Blanche Ely linebacker Terry McCray took an unofficial visit to UM Tuesday morning where he met with coaches and became the 24th commitment in the Hurricanes' 2014 recruiting class.
For McCray, a 6-3, 220-pound All-Broward Third Team selection as a junior, picking the Canes over Minnesota and West Virginia was an easy decision.
"I always liked Miami, always liked the school," McCray said. "I really feel like the team they're putting together is going to be one of the best in the country. I didn't want to miss out on the opportunity for that and to play with my favorite college team."
By picking UM, McCray became the 15th commitment from South Florida to pick the Hurricanes and the first from Ely since 2003 when four members of the Tigers' state championship team including his cousin, defensive lineman Teraz McCray, opted to head to Coral Gables.
"Our tradition for awhile there was sending guys to LSU -- Patrick Peterson, my cousin Rashard Robinson," said McCray, who has received interest from Florida State and LSU throughout the recruiting process. "I just didn't want to follow everybody else."
McCray, who turns 19 in January, said Hurricanes coaches have wanted him since October because of his ability to rush the quarterback and defend in pass coverage.
"On the internet it says I'm an inside linebacker, but I'm really an outside linebacker," McCray said. "UM wants me to be a part of their 3-4 scheme, rushing in and as a drop back linebacker. At Ely we play 3-4. So I'm basically just rushing and dropping back half the time."
McCray said the reason he's solid in pass coverage is because he actually grew up playing defensive back alongside his cousin Robinson and under the tutelage of Peterson. McCray said he's trained with Peterson every day in the mornings during the summer.
"I've known Patrick for almost 10 years. He used to live right by me," McCray said. "That's why I think I'm a good coverage linebacker. I always did DB stuff. He has a few linebackers he's played with here at Ely and other places that come out there and show me a few things. We just do like speed training, sometimes drills, individual drills."
McCray said he moved to linebacker as a sophomore at Ely and has been learning the position year-to-year while adding weight to his body. He's gained about 10 pounds since the end of last season, but still feels just as quick. He said he's also begun to study film a lot more than he did in the past.
"I feel like I have to watch it. I don't like to go out unprepared," McCray said. "It helps me read the snaps. I watch film so much now I know when they're going to snaps. I just started doing it this year. I want to be the best on the field."
McCray said he's done with recruiting and he plans on attending UM. But asked if he might take some trips at the end of the year, he said he probably would go on at least one -- to Minnesota, which like UM has been recruiting him a long time.
"I know this is the school I want to be at," McCray said. "I might go just visit some more schools to get out and go somewhere, just to see something new.
"My parents wanted me to be close to home anyway. They love Miami. We all love Miami."