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USF football, Golesh signed an elite mid-major 2024 recruiting class

It’s the Bulls’ best group in at least a decade and one of the best by any mid-major program since 2010.
 
USF football and coach Alex Golesh signed the Bulls' best recruiting class in at least a decade.
USF football and coach Alex Golesh signed the Bulls' best recruiting class in at least a decade. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Feb. 8

USF football coach Alex Golesh and his staff worked until the 11th hour to finalize their historic 2024 recruiting class. During Tuesday night’s men’s basketball game, Golesh was still trying to secure the addition of Tampa Bay Tech three-star cornerback Camren Campbell, a one-time Michigan State commit.

The effort, clearly, paid off. The Bulls’ high school recruiting class stands as one of the best mid-major hauls of the last 15 years.

The Bulls are No. 48 nationally in the 247Sports composite. That will be their highest finish since 2014, when Willie Taggart’s group ranked 42nd.

USF’s ranking is also the best of any program outside the Power Four conferences. Since 2010, only seven mid-major programs have finished higher: the ‘14 Bulls, plus 2016 Houston (36th), 2011 TCU (28th), 2010 BYU (33rd) and Cincinnati from 2020-22 (42nd, 45th and 42nd).

Quinton Flowers was a part of the last USF recruiting class to finish higher than the Bulls' 2024 group.
Quinton Flowers was a part of the last USF recruiting class to finish higher than the Bulls' 2024 group. [ Times (2017) ]

Golesh’s class also stacks up well in other metrics. The Bulls’ average player rating is 85.42. That’s the equivalent of a mid-three-star prospect, which 247Sports describes as a capable starter at a major program or impact player at a mid-major school.

This class’ average rating is the best for USF since at least 2010 (some of the previous years are incomplete). Only seven mid-major programs have fared better in that span.

The site combines quantity and quality to award teams points. USF got 197.92. That’s also the Bulls’ best finish since at least 2010, and only three mid-majors have done better (’16 Houston, ‘11 TCU and ‘10 BYU).

And the star power is significant. Four-star tight end Jonathan Echols of Bradenton’s IMG Academy is the school’s 10th-best signee of the modern recruiting era. Classmate Fred Gaskin is 19th.

“I feel like this adds to the foundation that we’ve laid,” Golesh said during his signing day news conference.

Golesh said he was humbled by the accolades but doesn’t follow recruiting rankings closely.

“None of it matters until we get out on the football field and go attack,” Golesh said.

Though recruiting rankings are imperfect, they have value. Taggart’s highly rated ‘14 class produced three of the top players in school history: Quinton Flowers, D’Ernest Johnson and Marlon Mack. Houston’s top-40 class in ‘16 had record-setting quarterback D’Eriq King and future first-round pick Ed Oliver. TCU’s top-30 class of 2011 featured Trevone Boykin, who finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting three years later.

We won’t know for a couple of years whether Golesh’s first full recruiting cycle has that kind of star power. But the early indications are promising.

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