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Grimsley star Peguese goes to South Florida


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After long wait, Grimsley star Peguese goes to South Florida

By Robert Bell

Staff Writer

GREENSBORO -- Defensive end Brandon Peguese, whose relentless pursuit of quarterbacks -- or anyone else with a football -- led Grimsley to its first state championship game in 46 years, will continue his career at South Florida.

Peguese, who signed a letter of intent Wednesday, has withdrawn from next month's East-West All-Star game and is leaving Saturday for Tampa to enroll in summer school and begin workouts.

"It's a great opportunity for me," he said. "I'm going to try to make the most out of it."

It's hard to say who recruited whom: Did South Florida pursue Peguese, or was it the other way around?

In December, Peguese planned to sign with East Carolina, but his freshman eligibility was in question. It wasn't until last week that the NCAA Clearinghouse, which screens athletes' test scores and transcripts, cleared Peguese to play in Division I-A, the top level.

In the meantime, East Carolina's coaches informed him they were signing several junior college defensive backs and no longer had a scholarship available.

With few Division I schools showing interest, Peguese decided to take matters into his own hands. With the help of his girlfriend, Taylor Stern, and her family, Peguese sent about a dozen highlight videotapes to football teams across the South.

Valerie Stern, Taylor's mother, was a friend of a former tennis coach at South Florida. Why not send a tape to the school, she thought,

When Bulls coach Jim Leavitt saw Peguese's tape in March, he was immediately interested in the All-Metro player, who made 171/2 sacks last fall. By then, the 6-foot-1 defender had gained 20 pounds of muscle and weighed 225. Leavitt called Valerie Stern.

"He told me, 'I don't know if things will work out down here, but Brandon is definitely a Division I player,' " she recalled.

Neither Leavitt nor his assistant coaches returned phone calls this week seeking comment.

Peguese said South Florida coaches have told him it is not a given that he will be redshirted this year. He said he will compete with several other players at outside linebacker.

South Florida's football program has been around for only 10 years, but the Bulls have made the most of that decade. The team played in its first bowl last season, losing to N.C. State, 14-0, in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte. This is South Florida's second year in the Big East Conference.

Peguese was hoping to play at East Carolina so his family and friends could watch him.

"But I'm just as happy playing" at South Florida, he said.

Besides, those friends and family will get a chance to see Peguese this year, if he's not redshirted. South Florida will play Oct. 14 at North Carolina.

"It will be just like a homecoming," Valerie Stern said.

Contact Robert Bell at 373-7055 or rbell@news-record.com

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Sweet... nice to see recruits coming in from out of state!

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sounds like a good kid with alot of heart

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Another new football recruit for 2006?

Even on signing day, Jim Leavitt was over the NCAA's limit of 25 scholarships, knowing some of his recruiting class wasn't going to qualify academically. And as grades start to come in, potentially ruling out more recruits for 2006, the Bulls are lining up more players to make sure all 25 scholarships are used.

One day after breaking the news that linebacker Marvin Peoples was transferring from Maryland, we have another new name to offer up: Brandon Peguese, a 6-foot-1, 230-pound prospect from Greensboro, N.C., who was one of the state's most prolific pass rushers as a senior.

Peguese finished his senior season with 19.5 sacks, and while he was courted by East Carolina, most programs stayed away because of suspect academics. Peguese has apparently made enough progress in that department that USF is giving him a long look -- his high school coach Todd Shuping, told me Friday that "he's going to be there" at USF, though it's unclear whether he would be on scholarship initially.

Peguese likely fits USF as a linebacker initially, though if he could put on good weight during a redshirt year, he could be a good match as a quick defensive end. He helped Greensboro Grimsley to a 14-2 record as a senior, losing in the state championship game.

www.sptimes.com/blogs/usf

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we love those speed rushers

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No way--whatup Greensboro!

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Good news and I hope it will be a good fit.

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Cool, good pickup.

Can he throw the deep ball?

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Another new football recruit for 2006?

www.sptimes.com/blogs/usf

June 10th? Today is June 30th! How do you go back in time and beat people to the punch?

Great job Greg breaking the story, but its nice to finally get a feature story and only a paper the size News-Record could find the space.

BTW: I like the 6 page sports pages the Times has been putting out lately. It helps me get along with my day. :)

Nice meeting you yesterday, Gator or not.

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Greensboro's not a small paper -- I think Grimsley had a big year last fall, so there's a lot of interest in their players there ...

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