While I get a search party together or call in Lassie to go find Ken and Toro, here are some of the highlights from the past week in USF athletics. (Maybe they're camping out for the SB Nation Tampa Bay launch party on Wednesday night. Tampa Bay Brewing Company, 6-8 pm, be there!)
First off, there's lots of recruiting news, both for this year's and next year's football team.
- Running back could very well be a position of need next year, with Mo Plancher finishing up this season and lots of question marks after that. Skip Holtz already has a 2011 recruit verbally committed, though. Willie Davis, from Stephenson HS in Stone Mountain, Georgia, is coming to the Bulls. Good stuff from Larry Weisbaum at USFNation.com, as he was able to talk to the 5'10", 190-pound Davis, a three-star recruit who had been offered by West Virginia, Louisville, Connecticut, and others.
- Weisbaum also had a story on wide receiver commit Alex Mut, who badly sprained his ankle during USF's annual Sling & Shoot 7-on-7 tournament but came back to play the next day. I don't think his coach at Charlotte High School would be too excited about that, though.
- USF has a pipeline going at Tallahassee's Lincoln High School. Ryan Gilliam, Keeley Dorsey, and of course B.J. Daniels have all come from there, and in the 2011 season they will be joined by Chris Garye, Jr., a 6'3", 205-pound safety. Garye expects he'll be a strong safety for the Bulls -- Greg Auman has the whole story.
- Auman also has the story of a potential transfer for this season, Spencer Boyd. Boyd played running back at Cape Coral high school, then was a cornerback during spring practice at Notre Dame. He is looking to transfer and USF is at the top of his list, where he would line up as a wide receiver. What we don't know is whether Boyd can play this year, although he would be willing to redshirt if need be. He might want to do that anyway since he's still taking summer classes at Notre Dame and wouldn't join the Bulls until August.
Now on to everything else.
- Jim Fee, longtime men's golf coach, has taken a vacant position in the athletic department overseeing events and championships. (I assume this is for things like USF hosting conference tournaments, or when the NCAA hosts a regional at the St. Pete Times Forum or wherever.) There's really no getting around the fact that men's golf has been badly underperforming the last few years, considering that much like baseball, we're in Florida and there's a huge recruiting base to work with, in addition to being able to play the sport year-round. The statement from USF says Fee was looking to move into athletics administration, so this might be a chance to kill two birds with one stone. A national search has been started for Fee's replacement.
- The Red is starting to come down. I figured you would just be able to pull one loose board out from near the bottom and the whole thing would collapse like a Jenga tower, but amazingly it was not that simple. The new stadium will be rotated around so that the new home plate is where the right-field corner was in the old stadium. Among other things, it will make baseball games easier on everyone's cars, as foul balls won't land anywhere near a parking lot anymore.
- So while Lelo Prado watches the old baseball stadium get knocked down, he also has to sweat out whether the majors will knock down next year's team. Both of our beat writers have kept good tabs on who has signed and who hasn't. As of now, outfielder Stephen Hunt has signed with the Reds as a pitching prospect, while catcher Eric Sim appears to be signing with San Francisco. Austin Knight, a juco transfer, was given an offer he couldn't refuse as a Cal Ripken fan -- the chance to sign with the Aberdeen Ironhawks, who happen to be owned by Cal Ripken. And Kyle Ryan, a pitching recruit, also signed with the Detroit Tigers.
The Bulls might also lose Kyle Waldrop, an outfield recruit who was also drafted by the Reds. But the big losses, if they happen, would be Randy Fontanez and Andrew Barbosa, the two starting pitchers who were both drafted. Without those two, next season could be really ugly.
- The Village Inn on Dale Mabry near Kennedy is asking the state attorney's office to drop the dine-and-dash charges against Toarlyn Fitzpatrick and Mike Burwell, saying that they came back the next day to pay their $29.91 bill and that their policy does not include calling the police to settle up the matter. (The two were arrested by an off-duty cop who happened to be sitting at the next table.) The office has not dropped the misdemeanors as of yet. On another note, I recommend the chocolate chip pancakes at VI. They're excellent.
- Finally, I hope you're reading the Letters From Louk that have been on GoUSFBulls.com. Jim Louk is the longtime voice of USF athletics on the radio, in addition to being one of the nicest people on the planet. Any time you're frustrated because you think our football program isn't growing fast enough, you should stop, count to ten, then read his fantastic account of all the horrifying road trips the Bulls went on during their first season in 1997. It's a good reminder of just how much ground we've covered in 13 years. (I have The First Stampede video and converted it to DVD awhile back -- maybe I can post some of it so you can see how shambolic some of these road stadiums were. Especially Cumberland, because Louk is absolutely not kidding when he says you couldn't see the lines on the field.)