Posted by Bryan Fischer
When Miami coach Al Golden sat down with CBSSports.com earlier this year, he said there was a misconception about "building a fence" around the three counties close to the school and that he would worry more about, "the ones that could play." That strategy has paid dividends because the Hurricanes picked up two commitments Monday afternoon and both can flat-out play.
"Miami was so close to home," Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) defensive end Jelani Hamilton told CaneSport.com. "It has my major of marine biology. Their football program has a lot of tradition, and that's very important."
A four-star player from local powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Hamilton is ranked 77th overall in the class of 2012 by MaxPreps. He has played both end and tackle in high school but commits to Miami as a 6-foot-5, 255 pound defensive end who wants to bring a few things to Coral Gables before he graduates.
"A national championship," he said. "That's what it's about. And winning the Lombardi, Heisman. But winning the national championship as a team is my goal. I'm a team player, put the team ahead of myself."
Hamilton held offers from Florida, Florida State, LSU and Oklahoma among others. He racked up six sacks last season as a junior.
In addition to the big defensive pledge, Leesburg (Fla.) wide receiver D'Mauri Jones also committed to Miami on Monday.
"It started when (receivers coach George) McDonald came out to my school during the spring and watched me," Jones told the site. "Miami was a school I had always thought about since I was little. I was pretty excited, but I had to keep my cool so I didn't get all crazy and mess up. I had a pretty good practice that day and they offered me soon after that. I was excited about it. But I had to stay humble. I wanted to get down to Miami and confirm it."
The big, 6-foot-4, 200-pound receiver made an unofficial visit to the school over the weekend and it wasn't too long before he made his commitment public after falling in love with the city and the school.
"I've decided what I want to do," Jones said. "I like the facilities at Miami and way they interact with the players. And I love the city. It was my first time in Miami. I really liked it a lot. I am from Leesburg. It's a little slow here. I liked the faster paced city."
The pair gives the Hurricanes 17 commitments for the class of 2012. Hamilton is the fourth defensive end and Jones the third wide receiver in Golden's first full recruiting class.