Hey, we're always committed here ...
Today is USF's first media luncheon, with coach Jim Leavitt talking to the press at 1 p.m. and players following. USF's official site will have the news conference live, as well as a running blog with players, but before we get to that, there's links to offer up ...
-- Ah, teenagers. I'm not sure why we bother putting stock in oral commitments, because it seems like at least half the time, they're "re-opening their recruitment" and so on. Case in point: Gainesville offensive lineman Kendall Kelly, one of USF's most recent commitments ... until now. "The recruiting process is still open," Kelly told the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, saying he hopes to make an official visit to Arkansas. "I could change my mind. Right now, it's really between South Florida and Arkansas." Now, if I understand the process right, he'll talk to USF coaches, be reminded of how they too can pull scholarships, then he'll talk to the recruiting sites and say the quote was taken out of context.
-- ESPN.com's Kirk Herbstreit is getting all kinds of love from USF fans because he's picked the Bulls to win the Big East. My question? Why did he vote USF five spots lower than West Virginia in his ballot for the preseason AP top 25? Only eight of 65 voters had USF lower on their ballots, so I'm not sure what changed in preseason drills to change his mind. For what it's worth, Herbie lists USF's Mike Ford among five running backs in his "New Wave" at the position, ranks George Selvie as the No. 2 defensive end in the country and says Matt Grothe is the No. 4 spread-offense quarterback in the country.
-- The Orlando Sentinel runs through the rules changes in college football, complete with a quote from USF's Ryan Schmidt.
-- The Winter Haven News Chief turns to Lindy's Sports for its USF preview -- interesting to see how many writeups still have Tyrone McKenzie at middle linebacker, even though he's been back at strongside for more than two weeks.
-- Our coverage of Fan Fest earlier this month mentioned that Grothe had signed -- among other things -- the legs of three female fans. It made Philly.com's national "50 things to ponder before kickoff."
-- The Sarasota Herald-Tribune's Alan Dell also has a USF season preview. I love Greg Gregory's explanation of how Grothe wasn't the individual rushing leader last season, but Mike Ford, Ben Williams and Jamar Taylor collectively were. That's bad news for Tyrone McKenzie, who thought he had the team record with 121 tackles last year; turns out the defensive line finished with much more.
-- Remember former USF track standout and Olympic hopeful Dayana Octavien? Her brother Steve is trying to make the Kansas City Chiefs' roster.
-- Scout.com has an update on former USF pitcher Daniel Thomas, who's being used as a reliever by the Athletics and seems to be doing well, with an ERA in the mid-2s this season.
-- We'll get more up later on USF's running back situation -- Leavitt and Gregory both spoke about it Monday night -- but will mention now that the committee approach has upset ... the college fantasy football guys, who have Mike Ford listed among the "duds" available in your draft.