As a recruit: Thurston Armbrister finished his senior season at Hollywood Hills High with just one offer -- Northern Colorado. Al Golden and the Hurricanes needed an additional linebacker (even though he played safety in high school) so they offered him late. He was coached by former UM player Scott Barnwell. He never even took any other official visits.
As a Hurricane: Armbrister played mostly on the practice squad as a freshman in 2011. He played in all 12 games as a sophomore in 2012, starting four of them. He finished that season with 40 total tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage. His playing time increased even more as a junior last season. He played in all 13 games, starting six of them. He finished the season with 33 tackles, five for loss, two sacks, and one fumble recovery. He finished the spring as one of the co-starters along with Alex Figueroa, who was dismissed from the team over the summer. Armbrister now sits atop the depth chart at one of the outside linebacker spots.
What to expect: It's not common that a South Florida prospect goes unrecruited by all other Division 1 programs before signing and becoming a starter at a school like Miami. Armbrister came here undersized and that was part of the reason why he had a hard time grabbing a starting spot early in his career. He's now over 240 pounds, knows the defense well, and is one of the hardest working kids on that side of the ball. He's now the expected starter at sam linebacker. He can be a three-down player for the Canes and should have a decent senior season. He's not going to make many game-changing plays, like Denzel Perryman does, but he'll be in the right spot a lot and his experience will be an asset on that side of the ball. Freshman Darrion Owens is hot on his trail for the starting spot but Armbrister seems to have a good grasp on it heading into the season. It's likely that both will play about the same amount of snaps by the time the second half of the season rolls around.