Staying home: King's Fitzpatrick signs with USF
One day after signing junior college center Jarrid Famous, USF coach Stan Heath has added more size to his recruiting class, as Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, a senior forward at Tampa's King High School, has accepted a scholarship offer and signed with the Bulls.
"When I found out I was getting my release, I knew I wanted to go to USF," Fitzpatrick said Friday morning. "It's a better opportunity for me, and I'm excited about going there."
Fitzpatrick, honored as the Times Suncoast Player of the Year as a senior, had signed with Georgia Southern in November, but was granted a release after coach Jeff Price resigned last month. Heath met with Fitzpatrick and his mother on Thursday night, and now the Bulls have the 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward as the sixth member of their incoming class.
"(Heath) definitely sees my versatility and sees me playing a little 3 (small forward) and 4 (power forward)," Fitzpatrick said. "I knew my presence was needed inside on defense (at King), but I also was able to score from outside as well. I'll try a variety of things."
FItzpatrick said that Miami, Alabama, Auburn and Tulane had contacted him this week since he got his release, and he turned down a scholarship offer from Florida State last fall when he signed with Georgia Southern.
He joins Famous and four incoming guards -- point guard Anthony Crater, who transferred in from Ohio State in January, and shooting guards Jordan Dumars, Shaun Noriega and Mike Burwell Jr.
Fitzpatrick is USF's first signee from Hillsborough County in four years, since Brandon's Zaronn Cann chose the Bulls.