It has been a great start to the weekend for the Miami Hurricanes‘ coaching staff.
Friday night, four-star defensive back Nigel Bethel chose the Canes after visiting Alabama and Florida State recently. Then, this morning, four-star defensive end Chad Thomas committed to the hometown Canes, giving them 23 commitments for the class of 2014.
Both players come from football factory Booker T. Washington in Miami, but their commitment to the Hurricanes wasn’t a given. In fact, when teammate Treon Harris committed to Florida State earlier this month, many recruiting experts thought that might help them with Bethel and Thomas. In the end, the allure of staying close to home made Miami the perfect fit.
At 5-foot-9, 172 pounds, Bethel is an undersized corner, but he makes up for it with tremendous technique. His great hip movement and flexibility allow him to excel in man-to-man schemes. He has great instincts with the ball in the air and does a nice job of reading the quarterback. He’s not great in run support, but that will likely improve with additional bulk at the collegiate level.
Thomas is an outstanding defensive end prospect, showing the explosiveness off the edge that will make him a great pass rusher at Miami. He will need to add weight to his 6-foot-5, 240-pound frame, but he shows the natural athleticism necessary to play on the outside.
Thomas had just returned from Florida State when he decided it was time to end his recruitment on Saturday morning.
The Hurricanes had received verbal commitments from some lesser-known recruits in this recruiting cycle, but over the last 24 hours, they’ve added two household names. Bethel and Thomas will make a splash when they arrive on campus in 2014.
B.L. is an ACC Footbal writer for Rant Sports and can be followed on Twitter @coachlip.