Lake Mary linebacker commits to Bulls
Lake Mary middle linebacker Mike Lanaris said his father Mark had told him that once he had made up his mind about where he wanted to play college football, he should let the coach know right away. So on Tuesday, when everything about USF felt right for Lanaris, he called USF coach Jim Leavitt and committed.
At 7 a.m.
I guess that's what they call committing early.
USF's fourth commitment for its 2008 class is a solid one, a 6-foot-2, 230-pounder who also had Louisville, Arkansas, Georgia Tech and Central Florida in his top five. He put up strong numbers last fall as a second-year starter, piling up a team-high 122 tackles -- third-highest in Seminole County -- along with eight tackles for losses, two fumble recoveries and an interception returned for a touchdown.
"USF was where I felt most comfortable," said Lanaris, also the starting catcher on the Lake Mary baseball team. "Coach Leavitt and Coach (Wally) Burnham were huge as I made my decision. I'm thankful to be able to be coached by someone so respected in college football."
Lake Mary coach Scott Perry said Lanaris is a sideline-to-sideline linebacker, capable of covering a lot of ground and running through traffic to get to the ball. He was recruited to USF by offensive line coach Mike Simmonds, and has high respect for senior linebacker Ben Moffitt. Linebacker is a key position for the Bulls in recruiting this year, with Moffitt and Sam Miller set to graduate after this season, freshman LeBrandon Glover transferring out and signee Calvin Sutton failing to qualify academically.
The Bulls might not be done at Lake Mary, as Lanaris visited USF last month with teammate Jon Tenorio, a 6-foot-4, 305-pound offensive guard who has not yet been offered a scholarship by the Bulls. Tenorio is on a campus-visit road trip this week, taking in Colorado State, New Mexico and Idaho, but Perry said he'd consider staying close to home if he got an offer from the Bulls.
-- One more note: I watched a few minutes of open gym at the Academic, sorry, the Sun Dome on Wednesday afternoon, where 6-foot-11 walk-on Mo Esseghir continues to fit right in with the returning basketball players. The most obvious sight? Guard Jesus Verdejo watched from a chair with a boot on his right foot. He sprained his ankle Monday, but coach Stan Heath, reached Wednesday night, said the boot is just to keep his weight off the ankle and he should be back healthy next week. Practice starts in less than three months ...