Manatee defensive tackle Ryan Fines had a feeling prior to arriving for his unofficial visit at the University of Miami this week that he was likely going to be joining the Hurricanes 2015 recruiting class.
"My family and I were thinking I was going to commit," said Fines, who did indeed commit to the Hurricanes during his trip to Coral Gables. "We had done research for like a week before that and everything we saw just kept getting better and better."
Fines, who is ranked No. 75 in the Sentinel's 2015 Florida Top 100, joined Miramar offensive guard Leeward Brown as Hurricanes commits Wednesday, bringing the 'Canes count for 2015 to five pledges altogether. UM also has commitments from Royal Palm Beach ATH Charles Perry, Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep OT Kevin Feder and Hollywood Flanagan WR Emonee Spence.
"The main thing was the family atmosphere that is shared within the football team," Fines said of UM. "I felt very comfortable around the coaches and the players.
"I'm thrilled and I feel that there is kind of a load off my chest because I don't have to worry about colleges and stuff going forward."
Fines has been recruited by Gulf Coast area Hurricanes recruiter Art Kehoe, the UM offensive line coach, who showed Fines and his family around campus on Wednesday.
Kehoe told Fines he likes the way the 6-foot-3, 305-pounder is able to fight off blocks, including his ability to overcome double-team situations.
"He said he likes my physicality. I get double-teamed a lot and I don't back down," Fines said. "And also my tenacity and never-say-die attitude."
Manatee, under long-time head coach Joe Kinnan, has been producing top-notch college talent for a number of years. The 2014 class had six Manatee players sign with FBS programs: RB Trevon Walters (Missouri), DT Demarcus Christmas (Florida State), DB Darien Dailey (Rutgers), OT Jake Stickler (Georgia Tech), WR Brodrick Yancy (Temple), and OL Mike Galati (USF).
"For me it's a huge honor. Of all these great players that come before me, I get to kind of keep the torch lit and pass it on," Fines said. "It feels really good."
Fines also said the advice from players who have gone on to the next level has also been helpful.
"They all have kept giving the same advice, like about when you find the school that's right for you, you will know it and that's kind of how it was with Miami," Fines said. "I felt something different there than with any other college."
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting, Instagram at os_recruiting and on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.