The big day is now over, and when the dust settled the Bulls had 15 new signee's to go with the 4 early enrollees. The class of 2010 is official in the books.
When Skip Holtz was announced as the Bulls new USF head coach on January 14th, he had the daunting task of assembling his first recruiting class with the Bulls with less than a month to go before signing day, and with all things considered, Holtz and staff did a great job.
USF had a limited amount of scholarships to work with this year, and only signed 19 players, and on Wednesday the Bulls signed 15 players to join four early enrollees. The Bulls signed one of the smaller classes in the Big East, but filled needs with several big time prospects.
Headlining the class are two ESPNU Top 150 prospects, Hillsborough defensive back Terrence Mitchell and Miami-Northwestern defensive lineman Todd Chandler. With the remaining 17 the Bulls filled needs at running back, on both the defensive and offensive lines, two playmaker receivers and also signed players with high character and high potential.
With a week to go before Signing Day, things looked bleak. The top two targets Mitchell and Chandler, along with several others were committed elsewhere. Mitchell was committed to FSU, Chandler looked like a Louisville lean, Hans Louis was a Marshall commit, and Deonte Welch was pledged to Arkansas.
In the final week, Holtz and staff made quite a push for the 4 top targets and also top recruits MLB Michel Taylor and CB Nikell Robey. They didn't land Taylor or Robey who signed with UF and USC, but made impacts on both players and had them strongly considering USF.
On Friday afternoon, things looked much better when T-Rex switched his commitment from Florida State to USF. That same Friday afternoon, Chandler and Welch both made surprise visits to USF. Welch, the playmaker out of Williston committed to USF and on Wednesday both Todd Chandler and Hans Louis both chose the Bulls.
For only being in office for three weeks Coach Holtz and new staff's 2010 class should be considered a success, but much of the credit has to be given to the remaining staff members Carl Franks, Larry Scott, Phil McGeoghan and Kevin Patrick. Each built key relationships with the players and were instrumental in landing them.
How big were the landings of 12th ranked CB and 4-star prospect Terrence Mitchell, along with 37th ranked DT and 3-star prospect Todd Chandler? Well USF was the only program in the Big East to sign two ESPNU Top 150 players and with Chandler rated No. 67 the Bulls signed the highest-ranked recruit of any Big East team according to ESPN.
QB:Jamius Gunsby, a 6'4-220 pound quarterback from LaGrange HS GA that has the body to play several college positions, but is first coming in as a QB .
LB: Chaminade-Madonna's 2-star Hans Louis, JUCO OLB Curtis Weatherspoon Dean College and Valdosta.
K/P: out of Ocala Forest. Chris Veron
Headliners: DT Todd Chandler, CB Terrence Mitchell
Sleepers: OT Quinterrius Eatmon, WR Jamaal Montague, WR Deonte Welch, LB Hans Louis, DB Reshard Cliett
Overall Analysis: The Bulls landed two studs in, Hillsborough defensive back Terrence Mitchell and Miami-Northwestern defensive lineman Todd Chandler, both ESPNU Top 150 prospects. With the remaining 17 scholarships the Bulls filled several needs at running back, both immediate and for the future. They also on got some key players on the defensive line. Also got some help on the offensive line and added two guys who actually look like offensive tackles. They lost Ace, but added two playmaker receivers in Welch and Montague. Louis was a key late addition, and the rest of the class is full of players with high character and high potential.
This is a tough class to evaluate, they got some studs, but also landed a few projects with high upside. If and when they'll develop is certainly a question mark. They could end up being great or ending being the opposite. One thing is for sure, the Bulls are going in a different direction. They are bringing in more high-character dependable kids and avoiding the Carlos Savalas, the Daron Roses, and the Josh Bellamys of the recruiting world. They are bringing in kids that you can build a championship team around.