St.Thomas Aquinas held its annual spring game Thursday afternoon, and college coaches didn't pass up on the opportunity to watch some of South Florida's top talent get some work in.
- The biggest schools in attendance were UM, FSU, and Auburn. Offensive Coordinator James Coley was there eyeing the most notable players in 16' WR Sam Bruce and 17' WR Trevon Grimes. Other schools like Illinois, FAU and USF made an appearance as well.
- One former STA player made sure to see his team perform. UM de-commit, and current University of Florida freshman RB Jordan Scarlett was amongst the many spectators on the sidelines. He caught up with Sam Bruce on the bench for a little bit exchanging laughs.
- As mentioned above, Sam Bruce was the main man to watch at the spring game...and he didn't disappoint. The shifty receiver caught a few passes, none more exciting than a 53-yard touchdown off a dump-off play where he juked out and embarrassed three of his teammates.
- I caught up with Bruce after the scrimmage and his description of the touchdown was somewhat surprising.
"I saw the three guys in front of me when I first caught the ball," said Bruce. "I thought to myself 'How am I gonna do this?' read it, made a couple moves, and exploded to the end zone."
Time seems to move slower in the mind of Sam Bruce. Having the ability to read and react to three defenders in a split second, shake them all off, and lose no explosiveness before streaking for a touchdown is simply unfair. Below are just two of his many juke moves.
- The No.1 WR in the country for the 2017 class, Trevon Gimes shined as well. At first the 6'3" 180 pound junior wasn't getting any looks. From my point of view, Grimes was open on almost every play, but QB Jake Allen was looking at his other weapons. Grimes, however, finished the day off with two touchdown catches off of excellently run routes.
"I knew coming in we have a lot of excellent players and the ball was going to be shared," said Grimes. "I just knew my time would come during the game and it did."
- Grimes did say that he spoke to the QB's from time to time to simply look his way.
"If it was there it was there, if it wasn't then don't force anything," said Grimes.
- Grimes says he's still working on coming out of his breaks stronger and a couple smaller things like lowering his hips.
- With Sam Bruce and Jordan Scarlett laughing on the bench, Miami fans gained an extra eye twitch thinking about another late de-commit possibly leaving to Florida. Bruce, however, seemed more than happy with his commitment at the moment.
Q: "You're pretty close with Jordan Scarlett, has he tried to sway you into going to Florida?
A: "Most definitely, but it's not gonna work. Miami's home for me man, it's 30 minutes down the way, I can come home, my family can come watch me play every weekend, it's almost perfect."
- Bruce also mentioned how important it is to have WR coach Kevin Beard at UM as his mentor.
- "That's my mentor," said Bruce. "Any time I have a problem or anything I have to talk about personally I go to him. He's my leveling. He's my leveling guy. I love him. And like I said, I can't wait to get down there with him."
"I talk to Sam Bruce about it a lot," said Grimes. "I talk to Kevin Beard, Al Golden, I recently visited and I liked it a lot."
- Grimes says the atmosphere (feeling welcomed,) being close to home, and a school that throws the ball and produces receivers are the top three things he's looking for in a college before committing. Although Ohio State may still be the favorite, Miami offers Grimes all of those options.
- Bruce is one of Grimes' biggest fans, and wants him to come play with him at the U.
"I'm trying to keep him in Miami," said Bruce. "A lot of fans may say he wants to go to Ohio, but i'm trying to keep him in South Florida."
"It's definitely really important, they have a little bit to prove," said Grimes. "I'm definitely looking to ride with them, I will ride with them through the season and cheer them on."
- 2017 3-star QB Jake Allen wasn't able to show his best stuff on Thursday. With the offensive weapons he has, Allen didn't need to make the deep or difficult throws he's made in the past. But he did have a couple nice passes on the day and two very nice hard counts, which made the defense jump.
- 2018 DB Benjamin Sapp was able to handle his own up against Trevon Grimes. He'll pick up a lot of traction as he gets older.
- Kedonis Haslem and Michael Irvin Jr. the obvious sons of Miami legends, performed nicely as well. Haslem has a huge frame at 6'3" 290, he came up big on a couple of run stops. Irvin on the other hand had a few nice catches near the sidelines.