When Adrian Thomas and Edwin Rios both committed to Miami, they said he wanted to get busy on the recruiting trail and bring other blue chippers to Coral Gables. The duo both started with Dwayne Collins, a 6-foot-7, 185-pound power forward from at Miami (Fla.) High. Collins decided to join the party and committed to the Hurricanes on Sunday night.
Collins verbally committed to the University of Miami thanks in large part to some convincing of his AAU teammates.
Thomas, a 2005 signee, played with both Collins and Rios with Team Breakdown on the AAU circuit last year. Now finished with his high school career, Thomas made sure he went to work on Collins.
"He was real high on my list of guys to talk to," Thomas said. "He's one of the biggest names in the nation. He's a lot like Ben Wallace and Shaq. He just dunks everything. We need that in the ACC."
Team Breakdown coach Kenny Gillion said he wasn't surprised about Collins' decision.
"I knew he was saying he was going to commit but I just didn't know when. I guess he decided that he wanted to be close to home after he left (to be in San Diego for the International Sports Invitational)."
Frank Haith and his staff are wrangling in the best talent in South Florida. Collins joins Brian Asbury, Denis Clemente, Adrian Thomas and Rios as the home grown prospects to pick the Hurricanes. Miami landed Ohio shooting guard James Dews last week.
"This is huge for Dwayne. One of the main reasons he's going there is because of Adrian and Eddie," Gillion said. "They are all used to each other. They are going to have some great continuity there on the team because they've all been playing together for so long."
"It's going to be like high school and AAU all over again" Thomas said.
Collins is one of the top athletes in the Southeast and his presence inside the paint will only be improved, says Gillion.
"If they can get him to work hard on every possession, they are going to have a beast of a player," Gillion said. "Coach Haith is going to really push him. Right now, he can go only 60 to 70 percent and dominate around here. He's not going to dominate in the ACC at that pace. If they get his best game all the team, he's going to be really good. He's on his way right now. He's already added 10 to 12 pounds from working out with his high school coach."