Heath Offers, Fitzpatrick Signs with USF

After a meeting with USF basketball Coach Stan Heath produced an offer, forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick from King High School committed and signed with with Coach Heath Thursday night. Read on for all the details. Only on USFNation.com

USF basketball Coach Stan Heath continues to be busy in the late signing period and added another big piece to his recruiting class when power forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick from King High School in Tampa pledge to play for the Bulls after a visit with Coach Heath Thursday night.

"The meeting went great," said Fitzpatrick. "After a couple hours, Coach Offered, and I accepted and signed on the spot. I'm real excited and the future looks very bright."

"We're excited to add Toarlyn Fitzpatrick to our basketball program," said Coach Heath. "He's had an outstanding senior season and has really made tremendous strides in improving his game. We really feel like he has the ability to play an integral part in our team his coming season. We look forward to working with Toarlyn in helping him develop to reach his fullest potential."

Fitzpatrick was heavily recruited with offers from the likes of Florida State, Miami, Alabama, Ole Miss and Tulane, and signed with Georgia Southern in November, but after Coach Jeff Price resigned Toarlyn requested his release. Once he opened things back up, Miami, Tulane, Old Dominion, Auburn and Alabama all expressed interest, but an offer from the Bulls didn't come until this week.

"USF didn't offer me at first," said Fitzpatrick. "They wanted to see if I would get bigger, stronger and develop as a player."

The 6'8 power forward was rated as one of the top player in the state after averaging 14.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, 4.3 blocks and 3.0 assists per game this past season helping lead King HS into the state playoffs. He was named the Times Suncoast Player of the Year, a Tampa Bay Basketball Coaches Association All-Star and Florida Athletic Coaches Association All-Star, and was selected to The Tampa Tribune's All-Hillsborough County Boys Basketball first-team.

"Coach Heath said he likes my versatility and see's me playing both the 3 and the 4 combo," said Fitzpatrick. "He said they haven't had a forward that can dribble and shoot the ball like me before, and I'll be creating a lot of mismatches."

Toarlyn said playing in the Big East, the toughest conference in basketball, and his connection to Dominique Jones all played a big role in his choice.

"We both had the same AAU Coach Hayes, and he told me a lot of good things about the program. If I come in and work hard I can get a lot of minutes. I'm real excited to see what we can do as a team next year."

The Bulls announced the signing of PF/C Jarrid Famous guard yesterday, and Mike Burwell Jr. signed his NCAA Letter of Intent last week, joining guards Jordan Dumars and Shaun Noriega who signed during the November signing period as part of the incoming class for the 2009-10season. The signing period runs from April 15 through May 20 and USF is expected to stay busy with Sandi Marcius still uncommitted.

Stay tuned with USFNation.com for more developments

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