Grading out the '08 recruiting class
One of the top priorities for the staff was bringing in a quarterback to not only succeed Matt Grothe, but to push him as well. In B.J. Daniels, A dual threat, 3 star quarterback from Lincoln HS, the Bulls have found that guy. Scout.com ranks him the 44th best QB in country, and he was number one on the Bulls board. B.J. has all the tools to become USF's next great quarterback, the skills, the confidence and the arm. He's tough, elusive, and can make plays very similar to a certain number 8. The Bulls also brought in Evan Landi, an outstanding two-way player at quarterback and defensive back. Landi threw for 11 touchdowns and scored four times on the ground during senior and will get a look at QB, however he was Class 2A First Team All-State as a defensive back, and with Landi's defensive prowlness, he could end up on that side of the ball. Larry's Grade: A
Anytime the staff can go out and snag their number one player on the board it's quite an accomplishment. There were other names that came up throughout the process, but B.J. Daniels was the one constant and even though the staff had to wait till the very last day, they got their man. Josh's Grade: A
RUNNING BACK (1)
With emergence of Mike Ford and the youth at the position, finding a running back wasn't the top need this year. However, Finding a top-notch back was still a high priority for the USF coaching staff. In Buford's Demetrius Murray, they found a gem. The 3-star recruit ranked the 67th best running back in the country by Scout.com, was the Georgia 2A State Player of the Year, and helped Buford to an undefeated record and a Georgia 2A state championship title rushing for 203 yards and 1 TD on 15 carries in the final. At 5'10-210 pounds, he's a perfect blend of power and speed, running the 40 in 4.52 seconds and has the ability to beat linebackers to the corner or run between the tackles. The Staff didn't need quantity this year, and in Murray, landed a back of very high quality. Larry's Grade: B+
Demetrius Murray is a back that fits the Bull's system perfectly. He is tough, fast and brings enough explosion to hit a homerun on any given play. Murray will be learning from two of the best young backs on the team, Jamar Taylor and Mike Ford. Josh's Grade: B
WIDE RECEIVER (1)
The Bulls are blessed with a deep and talented receiving corps,
but restocking the receiving core is always a need. The staff planned on bring
in several in this class, but ended up with just one.
In Daniel Bryant, they got a
6'2-185 pound receiver that was ranked the 119 best receiver in the country by
of the top receivers in Florida, Bryant earned Chiles Athlete of the Year 2007
after tallying 28 receptions for 500
yards and 4 TD's and added 25
rushes for 290 yards with 3 rushing TD's. Bryant showed leadership on the field
and was named team captain and
Team MVP 2007 .
28 receptions for 500 yards and 4 TD's
and added 25 rushes for 290 yards with 3 rushing TD's. Bryant showed leadership on the field and was named team captain
and Team MVP 2007
.Larry's Grade: C+
Daniel Bryant will prove to be a nice pickup in a year or two, but the Bulls failed to land a speedster to play in the slot and return punts/kicks. They also missed on one of the biggest names in the state, Tommy Streeter. Next year will be a big year for the Bulls and with UM taking 7 WR's this year they should be able to do well in that region of the state. Josh's Grade: C
TIGHT END (2)
The Bulls have been looking for true tight end for some time now. USF has several on roster, but starter Cedric Hill who is more of a tight end/receiver will be a senior. Leavitt would like to utilize the tight end more in his offense, and Jeff Hawkins, 6-4.5, 240-pounds out of Vanguard, fits the mold. The three-star prospect ranked the 35th best in the country possesses good size and speed and excellent hands. Hawkins, turned heads early and was the Bulls first commit of the '08 class. The son of a USF scholarship tennis player, finished with 12 catches for 221 yards (18 yrds avg.) with 22 pancakes, and was a force on defense as well, recording 4 sacks, 14 TFLs, 51 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 recovered fumble. The Bulls also added Wharton's Andreas Shields a 6-6, 210 pound 2-star recruit rated 63rd best tight end in the country by Scout.com, and the 16th best player in Tampa/St. Pete area by the St. Pete Times, First team all-conference, and Honorable mention All-State. He's an athletic, pass catching tight end who also can be physical at the line of scrimmage, but could use extra time to develop. Larry's Grade: B+
Jeff Hawkins is the tight end of the future for the Bulls. He's big, athletic and can block in the running game. Blocking is a must for any USF tight end, with the size of the running back the staff is recruiting, they are moving toward more of a power running game and the tight ends will play a big part in that scheme. Josh's Grade: B+
OFFENSIVE LINE (4)
With depth on the line being an issue in '07, one of the top priorities for the Bulls was to add some beef in ''08. In this class, that's exactly what the staff did. Mark Popek, a 3-star mammoth offensive lineman at 6'7-310 pounds was rated the 83rd best offensive tackle in the country by Scout.com. Named 5A second team all-state, and ranked 12th best player in the Tampa/St. Pete area by the St. Pete Times. Popek really came on in his senior year and is the perfect mold for offensive tackle. They also added Jatavious Jackson, a 3-star recruit ranked as the 43rd best offensive line prospect nationally by Scout.com in 2006. A three-time all-state selection and two-time first team all-county choice that plays on both sides of the ball. The Bulls also signed tackle Josh Garvin, 6'4-276 pounds out of Lake Gibson. A two-star prospect ranked as 97th best offensive tackle in the country Scout.com, named 5A second team all-state, first-team all-district and all-county in 2007. Garvin, is strong, athletic, and can move. He's quick enough to play tackle, but is being recruited as a guard. Rounding out the line is 6'3-305 pound Danous Estenar, a 2-star prospect ranked the 81 best guard in the country by Scout.com, who earned Class 6A third team all-state, Palm Beach Post All-Area second team, and First team all-conference (2006, 2007). Three year starter at offensive tackle but is a raw two-way lineman with power to spare, and could be the steal of class. This o-line class is big, strong and versatile, and could develop a corner stone for years to come. Larry's GRADE: B
South Florida brought in quantity this year on the O line, the question is – did they bring in quality? The Bulls missed on two prospects that could have played right away out of the JUCO ranks, Mike Diaz and Andrew Mitchell. Mark Popek looks to be physically ready, but even he'll likely sit out a year before competing for a job on the 2-deep depth chart. Josh's Grade: C+
Stay tuned to USFNation.com as we next grade out the defensive recruits in USF's 2008 recruiting class.
USFNation.com - Get it First, Get it Fast!