Gionni Paul is no longer a Miami Hurricane. He decided to leave the team late this week.
Despite only playing in nine games this season, Paul showed off a tremendous nose for the football. He made 61 tackles, three for loss, and caused a fumble. He averaged double-digit tackles in the games he started.
After becoming a standout linebacker at Kathleen High in Lakeland, Paul was a one-time commitment to Arizona State before getting offered by the Canes late in the recruiting process. After Al Golden took the job at Miami, UM was able to convince him to change his mind and become a Hurricane.
Paul dealt with a couple suspensions over the last two seasons and never seemed destined to be a full-time starter. Now, it will never happen.
Paul was one of eight different Hurricane linebackers to start a game in 2012. He and senior Ramon Buchanan will be gone in 2013.
While the Hurricanes are losing a solid player, they are still in good shape at the linebacker spot. Denzel Perryman returns as the team's leader at that position. Several others, including redshirt freshman standout Eddie Johnson, will be competing for the other two starting spots when spring football opens in March.
Paul's departure also means Miami will likely be able to give out yet another scholarship to its 2013 recruiting class. The Canes have one linebacker commitment now, and seem to be trying to add at least two or three more.