It seems as though Head Coaches in College Football have played musical chairs this season. The University of South Florida was one of the schools to experience this as they lost Willie Taggart to Oregon. But they received a veteran when Charlie Strong picked up the vacancy. With it being so late in the recruiting season, many eyes wanted to see what the Bulls would be able to do.
Coach Taggart had turned the program completely around, which is what made him an attractive candidate for the opening at Oregon to begin with. USF ended their football season at 11 – 2, and a win in the Birmingham Bowl. That gave the team the fifth-best winning percentage in FBS football in 2016. USF also beat many individual and team records. Any players the Bulls would get to commit to the program, would only add depth to the team.
As of National Signing Day, the Bulls have 18 recruits committed. 13 of the players are three-star recruits. Strong was able to find plenty of talent in-state, as all but one of the signees hail from Florida. Strong stated “I’m really excited about the class we have; a very solid class.” The team met many needs, according to Strong. Here is a complete list of the recruits:
|Jernard Phillips||WR||5-10||180||Fr.||Miami, Fla./Miami Central HS|
|Frederick Lloyd||TE||6-5||201||Fr.||Tifton, Ga./Tift County HS|
|Jean Marcellus||OL||6-4||285||Fr.||Tampa, Fla./Thomas Jefferson HS|
|Darrien Grant||DL||6-4||220||Fr.||Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS|
|Mekhi LaPointe||DB||6-2||180||Fr.||Seffner, Fla./Armwood HS|
|Kelvin Pinkney||DL||6-3||284||Fr.||Sarasota, Fla./Booker HS|
|Nick Roberts||DB||5-11||177||Fr.||Orange Park, Fla./Oakleaf HS|
|Bentlee Sanders||DB||5-9||175||Fr.||Tampa, Fla./Tampa Catholic HS|
|Jeremiah Stafford||OL||6-4||295||Fr.||Citra, Fla./North Marion HS|
|Duran Bell, Jr.||RB||5-10||170||Fr.||Tampa, Fla./Hillsborough HS|
|Naytron Culpepper||DB||6-1||175||Fr.||Miami, Fla./Carol City HS|
|Kevaughn Dingle||WR||6-1||185||Fr.||Miami, Fla./Carol City HS|
|Donelle Thomas||DB||5-11||175||Fr.||Miami, Fla./Carol City HS|
|Jabreel Stephens||DL||6-5||225||Fr.||Seffner, Fla./Armwood HS|
|Randall St. Felix||WR||6-2||190||Fr.||Miami, Fla./Dr. Michael M. Krop HS|
|Demetris Harris||OL||6-3||280||Fr.||Jacksonville, Fla./Robert E. Lee HS|
|Keirston Johnson||LB||6-0||215||Fr.||Jacksonville, Fla./Robert E. Lee HS|
|Kelvin Kegler||DL||6-2||280||Fr.||Madison, Fla./Madison County HS|
USF signed 10 defensive players with five defensive backs, four defensive linemen, and one linebacker. The Bulls added depth to their offense with three wide receivers, three offensive lineman, one tight end, and one running back. Seven of the players signed, came from the Tampa Bay area. Fredrick Lloyd was the only player to come from a different state, Georgia.
Naytron Culpepper and Kevaughn Dingle were the best pickups from recruiting. USF had no four-star recruits. USF ranked No. 77 overall in recruiting class ranking. However, I don’t think team is worried too much about that given their most recent success.