Signing period's here, and other notes ...
Today is the start of the spring signing period for basketball, but neither USF's men's nor women's coaches are done recruiting for this fall's incoming class.
Expect Stan Heath to announce his two previous spring commitments -- point guard Dwan McMillan and power forward Gene Teague -- and we'll have a chance to get his thoughts on two new Bulls for the first time. USF is still pursuing junior college guard Jeremie Simmons, who will visit Alabama this weekend, as well as a handful of prep centers who could help offset the graduation of Kentrell Gransberry.
USF women's coach Jose Fernandez, who is in Nevada today for a campus interview with UNLV, now has three scholarships available, with news this week that guard Gianna Messina and guard/forward Caitlyn Mitryk are transferring across town to the University of Tampa. He's not expected to announce any signings today, but will be busy in the upcoming weeks.
I've got a ton of links to offer up, so I'll just start running through them ...
-- The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that former USF guard Solomon Bozeman is expected to sign today with Arkansas-Little Rock, which puts him closer to home and gives him more of a chance for significant playing time. He'll sit out this season and will have two years of eligibility at ALR.
-- He's certainly qualified, but USF assistant Dan Hipsher was not among the initial names discussed as Rex Walters' successor at Florida Atlantic in a Palm Beach Post story Wednesday. The first name they mention is a familiar name who expressed interest in USF's vacancy last year -- former St. John's coach Mike Jarvis, who lives in Boca Raton. Congrats, by the way, to former USF assistant Greg Gary, who after one season as an assistant at Duquesne is now head coach at Division III Centenary College in Louisiana.
-- Nice writeup Tuesday on Mike Jenkins in USA Today, which also has a cool draft database of the top 500 players in this year's class -- remember, only half of those actually get drafted. I get a lot of e-mails and comments asking where USF's Trae Williams and Ben Moffitt might be drafted next weekend. USA Today lists Williams as a fourth-to-fifth-round pick, projecting Moffitt as a seventh-rounder. Defensive tackle Richard Clebert is included in the listing, but not as a projected draft pick.
-- I was able to speak with Williams at the spring game Saturday, and he's recently worked out for four teams: the Bucs, Falcons, Jets and Patriots. The Falcons in particular have shown interest in drafting Williams -- I wouldn't be surprised if he goes there, and potentially higher than the fourth round. Atlanta has three second-round picks (from trades for Matt Schaub and DeAngelo Hall) and will likely use one on a cornerback; they also have an extra compensatory third-rounder, giving them six picks in the top 100. Unless they package two of those picks to move up into the first round for a top-five corner, Williams would fit their needs and could be reunited with linebacker Stephen Nicholas.
-- Recruiting? Center Krys Faber, a USF target from Los Angeles, visited DePaul last weekend and now has the Demons even with Minnesota as his top choices, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. USF is still jockeying to get an official visit before he makes a decision ... Center Frank Ben-Eze from suburban Washington, D.C., is still in play after visiting Davidson; Ben-Eze reportedly sustained an ACL tear at the end of his prep season and will undergo surgery next month. ... Remember Steve Goins? The Chicago center could resurface as an option for the Bulls, as his high school coach, Mike Oliver, said he took a college entrance exam (presumably the ACT) this weekend. ... USF is still after junior college guard Jeremie Simmons, though the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reports that Ohio State coach Thad Matta visited him over the weekend. ... Former USF commitment Lasha Parghalava from Pensacola Junior College will sign with Hawaii, according to the Honolulu Advertiser.
-- Football coach Jim Leavitt was on Rivals Radio on Tuesday -- his six-minute interview is online here, though I think you need a Rivals subscription. Best nugget from there is that he's sending first-year assistant John Hendrick, a native of Camden, N.J., into New Jersey this spring to renew USF's recruiting push there.
-- Tons of news from USF's official site: first, a wrapup of the men's basketball banquet, where Gransberry and Dominique Jones shared MVP honors; guard Jesus Verdejo and soccer player Jeannette Dyer were named USF's Student-Athletes of the Year; and four football walk-ons -- Lonnie Oxendine, Christopher Lane, Brandon Moore and kicker Jamie Clark -- were dropped from the roster after spring drills. Oh, and congrats to USF for getting its NCAA certification renewed. Sounds like renewing your driver's license, but there's a surprising amount of work involved.