Lorenzo Lingard on official visit to Miami: ‘It felt like a family reunion’

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The official visit weekend Miami just conducted was somewhat of an unusual one. There was no one in Coral Gables, Fla., who the Hurricanes were trying to sway. Instead, the goal was simply to get all the committed members in the Class of 2018, such as Lorenzo Lingard, together one last time before a major chunk of them arrive on campus as early enrollees.

This wasn’t a situation where players were meeting each other for the first time, though. Most members of the class spent just about every Saturday in Miami Gardens, Fla., watching the Hurricanes piece together an unbeaten record at Hard Rock Stadium. The recruits all know each other. The coaches, of course, all know the recruits. Even current players have already embraced the recruits as teammates.

“They’re all cool with us because we’ve been there multiple times for camps and games, so everyone is well-connected with the players,” Lingard told DieHards. “Basically it felt like a family reunion or like a cookout.”

The 5-star running back was one of 18 scholarship commits to spend the weekend in South Florida ahead of the newly-instituted early signing period. It’s possible all 18 could sign their national letters of intent this week and about a dozen, including Lingard, will enroll early and join the team in January.

Partially because of the loaded official visit weekend, there won’t be any adjustment for Lingard and Co. when they arrive on campus. The early enrollees have already picked out roommates — Lingard is set to room with 4-star safety Gurvan Hall — and have learned about how they will mesh together as teammates and friends.

“The main thing I took away is how close we are as a team already,” Lingard said. “We’re not even at Miami yet, but we’re all committed. It’s just the bonding went up a level. Basically, the thoughts and goals we all had in mind, it just shows everyone that we’re going to be something special.”

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound halfback from University High School in Orange City, Fla., is one of the incoming freshmen who will have the most likely chance to earn early playing time. With star running back Mark Walton heading to the NFL and athlete DeeJay Dallas, who hosted Lingard, potentially moving back to a versatile role after being pressed into duty as the Hurricanes’ No. 2 running back after Walton’s right ankle injury, Lingard could be a logical complement to Travis Homer.

Lingard is the only running back set to enroll early, although 4-star running back Cam’Ron Davis and 3-star fullback Realus George will both sign Wednesday. There wasn’t much football talk this weekend, but Lingard did talk with running backs coach Thomas Brown about a few small details the senior could use before he gets to Miami.

“We went over some first-day expectations, plays,” Lingard said. “Pretty much while it was me, Realus and Cam’Ron there, it was just the basics of like first day of practice and whatnot from a football standpoint, but other than that it was all fun and games.”

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