University of Miami

Miami releases early football signee Jason Munoz from contract as he commits to Syracuse

Ephraim Banda on Manny Diaz: ‘He’s going to be the best head coach ... in the country”

Safeties coach Ephraim Banda is one of the Miami Hurricanes' new co-defensive coordinators, but he still has high praise for outgoing defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.
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Safeties coach Ephraim Banda is one of the Miami Hurricanes' new co-defensive coordinators, but he still has high praise for outgoing defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.

He signed with the Miami Hurricanes in December.

But now, defensive lineman Jason Munoz, out of Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas High, will be heading to the cold of Syracuse, N.Y., to play football at Syracuse University.

“Jason Munoz has been released from his NLI,’’ Miami athletics director of communications Camron Ghorbi confirmed to the Miami Herald regarding the contract— otherwise known as the National Letter of Intent — that Munoz signed in December to play football at Miami.

Munoz, a three-star recruit according to recruiting sites 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN, posted Monday evening on Twitter that he is committed to Syracuse University. The 247Sports site first cited sources in reporting that “he is coming to Syracuse as a defensive tackle’’ and “was able to get out of his National Letter of Intent.’’



Munoz was apparently released from his NLI because of the coaching changes involving former coach Mark Richt’s departure after he signed. Former defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, who had left to take the Temple head coaching job, then left Temple to come back to Miami as the new head coach.

“I had an amazing visit this weekend and I’m excited to say I’m committed to Syracuse University,’’ Munoz tweeted Monday. “Happy to be apart of the Cuse family. #blessed”

Munoz is believed to be the only signed commit who has been granted a release from his letter of intent. Miami’s other defensive line early signees were 6-4, 271-pound, four-star Jason Blissett Jr. from Queens, N.Y., out of Poly Prep; 6-4, 225-pound, consensus four-star Jahfari Harvey out of Vero Beach High; and 6-2, 280-pound, three-star Jalar Holley out of Buford High in Georgia.

The Canes also expect to sign 6-2, 287-pound graduate transfer defensive tackle Chigozie Nnoruka from the UCLA Bruins, and are still pursuing linemen that include 6-4, 286-pound, three-star Jared Harrison-Hunte of Queens, N.Y. Christ the King; 6-3, 212-pound, four-star Khris Bogle of Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons; and 6-2, 235-pound, four-star Ja’Darien Boykin of Gray Jones County High in Georgia.

National Signing Day is Feb. 6.

Munoz, 6-4 and 276 pounds, had 21 tackles, five tackles for loss, three sacks and a pass defended as a senior at St. Thomas. Injuries plagued him the past two seasons, but UM defensive line coach Jess Simpson was totally impressed with Munoz after seeing him at a camp in June. He was rated as the No. 58 strongside defensive lineman by 247Sports.

“1000% committed #Surge19 #makethecribgeat’’ Munoz wrote on June 2 when he committed to the Canes.

He was also originally offered by programs that included Kentucky, Louisville, Pittsburgh and Virgina Tech, among others.

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Miami Herald sports writer Susan Miller Degnan has been the Miami Hurricanes football beat writer since 2000, the season before the Canes won it all. She has won several APSE national writing awards and has covered everything from Canes baseball to the College Football Playoff to major marathons to the Olympics.
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