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Miami Hurricanes football recruits include top safety Aravious Armstrong

Miami, coming off a 7-6 season, signed a class ranked as high as No. 7 by one recruiting service.

The Hurricanes signed just 19, well under the limit of 25, though coach Randy Shannon said Miami had room for as many as two more scholarships. Part of the lower number was that Miami didn't have as many underclassmen leaving for the NFL — OT Jason Fox and RB Graig Cooper, both early-entry possibilities, returned.

A closer look …

BIG NAME: Miami has a tradition of hard-hitting safeties, going back to Ed Reed and the late Sean Taylor, and there already are high expectations on Sanford Seminole's Aravious "Ray Ray" Armstrong, rated by as the No. 13 overall prospect in the country.

"Ray Ray is very explosive," Shannon told "When you watch Ray Ray do some things, you look at what Sean Taylor was in high school. You can kind of see that in Ray Ray. He has that ability to be like Sean Taylor, but it's going to be Ray Ray Armstrong."

"To win a (state Class 6A) title and then sign with Miami, you can't get any better than that," Armstrong said.

FAMILIAR NAME: With uncertainty at quarterback after the transfer of Robert Marve, Miami addressed its depth behind starter Jacory Harris. A.J. Highsmith, a 6-foot, 190-pound quarterback from Fort Bend, Texas, is the son of Alonzo Highsmith, a Miami running back from 1983-86 who played seven years in the NFL. Highsmith threw 28 touchdowns as a senior with four interceptions.

STILL IN THE MIX: The biggest recruit associated with Miami's incoming class didn't sign anywhere Wednesday — Bryce Brown, a 6-foot, 210-pound back from Wichita, had been committed to the Hurricanes (his brother Arthur is a freshman linebacker at UM) but has since re-opened his recruitment. He's still considering Miami, but also wants to look at USC, Tennessee, Auburn, Kansas State and Oregon. The New York Times reported he's considering going straight to the CFL, then on to the NFL after three seasons.

A WALL AROUND IDAHO: Seven Miami signees came from South Florida, but not TE Billy Sanders, who comes to Coral Gables all the way from Couer d'Alene, where he was rated as the No. 1 recruit in Idaho. He's put up bigger numbers as a defensive end — as a junior, he had just three catches, then had 31 as a senior.

STARTING EARLY: Six Miami signees are on campus, having enrolled early last month to start the spring semester. Among those is 6-6, 304-pound OT Jermaine Johnson, who played just one year of high school football at St. Thomas Aquinas, starring in basketball before that. He hasn't played since 2007 at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia.

Miami Hurricanes football recruits include top safety Aravious Armstrong 02/04/09 [Last modified: Thursday, February 5, 2009 4:34pm]
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