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UM announces the signing of junior college tight end Beau Sandland -- he chooses the Canes over Arizona State and Nebraska

Highly recruited Woodland Hills, Calif., Pierce Community College tight end Beau Sandland has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Miami and will play for the Miami Hurricanes.

UM announced the news Wednesday afternoon.

Sandland is counted toward the 2013 signing class -- the newest class. The rest of the class signs in February.

Sandland is rated by Rivals.com as a four-star player, and is listed as 6-6 and 250 pounds. He chose the Hurricanes over finalists Arizona State and Nebraska. Sandland is ranked the No. 6 overall junior college player and No. 1 tight end prospect by 247Sports.com.

In eight games as a sophomore in 2012, Sandland caught 24 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns, earning first-team All-Pacific Conference honors. As a freshman, he had 20 catches for 265 yards and two touchdowns.

Sandland had about 25 offers, including Southeastern Conference schools Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas A&M, MIssissippi and LSU. But he eliminated the SEC in early October, saying he needed to take an online math class in order to graduate early in December and arrive at a new school in time to compete in spring practice. The SEC, he said, requires that student-athletes must take their online math (and/or English) classes through the school they will attend.

"There's no way I'm not leaving in December,'' he told ESPN in October. "I feel that it's really crucial to enroll early and go through spring ball. That's been my plan since day one, since I was still in high school talking to the PIerce coaches.''

 His official visit to UM was Dec. 1, and he told reporters he loved it. Wednesday, in a ceremony at his school, he cited the coaching staff, tight end tradition, returning UM quarterback and academics among the reasons he chose the Hurricanes, according to recruiting services.

The Hurricanes have been aching for a tight end who makes a major impact. It's been far too long without one.