We’re less than two weeks away from National Signing Day, meaning it’s time to start talking more about #crootin.
We gave you a Recruiting Roundup a few weeks ago and since then, not much has dramatically changed. With only twelve days to go until the big day, here’s where USF stands.
Other than a few decommits, things have remained the same for USF, with most of this class remaining intact following the coaching change.
According to 247, the Bulls’ 2017 class currently sits at fifth in the AAC (74th overall). While that’s down from the hauls Willie Taggart had been able to pull in from recent years, it’s understandable given the circumstances of transitioning from one coaching staff to the next. Another factor is USF doesn’t have that many open scholarships, so other teams can beat them in the rankings on quantity.
Since the recruiting contact period re-opened last week, head coach Charlie Strong and staff have scoured the state to not only find and flip some late additions, but reinforce the commitments of several kids on their current list.
In particular, three targets have stood out. One is a marquee commit from over the summer, another is a player with direct ties to the new coaching staff, and the third who would be a bonafide game changer, even if the odds on getting his signature are long.
Ranked as an 87 in the 247 Composite, Bruce Judson has been the headliner for this recruiting class since this past July when he, Emare Hogan, and Demetri Burch all announced their commitments to USF at the same time.
However, with the departure of Taggart, the Cocoa product reopened his recruitment, citing USF, Virginia Tech, Kentucky, and Oregon as his final four (also taking an official visit to Oregon State).
Judson did indicate the he will make his official visit to USF next weekend before the contact period ends, trying to get one last impression of the school and coaching staff before signing day. On the flip side, new OC Sterlin Gilbert and staff will vie for one last opportunity to convince the highly sought-after athlete to stay put and sign with USF.
Quickly rising up USF’s radar has been three-star cornerback Latavious Brini out of Mater Academy in Miami.
The Miami-Dade County native made his official visit to USF last weekend and is being heavily courted by the likes of Oklahoma, Miami, Georgia, and Oregon.
An interesting element is that Brini has a prior relationship to new USF defensive backs coach Corey Bell, who tried to recruit him to FAU and even coached against him during his stint at American Senior High School. That’s where having staff members with direct connections to South Florida really comes in handy, even on short notice.
It was huge news last month when #1 defensive tackle in the nation Marvin Wilson tagged USF in his final five along with bluebloods LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Florida State. The elite prospect will get an opportunity to see Tampa and the Bulls’ campus firsthand on his official visit to USF this weekend.
Hailing from the Houston area, Wilson developed a strong relationship with Charlie Strong and new defensive coordinator Brian Jean-Mary at Texas before they were let go at the end of last season. The strong relationship with the two obviously never subsided. Now he’s giving some consideration to following them to Tampa.
It would be a huge longshot for USF to land Wilson come National Signing Day. But if they were to pull off this massive coup, it would be the biggest recruiting story of the day and the largest recruiting upset since, well, Ed Oliver going to Houston last season. Who knows, anything could happen.
We’ll continue to keep you updated for the next two weeks and as always, don’t tweet at recruits.