Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF Bulls pull off a late recruiting surprise

Staying home: Jefferson receiver Andre Davis, left, makes it official, signing with USF, while teammate Delryn Wilson, an offensive tackle, signs with Western Kentucky.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Staying home: Jefferson receiver Andre Davis, left, makes it official, signing with USF, while teammate Delryn Wilson, an offensive tackle, signs with Western Kentucky.

TAMPA — USF coach Skip Holtz was already excited about his recruiting class when he woke up Wednesday, believing the Bulls had filled some key needs on the line and at linebacker.

Then came the surprise. Well, at least to everybody else.

Miami Washington DT Elkino Watson, a four-star recruit, according to Rivals.com, stunned many by picking USF over Florida and his hometown Hurricanes.

Holtz said Watson let the Bulls coaches know of his plans a few days earlier.

"Then," Holtz said, smiling, "you hold your breath."

The signing did not significantly alter the Bulls' class ranking (sixth in the eight-team Big East according to Rivals.com), but it gave them the top player on their board and at a key position as they try to replace their "Dancing Bear," DT Terrell McClain.

Holtz believed Watson made a "very bold decision" but the right one, saying he believes Watson can "push for immediate (playing) time."

"I'll tell you the guy who is probably as close to the type of athlete that Dancing Bear was is Elkino Watson," defensive tackles coach Kevin Patrick said on USF's website.

"You want to talk about an unbelievable athletic ability, great feet, great hands, can do a lot of the same things that Terrell was able to do. That's why we went after him."

LOCAL FLAVOR: The Bulls also got two big receivers from the bay area in Jefferson's Andre Davis, a four-star recruit, according to Scout.com, and Robinson's Ruben Gonzalez. Holtz said he wanted to add size to the corps. And in Davis (6 feet 1) and Gonzalez (6-2), the Bulls get that as well as the ability to "make the circus catch." Holtz said both could make an impact soon.

EARLY IMPACT: Of the five offensive line recruits, Holtz said Thor Jozwiak, Max Lang and Brynjar Gudmundsson are the most physically ready. At linebacker, it's Zack Bullock, Mike Jeune and Antoine Pozniak.

Then there's North Carolina Tech DT Marquis White, who has played just one year of organized football. Though White still has to work on his fundamentals, Holtz said he likes his potential.

"He's got the physical tools and talent," Holtz said. "When he walks in the door, his back is a billboard. The clips you see him play in are what make you say the guy has a chance to come in and be a gap-stopper."

Still coming: WR Alex Mut picked USF for its family atmosphere and "loyalty." And he found out how loyal Holtz is.

Mut tore his right ACL two weeks ago while playing basketball. But Holtz called and told him to worry about his knee, not his scholarship, because there was no chance he'd rescind it.

"We're engaged," Holtz said.

GOT AWAY: There were a few who strongly considered USF but went elsewhere, including Armwood QB/S Josh Grady (Vanderbilt) and Miami Central OL Marquis Lucas (West Virginia).

QUOTABLE: "Coach Holtz and the Holtz era, we're going to do big things, BCS championships. That's what we're going to do." — Gonzalez

MISCELLANY: RB Dontae Aycock, a graduate of Tampa's Chamberlain High who transferred from Auburn, was elevated from walk-on to scholarship. … Hillsborough P/K Mattias Ciabatti accepted a preferred walk-on spot … Holtz said all but one recruit have qualified and expects all at school by the fall.

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@sptimes.com.

USF Bulls pull off a late recruiting surprise 02/02/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 9:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. History shows Ole Miss upheaval tough to overcome

    College

    After Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze resigned Thursday, with the opener six weeks away, offensive line coach Matt Luke is being thrown into an interim head coaching position. He will try to save a season that already had been scarred by a self-imposed bowl ban for NCAA violations.

    After coach Jim Tressel resigned, Ohio State went 6-7, including a loss to Florida in the Gator Bowl, in 2011.
  2. Bucs add top executive from MLS to business side

    Blogs

    The Bucs have hired a top executive from Major League Soccer to their business operations in Atul "AK" Khosla, who has spent the last six years as chief operating officer of Major League Soccer's Chicago Fire.

    Atul Khosla, 38, spent the last six years as chief operating officer of MLS' Chicago Fire. He joins the Bucs as their new chief corporate development and brand officer.
  3. Minors also a training ground for umpires with big-league dreams

    The Heater

    Umpire Tom Fornarola, 23, left, and Taylor Payne, 24, facing, talk before the start of the Gulf Coast League game between the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers at the Tigertown complex in Lakeland, Fla. on Wednesday, July 5, 2017.
  4. For starters: Souza not in lineup vs. Rangers

    Blogs

     

  5. Remember that famous Fred McGriff TV commercial? He's back, in a parody

    Blogs

    If you've ever seen Fred McGriff's TV commerical for Tom Emanski's Defensive Drills video it will always be fresh in your mind, with the deadpan delivery and famously ill-fitting cap.

    Fred McGriff in his new commercial for Chassis, a men's grooming line, that looks a lot like his old one.