Between 1994 and 2008, the Miami Hurricanes had a player selected in the first round of the NFL draft every single year. The good news is that Hurricanes players are likely to return to first round status this year. The bad news is that means the team is losing a lot of talent. In addition to eight seniors who have already been invited to the NFL combine, star junior corner Brandon Harris has announced that he's decided to declare for the draft.
"I have grown up so much as a football player and as a man at the University of Miami," Harris said in a press release. "The relationships that I have built here with the players and coaches will be with me for the rest of my life. In addition to the team and University, I have to give credit to coach Shannon and coach McGriff, who were instrumental in my development."
Harris could likely to be a first round pick. He was an All-ACC player for two straight season, and started 32 games in his 39 game career in which he racked up 132 tackles, four interceptions, five forced fumbles, two sacks and 28 pass breakups.
Harris is currently ranked 32nd in draft prospect by ESPN and Scout.com, and most suspect he'll go late in the first round or early in the second.
Seniors Leonard Hankerson, Allen Bailey and Orlando Franklin are also projected to go in the early rounds. Some are projecting Bailey could be selected as within the first ten.
Harris said he talked with incoming 'Canes coach Al Golden before he made the decision.
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"He's a very nice guy. We both handled it like men, and handled it like professionals, he tells The Herald. "He's been in this kind of situation before and it was not a huge surprise for him."
While this decision isn't much of a surprise, it represents another setback in the talent department for Golden. Many top notch recruits have already jumped ship, and there's rumors that some current players may be thinking about transferring. The line on the 'Canes for the past few years is that the team has a spectacular amount of individual talent, and Golden was brought in to try and bring that together as a team. Well, let's see what he can do with a whole lot of the talent suddenly missing.