CLASS OF 2014 ROSTER
SIGNING DAY CENTRAL - COACH TAGGART ANALYSIS
COACH TAGGART SIGNING DAY TRANSCRIPT
TAMPA, FEB. 5, 2014 – University of South Florida head football coach Willie Taggart announced that 22 student-athletes signed National Letters of Intent on National Signing Day to play football with the Bulls. They join six student-athletes who enrolled at USF in January and are participating in winter conditioning with the team to give the Bulls a total of 28 members of the class of 2014.
Taggart’s second-straight top 50 signing class is the highest rated class in the American Athletic Conference according to Scout, Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN. Taggart’s second USF signing class was ranked as high as No. 39 nationally by Rivals and among the top 50 of the other national recruiting outlets as of 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
Nine players in the Bulls 2014 class were rated a four-star recruit by at least one national recruiting outlet, including six by ESPN. The class is the largest for USF since signing 30 players in 2009, and tied for second largest in program history. According to ESPN, the class includes six players rated as four-star prospects and 21 three-star recruits.
Of the 28 total players, including six mid-year enrollees, 12 hail from the greater Tampa Bay area, including representatives of five Tampa high schools. The Bulls added 24 players from the state of Florida and signed players that call five states home including Alabama (1), Illinois (1), Mississippi (1) and North Carolina (1).
USF adds 13 players on the offensive side of the ball and 15 on defense to its roster. On offense the Bulls added a quarterback in Scout four-star recruit Quinton Flowers (Miami/Miami Jackson HS) and a pair of four-star running backs in Marlon Mack (Sarasota/Booker HS), rated a four-star recruit by ESPN.com, and D’Ernest Johnson (Immokalee), rated a four-star recruit by Rivals. The Bulls added four offensive linemen including ESPN four-star Benjamin Knox (DeLand/Deland HS), Michael Galati (Bradenton/Manatee HS), Zach Hudson (Tampa/Sickles HS) and Michael Smith (Miami/Miami Central HS). Three wide receivers joined the team including ESPN four-star Ryeshene Bronson (Fort Myers/Dunbar HS), Stanley Clerveaux (North Miami/North Miami HS) and Tyre McCants (Niceville/Niceville HS) as did three tight ends in Elkanah Dillon (Ocala/Vanguard HS), Nick Nataro (Estero/Estero HS) and Marlon Pope (Hattiesburg, Miss./Mississippi Gulf Coast CC).
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bulls added six defensive backs including Scout four-star Kendall Sawyer (Lehigh Acres/East Lee County HS), Devin Abraham (Tarpon Springs/East Lake HS), Jamie Byrd (Dade City/Iowa Western CC), Tajee Fullwood (Tampa/Tampa Bay Tech HS), Deatrick Nichols (Miami/Miami Central HS) and Mazzi Wilkins (Tampa/Plant HS). Five linebackers joined the program including Rivals four-star Jimmy Bayes (Immokalee/Immokalee HS), Josh Black (Tampa/Sickles HS), Juwuan Brown (Tampa/Jefferson HS), LeGrande Harley (Durham, N.C./Georgia Military College) and Nick Holman (Madison, Ala./Bob Jones HS). The Bulls also added four players on the defensive line including a pair of ESPN four-star recruits in Vincent Jackson (Tampa/Jesuit HS) and Eric Mayes (Sarasota/Milford Academy) as well as Rohan Blackwood (Brooksville/Nature Coast HS) and Demetrius Hill (Kankakee, Ill./Fort Scott CC) and
Six players –Abraham (CB), Byrd (DB), Hill (DE), Mayes (DE), Nichols (CB) and Pope (TE) – are already attending classes at the University. Of the six early enrollees, three are junior college transfers with two years of eligibility remaining and three are early enrollees from the high school or prep school ranks. They all began taking classes in January for the spring 2014 semester and will be able to participate in USF’s spring football practices, which begin Feb. 26.
The Bulls had one junior college transfer, LeGrande Harley, among the 22 players that signed National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, giving them four total junior college players in the class.