At 6-foot-7 and 235 pounds, with experience as an all-state wide receiver and at free safety, Gregory Rousseau is not the typical 3-star weakside defensive end. The senior’s experience playing the position for Champagnat Catholic School in Hialeah, Fla., was limited to just this past season. Still, he helped Champagnat Catholic win a Class 2A state championship playing in the box.
Because of his unique background, Rousseau may have a long way to go until he can be a major contributor. If Rousseau reaches his potential, though, there may not be many members of Miami’s Class of 2018 who end up being better than this unique athlete.
That’s why it’s good for Miami that Rousseau is on track to enroll early. After taking his official visit to Coral Gables, Fla., this past weekend, Rousseau is excited to get to work, particularly in the Hurricanes strength and conditioning program.
“It’s really important, the weight training. He didn’t say anything I don’t know,” Rousseau said. “[Director of strength and conditioning Gus Felder] was just talking about different plans to do well, like after workouts and stuff. And like the results of players on the team right now and how they’ve grown during the last couple months. It was cool.”
Rousseau, like most of the rest of his future teammates who took official visits this weekend, said there wasn’t much football talk otherwise. He spent some time with defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski, but even those moments centered mostly on non-football topics.
“He was just trying to get to know me and my family better,” the defensive lineman said, “build that relationship more and more.”
The official visit weekend, which included 19 committed members of the Hurricanes’ incoming class, didn’t revolve around football or recruiting. The Miami coaching staff entered with full confidence that everyone in attendance would wind up in green and orange. The Hurricanes wanted to make them feel part of the program even before they join.
It meant not just spending time with their fellow classmates and coaches, but players currently on the team. Defensive back Malek Young hosted Rousseau, and the interactions with older teammates solidified the vibe Miami hoped to establish.
“It was football talk, but it was mostly just spending time with each other and getting to know each other, too,” Rousseau said. “Kind of both, but not that much football talk.”
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