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Another new name in the potential late additions to USF's incoming recruiting class -- Freedom defensive back T.J. Mutcherson said Tuesday that he has posted a qualifying test score and hopes to join the Bulls on scholarship this fall.
"That's my school. That was my first choice," said Mutcherson, who hopes to find out if he can be admitted in the next week or two. He said if he can't be admitted in time for fall classes, USF has talked with him about grayshirting, or deferring his enrollment until January as part of the Bulls' 2011 class.
Mutcherson, whose interest was initially reported by USFbullseye.com, said he spoke with USF coach Skip Holtz over the weekend and both sides are now checking to see if he meets USF's academic requirements.
Mutcherson, rated as a two-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, had a scholarship offer from North Carolina and former Bulls assistant Troy Douglas last season. The Times chose him as an honorable mention for its Hillsborough all-county team.
There are strong ties between Freedom and USF football -- his former head coach, Marquel Blackwell, is a program assistant with the Bulls, and his former secondary coach at Freedom, Glenn Davis, is working with the team and could be USF's defensive graduate assistant this fall. Current Freedom coach Tchecoy Blount, a former USF player himself, said the familiarity could help make Mutcherson a match for USF.
At 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, Mutcherson considers himself a cornerback, but Blount said he could play well at either safety position at the college level.
"Like I told Coach (USF secondary coach Rick) Smith, you could put him anywhere in the secondary and he would excel," Blount said. "That's how good of an athlete T.J. Mutcherson is."
USF currently has only 19 scholarship players expected to enroll this fall, so the Bulls are well under the NCAA limit of 25 initial scholarships in one class. The limiting factor will be the overall maximum of 85 scholarships, so Mutcherson's arrival could hinge on whether any other returning scholarship players aren't back with the team this fall, or if any signees have academic problems that keep them from enrolling.