Here's a weird one for you: It looks like Delray Beach DE Kevin Bronson didn't have the grades to get into Virginia Tech, and instead is heading to USF. Considering USF is the same school that has been denying kids with its infamously difficult academic committee for years now, this is certainly a surprise.
This report out of ESPN West Palm (your home for the best polo and equestrian coverage!!) quotes Bronson's Delray Village Academy coach Don Hanna pretty specifically about Bronson's academic situation:
"After Signing Day, Virginia Tech said he'd need a 17 on all categories," said Hanna. "He ended up being a point shy on English and Math. We were told if he didn't get it, they'd go before the [academic] committee and they'd be able to get him in."
"The closer we got to him coming up, they started saying, 'There's a 50/50 chance we'll be able to get you up.' They were giving him the run-around."
"They didn't treat Kevin right from the beginning. He was like a second-tier guy for them. They missed out on some other defensive linemen and took a chance on Kevin. I don't think he would have had a great career there because he wasn't one of the guys they wanted."
After informing Bronson he was short of qualifying, Virginia Tech said they wouldn't be able to get him in asked if he would enroll in prep school during the fall. Following that discussion, Bronson requested for his scholarship release.
According to Hanna, the school made a sudden reversal as Hokies' head coach Frank Beamer then told Bronson he would go to the head of the academic committee and get him in.
By that point, Bronson and his family decided they were ready to move on.
"Once that happened, [Bronson and his father] came to the conclusion that they don't want to deal with that going forward."
Bronson is a 3-star recruit according to 24/7 and Yahoo, and is somewhere between 6'3 and 6'4 and 233 and 252 lbs depending on who you believe. It's a position of need for the Bulls, and USF's willingness to add him late indicates they think he's worth the risk.
USF has been denying tons of talented kids for years now due to academic issues. The stories of kids that were far over the NCAA hurdles but not the USF ones in the classroom have been everywhere. Lots and lots of recruits wanted to come here and got through the clearinghouse, but couldn't get to campus. A few of them ended up in the SEC.
We can't speak to why this seems to be changing, or how many "special admits" USF has already taken in this class, but when you have an APR of 973 out of 1000 in football maybe it's time to be allowed to take a few more chances. Our beloved Harvard On The Hillsborough is certainly rising academically, and joining the American Association of Universities is all but a stated goal of the administration... but we ain't Stanford yet, folks. And giving a shot to a few talented athletes that can help isn't a bad idea.
USF has never and shouldn't ever scrimp on the academic side. Make these kids work just as hard for their degrees as those of us that are alumni did. We don't want to be UNC.
But we also would like to compete. And especially in the situation in which we currently find ourselves, sometimes that means taking chances.