No surprises for USF on signing day
Published: Thursday, February 2, 2012
Updated: Thursday, February 2, 2012 03:02
National Signing Day brought no surprises as it came and went for the USF football team. All players expected to sign Wednesday did, with no recruits backing out late and signing elsewhere.
"The best thing about signing day: It was an uneventful one," coach Skip Holtz said. "I think it speaks volumes for the job these coaches did building these relationships, and I think it speaks volumes of the character of these young men to stick with their verbal commitment and the decision that they made."
For his second full recruiting class, Holtz has brought in a group of 20 players with a mixture of both experience and youth. Of the 20-man class, 10 players are either already on campus working out with the rest of the team or will be by summer.
The remaining 10 members will join in the fall.
The Bulls added six junior college players to get an immediate upgrade in experience and depth in defensive backs Fidel Montgomery and Joshua Brown, offensive linemen Lawrence Martin and Chandlor Mathews, defensive end Tevin Mims and running back Michael Pierre. Of the group, only Pierre — who committed last week as a replacement for NFL Draft-bound Darrell Scott — is not already on campus. Pierre will arrive in time for summer workouts.
That group, along with early enrollees Chris Bivins Jr. (defensive back), James Hamilton and Eric Lee (defensive linemen) and grayshirt wide receiver Alex Mut, make up half of the recruiting class and will have an advantage in getting ready for the 2012 football season.
The 10 freshmen who will enroll in the fall include a pair of dynamic offensive weapons, a host of linemen on either side of the ball, and depth for the linebacking corps and secondary.
"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's really 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-star recruit according to both rivals.com and scout.com — one of the highest-rated recruits to ever sign with USF. Price chose the Bulls over some of the biggest programs in the 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 of Intent early Wednesday morning.
"With some of the other people trying to recruit him, I commend Sean," Holtz said. "There are a lot of people out there saying, ‘You'll never win big there, you'll never accomplish some of the things that we've done.' I commend Sean for being strong enough to say, ‘I want to go someplace and build something. We have an opportunity to build something at South Florida. I want to go there and build it, rather than go someplace else and maintain it.'"
Price, out of North Marion High School in Citra, was recruited by USF wide receivers coach Phil McGeoghan and stuck to his commitment despite heavy interest nationwide.
"Everybody knows he's one of the highest-rated players to sign here," McGeoghan said. "The biggest thing about Sean is he's probably one of the most special young men I've ever had the pleasure of recruiting … He
obviously had a lot of people come onto him his senior year in recruiting, but for him to stay loyal and stay with his heart … has been really, really special to watch."