A strong recruiting day for USF football started with the commitment of DeLand running back JoJo Kemp, and it continued Saturday evening with news that two tall cornerbacks -- Jacksonville First Coast's Darius Whitty and Moultrie (Ga.) Colquitt County's Johnny Ward -- also committed during the SuperBull recruiting event, helping the Bulls address two key positions and build some summer momentum.
Whitty and Ward were told that USF only intends to take three cornerbacks in its 2013 class, which would leave one spot available for Wharton standout Vernon Hargreaves III. It's a key position for USF's next recruiting class, with starter Kayvon Webster a senior this fall and a new generation of potential starters moving in with young players like Kenneth Durden and Chris Bivins.
Whitty said he chose the Bulls over offers from West Virginia, Mississippi and Kentucky, committing in person to Skip Holtz, primary recruiter Steve Shankweiler and position coach Rick Smith. He has good size at 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds, and he's fast enough to run the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay at First Coast. Whitty cited his man coverage as a strength, and he likes USF's physical therapy program and was sold on the idea he can intern at a hospital on campus after graduation.
USF made a late push last year for two First Coast standouts in linebackers Reggie Northrup and Joseph Jackson, but they signed with FSU and UNC. Defensive coordinator Fred Culver said Whitty is "tall and rangy" and a "hell of a football player."
Ward continues USF's recruiting success in the Peach State under Holtz -- Colquitt County coach Rush Propst has known Rick Smith long enough he remembers sending him offensive lineman Jody Dowda when Smith was an Alabama assistant in 1987; he's known Shankweiler for ages as well. Propst, by the way, said USF has now offered another Colquitt County standout, Octavius Jackson, who attended SuperBull on Saturday.
Ward, like Whitty, has good size at 6 feet and 165 pounds, and USF was the first BCS program to offer him -- he boasts offers from UCF, Middle Tennessee State and South Alabama. "His stock was rising, too," Propst said. "Had he not committed, he would have had several more offers by the end of summer. He's comfortable with South Florida, Coach Holtz, Coach Smith and their program."
USF has picked up five commitments in the last three weeks, following quarterback Asiantii Woulard and offensive lineman Cameron Fraser, giving them seven toward their 2013 class. Propst said USF has now offered another Colquitt County standout, Octavius Jackson, who attended SuperBull on Saturday.
One more cleanup note -- we had written in January about Carl Williams, a preferred walk-on safety from First Coast who was transfer this fall from South Alabama to USF. His father said Saturday that Williams is now headed to Arizona Western, where he'll play the next two years. He'll be recruited again for the 2014-15 seasons once he's done there.