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Stirrups, Davis both set to return to USF

26

January

Two USF signees who did not qualify academically initially are on pace to join the Bulls in the next year, and both got a visit Monday from USF defensive coordinator Wally Burnham and defensive ends coach Kevin Patrick.

Defensive tackle Leslie Stirrups, who will sign with USF next week, and defensive end Claude Davis, who is on course to join the Bulls in December, were both highly rated recruits coming out of high school from the greater Tampa Bay area. Both are now at East Mississippi Community College in Scooba, Miss.

We're going to go ahead and classify Davis as a commitment for 2010 -- like Stirrups, he's never wavered in his desire to return to USF as soon as possible. We'll count him as USF's second commitment for 2010, following Bradenton quarterback Brion Carnes.

The two have put up strong stats this season -- Stirrups, who at 6-3 and 275 pounds will play the "three technique" defensive tackle position at USF, had 71 tackles for EMCC, including 11 tackles for loss, two sacks and 13 hurries. It's in anticipation of players like Stirrups that USF has shifted defensive tackles Sampson Genus and Jatavious Jackson over to offensive line in the past month.

The former Hillsborough High standout earned first-team all-state honors, impressive in a state whose junior colleges are well-stocked with Division I signees. William Jones, EMCC's defensive coordinator, called him a "devastating force" on his defense. He was a four-star recruit by both Rivals and Scout in 2006 -- Scout ranked him as the No. 10 defensive tackle in the nation.

Davis was even more impressive statistically, with 87 tackles and team highs in tackles for loss (15) and sacks (7.5), with three forced fumbles, three fumbles recovered and two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Davis, a former teammate of Matt Grothe's at Lakeland's Lake Gibson High, will come to USF in December with two years of eligibility.

We wrote quite a bit about Stirrups' off-field legal problems in 2006, but he has since successfully completed the requirements of a pre-trial intervention program to have all counts against him dropped.

One more EMCC update: Last time we'd checked in there, a third former USF signee, linebacker Calvin Sutton, was on campus, planning to redshirt this fall. Sutton was dismissed from the team before the season, however, for a violation of team rules. EMCC's head coach and defensive coordinator did not know where he attended this fall, so he's off the map for now.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 5:51pm]

    

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