USF gets two commitments

With the guidance of an ex-South Florida football player, Hillsborough High running back Lindsey Lamar verbally committed to USF on Monday.

Lamar, also a track and field standout who plans to run track at USF, said being close to home was a big part of his decision.

“I feel like if I got the opportunity to play college football and do my thing, I might as well do it in my backyard,” Lamar told the St. Petersburg Times.

Hillsborough assistant football coach and head track and field coach Joey Shipp, who played at South Florida from 1996-2001, said he advised Lamar through his college search.

“(Lamar) has great speed and athleticism,” Shipp said. “I’m kind of biased, considering I played at USF, but I think this is a great thing.”

The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Lamar rushed for 1,377 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior and is listed as a two-star recruit by

Lamar chose the Bulls over  Wake Forest, Iowa State, Michigan and North Carolina.

Shipp said he gave Lamar simple advice.

“I just told him to pray about it,” he said. “I told him to go where his heart told him. He’s going to fit right in because he has a great attitude and great work ethic, and that’s what coach (Jim) Leavitt wants.”

Shipp was part of the program’s first football team in 1996.

“Aw, man, (that season) was hard,” he said. “We literally practiced for almost a year with no games. Running out of that tunnel, though, eventually made it all worth it.”

USF also received an oral commitment Monday from Boca Ciega defensive end Julius Forte.

Forte, listed at 6-foot-2, 235 pounds, is the second defensive end commitment for USF this weekend. Armwood defensive end Ryne Giddins committed to the Bulls on Saturday.