Jesuit: Ruff signs with USF, Johnson to Cincinnati
Our first update of the morning comes from Tampa Jesuit, where USF got good and bad news -- offensive lineman Cameron Ruff signed with the Bulls as expected, but tight end Travis Johnson chose to sign with Cincinnati over the hometown Bulls.
Geography, as it turns out, worked against the Bulls, as Johnson said he had made the decision to play college football out of state, wanting to get used to life outside Tampa knowing that someday he won't have control over where he plays if he makes it to the NFL.
"I basically wanted to get out of the state of Florida and be in a different environment," he said. "I know if I do make it to the next level after college, I'll be traveling all the time. I want to make sure I get acclimated to cold weather and things like that."
Ruff, however, was thrilled to stay home and sign with the Bulls, proudly wearing a Bulls hat and a green USF bowtie. He committed to the Bulls under Skip Holtz but said after getting to know coach Willie Taggart, he understood his vision for the future of the program.
"I took my official (visit) and we had a couple of home visits and I felt more comfortable with the coaching staff. That's what truly mattered -- that comfortability with the coaching staff in staying with my decision with USF," Ruff said. "I truly think it's a perfect opportunity for all local kids. To stay back home, have that home fan club, that community that's with you in high school. It's a good choice to have people behind you. You always feel like you're at home."
Ruff, 6-foot-3 and 295 pounds, said he'll get his first look as an offensive guard, but he's working on his snapping so he can cross-train as a center as well.
Jesuit once had three players committed to USF under Holtz, but two others were gently encouraged to open their options, and did so -- lineman Robby Garcia signed with Iowa State, and defensive end Brad Smith signed with I-AA Lehigh.