The USF staff is searching high and low for talent, but some of their top targets are right here in Tampa, and one of them is 6'6, 320 pound Plant offensive lineman Tony Posada, who just finished spring football.
"The spring has gone real good, for us as a team and me personally," said Posada. "I've worked mostly on getting my technique down, line blocks, staying low, and my footwork."
The 3-star prospect ranked the 65th best OT by Scout, plays offensive line for two-time defending state champs Plant high school, and says after playing at 6'5,300 pounds in 2009, he's grown a bit since last season.
"I've put on some weight, but it's been good weight and I got a lot stronger, and faster," said Posada. I went up in everything, I'm benching 330 pounds, squatting 475 pounds, and have a hanging clean of 265 pounds."
On the recruiting front, many schools have taken notice, and Posada's offer list has grown immensely to double digits this spring.
"It's been hectic meeting new people every day, but I got a good chance to meet and form relationships with a lot of the coaches."
With the spring evaluation period over and 26 offers in hand, are any schools starting to stick out, or is he forming a short list of favorites?
"No, not really, I've been thinking about it, but I don't have any real favorites and I'm very open-minded right now," said Posada. "I like to make my decision before my senior year, but every school that I talk to except for a few, are great guys and great coaches, and that makes it hard. So I'm going to try and take my time and see what school fits me the best."
Posada may not be able to name any favorites, but he does know what is important to him in making his decision for choosing a school.
"One of the main things I'm looking for is great coaching," said Posada. "Wherever I go, I have to know if I'll enjoy working with that coach for 5 hours a day for the next 4-5 years, so coaching is a big thing," said Posada. "The atmosphere of the school and academics is another big thing, because I am going there to go to college, not just for football, and I need to feel comfortable."
"Playing early isn't a big factor," said Posada. "Some schools talk about me playing as a freshman, but personally I wouldn't mind sitting and learning from an experienced senior lineman and learning the ropes."
Posada is ranked the 65th best tackle, and while most schools are recruiting him at tackle, some are recruiting him for the interior.
"Most are offering me at tackle, but a few are recruiting me at center," said Posada. "Syracuse is recruiting me at center. Florida said they are very interested in me, but haven't decided if they want me at guard or tackle."
Even though he doesn't have a list of favorites, Posada said that he has made it a point to talk with all the coaches recruiting him, and he's formed some relationships with several coaches throughout the spring.
"All the coaches have been great, but there are a couple of people that I've gotten to know very well," said Posada. "Coach Shankweiler from USF, Coach Frey from Michigan, Coach Adazio from Florida, and the O-line Coaches at Missouri."
So far this Spring Posada has taking unofficial visits to Florida for a spring practice, saying it was "well organized and a good time," and also been to South Florida, and was impressed with what they are doing.
"I went to USF for a winter work-out, the spring game and the day before the game took a tour with Coach Shankweiler of the campus and the facilities," said Posada. "The USF campus is great and so are the facilities and the locker room. I know that they are doing a lot of remodeling and upgrades, building a new dining hall for the athletes, new practice fields, and also building a new basketball facility, baseball and softball fields."
"I've already been to USF several times, but I'm going to take another tour of the school to check out some more about the program."
Posada has also got an opportunity to spend time with the USF offensive line coach and also the Head coach Skip Holtz.
"I like coach Shank, he's a great guy, and we talk all the time, and not just about football," said Posada. "We talk about recruiting and he gave me one good thought, saying you can make 10 miles seem like 1,000 miles, but you can't make 1, 000 feel like 10."
"I like Coach Holtz a lot, and you can see the difference between him and the old coach Jim Leavitt," said Posada. "I know his son who plays QB at our school, and they are a great family, a wonderful family that knows football. I also know the long snapper Mike Walsh, and he said everybody loves Coach Holtz."
With the Bulls being the hometown team, Posada says he knows a good amount about the program and already see's a change in the teams atmosphere.
"There a good program and have a national caliber team. They've had their ups and downs, but if they keep doing what they're doing they'll be winning a championship in a few years," said Posada. I watched Coach Shankweiler and the O-line during the spring game, and they look much better than last year."
"USF is one of those schools that have a great atmosphere, and is one of the candidates," said Posada. "I don't care if I stay in state or not, but being the local team does give them a slight advantage."
Posada said he's been working on his summer visit schedule, and said that he plans on seeing several schools.
"We're going to the Heath Evans Camp this upcoming weekend," said Posada. "As for schools, I know I'm going to see Michigan, and Coach Weiner and I were talking about going to see Tennessee, Ole Miss, USF, and probably Florida and a couple of others."
The stand-out offensive lineman said that he plans on trimming his list of schools over the summer to the schools that he'll be focusing on.
"I like to try and cut the list down this summer or going into my senior year," said Posada. "Then I'll cut it down further and take a couple of official visits. If a school like Michigan makes the cut, then I'll take a visit during the winter to see how cold it is."
"If there is a school that starts to stand out or blow my mind than I'll pick them, if not I may decide after my senior season."
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