Every coach says they're going to recruit their local area when they take over at a school, and a lot of times it's just lip service. But with Willie Taggart, it is definitely serious. USF picked up two more verbal commitments for the class of 2013 over the last two days, both from the Tampa Bay area. The Bulls now have a total of 10 verbals from players in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Manatee Counties. Five of them have committed since Taggart took over on December 8.
Bulls 247 (free link) has the details on Auggie Sanchez, from Northeast High School in St. Petersburg, who signed on as a fullback/H-back commit. The 6'3", 230-pound Sanchez is the younger brother of special teams ace Armando Sanchez, who played for USF for three years. Both Rivals and 247 rated him two stars, but as a defensive end. He will stay on offense for the Bulls.
Another story on Sanchez from the Tampa Bay Times.
USF picked up a nice prospect in Hillsborough High School's Nigel Harris, continuing the tradition of USF athletes from Hillsborough (a tradition that includes J.R. Reed, Lindsey Lamar, and Terrence Mitchell). Harris is an outside linebacker who measures 6'2" and 200 lbs., so it's very possible he might redshirt to bulk up a bit before getting on the field. Harris is a three-star prospect according to both Rivals and 247. On the latter site, he's ranked #75 overall in the state of Florida.
We decided not to do a formal recap of last night's loss to Seton Hall, because it's a really simple explanation. They had open shots they didn't make, and that's why they lost. (Toarlyn Fitzpatrick was ice cold last night -- 0-for-7 from three. That really hurt.) They lose a lot of the games they lose because they don't shoot well. So instead of repeating ourselves over and over again, we're working on a more comprehensive post with some video clips that we hopefully will have for you tomorrow.
You no doubt noticed that Musa Abdul-Aleem was not in uniform last night, and of course Shaun Noriega is still out. Stan Heath is now contemplating medical redshirts for both of them. This would mean Abdul-Aleem still has three years of eligibility after this year, while it would provide Noriega with a sixth year of eligibility if he can get it.
One complication -- if Noriega returns, and all of the 2013 commits make it to campus, USF will have 14 players for 13 scholarships. (Kind of a nice problem to have since there were so many times in recent years where USF didn't even come close to having 13 scholarship players.) Heath said in the story that he figures things will work themselves out, either through attrition or something else. Stan probably has nothing to worry about, because as a last resort, he could always take his son Josh off scholarship for his first year and then add him back later. (I'm pretty sure this is allowed.) It's in-state tuition, and it's not like Stan is going to be hurting for money with that contract extension.