Sunday, June 17, 2018
Colleges

Despite poor start, USF recruits remain committed

TAMPA

While the stench of the Bulls' first three football games has sent many scurrying for the exits or message boards or Twitter-verse, others insist they remain firmly beside USF.

They happen to be the ones whose commitment counts most in the long term.

Of the 16 high school seniors widely reported to be firmly committed to USF, the seven from Hillsborough or Pinellas County all have reaffirmed their allegiance to the Bulls since the season began. Some have done so as recently as the past few days.

"Well, I felt disappointed (in the 0-3 start), but at the same time, I believe in Coach (Willie) Taggart," Tampa Bay Tech athlete Tajee Fullwood, who committed over the summer, said Sunday evening.

"A person who comes in isn't going to (turn things around) right away, it's going to take time. I still believe in what he's doing."

That sentiment appears to be shared. Jefferson QB Deiondre Porter, projected as a defensive back for the Bulls, said days after the McNeese State debacle that the 53-21 defeat "made me want to stay committed." Dragons DE/LB Juwuan Brown concurred.

Sunday, Largo LB/S Frankie Hernandez said he remains committed, as does teammate Jarvis Stewart, recruited as an athlete. Go to East Lake CB Devin Abraham's Twitter feed, and his allegiance to USF is glaring.

Late last week, Plant coach Robert Weiner said Panthers CB Mazzi Wilkins remains "fully committed to USF." In 10 seasons at the South Tampa school, Weiner says he has had only one player renege on a prior commitment.

Logic suggests most other commitments remain solid. Fort Myers Dunbar WR Ryeshene Bronson reportedly committed after the McNeese State game.

CB Deatrick Nichols and G Michael Smith both hail from Miami Central, where they were coached until this season by Bulls running backs coach Telly Lockette. Bradenton Manatee OG Michael Galati shares the same alma mater as Taggart.

HALL PASS: USF's 2013 Hall of Fame class — Marquel Blackwell (football), Bobby Paschal (men's basketball, administration), Chris Heintz (baseball) and Dayana Octavien (track and field) — will be inducted Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the T. Pepin's Hospitality Center in Tampa.

Paschal led USF to the NCAA Tournament in 1990 and '92 during his decade as coach (1986-96). Blackwell (1999-2002) was 30-12 as a starting quarterback and still holds a handful of Bulls offensive records. Heintz, a .400 hitter and All-American as a senior in 1996, spent parts of three seasons in the majors. Octavien (2000-04) owns the school hammer throw mark at 209 feet, 10 inches.

HALL PASS, PART II: Lockette, a two-time Division I-AA All-America linebacker at Idaho State in the mid 1990s, will be inducted into his alma mater's sports hall of fame this fall.

A Miami native who starred at Northwestern High, Lockette, 39, will be able to attend. The ceremony is slated for the weekend of Nov. 8-9, when USF is idle.

BULL BITS: Look for a hearty Corbett Stadium crowd when the men's soccer team (2-1-3) hosts Connecticut, ranked 11th by Soccer America, in the Bulls' American Athletic Conference opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday. USF is winless against the Huskies in seven meetings. … The Bulls women (5-1-3), who travel Friday to UCF, have five shutouts. Friday, they held South Alabama, which entered the weekend as the NCAA's scoring leader, to two shots on goal in a 1-0 victory.

Comments
Florida’s Brady Singer voted top college baseball player of year

Florida’s Brady Singer voted top college baseball player of year

OMAHA, Neb. — Florida pitcher Brady Singer has won the Dick Howser Trophy as college baseball's player of the year.Singer, who received the award Friday, carries a 12-1 record and 2.30 ERA into the College World Series, which begins Saturday. T...
Published: 06/15/18
Former Plant QB Rex Culpepper cancer-free; ready to return to Syracuse lineup

Former Plant QB Rex Culpepper cancer-free; ready to return to Syracuse lineup

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Rex Culpepper is back. The smile on his face said it all. The redshirt sophomore quarterback had his first full workout with Syracuse on Friday after overcoming testicular cancer. He said he broke down and cried when he was told he w...
Published: 06/15/18
Willie Taggart comes clean on the origin of ‘Do Something’

Willie Taggart comes clean on the origin of ‘Do Something’

During his question-and-answer session with more than 500 Manatee-Sarasota boosters Monday evening, FSU's Willie Taggart was peppered with the normal inquiries about recruiting, offensive scheme and the Seminoles' quarterback derby.All well and good....
Published: 06/12/18
When Willie Taggart filled in for Tommie Frazier at Manatee High

When Willie Taggart filled in for Tommie Frazier at Manatee High

It would have been easy — expected, even — for Willie Taggart to be nervous when he started in place of the injured Tommie Frazier as Manatee High's starting quarterback in 1991.Nope. Taggart wasn't, even though he was the first...
Published: 06/12/18
FSU football coach Willie Taggart gets local hero’s welcome

FSU football coach Willie Taggart gets local hero’s welcome

SARASOTA — He slithered and scrambled his way into the local consciousness in the fall of 1991.Manatee High's Willie Taggart, 145 pounds in a sopping jersey, suddenly found himself with the keys to the Hurricanes' ruthlessly efficient opti...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18
Florida Gators add West Virginia grad transfer Adam Shuler

Florida Gators add West Virginia grad transfer Adam Shuler

Former West Virginia defensive lineman Adam Shuler announced Monday that he plans to join the Gators as a graduate transfer.Shuler, a 6-foot-4, 268-pound Longwood native, started 10 games for the Mountaineers last season. As a redshirt sophomore, he ...
Published: 06/11/18
Florida State’s Jessica Warren lives ‘every senior’s dream’ with Women’s College World Series title

Florida State’s Jessica Warren lives ‘every senior’s dream’ with Women’s College World Series title

OKLAHOMA CITY — Jessie Warren’s career finished just the way she envisioned it. On Monday night, Florida State’s star third baseman made perhaps the play of her career, a diving catch and throw for a double play that helped preserve a 1-0 win over Wa...
Published: 06/06/18
Florida Gators hire former Auburn AD Jay Jacobs

Florida Gators hire former Auburn AD Jay Jacobs

Former Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs is joining Florida as its executive associate athletic director, the Gators announced Tuesday afternoon."Florida Athletics is fortunate to have someone of Jay's caliber joining the (University Athletic Assoc...
Published: 06/05/18
What Mississippi State says about Dan Mullen’s September homecoming

What Mississippi State says about Dan Mullen’s September homecoming

I haven't yet ranked every college football game in the state (as I did last year), but here's a spoiler: Dan Mullen's return to Starkville on Sept. 29 will be very high.The Florida Gators' new coach hasn't shied away from his Mississippi State homec...
Published: 06/05/18
Ray Lewis, Lomas Brown, Simeon Rice among College Football Hall of Fame nominees

Ray Lewis, Lomas Brown, Simeon Rice among College Football Hall of Fame nominees

Eleven former players/coaches with state ties are up for consideration for the College Football Hall of Fame.Notables notables on the ballot, released Monday morning, include:Florida OT Lomas Brown: 1984 All-American and two-time all-SEC talent helpe...
Published: 06/04/18