TAMPA ― USF coach Brian Gregory, who essentially has resuscitated the Bulls program by signing under-the-radar talent, formally landed another steal of sorts Wednesday when Loganville (Ga.) four-star combo guard Caleb Murphy signed with the Bulls.
Murphy’s signature arrived on the opening day of the NCAA’s weeklong early signing period for basketball. The Bulls hope to sign two prospects during this recruiting cycle to fill the scholarships that will be vacated by seniors Laquincy Rideau and Antun Maricevic.
“He’s really done a tremendous job over the last 12 months of separating himself as one of the premier guards in high school basketball,” Gregory said in a school news release.
Widely considered one of the best on-ball defenders in the Class of 2020, Murphy currently is 55th in the Rivals Class of 2020 national rankings. He’s the highest-ranked player ― and first four-star prospect ― to commit to USF in the Rivals era.
He reportedly also had offers from Florida, Arkansas, Clemson, Missouri, Xavier, Kansas State and Texas A&M, among others.
“USF has stolen one that SEC teams will ultimately regret no prioritizing in the ultra-athletic Murphy,” wrote Rivals’ Eric Bossi.
Murphy, listed at 6-foot-4, averaged 8.8 points as a junior at Norcross High, which finished 22-9, before joining the Atlanta Celtics during the summer travel circuit.
He averaged 12.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in seven games at the Adidas Gauntlet in Birmingham, Ala., in July, leading the Celtics to the under-17 platinum-level title.
“Caleb is a playmaker, has a tremendous feel for the game and possesses a high basketball IQ,” Gregory said. “We want to recruit high-level talent that are high-character kids and Caleb is definitely one of those.”