NSD17: University of South Florida

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:


Name Position Height Weight Year Hometown/High School
 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.

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