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USF commitment Atkins may grayshirt, go elsewhere



Pahokee's Rontavious Atkins, who was just the second commitment in USF's 2011 class when he pledged to the Bulls back in May, is now uncertain of what he'll do after being told by the Bulls that they were only willing to bring him next spring, deferring his enrollment as a "grayshirt."


"He's been offered a grayshirt, and he's not entirely pleased with that," said Blaze Thompson, his coach at Pahokee. "It's not a definite yes or no right now."

Thompson said Atkins' academic status has been a "continued concern" of USF coaches since August, and when they didn't see the progress they were looking for, he said Atkins' offer was changed to a grayshirt, sometime in November or December. His only other scholarship offers right now are Buffalo and Western Michigan, but Thompson said Atkins is "pretty much eligible" right now as he starts his final semester of high school.

"It hasn't changed our relationship with USF," said Thompson, who said the Bulls' coaches had made their concerns about grades and test scores clear before the school year started.

Signing with a lesser school this fall would have the guarantee of a binding national letter of intent, Thompson said, while waiting to enroll in January at USF would be more of a "leap of faith." Atkins, who played linebacker in high school but could wind up a safety in college, would likely have redshirted his first year at USF regardless, so Thompson said he's still considering joining the Bulls in 2012.

With Atkins off of USF's commitment list for 2011, the Bulls have one more scholarship available, though with three commitments in the past week, USF doesn't likely have more than two or three available for uncommitted recruits.

[Last modified: Friday, January 21, 2011 3:43pm]


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