USF to Host Massive Recruiting Weekend

Over the weekend, coach Willie Taggart and the South Florida Bulls will host several high-profile student athletes on campus, including nine players who have already issued verbal commits to the Bulls' staff. Below is an in-depth breakdown of the loaded recruiting weekend.

Several fans of the South Florida Bulls were salivating at the mouth when they learned of the pool of talent Willie Taggart was hosting on campus the weekend of Dec. 13 right before the recruiting dead period went into effect. For the upcoming weekend, USFNation.com has confirmed the attendance of 19 student-athletes that will be in Tampa Bay to visit, including nine players who have already issued verbal commitment to Bulls.

The players that have already issued a verbal commitment to Willie Taggart's staff that will be in town are Nick Holman, Tajee Fullwood, Tyre McCants, Elkanah Dillon, Jimmy Bayes, Juwuan Brown, Ryeshene Bronson and Kendall Sawyer.

While many have a realistic idea on where those nine high school athletes will play their college football next year, there's a select few of visitors that will be in Tampa Bay this weekend that aren't 100 percent sure on where their final destination will be. Below is the breakdown of prospects that are either committed to another school, or have not issued a verbal commitment to a school at this time.

JoJo Robinson - 6-foot, 185-pounds - Miami (Fla.) Northwestern High School - While the Florida State commit is currently ranked as a 4-star cornerback prospect by Scout.com, several schools, including the Bulls, are recruiting Robinson on the offensive side of the ball at wide receiver. Robinson remains committed to the Seminoles, but I'm not too confident that he'll sign with them come Signing Day next month. He told me this week that he won't make a decision until he takes all of his visits, which include the Bulls this weekend, Arkansas on the 24th and TCU on the 31st.

South Florida commit, Quinton Flowers, is close friends with Robinson and has been in his ear all throughout the recruiting class, hoping to bring Robinson with him to Tampa Bay. It doesn't hurt that freshman running back Darius Tice is his cousin either.

Chris Nelson - 6-foot-3, 280-pounds - Lakeland (Fla.) Victory Christian High School - After former Louisville Cardinals coach Charlie Strong departed for the University of Texas, many of the Cardinals' commits choose to open their recruiting process, including defensive tackle, Chris Nelson. The Sunshine Product loves the idea of playing close to him in front of his family in Lakeland, but a recent offer and surge from the Longhorns has made things interesting. Nelson will visit South Florida this weekend, Texas on the 24th and either Notre Dame, UCF or Louisville on the 31st. If the Bulls can hold off Charlie Strong and Texas's late surge, I think Nelson is a Bull come Signing Day. He plans to make his final college decision after the conclusion of his visits.

Vincent Jackson - 6-foot-3, 240-pounds - Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit High School - A local product in the Bulls' backyard, Vincent Jackson recently named a final four of Alabama, South Florida, Missouri and Texas Tech. I don't see Alabama as a realistic option for Jackson, especially after his recruiting coach Chris Rumph left the Crimson Tide for the Texas Longhorns. Jackson previously told me that Texas Tech and USF were really sticking out for him, but as of late, the Missouri Tigers have snuck by the Red Raiders.

After visiting the local institution this weekend, Jackson will head to Missouri on Jan. 24, which will determine his college decision in my opinion. I think the relationships that Jackson and his family have built with the Bulls' coaching staff, will out due the other trio of finalists. Fans can read into his twitter feed as much as they want, but when it comes down to inking his name on a letter of intent, I think the local product stays home in Hillsborough County.

D'Ernest Johnson - 5-foot-10, 190-pounds - Immokalee (Fla.) High School - It seems like everywhere you look, either the Louisville Cardinals or Texas Longhorns, are trying to out due the Bulls in the homerun stretch until Signing Day. Running back is a glaring need for the Bulls' 2014 class, and Johnson might be the one that fills that spot. Louisville and USF have had the edge for the Immokalee star, but the Cardinals have slipped a bit after Strong left for Texas.

Texas has reached out to D'Ernest, but an offer is not on the table as of now. He previously mentioned that visits to Florida, UCLA, Louisville are a possibility, but no dates are currently set. Johnson enjoyed his visit to Minnesota in the fall, but with fellow Bulls' commit and friend, Jimmy Bayes, set to sign with South Florida on Signing Day, all signs are pointing to Willie Taggart's team.

J'vonte Herrod - 5-foot-11, 210-pounds - Kennesaw (Ga.) North Cobb High School - The Bulls went up to the Peach State to try and locate a powerful ball carrier last week, and after watching film, Willie Taggart' staff located a gem in the rough with J'Vonte Herrod. The under the radar running back was offered a scholarship on Saturday, and it might take him just a week to accept it as well. Herrod listed his top three schools of USF, Southern Miss and Minnesota in order yesterday. Herrod informed me that he could possibly make a decision this weekend. If he does decide to commit to a school this week, he should be a Bull.

Zach Hudson - 6-foot-6, 275-pounds - Tampa (Fla.) Sickles High School - For Hudson, he simply said that he committed too early to Missouri, and the Tigers were a little too far from his home in the Sunshine State. He has a good relationship with Bulls' quarterback Mike White, and all signs are pointing towards USF. Hudson claims that he won't make his final decision until after his official visit to N.C. State on Jan. 24. Offensive tackle is a need going forward for the Bulls, and Willie Taggart could fill another slot with a local instate product. Unless N.C. State somehow blows him away on his visit, Hudson should be playing his college football in front of his loved ones at home.

Kevin Bronson - 6-foot-3, 245-pounds - Delray Beach (Fla.) Village Academy - After previously naming a top of three of USF, Florida and Virginia Tech, defensive end Kevin Bronson has cancelled his Florida visit on Jan. 31 and has replaced it with Nebraska. Virginia Tech is sitting well with Bronson right now, as well as Rutgers. He visited the Bulls during the season, but it didn't do too much to his recruitment. I think it's doubtful that Bronson comes to South Florida, but you never know what could happen in the game of recruiting. I think Bronson ends up at either Virginia Tech or Rutgers.

Josh Black - 6-foot-2, 230-pounds - Tampa (Fla.) Sickles High School - He's not very vocal in the recruiting process, but Josh Black made his name known at linebacker and defensive end in 2013. The Sickles star had 19 sacks his senior year, and has several schools prying him each and every way for his services. Black has remained loyal to USF and took several visits there during the season. Black is scheduled to visit Minnesota next week and has officially visited Toledo and Arizona. The Bulls remain in very good shape and should be in the running until the very end.


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