Five University of South Florida athletic programs announced they received commitments from athletes to join their teams for next season.
Wednesday marked the first day high school athletes can commit to a university by signing a National Letter of Intent.
The volleyball, softball, baseball and men’s and women’s basketball departments combined to receive 10 letters of intent between Wednesday and Thursday.
USF’s women’s basketball had the biggest days of the three programs, notching three players for the 2003-04 season.
Nalini Miller, Rachael Sheats and Jessica Dickson are all among the top 100 high school prospects in the nation.
Miller, a 6-foot-2 forward from Laurinburg, N.C., averaged 18 points, 18 rebounds and four blocked shots per game in her junior season, earning a McDonald’s All-American honorable mention.
Sheats, a 5-foot-11 guard from Marietta, Ga., averaged 16 points, four assists and four steals per game her junior year at Sprayberry High School. She was the Metro Atlanta Prep Team Player of the Year.
Dickson, a 5-foot-11 forward from Ocala, averaged 25 points and 13 rebounds in her junior campaign for Ocala Vanguard High School. She was an honorable mention All-American by Street & Smith’s.
“I am very excited to sign a class of this caliber,” USF coach Jose Fernandez said. “This class, along with Ezria Parsons and Andrea Armstrong, who are sitting out this season (after transferring) will be looked upon at the national level. I will not be surprised to see this class ranked as high as in the top 15 nationally.”
USF’s baseball team also landed three players, two pitchers and one infielder, all from Florida.
Third baseman Joey Angelberger, right-handed pitcher Tyler Clippard and left-handed pitcher Nick Manganaro will join coach Eddie Cardieri’s team in 2004.
Angelberger hit .299 with 21 RBI last season for nationally-ranked Dunedin High School.
Clippard, a 6-foot-3, 175-pound pitcher out of Trinity, was a first team All-Sunshine Athletic Conference selection out of Mitchell High School.
Manganaro, a 6-foot-5, 170-pound pitcher from Fort Lauderdale, enters his senior season at Northeast High School after going 7-3 last year, with a 3.95 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings pitched.
The USF softball team corralled two players on the first two days of the signing period, both pitchers.
Danielle Urbanik, a right-handed pitcher, and Kasey Kash, a left-handed pitcher, will join coach Ken Eriksen’s team in 2003.
Urbanik, a Tampa product out of East Bay High School, was an All-Hillsborough County selection last year by both The Tampa Tribune and St. Petersburg Times. She finished with a 14-7 record, 0.81 ERA and 259 strikeouts.
Kash, a left-handed pitcher from Flagler Palm Coast High School, threw three perfect games and four no-hitters a year ago.
“(Danielle) throws the ball very hard and hits it a ton,” Eriksen said. “Kasey Kash brings fantastic control, and she’s a proven big-game pitcher that has done well on the national scene. We’re hoping for Danielle and Kasey to come in and beat people right away.”
The USF volleyball team added one player for next year’s season.
Ashley Reavis, a defensive specialist from Summit High School in Dillon, Colo., will play the libero position for USF coach Nancy Mueller next season. The position will be vacant due to the graduation of senior Maryann Mooney.
The men’s basketball team landed a single player during the early signing period, point guard Ricardo Freeman.
Freeman, 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, averaged 10.7 points and seven assists last year for Seward County (Kansas) Community College.
“Ricardo Freeman is an explosive, aggressive, penetrating point guard with good size who can defend the ball,” USF coach Seth Greenberg said.