DeLand LB Sutton commits to Bulls
It's hard to keep a secret for too long these days. I was going to sit on this until midnight, but Josh Newberg at usfnation.com is also reporting it on his message boards, so I'll go public: Calvin Sutton Jr., a 6-foot, 215-pound linebacker from DeLand, committed to USF on Friday night, choosing the Bulls over offers from Auburn and Mississippi.
He's a three-star recruit by Scout.com and Rivals.com, a prolific tackler who had 161 tackles as a senior at DeLand. His father, Calvin Sr., told me that Sutton had 19 sacks as a junior when he was used more on blitzes as a pass rusher. It's a strong get for USF at a key position -- two months ago, linebacker looked like a major question mark with Stephen Nicholas and Patrick St. Louis graduating. Now you have Ben Moffitt back in the middle, and consider the options on the outside: Tyrone McKenzie, who will transfer and start classes Monday, hopeful of landing an hardship waiver so he can play this fall; Donte Spires, who drew high praise as a freshman at Pearl River in Mississippi and transfers in this summer, plus three talented freshmen who redshirted this past fall.
Sutton has some interesting ties to Tampa. He played his freshman year at Freedom High in Tampa, moving to DeLand to live with his mother and graduate from the same high school his father did. His father has lived in Tampa since former Florida star Errict Rhett was drafted by the Bucs in 1994 -- Rhett is Sutton's godfather and has counseled him in football matters throughout his life. He considered Florida, visiting campus for a basketball game last season, but said USF was the school that stayed on him the most consistently.
Sutton told me he knew he didn't want to leave the state of Florida, and while Miami showed interest in him, he liked the idea of playing in Tampa and liked defensive coordinator Wally Burnham, who he committed to Friday night. He's played both middle and outside linebacker spots and said he could play either at USF. He'll make an official visit to USF next weekend, which is the first of two key weekends for closing out the Bulls class, with both weekends well-stocked with recruits already committed to USF. Sutton turns 18 this month, so his father said he could still put on a little size before he's done growing. "He's explosive, like Ray Lewis," his dad said. "He runs through players."
There. Now you have nothing to wait for tonight ... Thoughts? Comments?