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Dropped quarterback pledge picks Hilltoppers

A day after USF coach Skip Holtz dropped the scholarship offer for heralded Manatee High quarterback commit Brion Carnes, the touted’signal caller pledged himself to Western Kentucky on an official visit this weekend,’according ESPN.com.

Carnes, who was USF’s first commit for this year’s incoming recruiting class, recently took an official visit to Nebraska but chose WKU instead, according to the Bradenton Herald. The Bulls play Western Kentucky next season, meaning he could be under center.

With national signing day set for Wednesday, Carnes taking official visits so late in the recruiting process didn’t sit well with Holtz,’according to ESPN.com, causing him to pull the offer. Manatee coach Joe Kinnan voiced his displeasure, telling the Herald that Holtz’s actions were’classless and ‘USF is no longer welcome at our school.’

‘In all my years of coaching, I have never seen anything like this,’ Kinnan said Friday. ‘ ‘hellip; If they thought he was not going to sign with them, they should have at least given him the opportunity to take his last visit and make a decision. After all, he was their first commit.’

Carnes, rated as the seventh best dual’ threat quarterback in the nation by rivals.com,’committed to USF in the’summer, but he wavered while he watched former coach Jim Leavitt get fired after choking and slapping a player twice in the face and then lying about it, according to an internal investigation by the University.

‘ It didn’t help that Carnes’ main recruiter, former offensive coordinator Mike Canales, was also axed after Leavitt’s firing. Canales is now at North Texas.

The Bulls were also after Manatee High star receiver Ace Sanders, but he committed to South Carolina last week.

Scout.com reported Sunday that USF picked up a’commitment from LaGrange, Ga. quarterback Jamius Gunsby, who also had scholarship offers from Florida and Kentucky. The 6-foot-5,’220-pound Gunsby committed to USF on an official visit this weekend.

The Bulls also got verbal commitments Sunday from safety Reshard Cliett, a’6-foot-2, 198-pound safety out of Thomasville, Ga. On Friday, highly touted Hillsborough High cornerback Terrence Mitchell, rated as the seventh best cornerback in the nation by rivals.com,’ committed.

Mitchell, one of Florida’s top prospects, takes Carnes’ place as USF’s highest-rated recruit for the 2010 class. USF graduated just one corner from last season: Jerome Murphy.