Grading The USF '08 Recruiting Class: Defense

The Bulls '08 recruiting class included several highly-touted prospects and USF Defensive Coordinator Wally Burnham will have even more weapons for his defensive arsenal. What kind of marks did USF's defensive recruits garner? provides the grades. Get it First, Get It Fast!

Grading out the '08 recruiting class



After getting gashed up the middle several times in '07, one of the biggest needs on defense was to beef up the D-line. USF got an absolute stud in David Bedford, a 4-star prospect that was one of the more sought after D-ends in the country. Bedford is 6'5 240, with the speed and quickness and will give them a force opposite of George Selvie. Last season USF's interior run defense was suspect at times, and Corey Grissom, a 6'2-276 pound tackle from Troup County that has tremendous burst off the ball could be the tackle of the future. The Bulls also signed end's Craig Marshall 6'5-260 from Pearl River and Tarpon's Donnel Engram 6'2-255, and both could develop with proper conditioning. The staff also has two other prospects, Jatavious Jackson 6'4-280 from Belle Glades, and Palm Beach Central's Danous Estenar 6'3-305, that could end up on the D-line. Both could be productive,  but the only problem is one or both of these kids could end up on the offensive line. Overall, the staff addressed some line needs, but how well won't be known for some time. Larry's Grade B

The biggest need this year on the line was at the defensive tackle position.  Corey Grissom looks to be a great pickup and may even see some playing time as a true freshman.  Another big acquisition was JUCO DE David Bedford who is expected to come in and play right away, opposite George Selvie.  The only question is, did USF sign enough depth this year?  If guys high risk guys like Jatavious Jackson, Donnel Engram and Danous Estanour pan-out then it won't be a problem. Josh's Grade B-



Linebacker is always a "need" position at USF, and with Ben Moffitt graduating and Mompremier and McKenzie being seniors next year, restocking the unit was a priority. To help reload, USF brought in 4-star Kion Wilson who starred at Pearl River Community College, and expected to do the same for the Bulls. The staff also brought in Armando Sanchez, and Mike Lanaris. Both have speed, and are tough, gritty, and were leaders of their teams. The Bulls also have Miami Northwestern's Quavon Taylor, but there's a good chance of him being moved to safety. Kion should have an immediate impact, and both Sanchez and Lanaris will be big contributors in no time. Larry's Grade B+

USF went back to their roots and signed a bunch of hard workers.  Mike Lanaris, Armando Sanchez and Kion Wilson are all old-school type players that will carry on the linebacking legacy at USF. Josh's Grade: B


With the graduation of starting corners, Mike Jenkins, Trae Williams, and top back-up Ryan Gilliam, the corner position was the top need in '08. To help restock the pantry, the staff brought in three very talented prospects. Archbishop Carroll's George Baker 5'11-170, has blazing speed and shut down skills, and could contribute on special teams as well. Theo Wilson 6'0-200, is a phenomenal athlete and is another Pearl River product that is expected to be an early impact. Del Ray Atlantics John Lejiste 6'0-178, is another formidable d-back. He's can hit, has got speed and is a versatile athlete that could play corner or safety. All three have speed, skills, and will add depth and  competition to the unit. Larry's Grade: B+

The Bulls needed to sign quality and quantity this year at the corner position.  That's what they did, two high school signee's and one JUCO.  All three have tons of upside and will be given time to learn the defensive scheme before they are asked to compete for a starting job. Josh's Grade: B+



Even with the solid play from the safety unit last season, and several rising freshmen, the staff is always looking to bolster the position. In this class there are three that could see time at safety. Quavon Taylor 6'0-192, from Miami Northwestern, was a First team All-state linebacker, but is projected to play safety. He's a hard hitter and has a good combination of speed, athleticism, and playmaking ability, but has never truly played the position. Another option is  Evan Landi 6'3-193,  who was a Class 2A First Team All-State defensive back with three interceptions and 60 tackles playing safety. Landi has speed, range, and being a hockey player knows how to deliver a hit.  One more possibility is Del Ray Atlantics John Lejiste 6'0-178, who can hit, has speed and is a versatile athlete that could play corner or safety. Until we know who sticks at the position its hard to fully assess, but all three are fantastic athletes, playmakers, and with proper training could develop into something special. Larry's Grade: B-

USF did not sign a true safety in this year's class.  They did, however, sign two very nice prospects in Evan Landi and Quavon Taylor.  Landi has more experience at the position, while Taylor will make the switch for the first time when he gets to college.  Josh's Grade: C 



Delbert Alvarado did a more than admirable job last season, but performing both punting and kicking duties is not something Coach Leavitt intended as long term. The Bulls brought in the top punter in the state Justin Brockhaus-Kann, who was a Class 6A First team all-state, all-county, and all-conference as punter that averaged 46 yards a punt, and 4.6 seconds of hang time. He also booted a 62 yard punt that had a hang time of 5.1 seconds in the Winter Springs All-Star game. Justin excels at punting but can also kick.  They also signed one of the top kickers in the state, Maikon Bonani, a Class 3A first team all-state place-kicker as a junior and second team as a senior as well as all-state punter his senior year. He had a career long 55 yd. kick his junior season. A versatile athlete, Lettered in tennis, and soccer, and was named Male Athlete of the Year in 2007 by the Lakeland Ledger. Someone who could help immediately is George Baker, who could use his blazing speed to be the Bulls next great return man. Larry's GRADE: B-


Grading The USF '08 Recruiting Class: Offense

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