USF’s 2017 recruiting class taking shape

USF coach Charlie Strong has two weeks to go before locking in his first recruiting class as coach of the Bulls. ORACLE FILE PHOTO/JACKIE BENITEZ

A little over a month into the Charlie Strong era of USF football, one of Strong’s strengths and reasons behind bringing him in is already being put to the test.

With National Signing Day just over two weeks away on Feb. 1, the Bulls currently sit with the fifth best recruiting class in the AAC, according to, and seventh according to Both sites currently project Memphis to have the best class in the conference.

All of USF’s 13 hard commitments are from Florida, with six hailing from the Tampa Bay area.

The Bulls also have one early enrollee, receiver Jernard Phillips (Miami, FL), who enrolled at the university Jan. 10 from Miami Central High School, according to his Twitter account.

Presently, USF is without a four or five-star commitment. Last season at Texas, Strong signed 18 four-star recruits and one five-star.

The highest rated players of the Bulls’ three-star recruits from the 2017 class are athlete Bruce Judson (Cocoa, FL) and offensive guard Jean Marcellus (Tampa, FL).

Judson, who was a four-year starting quarterback at Cocoa High School, finished his senior season with over 7,000 career all-purpose yards. 

Listed as an athlete, Judson originally committed to USF on July 7 while being recruited by newly named Oregon coach and former Bulls coach Willie Taggart. Before potentially signing as a Bull at the end of the month, Judson has scheduled a recruiting visit to check out Taggart and the Ducks on Jan. 20 before making an official decision.

After several injuries to the offensive line this past season, the 6-foot 3-inch Marcellus shapes ups to be the prospect with the highest likelihood of seeing the field next season after a season-ending injury to freshman right tackle Billy Atterburry and lingering injuries to senior left tackle Kofi Amichia.

Marcellus, graduating from Tampa’s Jefferson High School, is the 33rd-rated offensive guard in the country, according to 

Though it remains to be seen exactly who will wind up faxing in their letters of intent to USF on the morning of Feb. 1, Strong’s history of recruiting and coaching at both Louisville and Texas bodes well for the Bulls keeping many of their 2017 commits.