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Tuesday, May 14, 2013
4-star California QB commits to Canes

By Erik McKinney


It was shaping up to be an interesting recruiting battle for quarterback Brad Kaaya (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade) as Pac-12 programs eyed the 6-foot-4, 213-pound signal-caller and likely would have picked up interest this fall. But those teams won't get that opportunity, as Kaaya put an end to his recruiting process on Monday morning, as he committed to the Miami Hurricanes.

"I'd been thinking about doing it for a while, ever since I got the offer," Kaaya said. "I sat down with my mom and thought about it deeply on Mother's Day."

Though Miami hasn't exactly recently been the Miami of years past, it's still a powerful name in college football, and that played a big role in Kaaya's decision.

"There are a handful of high-end teams in college football," Kaaya said. "There are programs like Alabama, Michigan, Texas and USC, and Miami is right there with them. I think Coach [Al] Golden has them headed the right way."

Somewhat surprisingly, it was also the success of former Florida State quarterbacks that helped the Hurricanes land a commitment from Kaaya.

"Coach [James] Coley has coached some big-time quarterbacks at Florida State, with Christian Ponder and E.J. Manuel," Kaaya said of Coley, who is now the Miami offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. "That offense really fits me, the pro-style with multiple formations. I can see myself thriving in that."

As for the rest of the recruiting process, Kaaya said he is fairly closed off.

"This is a pretty hard commit," he said. "I want to get down to Miami as much as possible and recruit other guys to Miami as well. This can be a really good class and I want to see if I can get a bunch of guys from California to come with me."

Kaaya certainly has to like what he sees so far, as he looks to have a ton of offensive help heading to Coral Gables, Fla.,  with him, including the nation's No. 3 running back, Joseph Yearby (Miami/Central) and two ESPN 150 offensive tackles, Kc McDermott (Wellington, Fla./Palm Beach Central) and Trevor Darling (Miami/Central).

As to whether or not he will be able to enroll early at Miami, Kaaya said it's still undecided.

"I'm trying to enroll early, but it's not something that's been done a lot from my school," he said. "I'm pushing hard for it, though."

Kaaya also held an offer from San Diego State and was one of the region's top quarterbacks during the spring 7-on-7 circuit. Last fall, Kaaya took over at quarterback partway through the season and finished with 1,875 passing yards and 13 touchdowns. He'll be the starter as a senior and will be looked at to lead the Eagles after the graduation of standout tailback Terrell Newby.