Should We Be Concerned About the Pace of USF Recruiting?

What, him worry? via www2.tbo.com

That's the question Scott Carter posed earlier today in his blog. With the verbal commitment of potential safety Rontavious Atkins from Pahokee High School yesterday, that brings the total number of verbals USF has picked up for 2011 so far to... two. Meanwhile, as Scott mentions, Florida State has 11 verbals already.

Should we be worried? I don't think so. Not yet, anyway.

I would guess that a big reason FSU has so many commits already is because of their continuity. Jimbo Fisher surely did a lot of the heavy lifting for recruiting even before he became head coach, and unlike with most coaching transitions, recruits might be more inclined to sign with the Seminoles now that Bowden and his cabal of diminishing-value assistants have moved on. Also I'm sure the unmarked sacks of money shopping sprees at whatever Dillard's is called now tradition and history of the program isn't hurting Jimbo's efforts.

USF obviously doesn't have that continuity working for them, with a coach and staff who have mostly been in Tampa for just a few months. Holdovers like Carl Franks and Larry Scott can help bridge the gap for Skip Holtz and the staff. But they still have to go out and form the relationships all over again. The assistants are out on their statewide meet and greet with every high school in Florida this month, so those relationships should be well on their way. (I wonder how the meeting went with Brion Carnes's old coach.) And from the short time the staff had between the time they arrived and National Signing Day, they did a good job holding onto the recruits that were already on the board, and finding a couple good ones of their own.

There might also be some wait-and-see out of potential recruits. Maybe they want to make sure Holtz can maintain and build on all the success Jim Leavitt had here before they decide to commit. And that's fine - we're all confident that the program is in no danger of being Kragthorpe'd, and if it takes a few more months to prove it to high school players, then I can live with that. Signing day isn't for another eight and a half months. If we get to Christmas and things still look bleak for the 2011 class, I might have a different take.

(One more thing - there's also the dark art of decommitments, which can change everything.)

What do you all think? Are you worried about recruiting? I disregarded conference reshuffling for now, but is that something you worry about in the present?

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