Strong makes late push to bolster 2017 class

Coach Charlie Strong continues to tap into his recruiting connections as National Signing Day draws near. ORACLE FILE PHOTO

With National Signing Day just over a week away on Feb. 1, USF coach Charlie Strong and his staff remain focused on locking in a recruiting class that is very much up in the air after the departure of former coach Willie Taggart.

Strong and the USF staff had an in-home visit on Monday afternoon with three-star linebacker Keirston Johnson (Robert E. Lee), according to Johnson’s Twitter account. That same evening, three-star offensive guard Demetris Harris (Robert E. Lee) tweeted, ‘Great in-home visit with Coach Strong, Coach Mattox, Coach BJ, and Coach Williams, and my family.’

Both Johnson and Harris are currently open for commitment. 

But while Strong looks to bolster the Bulls’ 2017 class, Taggart has been hard at work trying to flip his one-time USF commits to the west coast, threatening to weaken an already subpar Bulls class. 

USF’s 2017 class is ranked seventh in the AAC by after finishing first, second and fifth in the conference in the past three years, and features no four-star players. 

Two of USF’s top recruits, three-star athletes Bruce Judson (Cocoa) and Demetri Burch (Apopka) were offered by Oregon almost immediately after the hiring of Taggart. Both players have recently taken official visits to both schools and Burch de-committed from USF over the weekend, according to

Oregon has also recently visited three-star receiver and current USF commit Daewood Davis (Deerfield Beach), according to

Aside from trying to keep the Bulls’ current class locked in, Strong has also been putting his Florida connections to use as he looks to make a late push for recruits. 

Three-star cornerback Latavious Brini (Mater Academy) took an official visit to the school on Jan. 14, according to his Twitter. New defensive backs coach Corey Bell coached against Brini when Bell was at American Senior High School and also tried to recruit him to FAU before being hired at USF.

Though it remains a long-shot, five-star recruit Marvin Wilson (Episcopal, Texas) visited USF this weekend, according to Wilson, the number one overall defensive tackle in the nation, was recruited by Strong when he was at Texas and still maintains a relationship with the Bulls’ new coach.