Mama_Bull Posted June 27, 2008 Group: Member Topic Count: 0 Content Count: 18,470 Reputation: 899 Days Won: 44 Joined: 10/14/2003 Share Posted June 27, 2008 Verty Nice article. Inside The U Victor Marc will have the opportunity to play quarterback at South Florida. South Florida Has Monumental Recruiting Week By Billy Tucker, Scouts Inc. Over the past few years, we have praised Jim Leavitt and South Florida for building a nationally regarded football program by scooping up the residual Sunshine State talent annually passed over by the big three Florida schools. USF typically signs in-state prospects who do not boast legendary combine workouts or hold nationally regarded, blue-chip status. Yet, many of USF's recruits are simply great football players with the tools needed to develop into quality college starters (and now future NFL first-round draft picks with cornerback Mike Jenkins). However, USF may have had its most successful week on the recruiting trail to date, and to the demise of the three traditional powers -- the Bulls could be changing the recruiting landscape in the state of Florida. Following an impressive turnout at their "Super Bull" camp last weekend, South Florida received seven total commitments this week, the majority subsequently coming after or during the successful camp at Raymond James Stadium. From an objective standpoint, it is clearly striking to see five of those prospects, athlete Victor Marc (Hallandale, Fla.), corner and teammate Ricardo Dixon (Hallandale, Fla.), defensive end Demi Thompson (Lake Mary, Fla.), receiver James Green (Tallahassee, Fla./Leon) and safety Jacquez Jenkins (Saint Petersburg, Fla./Lakewood) all currently on the ESPN 150 Watch List, considering the Bulls have yet to sign one ESPN 150 player in their past three classes. Though, the real significance for Leavitt may be whom some of these prospects chose the Bulls over. USF's national emergence has started to create a big four on the Florida recruiting trail, at least in 2009. The on-field accomplishments, coupled with an energetic, straight-forward coaching staff that has taken the program from obscurity to national prominence in a short-period of time, appears to be steering some of Florida's best players toward Tampa. "I chose South Florida for its coaching staff, great football program and academics," said Under Armour All-American Marc, one of the higher rated athletes in the country. "The coaches were honest and did not try and talk us all into committing but did have us visualize winning a national championship at a program built around top Florida kids." Marc said he chose USF over West Virginia, South Carolina, Clemson, Alabama and Florida. The Gators, who Marc said offered him more as an athlete (USF is giving him the opportunity to play QB), essentially did not recruit him as hard or make as big of an impact in his eyes. Florida and Miami showed interest in Dixon, spending time at his spring practices for evaluations. The speedy corner said he had a "good thing early" with the Seminoles even taking in their spring game and bonding with their coaches. Yet in the end, despite an offer from FSU, Dixon picked the Bulls. He thinks that this 2009 class could win could win a national championship and make history. "I did not get the vibe I felt with the South Florida coaches [from other programs]," said the Under Armour All-American. "Coach [Larry] Scott had a big influence; all their coaches are down to earth and a bunch of the commits at the camp said we could start out own tradition at South Florida since it's a young program." Leavitt also stayed true to his roots this week, landing a couple Florida sleepers with the talent to succeed at the more established in-state programs. Like committed running back Bradley Battles (Marianna, Fla.), we feel Thompson and Green are great players who may just be lacking an inch of height or tenth of a second off their 40-yard dash times to garner scholarship offers from the other Florida schools. Green will be suiting up for Leon High School this year right in Tallahassee. Although future Seminole head coach Jimbo Fisher made a stop to see the 6-foot-2 receiver during spring ball, an offer never made it his way. Green does lack great top-end speed and eye-popping stats, but he played in a run oriented offense last season, which may not have exploited his true playmaking skills. The Bulls are landing a great go-to underneath target who could emerge as one of the better receivers in the area next year with a breakout senior season. "FSU came to like three of my spring practices and said they liked my skills a lot but they never offered," Green said. "I am motivated now to show them what I can do." It is still early to put South Florida in the same category as Miami, Florida or Florida State on the recruiting trail, but if the start to USF's 2009 recruiting class is any indication, the Bulls are closing the gap. Camps Lead To Influx Of Commitments The Scouts Inc. Briefing Room has been lighting up with commitments since Saturday; it likely will report more than 100 verbal pledges by week's end. It's no coincidence -- camps across the country focused on rising seniors are very prevalent this time of year. These camps are often an appropriate atmosphere for a prospect to make his decision -- as we saw at USF. The camps can also serve as the final evaluation for a coaching staff to make, and often receive, a verbal offer before the fall. With student athletes making their college choices earlier than ever, it's imperative for college programs to host rising senior camps and be prepared to make an offer or a hard sell on their own campus. For head coaches, the camps are crucial for evaluation purposes -- new NCAA rules prohibit them from going on the road in the spring. Busy fall schedules and off-campus limitations add to the importance of these summer evaluations for entire coaching staffs. "Remember, college coaches can only watch a particular prospect play in one game per season; the opportunity to get that athlete on your campus for physical and football fundamental evaluation is crucial," said Scouts. Inc.'s Bill Conley, a former recruiting coordinator with Ohio State. ESPN 150 Watch list prospects, Travante Stallworth (Leesville, La.), LaVoyd James (Mobile, Ala./Williamson) and LaDarius Perkins (Greenville, Miss./Saint Joseph), headed into Auburn's rising senior camp a few weeks ago without a desired offer from the Tigers but left with one after standout performances on the field. Coach Tommy Tuberville could also have been looking for more than just prospects who passed the physical eyeball test at the Plains. These camps are also valuable from a non-football evaluation standpoint, which can be the final test from a coach before extending an offer. "Prior to offering, college staffs want to get to know and evaluate the character of the young man that their college or university is going to invest thousands of dollars in for the next four years," Conley said. "These camps are great for that." Expect a lull in commitments next week. Most campuses will be quiet with the approaching July 4th holiday. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/recruiting/football/notebook?page=peprally/080627 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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