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Safety Ray-Ray Armstrong dismissed

Ray-Ray Armstrong is no longer a Miami Hurricane.

The senior safety and former top recruit in UM's 2009 class was dismissed from the football team Wednesday morning -- about a month after he reportedly discussed interaction with a booster via Twitter.

Although UM has yet to explain why he was dismissed (InsideTheU.com reported Armstrong's interaction with a booster), the school did say Armstrong can continue to be enrolled as a scholarship student to complete his degree, or the university will grant him a full release should he elect to transfer to another institution.

Last season, Armstrong was a candidate for several national preseason awards before being suspended by the NCAA for the first four games of the season for accepting impermissible benefits from former UM booster Nevin Shapiro, whose relationship with the University of Miami is the subject of an ongoing NCAA investigation.

Armstrong was later suspended in November for game after going to dinner at Prime 112 steakhouse in Miami Beach with a friend who owns a public relations company that works with professional athletes, then tweeting about the dinner. He was later cleared of any wrongdoing in that situation.

He played in seven games as a junior in 2011, earning a start against Duke. He finished the season with 34 tackles, an interception and fumble recovery. Many believed he would enter the NFL Draft after the 2011 season, but he chose to remain with the Hurricanes. But he decided to return.

Earlier this month, Armstrong was named to the preseason watch list for the Bednarink Award, given annually to the nation's top defensive player. In the spring game in April, he had an interception and a fumble recovery. He finished the spring listed first on the depth chart.

Defensive backs coach Paul Williams said in May Armstrong had shown improvement this spring, but still needed to be more disciplined.

"Just run the package, that's what I tell him," Williams said. "Every now and then he wants to be too aggressive. He just needs to run the defense. But he's gotten better. Looks like he's bought in. We need him to step up and be a leader."

Armstrong played in 30 games in his career at UM and finished with 134 career tackles, two forced fumbles, six pass deflections and four interceptions. He finished third on the team with 79 tackles in 2010 and was named All-ACC Second Team.

Rivals.com ranked Armstrong as the nation’s No. 13 player, regardless of position, as a senior at Sanford Seminole High in 2008.

With Armstrong gone, the Canes will likely turn first to redshirt junior A.J. Highsmith, who switched to safety last season after serving as a backup quarterback his first two seasons at Miami. Highsmith, the son of former Canes legend Alonzo Highsmith, finished with 12 tackles in 11 games last season. He was listed second on the team's depth chart at free safety behind Armstrong.

Fifth-year senior Vaughn Telemaque, who has started all 25 games in the last two seasons, is the team's other starting safety. 

Other returning veterans include: Kacy Rodgers (6-2, 213, Jr.) and Andrew Swasey (5-10, 205, Sr.).

UM recruited seven defensive backs in their 2012 signing class. Former Miami Columbus standout Deon Bush was the top rated safety in the group. He was ranked sixth overall at his position by Rivals.com.

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