With 11 days remaining before playing their next game against North Carolina, the Bulls coaching staff is trying to capitalize their recruiting efforts immediately after upsetting No. 17 Auburn
Although the vast majority of the team is from Florida, coach Jim Leavitt said this week the focus will be on signing out-of-state players.
“I like getting up in New Jersey a bit,” Leavitt said at Tuesday’s media luncheon. “We’re always going to go up there and (we’re going to) Nebraska this week.”
One of the talents the Bulls have been able to find outside of Florida has been kick returner Jerome Murphy.
During his season debut on special teams, the sophomore had 111 return yards, including a 59-yard return, allowing kicker Delbert Alvarado to tie the game against Auburn at 20 with 55 seconds remaining in the contest.
The New Jersey native, who also serves as the team’s nickelback on defense, is what Leavitt hopes to be a long line of players from the Northeast to enroll at USF
after being under-recruited by other schools.
“We watched (his) film as a staff and we saw his speed and tenacity,” Leavitt said. “He wasn’t highly recruited … and I thought our coaches did a fine job of finding a great talent.”
Safety Nate Allen, who recorded seven tackles, an interception, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble against the Tigers, was named the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week, beating out 11 other candidates for the award.
Allen was already tabbed Defensive Player of the Week by the Big East Conference.
For their effort against Auburn, the Bulls were named the Tostitos National Team of the Week – the second time in team history USF has received the award. In 2005, USF won the title after defeating then-ranked No. 9 Louisville.
A day after being named 16th in the College Soccer News (CSN) Top 30 poll Tuesday, the men’s soccer team was ranked 18th in Soccer Times top 25, and tied for 24th in the NSCAA/adidas top 25.
Along with a No. 22 ranking by the Soccer America poll, the Bulls are ranked in all four major polls for the first time since Sept. 25, 2006.
Through four games the Bulls are undefeated and have already knocked off two ranked teams. USF defeated St. Louis, then ranked No. 24 in the NSCAA/adidas poll and South Carolina, the No. 15 ranked team.
Prior to Saturday’s game against American University, USF alumni will compete against former Tampa Bay Rowdies in one of two exhibition matches beginning at 4:30 p.m.
With the football team off on Saturday, coach George Kiefer is hoping to have fans pack the newly added seating behind each goal.
“In soccer it’s a little different – they can have a major impact on the game because they’re 15 feet away,” Kiefer said. “We’re starting to see it grow and grow and I’m real excited about that. I think it’s a great part of the experience at home here.”
Women’s golf opens season
The Bulls finished their initial tournament of the 2007 season, placing 15th of 20 at the Cougar Classic held at Yeaman’s Hall Golf Club in Hanahan, S.C.
Twelve participants qualified for last year’s NCAA Regional and seven finished among the top 30 in the 2006 final rankings.
Senior Kylene Pulley posted the best individual effort for USF. Her 2-over-par 218 landed her 12th place overall.