University of Miami

Former Canes linebacker Jermaine Grace to graduate from UM, enter NFL Draft

Jermaine Grace practices at the University of Miami on Saturday, August 6, 2016.
Jermaine Grace practices at the University of Miami on Saturday, August 6, 2016.

Former University of Miami linebacker Jermaine Grace, who was dismissed from the Hurricanes football team one week before the season opener, has decided to enter the NFL Draft, according to his attorney, Jason Setchen.

Setchen told the Miami Herald on Wednesday night that Grace, 23, who is from Miramar and still on scholarship at UM despite not playing football this season, “is expected to graduate in December and will participate in Pro Day with the team, but will be moving on to the NFL.’’

Grace, the 6-1, 210-pound leading tackler (79) from the 2015 UM squad, was dismissed along with defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad on Aug. 27 because he violated NCAA rules in a highly publicized luxury car-rental case.

Setchen said Grace has been working out in Miami several days a week with former Hurricanes strength-and-conditioning coach Andreu Swasey.

“Jermaine’s No. 1 priority all along was to earn a degree from the University of Miami,’’ said the Miami-based Setchen, “and the athletic department has honored its commitment to Jermaine and his family to allow him to complete his education.

“While he could have sought reinstatement by the NCAA and under the graduate transfer rule transferred to another Football Bowl Subdivision institution, he decided to fulfill another lifelong dream and enter the NFL Draft as a college graduate.”

UM’s defense has fared extremely well despite the players’ dismissals, with three true freshmen who have done a spectacular job at linebacker. The Canes are No. 1 in the nation in tackles for loss, No. 4 in rushing defense and No. 20 in total defense.