Saddleback's T.J. Knowles (6-8, 245), one of the top JUCO wide outs in the country last year took a visit to Tampa to check out the Bulls on Thursday. While on the visit he received an offers, and just committed to USF while on a visit, afterwards he talked more of why he chose the Bulls.
"Things are going great, and I gave USF my verbal commitment, and I'm very excited" said T.J. Knowles.
"I chose South Florida for several reasons" said Knowles, the level of competition for one, and that was definitely a big factor for me. The coaching staff and player are great, and they all made me feel very comfortable. The city is great the facilities and weight room is top notch and I couldn't ask for a better situation."
"Coach McGeoghan was very upfront and honest, more so than every other recruiter I talked to. I spoke to a lot of schools and didn't feel like they were giving me the honest truth and he was really straight up, and didn't give me any BS or promise me anything but a chance to compete. He was very straight forward in that aspect and I respect that after years of dealing with recruiting."
"Also my sister and her husband live about three hours away in Jacksonville, so I'm really not too far away from family."
Knowles arrived in Tampa on Wednesday evening, got to meet the coaches, see the campus and check out the facilities. His first impression was a good one.
"As soon as I got off the plane I was driving in and was amazed," said Knowles. "It's by the beach, and I saw the city lights and all the people seemed real nice, and it looks like a great place to be. I feel real comfortable and think I'll fit in very well."
"I loved the city of Tampa, there is a lot of stuff to do here, and I feel that I fit in well while. I feel that I'll have a good time while being here for a couple of years getting my education, and if for some reason things don't go to well after football, I'll have plenty of other opportunities to help my career . I'm going to enjoy myself wherever I go to school, and probably start my life there, and can't think of a better place to do that then Tampa."
T.J. was also very impressed with the USF Campus, and the football facilities.
"I loved the campus and facilities, they were really great. Everything was all kept up and new. The locker room was amazing, and I loved the way the weight room was set up. They play in a beautiful pro stadium and I can't wait to catch passes in there."
With the injury sustained to receiver A.J. Love during the spring game, and the departure of junior Carlton Mitchell, who left early for the NFL draft, the Bulls are thin at receiver depth and Knowles has a chance to help immediately.
"They said I could come in and make an impact now with what they needed for someone to come in and make plays, and felt I was that guy. I'm looking forward to training hard and doing my best so I don't let theses coaches down."
T.J. got to hang out with a couple of players including Bulls QB B.J. Daniels and is looking forward to catching passes from him.
"He's good! I watched him today and watched him last year during the bowl game. He's very versatile, has a good arm, and can fit the ball in tight spots, and throw the ball on the money. I'm looking forward to getting my timing down with him and developing a relationship on the field."
"Besides hanging with B.J., I also got to hang out with a couple of the receivers, Dontavia Bogan, Sterling Griffin, and a few others. They were all real accepting, and made me feel real comfortable. They're a real good bunch of guys."
As a freshman receiver, Saddleback used him in a number of ways and out of several different formations, out of the slot, out wide, in tight, out of a 'bunch' formation and he led the team in receptions (49), yards (924) and touchdowns (seven). T.J. has an idea of what makes him a good receiver.
"Definitely my determination for one, because I run every route like the first, and I don't take plays off," said Knowles. "With my size, people don't realize how quick I am and how fast and athletic I am for my size. I know I have speed and great ball skills. I work out and train very hard, and take football very seriously."
"I lift hard, we don't do bench max, but I can rep 315 pounds five times. I run a 4.55 40 yard dash and have a vertical of 36 inches. Hopefully all the numbers will be better by the time I get there."
Now that his commitment is solid Knowles says he can't wait to get it started.
"Everything seems so surreal right now, and USF is everything that I was looking for. It's a perfect fit, and I'm just glad that it happened. Now I'm just looking forward to getting it all started."
"I got a new mindset now, so I can't wait to get back and start training hard for when I get down there. Because I'm going to try and be even better then I look on film. I'm looking forward to doing big things down there."Click here for more info or to share your thoughts with other USF Insiders and get the insider scoop!