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Grooms talks commitment to Canes

South Broward running back Kevin Grooms, one of the best all-around football players in the state, committed to the Hurricanes Monday morning during an in-home visit from coach Al Golden.

Kevin Grooms

Grooms, considered the 83rd best recruit in the country regardless of position by ESPN, rushed for 1,363 yards and 20 TDs last season and returned six punts for TDs. He is considered the second-best recruit in UM's class by ESPN, right behind Tampa Alonso defensive end Anthony Chickillo, considered the 82nd best player in the country.

"It was just a great visit over the weekend and I feel like I'm the type of player that has to be at Miami and try to help Coach Golden bring that swagger back," said Grooms, who said he had not been recruited by UM at all until former offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland came to visit him at school three weeks ago.

"God works in mysterious ways. That's why you have to honor him. He made this possible. Once I went on the visit, saw the small classrooms, the great academic system -- that got me. Plus, I know there are a lot of players at UM that enter the draft. I'm excited. I can't wait to get there."

Grooms said Golden told him he would get the opportunity to play running back first. But if it doesn't work out, the 5-9, 170-pound athlete said he'll be more than happy to move to cornerback or receiver -- which he has played plenty of in the past. "They definitely want me on special teams," Grooms said. "Coach said they need a lot of help there and I'm ready to start delivering. I told him 'Give me the ball, I want it.' I can play anywhere. I played corner my junior year and was strictly running back this year. But I'll do what I have to do to get on the field."

Grooms was scheduled to visit Virginia Tech next weekend and Florida State on Jan. 28. But he said he will cancel those visits. "I'm not going to take any more visits. I feel like I don't want to waste anybody else's time. I've got my mind made up."

Now, all that's left to do is some more work in the classroom. Grooms said he has a 2.5 GPA and scored a 22 on the ACT. But he has to make up 4.5 credits -- something he said he is in the midst of doing during his senior year with online classes. "I'll be fine and ready to go," Grooms said. "I'm taking school seriously."

Grooms is the 10th oral commitment for UM and seventh since Golden replaced Randy Shannon as coach. The Hurricanes have hosted big recruiting weekends over the last two weeks and are scheduled to have their largest this coming weekend.

> For more on Grooms, check out this feature story I wrote on him over the summer.

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