Allen Hurns always liked the Miami Hurricanes. But when it came to the recruiting process, he wanted to make sure he'd seen all he wanted to see from other schools before making a commitment.
After taking a weekend trip to West Virginia, the 6-3, 180-pound senior receiver from Carol City decided he had seen enough and called Hurricanes coaches Monday night to tell them he was ready to join the family.
"West Virginia was a great trip. Those guys were great. But I realized I just love Miami more," said Hurns, rated a three-star recruit by both Rivals and ESPN.com.
"I called coach [Aubrey] Hill and coach [Randy] Shannon last night and I told them I was ready to be a Cane. I can't wait. I love the way Coach Whipple gets everybody involved. 17 different guys have catches this year. I'm looking forward to coming in and helping right away. They said if I can pick up the plays and perform, I could see the field right away. Even if I don't, I don't care. I'll find ways to help in other ways."
Hurns caught 23 passes for 440 yards and four touchdowns last season as a junior and was expected to flourish this season for the Chiefs. But in the second week of the season against Booker T. Washington, he tore the meniscus in his left knee. In six quarters of play against the Bulls and Tornadoes, two of the best teams in Dade, he caught seven passes for 113 yards and a touchdown.
"My knee is getting better," Hurns said. "I had surgery six weeks ago and they told me I'd be out about six to eight weeks. I might be able to come back by the second round. I'd like to. I want to help our team win."
Hurns had just one offer -- from UCF -- after his junior season. But he pulled in seven more this summer after he starred at three camps: UM, Pittsburgh and Florida's Friday Night Lights. After the Gators camp, Hurns admitted he was hoping he'd get an offer from UF. But the Gators didn't bite.
Hurns said what ultimately drew him even closer to UM was his relationship with Hill, who went to Florida and Carol City. He said his friendships with current Canes Jacory Harris, Sean Spence and Tommy Streeter as well as fellow 2010 recruits Stephen Morris, a quarterback at Monsignor Pace, and Booker T. Washington running back Eduardo Clements.
"Stephen and I are becoming better friends," Hurns said. "We went and played catch this summer at Miramar Park. He can throw the football."
Hurns said he's looking forward to carrying on the tradition of being the next Carol City Chief to play at UM. Defensive end Eric Moncur, a sixth-year senior, is leaving after this season and is currently the only player from Carol City on the roster.
This summer, Hurns said worked out with former Hurricane and Chief Santana Moss. "We worked on hand-eye coordination with a tennis ball, staying low on our routes and and releases off the line," Hurns said. "It was a nice experience. He gave us gloves. We're kind of similar. We both have speed. But I'm aiming to be better."
Hurns said his GPA is "like a 2.7" and he fully expects to qualify academically in time for the summer. He said he took the ACT test two weeks ago. Hurns said UM coaches told him they are looking at landing one other receiver -- either Northwestern's Michaelee Harris or Miramar's Ivan McCartney.
"I just want to get to the next level after college," Hurns said. "I know I can do that at Miami."
> One other recruiting nugget... Word is St. Thomas Aquinas kicker Ben Hopfinger will walk-on at UM next fall. Hopfinger is the backup to Tennessee commitment and US Army All-American Michael Palardy. Hopfinger has 25 touchbacks on kickoffs and is 11 of 11 on extra points this season. I've seen him in person and the kid has a cannon for a leg.
> I'll have more for you from Tuesday's press conferences at UM. All audio interviews will be available later as well.