Miami took a step forward Tuesday, when long-awaited NCAA sanctions were handed down and a dark cloud of speculation was finally lifted. Defensive tackle Michael Wyche provided an additional positive note for the Hurricanes when he had a change of heart and committed to head coach Al Golden, according to Virginian-Pilot reporter Larry Rubama.
The 6'4", 330-pound junior college standout stepped out of his commitment to USC and instead accepted a scholarship offer from Miami. He initially committed to the Trojans on May 2, the same day Lane Kiffin extended an offer.
Wyche, a graduate of Virginia powerhouse Oscar Smith High School, currently attends East Los Angeles Junior College. The 4-star prospect is ranked the nation's No. 29 JUCO player by 247Sports.
While Wyche remained a USC recruit nearly a month after Kiffin's firing, he admitted the coach's dismissal played a key factor in his decision to decommit.
"(Kiffin) really turned my life around when he pulled the trigger on me when no other big conference coaches did," Wyche told Rubama.
Aside from Miami and USC, he also holds offers from Troy, Washington State and Arkansas State. Wyche is a sophomore with the Huskies and will have two years of collegiate eligibility remaining when he arrives at Miami in January.
He's an excellent fit at nose tackle in the Hurricanes' defensive attack, providing phenomenal push as an anchor of the line. His raw strength allows him to shed blockers and clog up rushing lanes.
Wyche can also work his way into the offensive backfield, evidenced by four sacks through six games this season. He displays rapid footwork for a player of his size and moves laterally with effectiveness.
Miami's defensive interior features seniors Curtis Porter, Luther Robinson and Justin Renfrow, so there will be an opportunity for Wyche to earn early playing time with the Hurricanes.
He is the 27th member of Miami's 2014 recruiting class, which includes 13 4-star prospects. It's ranked fifth nationally by 247Sports.