The biggest need on defense was up the middle, especially on the defensive line. USF got an absolute stud in Terrell McClain from Pensacola high school. McClain is 6'3 300+, with the speed and quickness to play early on. Last season USF's interior run defense was suspect at times, the quick fix was supposed to be Kevin Dixon, JUCO DT who committed to the Bulls early in the year, but he spurned USF late in December for Nebraska. USF also signed Kyle Dampier and Corian Garrison. Only problem is one or both of these kids could end up on the offensive line. Most likely it will be Garrison. Overall it was a respectable class, but could have been a homerun with the addition of Dixon.
The staff at USF has a simple philosophy when it comes to the defensive end position…They bring in kids that can run! Notice they take a lot of undersized linemen and turn them into pass rushing monsters. George Selvie and Josh Julmiste are prime examples. This year the top prospect is Lake Gibson's Claude Davis. Davis was the first commit for the '07 class and after a few bumps in the road signed on the dotted line last Wednesday. USF also picked up Patrick Hampton who looked to be headed to Auburn or Purdue before the Bulls put on a late push. Hampton is in a great position to either play DE or OLB. Then there is Darren Powe who could easily end up being the best out of this group. Powe has a work ethic like none other, he has been lifting before or after every basketball game this spring. Most kids play other sports and get out of "football" shape, not Powe, he is determined to come in this summer in superior shape.
This year linebacker was not considered a "need" position even though Stephen Nicholas and Patrick St. Louis graduated. To reload USF brought back Donte Spires from Pearl River Community College. Spires committed to the bulls two years ago and failed to qualify, after two years at Pearl he is now ready to fill some very large shoes. Another reason LB wasn't as important is because of the three hungry redshirts that watched from the sidelines last year. Sabbath Joseph, LeBrandon Glover and Alonzo McQueen will all come in and compete this year, making for some great position battles. USF did bring in another over-looked, but very talented player in Calvin Sutton. Sutton had an excellent senior year recording over 150 tackles with three forced fumbles. If there is one knock on Sutton it's grades, it will be tough to get him in, but USF has shown it can send a linebacker to JUCO and expect to get him back in two years.
Possibly the most underrated position of the 2007 class. Charlton Sinclair is the biggest name of the group, but fans might not understand that he is going to bring a dynamic to this defense that has never existed at the safety position and that's physicality. Sinclair likes to press the line and almost play as an extra linebacker in running situations. He's also quick and has above average cover skills. Then there is Quenton Washington who spent his high school career living beneath the shadow of Noel Devine. Washington is 5'11 with legit 4.4 speed. He had 12 picks this year while making All-Second Team Defense for the 5A class. You can't coach speed and these two have plenty. Although Sinclair and Washington are the only two DB's signed, don't be surprised to see either Tyson Butler or Alton Voss moved to the defensive side before their career's are over.
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