canes this coming Saturday. I'll be up there for the game.