Olivier Vernon isn't going anywhere. He's staying home with the Hurricanes. In a small get together in his high school principal's office, Vernon told friends and family moments ago he is going to stick with his commitment to the University of Miami, which he made back in August.
"It was kind of hard because all three teams can win a national championship," said Vernon a 4-star Rivals.com recruit and 6-4, 240-pound defensive end, who was mulling over UM, Alabama and Florida State until the past week. "But UM has been my dream school since I was young. I felt like I was destined to play for them."
Vernon, who graduated from American High Thursday, will begin classes at UM Jan. 20 and will room with freshman defensive tackle Curtis Porter in the spring. He will wear No. 17. Eventually, he will switch over and room with fellow incoming freshman Dyron Dye in the fall.
He's looking forward to rehabbing his injured left ankle, which he injured in the season opener against Coral Reef, with UM doctors and trainers. He said he's still experiencing some pain and could have some ligament damage. But he expects to be ready for spring ball in late February.
The Hurricanes are definitely getting a strong player. Vernon is benching 335 pounds and squating 455. "I've kept lifting, kept working in the weight room even though I haven't played," Vernon said. "I'll be ready."