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Recruit picks Hurricanes because ‘there’s no way Miami will lose this’ vs. NCAA

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Miami president Donna Shalala probably didn't mean for her missives against the NCAA to double as recruiting propaganda, but they helped land one blue-chip lineman.

Reilly Gibbons, a 6-foot-6, 278-pound offensive lineman who was a four-star Rivals recruit, had scholarship offers from 37 schools, but it was Shalala's writing about Miami's NCAA case that caused him to pick the Hurricanes, the Associated Press reported.

Gibbons researched Miami's issues with the NCAA, which included a notice of allegations and a motion by Miami to the NCAA to drop the case, that stem from Nevin Shapiro's allegations. He found Shalala's instances of ripping the NCAA, including the proclamation that "we have suffered enough," was impressed and convinced.

"When you have a president like President Shalala on your side, you can't lose," Gibbons said, according to AP. "And there's no way Miami will lose this."

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Reilly Gibbons (Rivals.com)

Gibbons' mother is a lawyer and he wants to be a lawyer himself, and the AP story said that Shalala's writings reminded him of his mother's writing style.

"I knew that I really loved Miami and I knew that I wanted to go there. I just wasn't sure if the NCAA thing was going to work out and it kind of worried me, to be honest," Gibbons said. "So I looked things up and I found President Shalala's letters to the NCAA. She is amazing the way she writes. It impressed me so much that a president of an academic university like Miami would stand up for her football team."

Miami probably didn't expect that little bonus from its fight with the NCAA, but it's a nice get. The Hurricanes already have three four-star offensive line recruits committed for next year's class.

That could change. Gibbons' commitment is just verbal. If the NCAA gets around to making a final ruling before next year's signing day and there are sanctions, Gibbons could change his mind. He doesn't think that will be necessary, however.

"The NCAA, they're notorious for drawing things out," Gibbons said, according to AP. "No matter how long it takes, what the football program has already done is definitely enough, and I don't believe there will be any other sanctioning against Miami."

Miami fans should hope that Gibbons is as good at telling the future as he is at playing on the offensive line.

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