Cann looking at Eckerd, Florida Southern
Former USF forward Zaronn Cann, whose scholarship was not renewed by Bulls coach Stan Heath, has talked with Division II Eckerd College and Florida Southern about transferring to play the next three years.
Cann, the former Brandon standout whose two seasons at USF were limited by two knee surgeries, said he took an unofficial visit to James Madison last week. If he were to transfer to another Division I program, he'd have to sit out a year before he could play, and since he played sparingly in eight games in two seasons with the Bulls, it's understandable why he might choose a local D-II option that allows him to play this fall.
-- Kem Nweke, the 6-foot-10 center prospect from suburban Houston who made an official visit to USF last week, went home to Texas without a scholarship offer. "It' didn't go well at all," his father Vince said Tuesday, pointing to the lack of a scholarship as the main source of frustration. Kem also had his flight home delayed, then cancelled, so he had to stay an extra night in a Tampa hotel on his own dime, his father said, then had his cell phone stolen in the airport Sunday. "Everything that could go wrong, went wrong," Vince said. It's probably a good sign for Bulls fans that Heath isn't rushing anything, even with three scholarships open and the spring signing period ending next week.
-- From what I heard, Pensacola Junior College point guard Vernon Carr was making a decision Tuesday night, and USF's chances look good. The Bulls' toughest competition looks to be Towson. How's this for a small world: I talked Tuesday with Carr's high school coach from Detroit Redford, Derrick McDowell, now an assistant at Eastern Michigan. Get this: he was an assistant coach at Wayne State in the early 90s, and he left, he was replaced there by ... Stan Heath. And McDowell's college roommate when he played at Stetson? That'd be ... former USF assistant Frank Burnell.
Anyway, I've heard a lot of positive things about Carr in the last day or two, but check this out from McDowell: "Vernon was probably the most well-round player I had (at Redford), in talent, academics, personality, working hard and just being a teammate. He was by far the best. Vernon is one that just exemplifies all the skills you need as a player: very intelligent, very competitive, very coachable." I asked him if he thought Carr could play at the Big East level, and he said "I think he can compete in the Big East. He might not be their best player, but Vernon would be very credible for what they're trying to do there, in terms of setting a foundation under Coach Heath."
-- Football news! I can confirm a new preferred walk-on for the fall. Plant senior Mike Walsh will be on USF's roster this fall as a long-snapper, according to Plant coach Robert Weiner. Walsh was Plant's starting center last fall, best known for jumping on a Robert Marve fumble in the closing seconds of Plant's state championship game victory. He's just 6 feet, 190 pounds, so he won't be a center at USF, but Weiner likes his chances at snapping. "He's a Division I long snapper, and I believe he'll earn the job at USF in a year or two and then a scholarship," he said.
Speaking of Plant, Weiner said USF was at his spring practice Saturday, and the Bulls are targeting four rising seniors at Plant: offensive lineman Rhonne (pronounced "Ron") Sanderson, defensive lineman Tyler Evans, receiver Derek Winter and running back Lovell Jackson. All four like USF, he said, but are also getting more offers every day. Plant had a slew of kids at USF's spring game, so remember these names for next spring ...
Lastly, I ran into Carlton Hill at USF's athletic facility on Monday. He'll be starting back at USF for summer classes this month after a year away, and he's looking forward to being back on the team this fall, understanding that he'll likely redshirt this season, barring injuries at quarterback. It's good to see Hill focusing on his academics first -- he'll have two years of eligibility after a redshirt year.
(Just a tip for you junior bloggers out there, especially those lucky enough to use Typepad.com like we do at the Times: before you click on "save" to post your blog online, copy and paste your entry, so if by chance the post doesn't go through, say, for the second time in three days, you don't have to retype the whole freaking thing again at 1 a.m. ... okay, control-A, control-C ... )