Key South Florida talent leave during college football’s National Signing Day

PLANTATION, FLA. (WSVN) - Wednesday marked college football’s National Signing Day, and about 40 South Florida high school athletes made important decisions.

American Heritage High School was not only spoken of locally, but they were given national attention thanks to several players, including five-star cornerbacks Patrick Surtain Jr. and Tyson Campbell. The University of Miami were expected to retain the homegrown talent here in South Florida, but some decided to pack their bags and head out of state.

Surtain Jr. committed to the University of Alabama after being highly sought after by plenty of schools which included the Hurricanes. His father, Patrick Surtain, is a former Miami Dolphin and all-pro cornerback. Campbell decided to commit to the University of Georgia.

The common denominator? Both high-school stars were on UM’s radar.

“Talking to the coaches, telling them that I won’t attend their schools,” said Surtain Jr. “It was between LSU and Alabama. It was the most stressful decision of my life. I was breaking down in tears. I wanted to go to one school, then the other school. I had to pick one, and I chose Alabama. I think it will be a great fit for me.”

“I told him, ‘This is the first business decision you’re going to make in your life,'” said Patrick Surtain, who is also a coach at American Heritage. “Make it, don’t have no regrets about it and live with it.”

Campbell echoed the sentiment that this was a tough decision.

“It was very tough,” he said. “You know, there were days where I was like, ‘What am I gonna do?’ It was tough last night, making the decision, I prayed on it.”

The ‘Canes were not without splash commitments of their own, though. Four-star wide receiver Marquez Ezzard from Stockbridge, Ga. will be attending UM, along with local four-star prospect and offensive lineman Delone Scaife, Jr.

The full list of UM’s signings can be found here.

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