Taggart adds to 2016 recruiting class

Coach Willie Taggart and the USF coaching staff gained three three-star commits for the 2016 recruiting class Saturday. PHOTO SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

Coach Willie Taggart and the USF football coaching staff bolstered their “Mack Attack” in the backfield Saturday when three-star Charlotte High running back Elijah Mack committed to the Bulls along with two other recruits.

Saturday was a busy day for Taggart and the Bulls, as the team gained commitments from Mack, three-star defensive end Kordell Slater of Port Charlotte and three-star athlete Armunz Mathews of North Florida Christian.

Mack rushed for 1,120 yards on 183 carries in his junior season last year at Charlotte. He also scored 16 touchdowns in 11 games for the Tarpons. 

He was being recruited by nine schools, including Arizona, UCF and Cincinnati, but the 5-foot-11, 215-pound junior chose to stay close to home with his commitment to the Bulls. 

Slater, a close friend of Mack’s, committed to USF shortly after. 

“Elijah is like my brother and we got each other into football in the first place and we always wanted to play together in college, so this is perfect for both of us,” Slater said to rivals.com.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive end was recruited by linebackers coach Raymond Woodie, according to

“Coach Woodie has been on me since I was in the 10th grade and he has been my main guy most of the time. Coach (David) Reaves also had my area at one point and he is a good guy too,” Slater said. “With coach (Tom) Allen the new defensive coordinator from Ole Miss, I feel like the new scheme is perfect for me and they have a lot of guys graduating soon so there will be a good opportunity for me there.”

Slater was being recruited by Virginia, East Carolina, Georgia Southern and Colorado State before settling on USF.

After gaining Mack and Slater on Saturday, Mathews recommitted to the Bulls after he previously decided to explore other options in March. 

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Mathews has been recruited by 20 schools, including Arizona, LSU, Wisconsin, Missouri and Louisville. 

“It’s been a long process and I’ve seen a lot of great places but this is the place for me and I’m 100% committed to the University of South Florida,” Mathews said in a Tweet. “Thanks to all the coaches that have taken the time to recruit me, I’m thankful for all the opportunities you’ve given me.”