Denzel Perryman got his first verbal scholarship offer when he was just a freshman at Coral Gables High -- and It came from his beloved Hurricanes, delivered by linebackers coach Micheal Barrow.
After waiting four years for an answer, the three-time All Dade First team middle linebacker finally told the Canes Saturday to count him in their next recruiting class. Perryman (5-11, 215) was so anxious to deliver the news he told UM coaches before his official visit this weekend was even over.
"My heart has always been here," said Perryman, who racked up 134 tackles and eight sacks in 10 games his senior season. "Basically, I didn't want to lose my scholarship or whatever. I knew I wanted to be here."
Perryman, considered one of the nation's top 20 inside linebackers by ESPN, said he probably would have committed to UM earlier in the process. But he said he just wanted to make sure Barrow was going to be on Al Golden's staff and that UM's new coach also wanted him here.
"When I heard Coach Shannon was fired I got real nervous," Perryman said. "Coach Barrow and I grew real close. The fact he stayed was a huge plus for me."
Also a plus: the fact new defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio coached Perryman's older brother, Quintero Frierson at Rutgers.
"My brother played for him his freshman year, told me he was a great coach," Perryman said. "I never met him when he was coaching my brother. But I like what his plan is for the defense. I met him two weeks ago. He's a real good guy."
Perryman, one of nearly a dozen recruits at UM this weekend, became the 12th commitment for the Canes leading up to National Signing Day (Feb. 2). UM has at least three more available scholarships -- if not more.
Perryman said he expects UM's top recruit, defensive end Anthony Chickillo, to reaffirm his commitment to UM on Sunday. Chickillo, the MVP of the Under Armour All-American game, had been wavering since former coach Randy Shannon was fired.
"I think we both were just waiting to see how this new ataff was going to be," said Perryman, who is rooming with Chickillo on the visit to UM. "But now that we know what they are about, you feel good about The U."
Perryman said he and Chickillo have turned their focus to trying to get Miami Booker T. Washington defensive tackle Elkino Watson to commit to UM, too. Watson is a surprise visitor this weekend.
> Miami Belen linebacker Nick Menocal switched his commitment late tonight from UM to Georgia Tech. Menocal, who committed to the program when Shannon was still coach, had been asked by Golden to play offense. He felt he was a better fit at Georgia Tech.
He is the second former Shannon recruit Golden has parted ways with over the last two weeks. Cornerback Jeremy Davis was encouraged to look elsewhere.