Miami won a critical signing-day battle.
Speedy local wide receiver Mike Harley, who was considering UCLA, Utah and West Virginia, is staying home.
It was an emotional moment for Harley, who revealed his decision on CBS Sports Live, from Fort Lauderdale. The Army All-American said that he wanted to be a Hurricane since he was a small boy — “growing up … all I remember was Miami Hurricanes,” he said — and when Miami offered him last fall, he knew where he was going.
He was so happy about the offer, he said, that he cried in a meeting room with his family, and coach Mark Richt shed tears too.
Those were happy tears Wednesday.
About Harley, who was one of the top targets on UM’s board:
Size: 5-10, 160
School: Fort Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas
Stats: 553 yards, nine touchdowns on 35 catches as a senior (MaxPreps)
Stars: Four (247, Rivals, ESPN)
Rank: No. 18 wide receiver, 123rd overall (Rivals), No. 34, 265th overall (247), No. 42 (ESPN)
Projection: Dynamic secondary weapon. Harley is not a tall or wide body, but can go deep or work the intermediate lanes with his speed and has plenty of wiggle, both before and after the catch. His route-running was good enough to make defensive backs at the Army All-American Bowl look silly, and was a reason he rose from a three-star to a four-star afterward. “Harley is as ‘sudden’ a receiver as there is in this class,” Rivals’ Rob Cassidy wrote. Rivals’ Mike Farrell pegs him as consistent, productive and always open. “He’s so fun to watch,” Farrell wrote. “He’s such a difficult cover, gets in and out of his breaks so quickly, has great creativity, sets defensive backs up really well.”
Fun facts: Adidas featured aforementioned cuts in an ad … Committed to West Virginia before dropping the pledge Jan. 22, a week after he visited UM … Had fun with the Miami-WVU Russell Athletic Bowl, calling it “The Harley Bowl” on Twitter and saying (facetiously, though many didn’t take it that way) that whomever won the game would get his signature on signing day … He did reaffirm his commitment at the time, before backing off a month later … Wears No. 3 … Turned 19 after last season … Also considered UCLA, Utah and West Virginia.
On tape: Hudl highlights: http://www.hudl.com/profile/3865227/mike-harley … Another highlight video: https://twitter.com/TopFlyFilms/status/824092397546196992 …