Hurricanes moving in on Bulls' real estate?
I'm not normally a rabblerouser, but I opened my mail this week to find the kind of slight snub that can really bother some Bulls fans. A local Realtor -- I'm always amused at how that profession gets a Very Special Capital Letter -- with Keller Williams Realty was nice enough to send me a fridge magnet, complete with the 2006 schedules of some area football teams ... and her contact information.
The Buccaneers take up most of the space, but the bottom has the schedules for three colleges -- Florida, Florida State and Miami. Those are the state's Big Three programs, sure, but you'd think a Realtor based in Brandon (and advertising to homeowners in Wesley Chapel) might have more luck reaching out to USF alums instead of Miami.
So I called the Realtor, Mary Joy, and it turns out she had noticed the slight as well. Her husband, as it turns out, is a USF alumnus, and in past years local Realtors had been able to choose the schools on the magnets sent out from Keller Williams, which is based in Austin, Texas. Not so this year, she was sorry to find out.
At first, you'd think it would make sense for an out-of-state corporation to simply plug in the Big Three for all mailers in Florida, but then again, if they can cater to Tampa customers by putting the Bucs in, they could probably switch in USF as well.
In another good sign, the Media Contact for Keller Williams has had its phone number and cell number disconnected. But anyway, if you want to pass along a thought about whether USF should have a place on your fridge, you can leave feedback on Keller Williams' official site, KW.com.
-- Now to a few football notes: First, I talked with Gary Garcia, whose son Stephen is one of the area's biggest football recruits and a quarterback at Jefferson. The Garcias made a campus visit to USF last week, and Dad, for one, left very impressed.
He called USF's athletic facility a "well-kept secret," something that surprised and impressed the Garcias, who are naturally very close to former Jefferson coach Mike Simmonds, now a defensive grad assistant with the Bulls. Gary actually went to USF briefly in 1971-72, and said he did a "180-degree turn" about the Bulls after listening to Jim Leavitt talk about the opportunity to build tradition at USF.
That's still a ways from being on Garcia's short list -- Stephen couldn't be reached for comment -- but his father said he wouldn't be surprised if Stephen makes more visits to USF this summer to talk with current players during voluntary workouts.
-- A familiar name in USF recruiting circles could be resurfacing: Terrence Jones, the Sarasota Booker running back who signed with the Bulls in 2004 but failed to qualify academically, is still on USF's radar.
Booker coach Fred Gilmore -- who will have his team at USF's Sling and Shoot camp this weekend -- told me offensive coordinator Rod Smith was at Booker on Wednesday and asked about Jones, who is entering his second season at Eastern Arizona College. Jones is drawing interest from schools out west like UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State, but Gilmore said USF is the only school close to home that's trying to get him. The Bulls have kept in good contact with Jones, the younger brother of former USF safety Johnnie Jones, and Gilmore said that means something to a recruit who could emerge as a major target.
-- Another recruit to watch at Sling and Shoot is Panama City Bay quarterback Bert Reed, a super-fast athlete who has offers as a QB from Florida and West Virginia and as a receiver from FSU. His speed is the draw -- coach Mike Healy clocked him at 4.31 in the 40, and Reed won the county 100 meters with a time of 10.5 seconds. At 6 feet, 162 pounds, he already has an offer from USF, which will also look at 6-3, 246-pound middle linebacker Bryan Gilbert, a four-year starter at Bay.
-- One more name to drop in the recruiting game: Pompano Beach linebacker Eddie Lisanti. He's another senior-to-be who will be at Sling and Shoot, and Pompano coach Vince Stephens gave me the single-most impressive stat I've heard on a recruit this year: Lisanti scored a 1600 on the SAT on his first try.
Given USF's recent troubles in getting all their signees academically qualified, it wouldn't hurt to err on the side of genius here and there. Asanti's 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds with a 5.2 weighted grade-point average, and he and teammate Cameron Burdick, a 6-6, 240-pound tight end, are drawing interest from a bunch of high-level programs, but Stephens said both like USF as a program where they can make an early impact and stay close to home.