Artur Sitkowski helped reshape Miami's 2018 recruiting class Saturday, as he announced his commitment to the Hurricanes on Twitter:
Sitkowski, who transferred to IMG Academy for his senior season, chose Miami over Florida and Michigan. He is the No. 75 overall prospect and eighth-ranked quarterback in the class of 2018, per Scout.com.
Though touted for his physical skills, Sitkowski hasn't had elite success at the high school level. He recorded just 1,190 yards and five touchdowns against 10 interceptions during his junior season at Old Bridge High School in New Jersey. That was a stark contrast to Sitkowski's sophomore campaign, which saw him throw 16 touchdowns against four picks.
Most experts thought schools would spend the year chasing Florida, the long-assumed favorite. Before the 2017 signing day, 247Sports' crystal ball gave Sitkowski a 77 percent chance of landing with the Gators, with Rutgers and Michigan being the only other schools receiving votes.
"The Gators stick out to me a lot," Sitkowski told Tyler Donohue of B/R. "I had a soft spot [for] the team growing up, I have family down in Florida, and I like [head coach Jim] McElwain and [offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier] a lot. They run a pro-style system and they're not really deep at quarterback so it gives you a chance to compete early."
Sitkowski is viewed as a pocket passer at 6'4 ½" and 208 pounds, but he flashed some running ability last season. He recorded a career-high 254 yards and nine scores on the ground—perhaps focusing on running to the detriment of his passing stats.
Miami will look to retool Sitkowski's footwork and accuracy underneath more than anything. His completion percentage hovered around 50 percent at Old Bridge, which was a product of scheme and his propensity to miss throws. He does possess a big arm with good zip on his passes, so the talent is there for him to eventually start.
Sitkowski's commitment is a huge early win for Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt, whose recruiting prowess continues to impress. This year was his first full recruiting cycle with the program, and Scout.com ranked the class as the nation's 13th-best.
Coming off a nine-win season last year, in which Richt was hired in December 2015, the Hurricanes look like a rising force in the ACC. The conference also includes Florida State and Clemson, so standing out among that duo isn't an easy task.
The Hurricanes have landed 12 recruits for the 2018 class; Sitkowski is their sixth 4-star recruit. They currently rank third among all schools, per Scout.com.