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College Football: Figueroa orally commits to Miami

BY TAFT COGHILL JR.

The University of Miami football program may not have the luster it possessed in years past.

But as soon as the Hurricanes offered former Brooke Point star linebacker Alex Figueroa a scholarship on Saturday, there was no resistance.

Figueroa orally committed to the Hurricanes Saturday on an official visit.

His decision capped a roller-coaster year that began with a commitment to Division II Shepherd (W.Va.) University and also included a decision to attend Fork Union Military Academy that never materialized.

“It’s definitely been stressful, but I’ve learned a lot of lessons,” Figueroa said. “This is a positive opportunity for me and I don’t want to take it for granted. I want to make the most of it.”

Figueroa, who graduated from Brooke Point in June, backed out of his letter of intent to Shepherd because he made a late comeback academically that gave him hopes of qualifying for a Division I school.

He wanted to attend Fork Union to increase his academic standing and also improve test scores. But he suffered a shoulder injury in the Virginia High School Coaches Association all-star game in July. He was named the West team Defensive Most Valuable Player in that contest.

After his injury, Figueroa decided not to attend Fork Union. He instead took SAT preparatory classes. Miami remained interested in him throughout, and when the Hurricanes’ coaches offered a scholarship, Figueroa said it was an easy decision to accept immediately.

“There was never any doubt,” Figueroa said. “I kept telling the coaches: ‘I want to be a ’Cane.’”

Figueroa is scheduled to fly home from Miami today. He plans to sign a national letter of intent to make the decision final whenever possible.

Brooke Point coach Jeff Berry said he’s proud of the way Figueroa bounced back from an academic situation that could’ve derailed a promising career.

At 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, Figueroa was a two-time Free Lance–Star All-Area selection. Berry said it’s gratifying to see Figueroa land a scholarship because “he was the only one who could fix his problems, and he did.”

“It makes you feel good,” Berry said. “When I talked to Alex on the phone [Saturday] I told him how proud I am of him. He’s taken a different approach to get where he’s at, but in the end hard work paid off. It wasn’t easy for him, but it’s rewarding to see a young person be able to pull that off.”

Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526

tcoghill@freelancestar.com

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