It's been a pretty special 24-hour span for the University of Miami's football recruiting efforts.
The Hurricanes, who lost a handful of key underclassmen last month who announced their intentions to enter the NFL Draft early, picked up four commitments including two U.S. Army All-Americans on Saturday -- Miami Columbus safety Deon Bush and Tampa Jefferson defensive end Tyriq McCord.
Bush (6-1, 185) is ranked as a consensus top five safety in the country by ESPN and Rivals.com and picked UM over Alabama and Auburn. McCord (6-3, 222), ranked 7th by Rivals at weakside end and 13th nationally at his position by ESPN, chose UM over South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
Bush is said to be done with his recruiting. McCord said before his announcement he still plans on taking an official trip to USC on Jan. 20.
Both are huge gets for coach Al Golden, should they still sign a National Letter of Intent with Miami on Feb. 1. Oral commitments are non-binding.
Bush will probably be able to help right away. While the Hurricanes return safeties Ray-Ray Armstrong and Vaughn Telemaque and veteran cornerback Brandon McGee, there are plenty of openings elsewhere in the secondary. Although Bush is tabbed as a safety, Columbus coach Chris Merritt, who was in San Antonio for Saturday's Army All-American game with his star pupil, said Bush is more than capable of playing cornerback and probably will start his career there with the Canes.
"What the Canes are getting is a very well prepared, long athlete. He is what people want in the secondary, a long tall body who can play corner or safety," Merritt said of Bush, who finished his senior season at Columbus with over 60 tackles, 11 pass breakups and four blocked kicks.
"People make a lot about how he didn't have any interceptions. Well, there weren't many people who threw his way. For us, he probably lined up at about 40 percent of the time at corner and did a good job when we had him there. He shut down [Miami Northwestern's] Amari Cooper [Alabama commitment] and did a nice job against Miramar's receivers in the state semifinal game. He's a big reason we held them to 14 points."
Bush, who will graduate in June, is the first player from Columbus High to head to UM since offensive tackle Joaquin Gonzalez walked on and eventually earned himself a scholarship.
Bush announced his decision, along with McCord, during Saturday's game.
"It was a hard decision," Bush said. "A lot of them were great schools. But I think I have to put my city back on the map right now."
He then put a Hurricane hat on his head.
McCord, who won the Class 3A state championship as a junior at Jefferson, did the same when he made his announcement for UM. "I am going to take my talents to South Beach," said McCord, who finished his senior season 6-4 on the field and with 59 tackles, 11.5 sacks, an interception and three forced fumbles.
"Coach Golden is leading that program in the right direction. I just want to be a part of it and they have a great broadcast communications program that I want to study in."
The other two commitments UM picked up were defensive tackle Jacoby Briscoe (6-4, 290) of Lafaeytte, La. and Fork Union Prep, Va. receiver Robert Lockhart (6-2, 180), who played his high school ball at West Boca Prep.
Lockhart was a Virginia Tech commitment and the prep school roommate of offensive lineman Taylor Gadbois, who is also headed to UM.Lockhart becomes the sixth receiver UM has in its recruiting class. Briscoe, unranked by Rivals and ESPN, is the second defensive tackle to join the class.
UM now has 31 commitments. Eight (including three prep school or JUCO recruits) have said they will attempt to enroll in school now in January and will count toward last year's signing class. Per NCAA rules, UM can only sign 25 on Feb. 1.
UM's recruiting class is ranked 12th by ESPN and 10th by Rivals.com.