Skip Holtz discusses his recruiting class
USF coach Skip Holtz said he was excited about his 21-member recruiting class, feeling they've filled some key needs at offensive line and linebacker, as well as getting players on the defensive line who could physically make an impact right away.
One of those defensive lineman is Miami Booker T. Washington DT Elkino Watson, a four-star rivals recruit who picked USF over Miami and Florida. While Holtz said it was a "bold decision" made by Watson, it wasn't as much of a surprise to him, as Watson alerted the USF staff of his plans a few days ago.
But Holtz didn't know for sure until it became official today.
"I just had to hold my breath," Holtz said, smiling.
Holtz said Watson and defensive lineman Marquis White (who has played just one year of organized football) are physically ready to come in and make an impact, it'll just be a matter of learning the system. Of the five offensive linemen, Holtz said Thor Jozwiak, Max Lang and Brynjar Gudmundsson are the most ready.
At linebacker, Zack Bullock, Mike Jeune and Antoine Pozniak are the most likely to make early impacts.
"When you look at a position standpoint, the biggest two needs that we had in this class and the answers we needed to solve were five offensive linemen and five linebackers, and that was the main emphasis in this recruiting class as we hit the road recruiting and I think we did an awful lot to answer those questions," Holtz said.
Holtz said all but one of the recruits has qualified, and the only one is 'one-tenth of one percent' close, so he expects all of them to be here come the fall.
Holtz on Watson: "I think he made a very bold decision. I think he made the decision he felt was in his best interest and not, 'Okay, I'm going to go where everyone thinks is popular, but I'm going to make a decision that's right for me and that's South Florida. We're really excited to get him. ..He's just a well-rounded young man, I think he's a guy who has the chance, losing a Terrell McClain, to come in and push for immediate time because he's a legit 6-3 and weighs a legit 290 pounds as an 18-year old."
White is an interesting situation, having played basketball for years at Orlando Olympia, but only one year of organized football. But Holtz's staff was impressed by his size (6-3, 310) and athleticism. "He's go the physical tools and talent," Holtz said. "When he walks in the door, his back is a billboard. He's big, thick, he needs to work on his fundamentals...The clips you see him play in, is what makes you say the guy has a chance to come in and be a gap-stopper."
Holtz lauded the two Tampa Bay area recruits he has, in Jefferson WR Andre Davis and Robinson WR Ruben Gonzalez, saying they bring the size (6-2) they wanted to add to the receiving corps, plus the ability to make "circus like catches." Holtz fondly remembers them coming to USF camps, and was impressed with how competitive they were and what they can bring - right away.
I'll file some more from Holtz in a few but here's some quick-hitters:
*WR/KR Lindsey Lamar underwent minor shoulder surgery and could miss spring practice, Holtz said.
*WR recruit Alex Mut suffered a torn ACL two weeks ago, so it's uncertain whether he will play this season. But Holtz said he made sure to call Mut soon after to tell him to worry about his knee, not his scholarship, as there was no way he was going to renege on the offer. Holtz said Mut was one of the first recruits in this class to verbally commit, and believes he'll be a good player once he recovers.
*Holtz said RB Dontae Aycock and QB Bobby Eveld were elevated from walk-on status to scholarship.
-- JOE SMITH