Profile: Sam Bruce
Location: Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
Class of 2016
Position: Wide Receiver
Weight: 165-pounds No. 7 WR
Recruiting: Bruce elected to stay home and just pledged to the University of Miami. He could have virtually named his school, as he had scholarship offers from some of the best college football programs in the country like Florida State, Florida, Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Notre Dame, South Carolina and many others. He committed to the Hurricanes over the Seminoles and Buckeyes.
What to like: What’s not to like about Sam Bruce? This kid is an extraordinary talent.
Looks can be deceiving so don’t let his size fool you because Bruce is a superior football player. He has very good speed and will run in the 4.4 [forty] range. And he’s quicker than fast. His short area quickness is outstanding. He can beat a defender(s) in space with open field moves or pure speed. I mean he can break some ankles because of his ability to shake and bake. Bruce can start and stop and accelerate to top end speed very quickly.
Bruce has exceptional hands and elite ball skills. He can go up in traffic and catch the football. He’s just a natural ball catcher who makes playing this position look so easy. Bruce is smooth and effortless, whether it’s running routes, catching the football or just making big plays.
Even at this stage he’s a good route runner and so tough to handle in coverage. Bruce is tough to press because of his quickness at the line of scrimmage. He’s deceptively strong and fast out of his breaks. When he wants to Bruce can turn it on and run in another gear.
Bruce also can be a huge weapon in the kick/punt return game because of the abilities mentioned above combined with his super athleticism.
Aside from all of the things I just talked about what I love best about Bruce is his attitude. He plays with a confidence and swagger that you don’t often see. This certainly spills over to his teammates.
What may be of concern: At this point the only knock I would have on Bruce is his size. But I wouldn’t be concerned whatsoever. And I have rarely said that about 5-foot-8 wide receivers.
Overall analysis: The ‘Canes hit the recruiting jackpot here with the commitment of Bruce. Simply, he’s the type of player that we saw Miami sign time and time again when they went on their championships runs.
The bottom line is that he’s an exceptional playmaker. Look for Bruce to man the slot wide receiver position. Barring injury, he should be a plug and play guy from the moment he steps foot on campus. This is a pure slot receiver that can be so effective in space, catching screens and he will go over the middle. Bruce also has deep speed. He has the ability to do it all from the slot.
I remember seeing Bruce play on the South Florida Express 7v7 team when he was a freshman and he was their best player then. Yes, at that age. In all my years I had never seen a kid ever play with that kind of bravado as a freshman in high school. Bruce just has this swagger and air of confidence that you don’t often see, especially in younger players. He’s highly competitive and never backs down to anyone. Bruce plays with no fear.
And I think how he plays, with all that passion and confidence, bleeds over to his teammates. Bruce makes his teammates better. There are not too many non-quarterbacks that can make that happen. I expect him to bring that to the University of Miami.
There’s no question in my mind that pound for pound he is arguably the best player in Florida right now in the 2016 class. Certainly I love the upside of wide receivers in his class from Florida like Nate Craig (Tampa Catholic) and Darnell Salomon (Hialeah, Fla./Champagnat Catholic) but they are 6-foot-3 wide receivers, therefore they get the higher rating. Still, there’s no question in my mind that if Bruce stays healthy he can go to Coral Gables and have an outstanding career for the Hurricanes. Miami just has to keep recruiting him and hang on for another 18 months or so.