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Signing day over, but Bulls likely aren't

Expect coach Willie Taggart to add a few more names to his 2016 roster in the coming months.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

Expect coach Willie Taggart to add a few more names to his 2016 roster in the coming months.

8

February

After an extended stretch on the road, on the phones and generally on edge, USF's coaches have exhaled.

In the wake of another recruiting season generally deemed solid if not spectacular, Willie Taggart and his staff have gotten reacquainted with their families, while the fax machine on the Selmon Center's second floor again has been relegated to cumbersome dust collector.

But just because the coaches might have downshifted a gear doesn't mean they're shutting down. To the contrary, look for the Bulls to add a few more pieces -- some of them prominent names -- to the roster in the coming weeks and months.

Such is the m.o. of the Taggart regime. In the same way women's basketball coach Jose Fernandez has developed a top-20 program via strong international recruiting, Taggart has partially rebuilt the Bulls via the transfer/late signee route.

Last year alone, four prominent transfers -- LB Cecil Cherry (Texas), S Austin Hudson (Wisconsin), WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (N.C. State) and QB Asiantii Woulard (UCLA) -- joined USF's program well after signing day. In the summer of 2014, WR A.J. Legree (Kentucky) and DE Kevin Bronson (late freshman enrollee) came aboard.

Look for that pattern to continue this year. NCAA rules prohibit coaches from speaking about prospects before they're signed, but recent buzz around the program indicates this summer's transfer haul -- even after a judicious vetting process -- could be as prosperous as 2015.

Among those possibly on the Bulls' board is former Under Armour All-American DE Marques Ford, an East Bay High alumnus granted his release from Rutgers in December. Additionally, Florida fourth-year junior edge rusher Jeremi Powell -- a Pinellas Park alumnus -- is believed to be seeking a new home as a graduate transfer.

Even if neither lands in Tampa, the Bulls runway still figures to be busy in the coming months.

[Last modified: Monday, February 8, 2016 1:02pm]

    

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