The Miami Hurricanes got a very early commitment from Hialeah-American Senior defensive end Olivier Vernon. Vernon is a 4-star prospect and rated as the 9th best defensive end in the nation on Scout.com. After his strong junior season that saw him make 52 tackles (32 solo), 12 ½ sacks and 21 tackles for a loss, there is no doubt why several schools are in hot pursuit of him. So far his senior year hasn't gotten off to the start that he had envisioned due to an ankle injury he suffered in the first game of the season.
"I've been chilling' and been alright," said Vernon on how his senior year has been going. "I've been out with a low ankle sprain. I rolled it in the first game of the season when I was trying to cut back and make a play. I don't know how long I am going to be out; I'm feeling better and I want to play."
The 6'2" 240 pound standout has seen his recruitment pick-up some since the summer as schools have been offering him a scholarship. Even though newer schools have been entering the picture Vernon still says that he's still committed to Miami. It seems now, though, that that commitment isn't as firm as it was when he initially committed.
"It's straight," said Vernon on the status of his commitment. "I'm a soft commitment and I plan on looking around. I want to look at what these other schools have to offer me. I'm planning on visit Miami, Florida State, Alabama and USF, while the other visit I'm still deciding on. What I like about the other schools (Miami and FSU have long been tied to his recruitment) like USF and Alabama is how they are doing this year. I think both are up-and-coming teams. USF wants to use me how they do George Selvie while Alabama wants to use me as a stand-up defensive end and as an outside linebacker. I'm scheduled to visit Alabama December 5th, and I am still waiting to schedule my visit to USF."
Vernon was in town for the annual rivalry game between the Noles and the Canes. He said the game itself was great and that it was a great atmosphere to watch the game in even though the weather was terrible. During the game Olivier got a chance to check out some consider the top 2 schools he is looking at.
"It was a very good game," said Vernon, "and it was very impressive how FSU came out in the first half. FSU's offense is strong and they played well after struggling the first couple weeks. The momentum they had going was impressive on defense, and the play they were getting from some of their guys was good. They got a lot of pressure on the quarterback during the game. I was also impressed with how Miami played in the second half. They didn't give up and fought till the end."
Florida State impressed Olivier over the summer on his visit and impressed him during the game. He told NoleDigest that FSU is still working hard recruiting him and that he'll be visiting them when they play Clemson in November.
"FSU is still trying hard to get me," stated Vernon. "I talk to Coach Amato a lot. He says he can't wait to get me in for a visit so I can check out the environment during a game. I look at it like this: I liked my unofficial so much over the summer that I can't imagine how my official visit is going to be."
Vernon says that all of the schools are even and that they're all recruiting him hard. He told NoleDigest that a school is going to have to show him something that Miami doesn't. After his visit this summer he told us that his announcement was going to be a surprise. When asked if that was still the case, he had something interesting to say.
"All of the teams are on the same level as Miami, and yes, my announcement is going to be a surprise."