Rashawn Scott wasn't a player Hurricanes fans heard much about through the recruiting process. That's because until Monday, the 6-2 1/2, 195-pound senior receiver at Melbourne Central Catholic had been told he would have to wait for a scholarship offer.
So what kind of a receiver did the Hurricanes get? According to Scout, Rivals and ESPN, a mid-level talent all rated three stars by the so-called experts. But according to his coach, Mike Riazzi, Scott is the type of player who just has a knack for scoring touchdowns.
"Someone said to me 'What's Ray's gift?," Riazzi said. "I told them, 'When he catches the football, he becomes a running back. He's not like a wide receiver. It takes more than one guy to bring him down. He's got moves, he's fast. What he does after the catch is not teachable. He just knows how to score touchdowns.
"There are a lot of guys who don't have that knack and he's one of those guys that just knows how to get down there."
Scott scored 31 touchdowns as a senior at Melbourne Central Catholic, a Class 1A state school with a student population of 300 that has sent three other players to Division I schools (Navy, UCF, Georgia) in the last four years.
He scored four different ways as a senior -- as a quarterback (he started the first 3 games), a running back, a receiver and a safety. His final senior stats according to the team's website on MaxPreps: 545 passing yards (5 TDs, 1 INT), 1,008 yards rushing (on 96 carries, 12 TDs) and 1,072 yards receiving (45 rec., 11 TDs) and 59 tackles, 2 INTs and 2 fumble returns for touchdowns.
"He's a track kid and a basketball kid, too," Riazzi said. "He's got gifts. Coach McDonald believes he's a raw receiver. The things Ray does he can't teach. But he can teach him to be a receiver. But those other things? You can't teach that."
USF and West Virginia were his two other finalists according to Riazzi. But Scott also had offers from Michigan State, Indiana, Illinois, UCF, Georgia Tech, FAU among a list of 20 schools.
Riazzi said UM didn't begin recruiting Scott until after Al Golden became coach.
"I'd been on the phone with coach Barrow for a few weeks and he said the Canes were going through some transition and said we needed to be patient," Riazzi said. "There was a phone call here, phone call there, 'Are you still interested?' Ray loved his other school's too. You build relationships over the eight month process. But it's hard to resist the Canes. Art Kehoe, Michael Barrow, what Coach Golden is building is amazing. I really enjoyed coach McDonald today. It was a good day and a tough day. But it's a day Ray won't forget. And neither will the Canes."
> JACOBY BRISSETT UPDATE: The Palm Beach Post's high school writers have been following the situation with Dwyer U.S. Army All-American quarterback Jacoby Brissett closely for the last few days. Here is a link to their story from Tuesday night. UM is pushing hard to get Brissett to take his final visit to Coral Gables. The Gators apparently are making a push too.
Al Golden was supposed to be in Brissett's home tonight and at his basketball game.
Hurricanes basketball coach Frank Haith said Tuesday he's had conversations with UM's football recruits in the past about playing basketball and is open to letting them tryout for the team.
"I would be very open to it," Haith said. "Vince Young never did it. But I remember at Texas he used to come over to my office everyday and tell me he was going to play both and it never happened. I saw him play basketball and he was really good. He and TJ Ford had some battles in high school. He was a bad boy, but it never quite happened for him."