More notes on USF's first commitments for 2013
Sunday's big news was that USF picked up its first two commitments for 2013 in Immokalee's Tshumbi Johnson and Xavier Richardson, who will both play receiver for the Bulls. Those two were part of a group of eight players who drove up from Immokalee for USF's Junior Day and could be a bigger part of USF's next recruiting class.
We had the chance Sunday night to talk with Immokalee coach Jerrod Ackley, who gave more insights into these two players and USF's recruiting efforts. ...
-- Johnson (5-11, 175) will play slot receiver at USF, but he's been a three-year starter at quarterback for Immokalee, earning first-team all-state honors last fall after totaling 44 touchdowns -- 25 passing and 19 rushing.
"Tshumbi is a phenomenal football player," said Ackley, noting that Georgia Tech was recruiting Johnson as a quarterback, but most schools were looking at him as a receiver. Florida coach Will Muschamp was "very interested" in him as a defensive back, Ackley said.
-- Richardson, with great size at 6-4 and 198 pounds, is a player that Central Florida compared to Knights alum Brandon Marshall, Ackley said. "He's someone at the collegiate level that's going to cause a lot of matchup problems. He's big enough to go against the corners, but athletic enough he can line up inside like a tight end and create mismatches against linebackers and safeties." Richardson caught 26 passes for 644 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior; as a sophomore he caught 35 passes for 635 yards and again seven touchdowns.
Ackley said their commitments should be taken as very firm: "Those are quality football players that USF picked up today. I wouldn't be surprised if both are huge contributors during their careers. They know how to prepare, and both are special football players."
-- Of the other recruits who visited from Immokalee, the top target has to be defensive tackle Deadrin Senat, who is already committed to Florida State. Senat is a big fan of USF assistant Kevin Patrick, the Bulls' primary recruiter for Immokalee, but he remains committed to FSU, Ackley said. "He's still weighing all his options," he said. Richardson also mentioned new defensive coordinator Chris Cosh as an assistant that had recruited him for USF.
Another Immokalee name to watch who visited Sunday but does not have a scholarship offer is running back Jacky Marcellus, who averaged 11.2 yards per carry as a junior for 691 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also was the team leader in receiving yards, catching 34 passes for 747 yards and seven touchdowns.
Others who came were RB/LB D'Ernest Johnson, WR J.C. Jackson, DE Jimmy Bayes and LB MacKenro Alexander. Alexander is the twin brother of another Immokalee standout, DB Mackensie Alexander, who is already committed to Tennessee. And yes, his name is pronounced just like John McEnroe.
-- There is some concern about the academics for Johnson and Richardson, but Ackley said they still have the final three months of this year and all of next year to improve their grades and test scores. "We are going to have to work hard at that," Ackley said. "We have a plan in place. They have to be disciplined to make it work."