After an impressive Early Signing period that saw USF football add 17 high school seniors and five high profile transfers, Jeff Scott followed up with a national signing day that brought on a mixture of preferred walk-ons, grey shirts, and more transfers to fill some gaps.
The party started the day before, when DT commits JacQuez Williams (Jenkins, Georgia) and Jhallin Hobbs (Ruskin, Lennard HS) confirmed they would be gray shirting via twitter.
The defensive tackle position is currently in a log jam personnel wise, with four seniors leading the position and two or three players behind them in a position group that only regularly fields one player at a time in a 3-3-5 defense.
With Desmond Mamudi’s flip on early signing day to Virginia Tech, the Bulls will be without a defensive tackle signing in the class of 2021 and will look to bolster it next offseason with transfers and high school recruits.
On the actual National Signing Day, Jeff Scott and company rounded out the rest of their roster by starting with the announcement of preferred walk-ons joining the progrum via twitter, a rather unique move as most schools do not announce preferred walk-ons in the way USF did on Wednesday.
With Scott being a former walk-on at Clemson however, he understands the importance of giving these kids a spotlight. The players who will be joining via preferred walk-ons are as followed:
- University School Kicker John Cannon
- Spartanburg (South Carolina) High School Kicker Will Fowler
- Windermere High School Linebacker Amer Amer
- Orangewood Christian High School Safety Lewai Mitchell
- Viera High School Wide Receiver Zak Sedaros
- River Ridge High School Tight End Connor Finer
- Fletcher High School Defensive Tackle Colby Smith
- Atlantic Coach High School Quarterback Ridge Jacobs
- Barron Collier High School Wide Receiver Jaheim Arnold
Highlighting these walk-ons is legacy recruit Lewai Mitchell, the son of USF star linebacker Kawika Mitchell who played for USF from 1999 to 2002. Kawika earned first team all-independent FBS honors and set a then progrum record 367 tackles before being drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the second round, and eventually joined the New York Giants where he won a Super Bowl in 2008.
Who Signed From High School
Aside from the aforementioned JacQuez Williams and Jhalin Hobbs, USF football received an official LOI from Vernon High School RB K’Wan Powell. Powell was announced by the school back in December, however it is uncertain if this was purely a ceremonial signing with his classmates at Vernon or the LOI was never sent.
Additionally, Eau Gallie High School safety Jordan Blackmon also signed with USF, and joins a loaded secondary that got even more talented with his addition. However, he was not announced by the school as most players who signed were, so his status of when he will make it to campus is up in the air.
There is a chance he is gray shirting along with JacQuez Williams and Jhalin Hobbs where he will join the progrum in December or January 2022.
Who Portal’d Into USF
A few rumors were swirling if USF was able to add any additional players due to scholarship count, although 25 players entered the transfer portal from USF, the class of 2021 who signed in December and the transfers quickly replaced that lost talent.
However, USF was able to bring in two additional high-profile players from Power 5 progrums on Wednesday with the addition of former four-star running back Jaren Mangham from Colorado and former three-star wide receiver Yusuf Terry from Baylor.
Both of them fill a missing piece that both position groups were needing. Mangham is 6’2, 220 lbs, easily becoming USF bruising back to join the speedy backfield of Kelley Joiner, Darrian Felix, Brian Battie, and K’Wan Powell. Yusuf sits at 6’3 and runs a 4.6 40-yard dash, and fits the mold for an outside receiver that Jeff Scott looks for.
He’ll join an outside receiver position group lead by Xavier Weaver and joined by two freshman Nicklaus Tschivaudi and Cardrece Mobley.
Barring any last second adjustments or departures, this should finalize the roster for the 2021 season, so the coaching staff can focus on bulking up the freshman and conditioning workouts for the team. The USF coaching staff also appears to be finalized with the additions of George Barlow Jr as CB coach, and Bobby Bentley to coach the WRs.
The USF coaching staff has been hot on the recruiting trail for the class of 2022 already, with some high profile offers including five-star prospects Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy from Lakeland and Kamari Wilson from IMG Academy showing significant interest in joining #ScottsTots22.
Jeff Scott received his first commit of the 2021 cycle in early February, so it’s only a matter of time before the first prospect in the class of 2022 announces his verbal to USF.