New OC? Leavitt busy working on recruits
Yes, yes, I know you guys are waiting to hear who USF's new offensive coordinator is going to be, but I still don't have an answer for you on that count. Jim Leavitt, meanwhile, is still very focused on recruiting with National Signing Day just 15 days away.
Leavitt was in Jacksonville on Monday, along with defensive coordinator Wally Burnham and defensive backs coach Troy Douglas, who went to high school in Jacksonville himself and recruits the area for the Bulls.
Leavitt and his assistants spent a fair amount of time Monday with Fletcher High coach Joe Reynolds, who has been coaching at Fletcher since 1976 and knows the area's talent well. Naturally, they talked about Fletcher receiver Lamar Scruggs, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound standout who is a four-star recruit according to Rivals.com.
Scruggs visited USF two weekends ago, then visited Mississippi last weekend, with visits scheduled for Illinois (where Ron Zook targets Jacksonville heavily) and South Carolina. "I think it's between South Florida and South Carolina," Reynolds said of his receiver's future. "I think he's leaning to South Florida, but he's not the only one making the decision."
That makes a home visit all the more important, as Leavitt and his assistants have a chance to recruit Scruggs' family as well. The geography is fairly similar -- it's about five hours to Columbia from Jacksonville, but closer to three hours to Tampa. Reynolds said he didn't think the allure of playing in the SEC was that strong to Scruggs, who he said has a scholarship offer from Florida but isn't interested in playing for the Gators.
Scruggs is hardly USF's only target in Jacksonville -- Reynolds said he talked with USF's coaches about linebacker Sam Barrington from Terry Parker High, as well as Ivan Nicholas, the safety from Lee High who is committed to USF. Nicholas is the younger brother of USF linebacker Stephen Nicholas, now with the Atlanta Falcons.
Nicholas played strong safety and outside linebacker in high school, but at 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, he likely projects as a safety on the college level. He said he expects a visit from Douglas on Tuesday night. He also said he's awaiting test scores that should help him qualify academically. "I'm taking care of that right now," he said.
I've got a bunch of calls out today, both to Barrington and to Athens (Ga.) linebacker Devekeyan "DeDe" Lattimore, who I believe will get a visit from USF's coaches today. There's promising news for USF on cornerback Jayron Hosley, who is getting close to committing to the Bulls, according to the Palm Beach Post. Hosley, rated as a four-star recruit and the No. 11 cornerback in the nation by Rivals.com, would be one of the biggest coups in USF's incoming class. Lots more to come ...