Here is an early position-by-position break-down of possible USF recruits for the '05 class. Today's story covers the defensive side of the ball. In case you missed it, check the archived stories to find out about the defensive side. With this year's team being exceptionally strong on defense it might be easy to overlook the importance of a solid defensive class. However, if the Bulls want to be mentioned with the other Big 3 schools in the state then every year defense must be the priority. Coach Leavitt has always strived for a great defense, therefore, now that the Bulls are in the Big East it seems they will be reloading each year on defense rather than rebuilding.
Here is the Breakdown
Starting on the inside at the tackle position, the Bulls already landed a four star prospect in Leslie Stirrups. Stirrups made a surprise commitment prior to the Cincinnati game, which shocked most around the state. He is the type of player that could come in and start next year. The only knock on him is that he's close on grades, but from what I hear he will most likely get in. The Bulls also got a commitment earlier this year from Justin Jenkins of Edgewater in Orlando. Even though he later took it back he is still very high on the Bulls. USFnation did an update on him earlier in the season and he still had USF number one on his list. Jenkins had an outstanding Junior year and only improved this season.
On the outside of the defensive line are two speed rushers, Joel Jones from Sarasota Booker and Nick Plasencia of Jesuit in Tampa. Both are quick and athletic, I was at the game a month ago when their two teams faced off in a battle for the division title. Booker won the game but both of them showed they are D1 talent, combining for 7 sacks.
The reach at this position would be Immokalee's John Paul. The 6-foot-5 255 tackle is one of the best in the state and is definitely considering USF. The reason I have him as a reach is not his interest in the program but the fact that his grades are probably going to force him the JUCO route. However, there is a program that could allow him to play at USF but it doesn't seem he is going to take advantage of it.
If Stephen Nicholas decides to leave early than this position becomes a top priority. The recruit most likely to sign would be Alonzo McQueen of Jacksonville. He has been in constant contact with USF since mid-summer but has yet to make a visit. Each time a visit was scheduled something came up, but expect him to be on the sidelines when USF plays West Virginia. Another kid is Kevin Alexander from Union County High School, I spoke with him about a month ago and didn't get a good feel. He did say he was considering USF but he also said he liked Clemson a lot, well he visited Clemson last weekend and word is that his visit wasn't as enjoyable as expected. USFnation will have an update on him soon to see what has changed after his Clemson visit.
The reach at this position is Colin McCarthy of Clearwater Central Catholic. Colin is not only one of the best players in the area but one of the top three linebackers in the state. It will be an uphill battle for USF because he has offers from Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, and Miami. I believe if Colin stays in state then USF is his school, but OSU will be a tough team to beat. He is very high on them and already made an official visit to Columbus.
The most talked about player at this position is Chris Duvalt of Lake Gibson High School. He is a true corner with speed and great hips. He also has a quick burst and an innate ability to anticipate the throw. Bryan Thomas of Zephyrhills is a corner USF has interest in as well. He is mostly known for what he does at receiver but he also plays corner and that is where the Bulls would prefer he play. He is a burner and has great hands. Another well known receiver that would most likely be converted would be Darrell Davis of Pasco. Don't be fooled if he commits as a receiver, within a year he will be on the defensive side of the ball. I see him as a Pat Watkins type of safety, but some say he could put on even more size and play linebacker.
The reach at this position is Marcus Udell of Godby. I have seen him play twice and to me he is one of the top 5 DB's in the state. I have even run video of him on the site under the story "recruit clips". If you have seen the video you know what I'm talking about when I say this is the type of player that can take over a game. He has excellent cover skills and hits like a linebacker. Being from Tallahassee he was expected to stay home, but I got word today that an offer is not likely coming.
USF Recruiting Guide '05 (Defense)
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