USF recruiting class ranked No. 20 by Rivals
It's still early, but USF's 2012 football recruiting class is ranked 20th nationally by Rivals.com, which credits the Bulls as having eight commitments from players entering their senior year of high school.
The Bulls should have a smaller class in 2012, with only 14 seniors on scholarship and the maximum 85 scholarships being used this fall, but if Skip Holtz can hold onto the commitments he has and close out the class with similar talent, it would be the highest rated class USF has had since joining the Big East in 2005. It's reasonable to expect that a handful of additional scholarships will come available through normal attrition between now and February, when players sign binding national letters of intent.
Rivals includes Ocala offensive lineman Reno Henderson as a Bulls commitment, and while he's hopeful of being at USF next fall, he might not have what would be considered a "committable" scholarship offer from USF yet. Other Bulls commitments like St. Petersburg's Rayshawn Jenkins consider themselves USF commitments but will still be taking official visits to other schools. USF's Class of 2012 should also include receiver Alex Mut of Punta Gorda Charlotte, who signed with USF in February but will not join the team on scholarship until January as he recovers from knee surgery.
With Rivals' current rankings, USF has the highest-rated class in the Big East. Other state programs in the rankings include Florida State at No. 3, Florida at No. 4 and Miami at No. 12.
USF has only made Rivals' top 50 once since joining the Big East in 2005, making the cut at No. 29 in 2009, with a class that included NFL first-rounder Jason Pierre-Paul, as well as current Bulls standouts like linebackers Sam Barrington and DeDe Lattimore, defensive end Ryne Giddins, cornerback Kayvon Webster and receiver Sterling Griffin. (Keep in mind that five players who signed with USF in '09 never made it to campus and another two left the program early without any significant playing time.)
-- Congrats to the Lakeland Ledger's Tom Zebold, who has been hired by USF as a writer who will cover the Bulls for USF's official site. Zebold's a guy we've linked to a lot on this blog over the years, so happy to see he'll be (even more) on the beat here in Tampa. He starts officially Aug. 15.