There’s a dangling carrot in the face of Florida Gators football fans and it goes by the name Sam Bruce.
The Fort Lauderdale wide receiver Sam Bruce (5’8”, 179 lbs., St. Thomas Aquinas) is committed to the University of Miami and has been since July of 2014. But with best friend and running back Jordan Scarlett already moved in at the University of Florida and a hassle of Gator catching on to the receiver, Bruce is starting to feel the love/pressure.
“[Jordan] is always floating stuff on twitter, making Gator fans mess with me and stuff; it is what it is.”
And that’s what it will be for a while at least. Bruce describes his commitment to the Hurricanes as “very solid right now”, and as one of the top three recruits in Miami’s class (Rivals has him as the Canes number one recruit while ESPN has him tied at number two) he’s a recruit that Al Golden and company can’t really afford to lose as they attempt to rebound from a 6-7 season.
Golden will also be a key cog to Bruce’s recruitment it seems.
When asked what could cause him to flip his commitment from Miami to Florida, there was a long pause before Sam responded, “coaching change [at Miami], that’s pretty much it.”
If a flip were to happen, it would come on recruitment’s biggest stage, as Bruce says he would announce his final decision on National Signing Day, which will be February 3rd, 2016.
Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain has a plan in mind though for Bruce.
“In the slot, at running back, kick return, punt return, special teams. Anywhere he puts me, I feel like I can score from.”
Since he’s being recruited mainly as a wide receiver, the running back comment jumps out, but the St. Thomas Aquinas product says he splits his reps by about a quarter as Raider, lining up as a back “a good 20-25% of the time.”
But his best work comes in the position he’s more comfortable and confident in, the slot.
“I can use my elusiveness, I’m going up against linebackers so it’s pretty easy for me. And at running back, I feel like it’ll be the same because I’m still going against linebackers, but I feel like I do well at receiver.”
It’s that confidence, along with skills that have been showcased at camps all summer, which will be on display for the Gators program during Friday Night Lights at the end of July. Bruce will use that stage and his senior season to continually show football fans what he might bring to their college team.
“I feel like I’ve proved enough but nothing is ever enough for me.”
Nothing will be enough for the kid who’s using that ideal to steadily rise in recognition. But if the Florida Gator fans (along with Jordan Scarlett) that are keeping an eye on Sam Bruce have anything to say about it, he might be just enough to help get their program back to where they want it to be.