PALM BEACH GARDENS -- Al Golden said last month the thought of not having enough depth at quarterback scared him to death before going to sleep every night.
U.S. Army All-American quarterback Jacoby Brissett will announce shortly if he's decided if he looks better in orange and blue or orange and green. UM, once thought to be the favorites in the Brissett sweepstakes, now looks like the underdog to Florida after a long day of rumors and unconfirmed reports on the internet.
The 6-5, 225-pound high school senior is expected to make his announcement at halftime of his basketball game here on Senior Night. The gym is near capacity.
The Hurricanes, who led all Football Bowl Subdivision schools in interceptions thrown last season, have senior Jacory Harris, senior Spencer Whipple and sophomore Stephen Morris on their current roster at quarterback.
As a senior at Dwyer, Brissett completed 63.5 percent of his passes for 2,473 yards, 32 touchdowns and only one interception. He rushed 63 times for 368 yards and seven touchdowns. As a basketball player this season, he is averaging 15.9 points per game for the Panthers (20-2).
Brissett was ranked the third best quarterback in the country by Rivals.com, ninth best by Scout.com and 25th best by ESPN.
The fact he may opt to sign with the Gators is a bit surprising. Florida already signed Oviedo's Jeff Driskel, rated by numerous recruiting services as the number one quarterback in the country. But, the Gators did sign three Dwyer players last season -- tight end Gerald Christian, receiver Robert Clark and safety Matt Elam. Plus, Dwyer coach Jack Daniels is a Florida grad.
"I'm not saying he can't compete and do well at Florida, but Jeff Driskel is going to be the man there," said ESPN recruiting analyst Corey Long, who said Thursday he heard Brissett was headed to Florida.
"The kid had two chances to really play in my opinion -- at Miami or Wisconsin."
Before UM coach Randy Shannon was fired, the Hurricanes had a commitment from Miami Northwestern's Teddy Bridgewater, also considered one of the nation's premier quarterbacks. But Bridgewater de-committed and signed with Louisville in December. The Hurricanes have been looking for a replacement ever since.
Brissett, who remained uncommitted through the recruiting process until Friday, didn't begin getting recruited by UM until Golden took over as coach. He visited UM on the final available recruiting weekend before National Signing Day "and loved it" according to his mother Lisa Brown, who is a huge Hurricanes fan.
"He can make any throw," Daniels said last week. "He can lose people in the pocket. He's just such a winner. I'll never have a quarterback like him."
With or without Brissett, the Hurricanes could still end up with another quarterback. Former 2009 freshman All-American Tom Savage left Rutgers and has expressed interest in Miami. If Savage were to transfer to UM he would have to sit out the 2011 season per NCAA rules.
"He's a kid that can come in and play as game manager, but I don't think the kid is a great quarterback," said Charles Fishbein of Elite Scouting Services. "He's not very mobile and will need a lot of guys around him to make plays. He struggled at Rutgers."
Even with a transfer or another pickup, the Hurricanes will most likely still sign at least two quarterbacks in their 2012 class. Long said he expects national recruiting coordinator Brennan Carroll to use his West Coast connections from his days at USC to land the Hurricanes a top-flight California quarterback.
Dade Christian's Bilal Marshall (6-3, 180) is considered the best 2012 quarterback in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Marshall, who threw for 1,600 yards and ran for 1,100 yards last season, said Friday he grew up a Hurricanes fan. UM receivers coach George McDonald visited Marshall last week, but UM has yet to offer him according to Dade Christian coach Mike Sonneborn.
"I'm looking for a school that fits my personality, a program that likes to win," said Marshall, who already has scholarship offers from Wake Forest, Duke, Rutgers, Boston College and Kansas among a collection of nearly a dozen.
"But it's not always about what school was your favorite school was growing up. You have to look at the best interest in your future life."