UM Football

Ely linebacker Terry McCray commits to Miami Hurricanes


Ely’s Terry McCray orally committed to UM, the Hurricanes’ 15th Class of 2014 recruit from South Florida.

Pompano Blanche Ely football coach Charles Hafley has been involved in high school sports in Broward County long enough to see how the University of Miami has recruited its backyard under its past three coaches.

It’s the current guy in charge — Al Golden — whom Hafley said has figured out the best way to build meaningful relationships in South Florida and a pipeline to Coral Gables, one that netted the Hurricanes another early 2014 oral commitment Tuesday morning, this time from Ely standout linebacker Terry McCray.

Rated a two-star recruit by and the nation’s 58th-best inside linebacker by 247Sports (it ranks McCray three stars), the Hurricanes had been recruiting McCray (6-3, 220 pounds) intently since October. McCray said he chose UM over offers from Syracuse, Minnesota, Cincinnati and West Virginia.

“I always liked Miami, always liked the school,” said McCray, who took an unofficial visit to UM on Tuesday where he met with coaches and gave them his commitment. “I really feel like the team they’re putting together is going to be one of the best in the country. I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity for that and to play with my favorite college team.”

By picking UM, McCray becomes the 24th player to join UM’s 2014 class and the 15th commitment from South Florida (10 from Miami-Dade, three from Broward, two from Palm Beach). He’s also the first player from Ely to choose the Hurricanes since four members of the Tigers’ state championship team in 2002 — including his cousin, defensive lineman Teraz McCray — opted to head to Coral Gables.

“Our tradition [at Ely] for a while there was sending guys to LSU — Patrick Peterson, my cousin Rashard Robinson,” said McCray, who also received interest from Florida State and LSU throughout the recruiting process. “I just didn’t want to follow everybody else.”

McCray, who turns 19 in January, said UM coaches recruited him because of his ability to rush the quarterback (he had 13 sacks as a junior) and defend in pass coverage in a 3-4 scheme.

McCray said he grew up playing defensive back until his sophomore year.

A third-team All-Broward selection by the Miami Herald last season, McCray finished his junior year with 89 solo tackles and 20 tackles for loss. Hafley said McCray has a 2.5 GPA and recently took the ACT but still hasn’t received the test score. He believes McCray will qualify for UM.

Hafley credits defensive backs coach Paul Williams and Golden with doing a great job of recruiting McCray.

“South Florida has always been and always will be UM territory,” Hafley said. “Coach [Randy] Shannon, coach [Larry] Coker knew that. But at the end of the day, Coach Golden is just going beyond the call of building relationships. His coaching staff and his support staff as well.”

Hafley said community service projects and football camps enacted by Golden have paved the way for better relationships between UM and local coaches and players.

“They had Stephen Morris, [Denzel Perryman], [Tracy Howard] at the park down here in our neighborhood recently,” Hafley said. “The players are the ones really selling the program. Howard did a great job communicating and telling the kids what UM is all about, about it’s family atmosphere. It’s something that is big for the high school kids and younger kids to hear it from someone from their own backyard.”

Hafley said Golden, entering his third year at UM, has built stronger relationships with head coaches and programs in South Florida during the past year.

“When Coach Golden came to recruit a previous player [Robinson] from here last year, he took time to speak to staff members so he can build those relationships,” Hafley said. “He’s really winning over the South Florida coaching community by doing those things and the clinics they have.” ranks UM’s 2014 class third behind Tennessee (24 commitments) and Florida State (22 commitments), and ranks UM’s fifth behind Tennessee, FSU, Georgia (16 commitments) and Alabama (15 commitments). ESPN, which moved UM up five spots after last week’s commitments from Miami Booker T. Washington defensive end Chad Thomas and cornerback Nigel Bethel, had UM ranked seventh before Tuesday’s commitment from McCray.

Read more UM stories from the Miami Herald

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Tough road:</span> Hurricanes linebacker Denzel Perryman (52), with Thurston Armbrister, relishes the challenge of playing in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday. ‘I can’t wait for this matchup.’

    UM Football

    Miami Hurricanes show no fear of going to Nebraska

    UM’s defense, better statistically this season after three games, is going into Saturday’s game against Nebraska’s explosive offense confident it can hold its own

UM quarterback Gray Crow is shown during the team's spring scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens on Saturday, April 12, 2014.

    UM notebook

    Gray Crow moves back to quarterback for University of Miami

    “No, it’s not easy,” Golden said of Crow’s situation. “The idea behind the move back in July was give him an opportunity to play, based on our depth at quarterback. We were hoping he could help us at H-back, at fullback, at long-snapper or in some way on special teams. He talked to us [Tuesday] and we moved him back.”

FILE- In this Sept. 6, 2014, file photo, Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya watches from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA football game against Florida A&M in Miami Gardens, Fla. Kaaya was walking through the Miami campus earlier this week, totally unbothered and unnoticed as he strolled around Lake Osceola. Call it a rare moment of solitude for the Hurricanes' quarterback, who has been thrust into the fire as a freshman starter and is now getting ready for No. 24 Nebraska on Saturday night.

    UM Football

    Miami Hurricanes QB Brad Kaaya to face huge test at Nebraska

    With Kevin Olsen no longer at UM and Ryan Williams nearing his comeback, Kaaya says he's ready to enter hostile territory.

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category