Even as USF tight end Mitch Wilcox awaits his fate in this weekend’s NFL draft, the Bulls have landed the guy who ultimately could challenge some of his record-setting numbers.
The Bulls got a non-binding pledge Wednesday morning from Satellite High rising senior Gunnar Greenwald, believed to be the highest-ranked prospect on the USF coaches’ board, regardless of position. He also had offers from Louisville, Purdue, UCLA and N.C. State, among others.
“How Coach (Jeff) Scott and the entire coaching staff are as people is huge to me,” Greenwald said Wednesday morning.
“I honestly have full trust in every single one of the coaches. It seems like where the program is gonna be heading the next few years honestly really made me excited for them.”
The highest-ranked prospect of USF’s six Class of 2021 pledges, Greenwald is the second prominent central Florida player to pledge to Scott this week. Sanford Seminole left-handed quarterback Timmy McClain, also a three-star prospect, committed to the Bulls on Sunday.
“He comes from a really family-oriented culture here at Satellite football, and I know that’s what he was looking for at the next level," Scorpions coach Ted Kimmey said. "Coach Scott and (tight ends) coach (Joey) King and that whole staff just clearly portrayed those values to him, and he really found a home there.”
An AP student who carries a 3.9 weighted GPA, Greenwald (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) is a three-star prospect according to Rivals and 247Sports. He’s currently the nation’s No. 34 tight end prospect in the 247Sports composite rankings.
In his first full season as a tight end, he had 43 catches for 379 yards and three touchdowns last fall, averaging nearly 9 yards a reception and earning third-team Class 5A all-state honors.
“Obviously he has been a receiver his whole life, so he understood blocking in space against corners and safeties, but when you get into the box, things change up a little bit, and the type of athlete you’re going against changes up a bit," Kimmey said.
“But we have a great offensive line coach and a great tight end coach here that really spent a lot of time with him. And I tell you, when he first started to where he finished, his development was remarkable in the blocking game.”
A power forward on Satellite’s basketball team, Greenwald said he settled on USF after driving around the campus Tuesday afternoon. Shortly thereafter, news broke that former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski ― one of Greenwald’s favorite players ― was headed to Tampa Bay.
““We drove around and I was just like, ‘You know what? I’ve got to commit,'" Greenwald said. "There’s something different about this place. I love it so much.’”
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USF pledges (Class of 2021)
TE Gunnar Greenwald (6-4/225) Satellite Beach Satellite
ILB Davon Hicks (6-0/200) Vero Beach
QB Timmy McClain (6-1/190) Sanford Seminole
OLB CJ Ross (5-11/200) Jacksonville Trinity Christian
CB Jaelen Stokes (6-1/175) Auburndale
DE Keeon Terrell (6-3/220) Fort Myers