The Bulls currently have 19 prospects committed for the 2014 class, and look to add a few more before the recruiting dead period starts from Dec. 16 to Jan. 15. Several of the players the Bulls hope to lock up will be on campus this weekend for a loaded weekend of highly touted visitors. Below are the prospects that are scheduled to be in Tampa Bay to see what Willie Taggart's program has to offer.
While stating he's a "soft" commit to the Seminoles over recent months, 4-star athlete JoJo Robinson will be taking his first official visit of the season to the Bulls this weekend. Robinson is seeking for early playing at the next level. He's good friends with Bulls' running back Darius Tice, and Bulls' quarterback commit Quinton Flowers. He plans to finalize his decision on Signing Day and hopes to visit LSU and USC as well. He knows he can make an early impact at USF and the Bulls are in good position with Robinson.
Ben Knox - Deland (Fla.) OT - 6-foot-5, 270-pounds:
After de-committing from the University of Florida in early September due to lack of communication, Knox has been quiet throughout the recruiting process. He listed USF his second school behind long time leader, Louisville when he opened everything up. I still think the Cardinals are the team to beat, but he still has some interest in the Bulls. To pass the Cardinals on Knox's list, he'll need to be very impressed on his official visit to Tampa Bay this weekend. He previously visited North Carolina State.
Denzel Ward - Chicago (Ill.) Simeon OT - 6-foot-8, 305-pounds:
Ward has been pretty proactive throughout the recruiting process. The athletic 6-foot-8, 310-pound offensive lineman has only been playing football for a few years. He originally committed to Michigan on an unofficial visit last year, but reopened his recruitment shortly after when he moved down to Florida to attend the IMG Academy. He has now moved back and is committed to Purdue out of the Big 10. While it's his second school he's committed to, Ward says he has a top three of Syracuse, South Florida and Purdue, and they're all even. The Bulls might have the most momentum right now in his recruitment. First year quarterback Mike White has been actively recruiting the big man on Twitter, and Ward is building a real strong bond with coach Eric Mathis. I think he's a Bull come Signing Day.
After enrolling at the University of Georgia in 2012, Ty Smith left the program shortly after the conclusion of his freshman year after he was arrested on a misdemeanor charge. The athletic tight end has offers from West Virginia, Ole Miss and USF. Along with the USF visit, Smith will take an official visit to Ole Miss on Jan. 24. The Bulls already have two tight end commitment with Marlon Pope and Nick Nataro, but are looking to add one more for depth.
Jihad Ward - Global Institute of Technology (NY) DL - 6-foot-7, 285-pounds:
Jihad Ward might have the most potential out of any Junior-College prospect in the nation. Measuring in at a lean 6-foot-7, 285-pounds, Ward would have a chance to make an early impact in Tampa Bay. He previously listed a top three of Washington, South Florida and West Virginia, but with the coaching changes at Washington and his great visit West Virginia, it looks like the Mountaineers are in the driving seat going forward. Ward had a great in-home visit with USF and the interest is definitely up there. Will a great visit to USF over the weekend, could the Bulls climb to the top? Certainly, but his West Virginia visit might be hard to surpass at this point. It's a definitely a two-way battle with Illinois closely behind.
LeGrande Harley - Georgia Military College LB - 6-foot-1, 235-pounds:
The Bulls have been attacking Georgia Military consistently in year one under Willie Taggart. Harley and Ty Smith are teammates at Georgia Military and will be traveling together this weekend to see what the Bulls can offer. The Bulls were after their teammate, JaKevin Jackson, who recently committed to Western Michigan as well. Joining Western Michigan and USF, Appalachian State is very strong with Harley as well. Harley has already took officials to both schools, and South Florida will be the last one of the three. Appalachian State looks to be ahead right now for Harley, but that could certainly change this weekend with a great showing by the Bulls' coaching staff. Coach Cooper had an in-home visit with him this morning.
Errol Clarke - Garden City C.C. LB - 6-foot-3, 245-pounds:
After failing to qualify at Cincinnati in 2012, former Miami (Fla.) Central star linebacker Errol Clarke had to enroll in Junior-College. Now at Garden City C.C., Clarke is one of the best linebackers in the JUCO ranks. Clarke has an outstanding relationship with his former head coach in high school, Telly Lockette. Clarke has offers from Wisconsin, USF, Cincinnati and Georgia State amongst others. He's said recently that it's basically down to Wisconsin and South Florida. He would make a huge impact at USF very early if he decided to return home to the Sunshine State and the staff will do everything in their own power this weekend to sway the linebacker away from the Badgers.
A.J. Allen - Grossmont C.C. OT - 6-foot-7, 320-pounds:
Allen has the size, skill and athleticism to be a very productive offensive lineman once he gets to Division-I. He was originally was scheduled to visit for the Louisville game, but rescheduled it for after the season. Offensive tackle is the biggest need for the Bulls going forward, in my opinion. All of the tackle prospects, including Allen, are aware of the opportunity to play early if they decided to be a Bull. Allen named the Bulls a favorite amongst a few others schools, and has officially visited Kansas and Kansas State in the past. Allen doesn't know a whole lot about South Florida, but the Bulls remain in good shape entering the weekend.