Football notes: New USF recruiting territories
A few of you have asked in the comments and in e-mails about how recruiting territories will break down for USF's coaching staff now that three new assistants are in place. I was able to ask coach Jim Leavitt on Wednesday about the new recruiting map and who will be where. Here's the breakdown:
Carl Franks: "Will now take St. Petersburg. Carl will have Tampa, St. Pete, all the way down to Naples on the west coast of Florida."
Mike Canales: "In the Panhandle. Phil will take Tallahassee away from him so he isn't stretched as much. ... He'll nationally recruit quarterbacks, and Houston is an area he'll get into a little bit."
Joe Tresey: "The gut of Florida, in other words, Lake Region, Bartow, Polk County."
David Blackwell: "Jacksonville and south Georgia, and he'll go down toward Daytona Beach."
John Hendrick: "All the junior colleges in the nation. He'll also have the Northeast part of the United States, wherever he wants to go up there. We're just going to target the top national recruits, and Louisiana."
Phil McGeoghan: "Gainesville up toward Tallahassee, into Thomasville, Ga."
Kevin Patrick: "Fort Lauderdale."
Larry Scott: "Has Miami still."
Mike Simmonds: "Orlando area."
Steve Bird (offensive GA): "Atlanta. He can call but he can't go out." (GAs can't recruit off campus.)
-- We told you two weeks ago about the tragic shooting death of Kellon "Herbie" Wilson, the 24-year-old brother of USF middle linebacker Kion Wilson. After checking with the NCAA, USF athletics has helped the Wilson family by paying about $5,800 toward funeral costs. The NCAA allows schools to pay for funeral expenses for student-athletes and their immediate family members in "extreme circumstances," and USF can now raise funds from donations to reimburse the athletic department for the costs.
"We first wanted to make sure we did that according to NCAA rules. That was very important to me. I sure don't want to disrupt Kion's eligibility," Leavitt said. "How could you not do something like that? His family, it was a difficult situation for him. I didn't want him to be worried about the cost of the funeral. We can't always do that in every situation. We're allowed to do some things."
Leavitt said a number of people, including coaches and former players, have already made donations to help toward the funeral costs. Fans interested in helping can make a donation to USF and earmark it for Kellon Wilson's funeral expenses. The relevant NCAA by-law is 16.11.12 (g) -- you can find it on page 206 of the NCAA manual here (pdf).
-- With Danous Estenor looking healthy after being limited by a knee injury and with Darren Powe shifting from defensive tackle to offensive guard, Leavitt said Wednesday he's confident he'll be able to field two conventional five-man offensive lines for the spring game. "We'll be fine. We're going to be OK. We'll have 10-11 guys when it all comes together. Some of those tight ends might want to move to tackle," he said.
-- Redshirt freshman Justin Brockhaus-Kann hasn't been at practice much, and Leavitt said Wednesday it's a combination of him recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery and needing to spend time focusing on academics. "I kept him off the field because of academics," Leavitt said. "I was disappointed. He needs to do better, and he couldn't kick anyway because of his knee." Leavitt said he might allow Brockhaus-Kann back near the end of spring drills, but he's not among the top two options at kicker or punter -- Maikon Bonani and Delbert Alvarado.
-- Leavitt has been pleased with offensive grad assistant Steve Bird, previously a receivers coach at Bowling Green. "He's a guy who's going to be involved with us. When I have an opening ... he's getting as much responsibility as a full-time coach," Leavitt said. It looks like both of last year's grad assistants, Mike Lube and Jared Davis, could be moving into new roles. Leavitt could still hire another graduate assistant for the defense.