USF confirms six early enrollees
In anticipation of National Signing Day on Wednesday, USF confirmed six members of the Bulls’ 2014 football recruiting class are enrolled for this semester and are on campus.
USF coach Willie Taggart snagged commitments from three freshmen early enrollees who graduated high school in December, just in time to hit campus this spring.
The three early freshmen enrollees include East Lake High School grad Devin Abraham, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound cornerback from Tarpon Springs; Deatrick Nichols, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound cornerback from Miami Central High School and Eric Mayes, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound defensive end from Booker High School in Sarasota.
Abraham is a three-star recruit according to rivals.com and son of, Donnie Abraham former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets cornerback.
Nichols also garnered a three-star rating from Rivals, while Mayes earned three-stars from Rivals and a four-star ranking from ESPN during his time at Milford Academy, a private football school in New Berlin, N.Y.
With early commitment, the three USF freshmen get acclimated to college life ahead of their other freshmen teammates entering during the summer or fall semesters.
Early enrollees also get accustomed to strength and conditioning at the collegiate level in preparation for spring football practice, something that summer or fall enrollees don’t get to experience.
In addition to the three freshmen, USF already has three new juniors on campus that came from junior colleges across the country.
Jamie Byrd is a 5-foot-11, 190-pound defensive back from Dade City who graduated from Pasco High School and committed to TCU out of high school, before transferring to Iowa Western Community College.
According to a Twitter message sent to the Tampa Bay Times in January 2013, Byrd transferred from TCU to Iowa Western CC because he didn’t see eye-to-eye with a new position coach and the defensive scheme didn’t fit him well.
Byrd orally committed to Arizona in August, but evidently decided to return home and attend USF. He will be a redshirt junior after sitting out the 2011 season and suiting up for 13 games in 2012 at TCU, where he had one tackle.
He then played in 12 games in 2013 at Iowa Western and collected 54 tackles and two interceptions en route to earning the No. 2 junior college safety ranking according to 247sports.com.
Demetrius Hill, who verbally committed to Indiana in 2012, is a 6-foot-3, 255-pound defensive end from Kankakee, Ill. and Fort Scott Community College in Kansas. He collected 61 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, six sacks, three forced fumbles and a blocked punt in 2013 before earning the No. 6 junior college weakside defensive end ranking on 247sports.com.
Mayes and Hill are figured to be in the mix for playing time with the loss of senior defensive ends Ryne Giddins, Julius Forte, and Tevin Mims, along with the departure of redshirt sophomore Aaron Lynch to the NFL Draft. The addition of Mayes and Hill help USF replace its top four defensive ends from 2013.
Rounding out the group is Marlon Pope, a 6-foot-4, 265-pound tight end from Hattiesburg, Miss. via Hattiesburg High School and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College who earned the eighth spot on 247sports.com‘s junior college tight end rankings.