Four-star defensive end Trent Harris, a Winter Park native who grew up rooting for the Florida Gators, spurned his former favorite team by committing to the Miami Hurricanes on Monday.
Per Chris Hayes of the Orlando Sentinel:
Trent Harris probably shocked quite a few Florida Gators fans today when the 6-foot-2, 231-pound Winter Park defensive end announced that he will be playing college football at the University of Miami.
Harris is a highly touted and equally highly sought prospect. Ranked the No. 14 weak-side defensive end in 247Sports' composite, he received offers from 21 different schools including Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
But in the end, his decision came down mainly to Florida and Miami, and it appeared to be a crapshoot; according to 247Sports' crystal ball, recruiting predictors were split evenly down the middle on which in-state school Harris would choose.
In the end it was Al Golden and the Hurricanes, though, despite his prior allegiance to the Gators. As Harris explained in Hayes' report:
It was very difficult ... extremely difficult. I liked Florida since I was little, but I'm not little any more. I needed to make a grown man's choice of what to do and what will be best to further my abilities. Florida just wasn't going to work out for me and so Miami is the best choice.
Harris is 6'2'' and 226 pounds, possessing what ESPN.com calls "very good short space quickness." He's yet another big get for Al Golden & Co. in Coral Gables, bumping their Class of 2014 ranking up to No. 5 in the country (per 247Sports). The Hurricanes now have 25 prospects committed for next year, second-most in the country behind Western Michigan (27) and most among the top 42 recruiting classes.
The incoming group is highlighted by offensive tackle KC McDermott, the only 5-star player in the bunch, but features remarkable red-chip depth. Ten players behind McDermott, including Harris, received four stars on either the composite or 247Sports' subjective rankings.
Harris will team up with fellow 4-star WDE Chad Thomas, the No. 10 player at the position, in Coral Gables. Miami is the first-and-only school to land two top-15 WDEs for 2014, and at time of publication, no other program had even landed two players in the top 44.
Florida, meanwhile, suffers another loss on the recruiting trail. With only 11 committed prospects, no weak-side defensive ends, and the nation's 20th-ranked class, securing Harris for 2014 would have been a much-needed boost to its profile.
For Miami, though, that only makes this sweeter.