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USF’s Marquez Valdes-Scantling to help homeless on Christmas

USF receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling said he'll spend Christmas Day distributing items to the homeless
USF senior Marquez Valdes-Scantling, a Lakewood High alumnus, said he ultimately wants to open a homeless shelter in the bay area. (OCTAVIO JONES | Times)
USF senior Marquez Valdes-Scantling, a Lakewood High alumnus, said he ultimately wants to open a homeless shelter in the bay area. (OCTAVIO JONES | Times)
Published Dec. 12, 2017

He enters the Birmingham Bowl needing 67 yards to break former Lakewood High teammate Rodney Adams' single-season receiving yardage record at USF, but senior Marquez Valdes-Scantling has more pressing priorities these days.

History, in fact, is No. 3 on his agenda, behind victory and philanthropy.

Valdes-Scantling tweeted Sunday he plans to spend Christmas Day handing out duffel bags (filled with clothes, toiletries, bottled water, etc.) to the homeless in the bay area. He's currently accepting donated items for the endeavor, and will continue to do so until the Bulls leave for Birmingham on Dec. 19.

"Growing up, I've always had a soft spot for homeless people because it's situations that they can't control, they fall on hard times," said Valdez-Scantling, who enters the bowl game with 746 receiving yards on the season.

"So I spoke with my mom a while back and said I want to open up a homeless shelter once I get (financially) well enough to do that. … I just wanted to give back to the community that raised me."

Those wishing to donate can contact Valdes-Scantling via Twitter (@MVS_11).

FLOWERS ACCEPTS SHRINE INVITE: QB Quinton Flowers confirmed Tuesday he has accepted his invitation to play in the Jan. 20 East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field. He'll join teammates Deadrin Senat (DT), D'Ernest Johnson (RB) and Deatrick Nichols (DB), all of whom also have accepted their invitations.

The four participants (so far) will be a Shrine Game record for the Bulls, who never previously had more than two representatives in one year.

EARLY SIGNEES: Of USF's 23 non-binding verbal commitments, no fewer than four — and possibly more — are expected to sign on Dec. 20, when the NCAA's new early signing period for football commences.

Hollywood Chaminade Madonna OL Sebastian Sainterling and Okeechobee ATH Jajuan Cherry have confirmed they'll sign next week. On Tuesday, the high school coaches of Admiral Farragut WR Zion Roland and Plant QB Jordan McCloud said those two also will sign on Dec. 20.

At least five USF commitments have indicated they plan to wait until the normal February signing day.

ODDS AND ENDS: With 11,385 career total yards (a USF record), Flowers needs only 47 in the Birmingham Bowl to set an American Athletic Conference mark. … WR Deangelo Antoine, sidelined the last two games with a left-ankle injury, ran some short routes Tuesday and appeared pain-free.