Bissainthe ends Miami’s South Florida recruiting drought, even with Diaz’s future murky

·2 min read

Wesley Bissainthe knows the Miami Hurricanes are in the middle of an uncertain moment, with no clear answer as to whether Manny Diaz will be the coach next week — let alone next season — or what any of the coaching staff will look like.

He also knows Miami will always be home, though, and it’s why he’s joining the Hurricanes, anyway.

The four-star linebacker from Miami Central orally committed to the Hurricanes on Saturday, choosing the hometown team even as Miami is in the middle of an athletic director search, which could lead to a coaching change in the coming days.

Bissainthe announced his commitment on CBS Sports HQ, picking the Hurricanes over the Florida State Seminoles, Florida Gators, Penn State Nittany Lions and West Virginia Mountaineers.

“They showed the most love,” Bissainthe told CBS Sports. “They never backed off.”

Bissainthe is the first player from South Florida to commit to Miami’s Class of 2022 and he fills a glaring need for the Hurricanes. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound senior is the No. 20 linebacker in the nation, according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings, and Miami only currently has one former blue-chip linebacker on its roster.

He’s also only the ninth member of the class, although six of the nine recruits are four-star recruits.

Bissainthe has been one of the best linebackers in the state since his sophomore year at Central. Bissainthe has been a first-team all-county selection by the Miami Herald in each of the last two seasons as he helped the Rockets win back-to-back state titles. On Dec. 17, Bissainthe and Central will go for a three-peat when they play Merritt Island in the Class 5A championship in Fort Lauderdale.

He has been one of the Hurricanes’ top targets all along. Miami was the second school to offer him a scholarship back in 2019 and Diaz, in particular, made him a priority. The Hurricanes spent most of Bissainthe’s recruitment as a frontrunner, although Florida State made up ground late by beating Miami in November and throwing Diaz’s future into serious doubt.

Bissainthe has a great relationship with Diaz — he said Diaz and Seminoles coach Mike Norvell were the two head coaches he heard from most frequently — and hosted the coach for an in-home visit Sunday and he said Diaz was open about the current situation. The uncertainty around Diaz’s future still made Bissainthe’s decision “real tough,” the blue-chip prospect said Wednesday, but the allure of playing at home for an improving team ultimately led him to stick with the Hurricanes.

“It’s an opportunity for me to put on for my hometown, build my name in my hometown,” Bissainthe said. “It’s just a great opportunity.”

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