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Morning after: Recruiting notes aplenty ...

5

February

Lots to still get to from Signing Day, with backstories and aftermath and more things we couldn't scratch the surface on yesterday. I'll be out of pocket later in the day but want to try to get some notes up early, with more to come later and even tomorrow ...

-- USF has confirmed that Fort Scott linebacker Jaquian Williams, originally from Riverview, has signed as the 29th member of the incoming class (30 if you count defensive tackle Anthony Hill, who is already on campus.) Again, that means at least four signees will not be part of the team this fall, whether as academic casualties going to junior college, or as grayshirts arriving in January. And I still count USF with only 22 scholarships available, so there will have to be additional attrition to allow a full 25 to join the Bulls in August ...

-- Interesting quotes from Jacksonville, where linebacker Sam Barrington is seen as an impact newcomer at outside linebacker for the Bulls this fall. Barrington was able to rush for nearly 1,200 yards and 17 touchdowns this past season, and sounds like he's still enamored with the idea of running the ball. "I like the idea of maybe playing running back," he told the Florida Times-Union. "This past year was the first time I was used there since middle school. I definitely want to try both positions in college before deciding where I'd play." ... From the Easy There Department, Barrington was asked if he thought about being in the NFL in four years. "Maybe three years from now," he said. "But whenever I do, I will definitely get my degree."

-- Gainesville offensive lineman Kendall Kelly, a USF commitment that the Bulls stepped back from because of academic concerns, signed with Navarro College, a two-year school in Corsicana, Texas. Last I'd talked to his high school coach, the plan was to get to USF, so you could see Kelly back with the Bulls in 2011. Some of you have asked about Sarasota running back Andre Booker, who signed with Marshall, though I don't know that he had an offer from USF at any point.

-- Josh Bellamy, the junior college receiver who signed with USF two years ago, signed with Iowa State. I don't think USF was an option academically, but the coaching staff at USF thinks highly of Bellamy. His high school teammate, defensive back Preston Pace, signed with Louisville. Receiver Edgard Theliar, who had his scholarship pulled by USF for visiting FIU last weekend, signed with the Panthers. With only two years, he'll certainly be in position to play more at FIU, albeit on a smaller stage. The Miami Herald writes that Theliar 'woke up Wednesday morning and decided to sign with FIU instead of USF."

-- Here's the Miami Herald's story on the three Pace players who signed with USF. We've written a lot about Kayvon Webster, but it's worth mentioning how impressive it is that receiver Sterling Griffin chose the Bulls over Purdue. His father, Steve, was a standout receiver at Purdue who still owns a share of the school record for most 100-yard receiving games in a season -- he had seven in 1984. How much did the Boilermakers want Griffin? I was told they had seven coaches at his house for a visit last week, and he still stuck with the Bulls.

-- USF really didn't let much get away in the final few days -- Largo's Mike Marry and Delray Beach's Jayron Hosley were really the only two the Bulls lost on down the stretch. How much did the Bulls want to land Hosley? The Sun-Sentinel reports they had him on the phone Wednesday morning and delayed him entering his principal's office to sign the official paperwork with Virginia Tech. USF wasn't the only program that coveted Hosley -- Florida State and Ohio State tried to jump in at the last minute.

-- Just to balance all the love for USF's incoming class, the Orlando Sentinel gives the Bulls' class a "B," the same grade that UCF's class got.

-- Good writeup on running back Bradley Battles from the Jackson County Floridan, reminding me that USF's most wide-open job this fall might be for the returns, where the Bulls' newfound speed might be put to use right away. In Battles, in Kevin Williams, in Lindsey Lamar and Derrick Hopkins, USF has a ton of track-star speed for special-teams help.

-- Looking around the Big East, Connecticut signed two receivers USF had targeted -- Fort Lauderdale's Dwayne Difton, once a USF commitment, and Largo's Mike Lang, who visited USF last month. ... Louisville dipped heavily into Florida, with eight signees with Florida ties, including Lake Gibson's Champ Lee and Wharton's Hunter Stout. Doesn't seem that the Bulls and Cardinals went head-to-head on many of the Florida kids ... Rutgers pulled in just one player from Miami, usually a staple of their out-of-state recruiting efforts ... Pitt signed just two Floridians, both from Weston, including linebacker Shane Gordon, who USF had actively pursued ... Syracuse signed three from Florida, but first-year coach Doug Marrone didn't have a full allotment of scholarships available, signing just 14 players. ... West Virginia signed seven from Florida, most notably quarterback Eugene Smith, a Parade All-American who had considered USF among his options.

-- One more thing, for you jersey-number junkies. There are some changes, some corresponding with position changes we've already reported. Sampson Genus and Jatavious Jackson, shifting to offensive line, will now wear No. 62 and 77, respectively. Receiver Theo Wilson, recognizing the coolness quotient of a single-digit jersey on offense, is going from 21 to 9, and tight ends Andreas Shields and Jeff Hawkins are moving up from 48 and 34 to Nos. 88 and 89, respectively ...

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 5:55pm]

    

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