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 to mold versatile recruit Guito Ervilus into defensive end to start

TAMPA — In recruiting jargon, a football player is often dubbed an "athlete" when his skills aren't limited to a single position or even one side of the ball.

Guito Ervilus, by nearly any jargon, is an athlete.

The USF signee didn't take up football until his sophomore year at Orlando's Oak Ridge High, when football coach Elijah Williams convinced the basketball player to try on a set of pads. With a lean 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame, Ervilus has lined up as a receiver, tight end, defensive end and linebacker; so while his first look as a Bull will be at defensive end, that's really just a starting point.

"He could end up anywhere," said Williams, himself a former Florida running back who wound up playing defensive back for the Atlanta Falcons from 1998 to 2001.

A four-minute YouTube highlight video of Ervilus, which says he runs a 4.56-second 40-yard dash and has a 38-inch vertical leap, is a dizzying collection of plays all over the field: a leaping catch, a quick-step sack, a pancake block on a running play. Ask USF's assistants, and there's a broad excitement about Guito Ervilus — that's GEE-to, with a hard G — as a raw talent to be molded into a college football player in the next few years.

"The guy I got really excited about at the end was Guito Ervilus," said defensive tackles coach Kevin Patrick, who played defensive end at Miami. "That kid right there, when you look at athletes and guys who can do more than one thing, he's a guy you could put anywhere on that field, with the exception of maybe offensive line, and he could play. That's what he brings to the table."

Last spring, Ervilus was on the radar of all the state's top programs, and even Ohio State, Tennessee and West Virginia, but he tore the ACL in his left knee in May, costing him the summer of 7-and-7 tournaments and combines and half of his senior season. He had thought he was headed to North Carolina, but when interim coach Everett Withers wasn't retained, he reopened his recruitment, and USF edged Kentucky among his final choices.

He's healthy enough that he's back playing basketball — Oak Ridge went undefeated in district and is hosting a region playoff game Thursday, with Ervilus playing forward. He has ruled out playing basketball in college — he was Oak Ridge's leading scorer as a junior — and if you ask him which football position he'd like to play most, he dodges the question nicely.

"I really want to play on both sides. It's actually kind of fun, being able to do both," Ervilus said. "I like receiver, but I don't think they'll try me there, because I'm too big. I'm just going to try to be the best player I can be."

USF coach Skip Holtz called him "extremely athletic" on signing day, and defensive ends coach Vernon Hargreaves admitted that part of the logic in introducing Ervilus as a defensive end was to make sure landing his commitment didn't hurt USF's position with Sean Price, a four-star tight end who also signed. Ervilus is one of four ends joining the Bulls this season, and the defensive coaches will lobby to keep him in the fall and beyond.

"He hasn't played football very long," Hargreaves said. "Those are the kind of guys that have so much upside that once you teach them and they start learning, they just take off. I'm excited about him."

Greg Auman can be reached at auman@tampabay.com and at (813) 226-3346. Check out his blog at tampabay.com/blogs/bulls and follow him at Twitter.com/gregauman.

USF Bulls to mold versatile recruit Guito Ervilus into defensive end to start 02/12/12 [Last modified: Sunday, February 12, 2012 10:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Vikings coach feels better about QB Bradford playing vs. Bucs

    Bucs

    EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford moved with a little more bounce in his step during the 15 opening minutes of Thursday's practice before reporters were booted.

  2. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Friday, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    RAYS: RH Alex Cobb (11-10, 3.63)

    ORIOLES: RH Ubaldo Jimenez (6-10, 6.57)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Pitcher Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait at Charlotte Sports Park during photo day on February 26, 2014 in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
  3. Bucs journal: Injury news not all bad

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The Bucs are dealing with injuries and illness as they prepare for their first road game of the season, at the Vikings on Sunday.

    Linebacker Kwon Alexander, left, who had an interception against the Bears before leaving with a hamstring injury, misses his second straight day of practice.
  4. 'Dream big' drives Lightning's Conacher brothers

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — Two words: Dream big.

    Cory Conacher includes them every time he signs an autograph for a young hockey fan.

    Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cory Conacher (89) on the ice during Lightning training camp in Brandon Friday morning (09/15/17).
  5. Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE; daughter sues NFL, Patriots

    Bucs

    BOSTON — Tests conducted on the brain of former football star Aaron Hernandez showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and his attorney said Thursday that the player's daughter is suing the NFL and the New England Patriots for leading Hernandez to believe the sport …

    Aaron Hernandez's lawyer says the former New England Patriots tight end's brain showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. [AP photo]