Lots of random notes I've neglected ...
First, we have this blog post at half-staff (half-mast?) to mourn the loss of Don Herbert, TV's Mr. Wizard, who passed away at the age of 89. Fond memories from childhood of getting ridiculous amounts of baking soda and vinegar all over the kitchen, following his cues. Now, lots of odd tidbits I've been meaning to get to over the last few weeks ...
-- Basketball recruiting. Sean Carter, the 6-foot-9 forward from Fayetteville, N.C., who visited USF last week, went back home without an offer from Stan Heath, according to Marc Hsu, his coach at Laurinburg Institute. We'd told you USF was torn between Carter and LSU transfer Magnum Rolle, who said USF was a "strong possibility" last week. Hsu said Carter is trying to line up a visit to Providence and would consider West Virginia if Bob Huggins can push someone out to free up a scholarship. Don't rule out Carter yet, but looks like USF isn't treating him as a top priority for the last scholarship they'll use this spring. "I don't think he's what they're looking for," Hsu said. "The visit went pretty well, but (Heath) did not officially offer Sean. I don't think it's going to work out for him there."
-- Baseball: We'd told you last week about three USF signees drafted in the first seven rounds and expected to skip the Bulls for a pro contract. The next-highest signee was Stephen Hunt, a first baseman from Tampa Jesuit taken in the 17th round by the Athletics. Hunt had preliminary negotiations with the team Monday night -- he was drafted as a left-handed pitcher, though he did not pitch much at all at Jesuit this spring. He'll pitch some for his American Legion team this summer but is keeping his options open, with an August 15 deadline to sign with the A's. An encouraging sign for Bulls fans is that he's working out daily at USF. Another USF signee, Gaither's Chris Jones, is headed to St. Pete College, but outfielder A.J. Regoli of Palm Beach wasn't drafted at all after being told he'd be picked in the top 10 rounds.
-- Football. I'd teased last month to the fact that Jim Leavitt, whose recruiting bread and butter will always be in the state of Florida, had made a rare recruiting visit to Texas. Never got around to the details. I know of two recruits he visited in the San Antonio area -- one is a receiver from Helotes O'Connor High named Sean Luchnick, a 6-foot, 185-pound receiver whose father Lance was a prominent sports agent whose clients once included Charles Barkley. Luchnick is still wide open, with several other BCS programs recruiting him.
The other recruit is Devin Thomas, a running back from San Antonio's Madison High, a first-team all-state selection who rushed for 1,891 yards and 23 touchdowns in nine games last year. Rivals.com has him as the 25th-best running back in the country, with offers from Arkansas, Texas A&M and top academic programs like Duke and Stanford. Coach Jim Streety said Thomas plans on attending one of USF's camps this summer, which could help the Bulls' chances. "The kid is pretty special, not only a really good player, but a great leader," Streety said. USF doesn't recruit much outside the state, so it's two names worth tucking away, anyway.
-- One last football note: looks like running back Ricky Ponton, who was declared ineligible at USF and will transfer, might wind up at Bethune-Cookman, joining a handful of former Bulls teammates. BCU (it's not BCC anymore) confirmed Wednesday that they have sent a letter to USF requesting permission to speak with Ponton, who would have two years of eligibility with the I-AA Wildcats. Another deposed Bull, defensive end Josh Julmiste, will be joining BCU this fall, along with twin cornerbacks Antwane and Antonio Cox.