No surprises for USF on signing day

By Michael Manganello SPORTS EDITOR
On February 2, 2012

National Signing Day brought no surprises as it came and went for the USF football team. All players expected to signWednesday did, with no recruits backing out late and signingelsewhere.

"The best thing about signing day: It was an uneventfulone," coach Skip Holtz said."I think it speaks volumes for the job these coaches didbuilding these relationships,and I think it speaks volumesof the character of these young men to stick with their verbal commitment and the decision that they made."

For his second full recruitingclass, Holtz has brought in agroup of 20 players with amixture of both experienceand youth. Of the 20-manclass, 10 players are eitheralready on campus workingout with the rest of the teamor will be by summer.

The remaining 10 memberswill join in the fall.

The Bulls added six juniorcollege players to getan immediate upgrade inexperience and depth indefensive backs Fidel Montgomery and JoshuaBrown, offensive linemenLawrence Martin and Chandlor Mathews, defensive end TevinMims and running backMichael Pierre. Of the group,only Pierre - who committedlast week as a replacementfor NFL Draft-bound DarrellScott - is not already on campus. Pierre willarrive in time for summer workouts.

That group, along withearly enrollees ChrisBivins Jr. (defensive back),James Hamilton and EricLee (defensive linemen) andgrayshirt wide receiver Alex Mut, make up half of the recruitingclass and will have an advantagein getting ready for the2012 football season.

The 10 freshmen who willenroll in the fall include a pair ofdynamic offensive weapons, ahost of linemen on either side of the ball, and depth forthe linebacking corps andsecondary.

"It's a very diverse group, but I think it really did a great job of answering a lot of the needs that we had," Holtz said. "That'sreally what recruiting is all about. It's not just trying to compile names and heights and weights, but trying to fit some needs that we had as a football program."

Among the players in the class who Holtz said showed integrity is tight end Sean Price, a four-starrecruit according to bothrivals.com and scout.com - oneof the highest-rated recruits to ever sign with USF. Price chose the Bulls over some of the biggest programs inthe country, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame and Oklahoma, among others. Price committed in June and followed through, submitting his Letter ofIntent early Wednesdaymorning.

"With some of the otherpeople trying to recruit him, I commend Sean," Holtz said. "There are a lot of people out there saying, ‘You'll neverwin big there, you'll neveraccomplish some of the thingsthat we've done.' I commend Sean for being strong enough to say, ‘I want to go someplace and build something. We have anopportunity to build somethingat South Florida. I want to go there and build it, ratherthan go someplace else and maintain it.'"

Price, out of North MarionHigh School in Citra, wasrecruited by USF wide receivers coach PhilMcGeoghan and stuck to hiscommitment despite heavyinterest nationwide.

"Everybody knows he's oneof the highest-rated players to sign here," McGeoghan said. "Thebiggest thing about Sean is he's probably one of the most specialyoung men I've ever had thepleasure of recruiting … He

obviously had a lot of peoplecome onto him his senior yearin recruiting, but for him to stay loyal and stay with his heart … has been really, really specialto watch."

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