The Recruiting Effect: USF vs UM

For years the Bulls have been trying to make an impact on the recruiting scene in Miami. Today may have been the biggest move USF has made. The opportunity to expose the program to the Miami region will have a permanent effect on the South Florida program. Read on & find out exactly why this is such a powerful move by the Bulls.

The announcement of a 6 year deal to play the Miami Hurricanes is significant to both schools. It's the first chance for USF to build a real rivalry with another in-state BCS eligible team, while it gives Miami a high quality opponent out of conference. However, the biggest effect will be in recruiting, giving each team the chance to gain exposure in a competitive region. It would seem that South Florida is gaining more by moving into the Broward/Dade area, which is considered the most competitive region in the country, while Miami is looking to broaden their exposure in the "greater Tampa Bay" area, including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota and Pasco.

The Bulls have been scratching and clawing their way into the Miami recruiting scene since their inception to college football nearly 11 years ago. The current roster is loaded with Miami talent including some key starters - Marc Dile, Richard Clebert, and Jesse Hester Jr. to name a few. There are also some up-and-comers who the Bulls are counting on in the future - Sabbath Joseph and Aston Samuels are stars in the making.

But the battle never ends, USF still has not landed the marquee name to let the Miami area know that USF is a true contender in that market. They have missed on big names in consecutive years since joining the BCS ranks. Two years ago it was a running back named Javarris James who chose to stay home and play for the Canes. A big miss considering the Bulls starter the following year was a walk-on, and James saw meaningful time in the backfield his freshman year. Then, just last year, Belle Glade OL/DT Jatavious Jackson chose FSU over USF when the pen hit the paper on signing day, in the future, the extra exposure will swing some of these battles toward Tampa.

One of the best examples of how powerful Miami is in their home region was two years ago with offensive lineman Joel Figueroa from North Miami High School. Figueroa took a late visit to Tampa in January, he was offered months before and it looked like the Bulls were going to land a stud recruit from down south. That was until Miami came in even later in the recruiting process and offered him, only because a couple other prospects on their board went elsewhere. It didn't take Figueroa 48 hours to decide he was going to play for the Hurricanes. That shows the muscle Miami possess. The Bulls worked for months, came close, and lost the big fish before they could haul it into the boat.

This year the targets have already been marked in the Miami area. The question is, will this announcement make an immediate impact on recruiting? Bulls fans will find out on signing day.

The South Florida coaching staff is eyeing some of the top talent in the area including LB Sean Spence, RB Jeremiah Harden, QB Jacory Harris, LB Etienne Sabino and DL Jeremy Longo.

Bulls fans, these names are the answer to the question of immediate impact. If USF can land any of these athletes then the announcement alone has helped the football program. Of course the long-term impact will be much greater. Once the games are played and the Green and Gold clashes with the Orange and Green on a regular basis the effect on recruiting will be easily seen.

When coaches go down to Miami they bring all their weapons, and in recruiting selling points are the weapon of choice. By adding the Hurricanes to the schedule the USF coaching staff will have a valuable piece of equipment in their recruiting arsenal, not only in Miami, but also throughout Florida and even extending out-of-state for years to come.

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