Links! Signing day notes and, yes, Quavon Taylor
Remember links posts on the blog? Used to do them all the time. Today's a good day to bring it back, with lots of notes with ties to USF, some more direct than others. We'll start with a few non-recruiting ones ...
-- Very sad to hear that former Saint Louis basketball coach Charlie Spoonhour had died Wednesday at 72. Spoonhour remained close friends with USF athletic director Doug Woolard from their days at SLU together. Here's a great remembrance from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and a story where Charlie talked about Woolard back in 2007 (back when it was the old St. Petersburg Times.)
-- Tough home loss for USF women's basketball on Wednesday night, falling 55-52 to West Virginia. Bulls nearly rallied from 11 down in the closing minutes, but this drops them to 4-5 in Big East -- if Jose Fernandez's team can stay above .500, should at least be an NIT team. Hard to evaluate this season for his team because they've gone the whole year without top scorer Andrea Smith and went the first 15 games without wing Inga Orekhova. If he can get both of those back next year, should be a very improved Bulls squad.
-- Now onto the recruiting. I'd seen this last month but couldn't get confirmation from his new school, but Wednesday, tiny Tuskegee announced its 2012 signees, and among them is former USF linebacker Quavon Taylor. Taylor redshirted as a freshman in 2008, was off the team the next summer and never landed anywhere else until now -- not often you see someone get back in the college football game after a three-year absence.
-- Speaking of Where Are They Now, former USF defensive coordinator Rick Kravitz won't be back at I-AA Youngstown State. Kravitz was a fun guy to cover my first two years with the Bulls, but his next stop will be his fifth school in seven years, following stints at N.C. State, Memphis, Western Michigan and Youngstown. Happy to hear he might be working to get back to a job in Florida.
Former USF assistant Eric Wolford, who added former Bulls star Glenn Davis to his staff from USF, might be looking at another former USF coordinator, Joe Tresey, who is under contract for 2012 at UCLA but has a new head coach who likely wants his own people in place. Tresey is from Ohio, so the coming-home aspect somewhat offsets the dropoff to a I-AA program.
-- Remember Dallas Griffiths? USF looked at the linebacker from Tallahassee, and after committing to Maryland, he opted to sign at I-AA Liberty, where he'll have the chance to play with his brother Chase, a linebacker who transferred there after two seasons at USF. Good get for Turner Gill.
-- Ah, signing day hat tricks. Looks like offensive tackle Kam Davis opened his ceremony with five hats in front of him and USF (!) wasn't one of them, only to have a friend hand-deliver him his Bulls hat. Sun-Sentinel has a short video of him talking about that.
-- More hat silliness. Gainesville linebacker Tashon Whitehurst had built up suspense for weeks, and USF killed that four hours before his ceremony by announcing he'd signed with the Bulls. And he STILL did the hat trick, with USF and Syracuse in front of him during his ceremony.
-- Up in Georgia, if you look really close, you can see a picture of future USF lineman Kofi Amichia in a strange group shot of area signees that includes a Marietta Daily Journal newspaper rack as a prop. Amichia reveals that he doesn't know how to swim.
-- The Pensacola News-Journal has a proud signing-day shot of defensive back Jalen Spencer, as well as video from Pensacola's ceremonies. The video's 18 minutes, so it's OK if you can skip ahead to the 14:30 mark for Spencer -- not saying his acceptance speech went long, but you can hear the Pensacola High orchestra start playing like two minutes in. Props to him for giving a shoutout to his barber.
It's easy to forget the value of a college scholarship, as PHS coach Mike Bennett points out there's close to $1 million in scholarships from his graduating football players. Armwood -- with 11 kids moving on to college -- pointed out the same thing at their ceremonies Wednesday.
-- Awesome signing-day photo gallery from the Times -- scroll through and you'll find Plant City receiver LaMarlin Wiggins, Armwood safety Jarvis McCall and Carrollwood Day soccer player Taylor Tippett. (And lots of football players signing elsewhere.)
-- Of course, have to link to the fine work by my Times colleagues in wrapping up signing day for local stars -- first, John Cotey has a good preview of the talented locals in the Class of 2013. USF would do well to land St. Pete Catholic running back Ryan Green or Wharton standout Vernon Hargreaves III (son of USF's defensive ends coach, you know) or Armwood stars Alvin Bailey or Leon McQuay. I think you'll see a much stronger local presence in USF's 2013 class.
-- Lelo Prado has picked up a commitment from a high school sophomore (!) in St. Pete Catholic's Jacob McFadden, says the Times' Rodney Page.