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Golseh signs his new ‘Blue Collar’ class, looks ahead to future plans

Coach Alex Golesh introduced 30 new faces to the USF roster on National Signing Day, less than two months after his hire. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO.

Football players from all over the country put pen to paper on Wednesday to finalize their decisions on where they will continue their college careers. For USF football, that means 30 talented players will join the roster. 

Coach Alex Golesh went into detail about the recruiting process on Wednesday in a press conference.

“I think our staff has worked extremely hard. Man, that would be an understatement. We’ve uncovered every rock, uncovered every single young man you possibly can, I think geographically unique in a lot of ways with how it broke down,” Golseh said.  

“11 guys from the state of Florida, six from Texas. That was a number when we looked at the breakdown, that I wasn’t necessarily expecting if you would ask me in December that that’s what it would look like, but it did.”

Along with the Florida and Texas recruits were six from Georgia, two from both California and New Jersey and one each from Alabama, Maryland and Minnesota. Within the diverse group, 17 are fresh from high school or JUCO while 13 came from four-year college programs. 

One standout recruit is California native quarterback Israel ‘Izzy’ Carter. Carter comes from Corona, where he played at Centennial high school.

During his high school career, Carter finished his senior year with 1,863 yards and 23 touchdowns in his passing game while racking up 592 yards and 11 touchdowns running with the ball. 

The three-star quarterback proves to be a dual threat with his stats and is rated at No. 20 by ON3 in his position. Golesh said he was excited about his commitment to USF, seeing that he didn’t make his full decision until Sunday. 

“He didn’t want to talk to me early in December and then we got to Christmas time, he still didn’t really want to talk to me,” Golseh said. “Then as we got into early January, he wanted to talk a little bit more and coach Gordon went out and saw him a couple times. Then I flew out two weeks ago, and we convinced him to come out here and see us this weekend.”

“He got in Thursday night last week and by Friday he was like ‘Man, I didn’t realize Tampa was like this. I didn’t realize USF was like this, and I didn’t realize the staff was like this.’ By Sunday morning, he said he wanted to be our quarterback so that was pretty cool.”

Even though Carter’s decision is welcomed news for the team, Golesh said he is just as excited about all 30 of South Florida’s newest athletes. 

What stands out the most in this group, he said, are two of Golesh’s key traits he looks for in players.

“We set out on a mission in December of taking what we said our kind of guys are. So what are our kinds of guys? Those would be winners and tough blue-collar hard working cats. Every single guy we signed fit that mold.”

USF was able to capitalize on a key signing period, but the work has only just begun. 

A glaring problem Golesh recognized on his first day as the head football coach was the distribution of scholarships in the roster. Groups of positions were receiving high amounts of money while some positions had very little. 

“Defensively, we have 14 scholarship safeties. When you build a roster with 14 safeties, do you know how many safeties can play at the same time? Two. That would be complete negligence in terms of trying to recruit to fill a roster,” Golseh said. 

The staff now wants to focus on fixing the organization of scholarships in order to help take down the program’s next challenge – finalizing a roster. 

Come April, Golesh and his workforce want to pivot their energy into filling some vital positions. 

“We feel like we have holes to fill here in April and May. I told the staff again this morning, ‘I think we’re going to be better than we think in terms of what’s here.’ There’s a bunch of guys that didn’t play that are gonna have their shot with a clean slate this spring,” Golesh said.

“I think that when we go recruit in the spring, that’ll be the first time we feel like we actually truly know what we have. So then, you can really laser focus what you need and then go attack it, so that’s where we’re at. Really excited, fired up about the staff. I think they’ve worked so hard. I can’t be more grateful to them.”