#55 LB Josh Black
Sophomore, 6'2, 228 lbs.
Stats in 2014: Josh played in five games and started the season finale against UCF, totaling seven tackles and a sack. He really started to make an impact as an edge rusher in the latter half of the season.
Spot on Spring Depth Chart: Listed as the starter at the "Bull" position, the defense's hybrid spot. Tom Allen's got big plans for Josh-- depending on the play, he'll either line up as a down lineman, rush the passer from the linebacker spot, or drop into coverage. He's pretty much got the ideal skill set for the position.
How He Came to USF: From local Sickles High School in Tampa, where he played both linebacker and defensive end and was named the Tampa Bay Times Defensive Player of the Year. He tallied 106 tackles, 26 TFL, and 21 sacks He chose the Bulls over offers from Arizona, Minnesota, and Iowa State, among others.
Recruiting Rankings: Black received three stars from all of the major recruiting services.
Projected Playing Time: A lot. Josh proved his worth as a pass rusher at the end of last season, and he's continued on an upward trajectory in the offseason. If all goes well, he should not only be one of the best young players on USF's defense, but one of the best defensive players in general. If you're looking for an early bet on USF's sack leader in 2015, you could do worse than to go with Josh.
Fun Fact: Josh is cousins with big-time Tampa recruit Ray-Ray McCloud, the standout Clemson commit who USF thought they had a decent shot with for like, a day.