#33 LB Cecil Cherry
Redshirt Freshman, 6'0", 240 lbs.
2015 Stats: Cherry redshirted last year after transferring from Texas.
Position on Depth Chart: Cecil is Auggie Sanchez's backup at middle linebacker on the post-spring depth chart.
How He Came To USF: And let's talk about that time at Texas. He committed to the Longhorns in 2015 as part of Charlie Strong's so-called "Florida Five." But after only three practices in Austin, Cherry decided to transfer. According to Cecil's father Winston, "It's just the scheme they have doesn't fit the type of ballplayer my son is. It's not what he needs." A week later, Cecil enrolled at USF, planning to sit out the 2015 season and have four years of eligibility starting in 2016.
Cherry played at Frostproof High School, then transferred to Victory Christian Academy as a senior, where he made 160 tackles, recorded two sacks, intercepted four passes, and forced four fumbles for the Class 2A state champions. At Frostproof, where he had been playing since eighth grade, Cherry made 186 tackles and 6.5 sacks for the Bulldogs in his sophomore and junior years. Cecil had over 30 college offers and was committed to Tennessee for much of the 2015 recruiting cycle.
Here is Cecil's highlight reel if you like to watch ballcarriers got rocked real hard:
Recruiting Rankings: Cherry was a three-star prospect on all four major recruiting sites.
Projected Playing Time: There are a lot of ways this can go. Cherry could plain beat Auggie Sanchez for the starting job. That seems unlikely on the surface since Auggie is an all-conference linebacker, but Cecil might have the talent to do it. Raymond Woodie and the defensive staff could figure out a way to get Cherry and Sanchez on the field together, probably at the expense of Nigel Harris. He could simply spell Sanchez in the middle linebacker spot and get more reps than your typical second-stringer. Or he could end up as a backup who doesn't get much action, which you get the feeling wouldn't make anyone in Cecil's camp very happy.