Herb Waters mentioned being part of the family at the University of Miami that was cause for him and best friend James Burgess Jr. to make their decision to commit to the Miami Hurricanes on Sunday.
What better way to join the big family that is the UM recruiting class of 2012 than to do so with your best friend.
“Yeah, we had planned it all along,” the 6-foot, 175-pound receiver said. “I'm very excited ... can’t wait. I like the family and the swag that they have.”
As for Burgess, whose father James Burgess Sr. is a former Hurricane and NFL player, Waters' having the same mindset was key, as well.
“If not for Herb then I probably wouldn’t have committed early,” said Burgess, a linebacker who had 132 tackles last season. “That helped me out with my decision.”
Burgess’ decision was made easy, not only by the Waters, but also by the other two teams he had left on his list. It came down to Miami over Oregon and Florida State.
“But Oregon got in trouble,” Burgess said of the Ducks’ recruiting scandal that is currently under investigation. “And FSU, I hadn’t talked to them in a long while, just lost contact with them.”
And so Miami was right there for the picking, even though most figured the young Burgess might follow in his fathers' footsteps. James Sr. played for the Hurricanes in the mid 90s before turning to the NFL.
“He never really pushed me. He would support me with anywhere I picked,” James Jr. said. “It was all my decisions from the get-go.”
Waters said his decision was tough and that his final three teams were Miami, Florida State and UCF.
The Knights were right there in the hunt.
“UCF was very close,” Waters said. “... if anything happens they’ll still be in my top five with Miami, FSU, Florida and North Carolina.”
Waters said he was growing somewhat tiresome of the recruting process.
“Yeah, it was kinda hectic with all the coaches calling and wanting to talk all the time,” Waters said. “It's a very difficult decision. I just had to sit back and evaluate the schools and talk to my mom and everything.”
Mom should be happy. Waters said Homestead is about an hour away from Coral Gables, while Sun Life Stadium, where the Hurricanes play their home games, is only about 30 minutes from his house.
Burgess and Waters are Nos. 21 and 22 of the Hurricanes 2012 recruiting class. Miami will probably sign about 30 players on Feb. 1 and having only room for a small class this past National Signing Day.
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at email@example.com.