The Bulls are only one week removed from signing the best recruiting class in their history, and have already gotten a jump start on the 2010 recruiting season. Before the 2008 season was over the staff received a early commitment from Manatee quarterback, Brion Carnes, and USFNation caught up with the talented signal caller.
"Everything's going real good right now. I'm just running track and lifting weights."
Carnes started as a freshman quarterback at Manatee and has started ever since. Now that he's a senior, he's considered one of the top QB's in the state of Florida and talks about making an early commitment to the Bulls.
"I chose USF because I felt a lot of love,' said Carnes. "With Coach Leavitt, Coach Canales and Coach Rachel, I talk to them almost every week and we built a great relationship."
In 2008 as a junior, Carnes threw for 1,227 yards with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions and completed 84 of 148 passes while rushing for 243 yards on 64 carries with five touchdowns. But the Bulls coaching staff has been on him well before his junior season even began.
"Ever since my brother Jerrell Young has been there and we went to practices, they've been recruiting me. At spring practice I talked with Coach Leavitt one on one and I just got a burn for South Florida. Once I started getting free tickets to go to the games as a recruit, I just fell in love with South Florida."
In three seasons Carnes has started 34 of 36 games, winning 24 of them, along with a district title, and a regional title. Carnes has a career total of 3,716 yards with 24 touchdowns and 17 interceptions on 291 of 517 passing, and also rushed for 693 yards with 11 touchdowns on 206 rushes. He's become a local favorite and the opportunity to play close to home in college was a big draw.
"It's close to home and my family can come watch me play, and I think that will be exciting to have my family there to watch and support me."
The talented quarterback is one of the earliest commitments for USF and it's a good thing because besides USF, he also has offers from West Virginia, Louisville, UAB, Middle Tennessee and a few other schools and the interest in Carnes has continued to grow.
Carnes didn't come out with his announcement until December, but several weeks earlier we saw Brion and Coach Leavitt talking after a game and thought he might have committed then.
"Yeah, the same week that I committed, I told him I was going to come to the game against Rutgers. Once Coach Leavitt found out he was so ready and excited to see me, that he made sure we talked after the game. I was pretty excited too."
With an early commitment to the Bulls Carnes is looking forward to the future with USF and sees big things in store for the program.
"I told coach Canales that I have a big future ahead of me and I'm following my dreams of playing for a division 1 school and seizing a national championship," said Carnes. "I really see us as a team going to the national championship and hopefully if I do well and I put up good numbers, I can be the first Bull to win a Heisman trophy there."
The Bulls want Brion, who stands 6'1-185 pounds and runs between a 4.56-4.6 40 as a quarterback, the only position he plays at Manatee. The standout athlete knows what are his assets are and why he'll excel at the next level.
"It's definitely my arm, and anybody will tell you my arm is very strong. Also the way I control the field and move around in the pocket. I have the ability to run and have a good pocket presence. I've worked hard this off-season and gotten better at my mechanics and everything."
Brion has numerously referred to Bulls safety Jerrell young as his brother, but says they're not related by blood.
"He's my god brother, but I treat him like he's my blood brother, and we have a real close relationship. His mom and my dad were coworkers and we kind of grew up together. He keeps me on the right path and always on me like a big brother should be."
"Coach Leavitt is always talking how they are like a family, and after I committed they accepting me right into the family, and I am happy to be part of the Bulls family."
Now that the Manatee standout quarterback has committed to USF he plans to be an ambassador of the program and spread the Bulls gospel throughout the county.
"I'm trying to get as many people to come with me. There are a couple of people from my school that I talked to Coach Leavitt about and there are a few people all over the county too."
With spring evaluation right around the corner and interest growing, how solid is his commitment to the Bulls?
"I'm very solid right now. Even though I have other coaches coming to the school and talking to me and telling me to keep my options open. For right now is my number one school. I may talk to some other coaches once in awhile, the only coaches I really talk to are Coach Leavitt and the coaches at South Florida."
The coaches can't call, but Brion makes sure he calls and talks to the coaches at least once a week, and called Coach Canales around 7:00 on signing day.
"I heard that he's going to be the new offensive coordinator and the new quarterback coach and I just wanted to call him, and us to start bonding and getting to know each other better."
Carnes also runs track for Manatee competing in the 200, 4x100 relay, and might do the 110 hurdles this season. His first track meet is in March, and he plans to visit USF a lot in the future.
"I'm planning on coming a lot in the spring, the coaches want me to come an experience it. They're also having another SuperBull camp and I'll be at that, and I'll be going to their junior day next week, and I'm looking forward to all of it."
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