Bulls facing smaller recruiting class in 2010
With a huge incoming class that should push USF very close if not all the way to its limit of 85 scholarships and a small senior class in 2009, the Bulls should have a much smaller recruiting class next year.
USF has just 13 scholarship seniors this fall, so even with some attrition next fall, it's doubtul the Bulls would be able to sign more than 16-18 players for their 2010 class. There are already three players who consider themselves commitments for 2010 -- Bradenton quarterback Brion Carnes and two junior college players, defensive end Claude Davis and tackle Justin Green.
Add in a few grayshirts from this year's class -- let's say two, just for a number -- and suddenly the Bulls have just eight scholarships to use for athletes enrolling in fall 2010. It's reasonable to think a few underclassmen will leave the program, opening a handful more, but regardless, it should be USF's smallest recruiting class since joining the Big East in 2005.
Of course, USF won't have the same holes to fill after the 2009 season. I count nine seniors who project as starters -- quarterback Matt Grothe and receiver Jessie Hester on offense (perhaps tight end Ben Busbee, too), and defensive end George Selvie, defensive tackle Aaron Harris, linebacker Kion Wilson, cornerback Jerome Murphy and safety Nate Allen on defense, plus punter Delbert Alvarado. The Bulls had at least 12 senior starters in 2008, depending how you count them up ...
-- Fun note, in that Wally Burnham's son Shane, an assistant at Elon, worked Florida for the Phoenix and got six recruits to sign out of Elon's class of 15. Burnham credited his father's connections and wisdom from the coaching staff at USF for helping set him in the right direction ... I knew Wally was happy with the incoming class when I saw him out for his regular lunch-hour walk around campus -- and that was before he knew he'd gotten Kayvon Webster. Burnham's son Pat works in USF's football office as well, so it's a good week for the whole family.
-- More Super Bowl publicity: This week's Sports Illustrated has a two-page photo (taken by Ben Roethlisberger, no less) of Troy Polamalu playing pool in the locker room of USF's athletic facility. If you look closely, you can see the green-and-gold numbers on the lockboxes in each locker ...