St. Pete linebacker commits to Bulls
St. Petersburg Northeast's Armando Sanchez has only been a starting linebacker for one season, but he's already shown enough to impress USF coaches. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound rising senior got a scholarship offer from Bulls offensive coordinator Greg Gregory on Tuesday night and accepted it on the spot, becoming USF's second commitment toward the 2008 recruiting class.
"It's close to home, and I really like the coaching staff," Sanchez said Wednesday. "I think Coach (Jim) Leavitt knows what he wants for the program and I like how devoted he is to his players."
Sanchez, who had scholarship offers from Florida Atlantic and Illinois State, earned second-team all-county honors from the Times last fall, leading the Vikings with 122 tackles. He also plays quarterback for Northeast, but said he'll be a linebacker at USF. He joins Ocala tight end Jeff Hawkins as the first members of next year's recruiting class.
Oh, and kudos to USFnation.com's Josh Newberg to having this story first -- with a kid in my own backyard, I was fortunate to be able to confirm it myself in time for Thursday's paper. The Bulls might not be done at Northeast -- other rising seniors interested in USF there include safety Antwan Carson, defensive tackle Javonta Boyd and tailback/cornerback Jeff Brinson.
Basketball recruiting update: Vernon Carr's coach at Pensacola Junior College, Paul Swanson, said while playing time was a key factor in Carr's decision to attend Towson over an offer from USF, he said it's important that Pat Kennedy has been pushing him on Towson for months, while Stan Heath has just jumped on him for USF in the last few weeks, and that it's hard to overcome that kind of head start.
Another name mentioned as a possibility for USF is Sean Carter, a 6-foot-9 forward from Fayetteville, N.C., and while Carter is considering the Bulls, his coach at Laurinburg Prep, Marc Hsu, told me Wednesday night that USF's "interest has dwindled from when they initially saw Sean and liked him." Carter took an unofficial visit to West Virginia on Tuesday and the Mountaineers are his current leader, but he's also considering Virginia Tech, DePaul and St. John's, according to Hsu. V-Tech and DePaul have offered scholarships and are trying to line up visits ...
One last tease before I'm out: I picked up a new name in the mix for the two assistant coaching jobs on Heath's staff. I'm not in a position to release any names yet, but curiously, it's a former USF player. No, it's not Reggie Kohn, but beyond that, I'll just let the rampant speculation go from there ...