Tag:Skip Holtz
Posted on: January 27, 2012 10:55 am
Edited on: January 27, 2012 11:10 am
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Big East Signing Day Overview



Posted by Bryan Fischer


National Signing Day is almost here and recruits across the country are gearing up for plenty of last-minute pitches and school visits as head coaches look to shape their program for years to come. Things are in a state of flux in the Big East and it seems that the lack of stability at some programs has hampered some recruiting classes. Things are still going well but it's going to be an interesting Signing Day for the league with several new head coaches and programs shuffling in and out like recruits change commitments.

MaxPreps.com Top 25 Team Rankings
College Commits Top 100 Moving
None - - -

Top storylines

1. Does Greg Schiano leaving destroy Rutgers' class? 

If there's a coaching change to come out of left field, it might be Schiano's, who leaves just days before Signing Day. Rutgers had been in the middle of building their best recruiting class in years and had locked up a lot of in-state talent in a great year for recruits in New Jersey. Now all of that is in jeopardy with the shock recruits are feeling quite evident from many of their comments. Expect the Scarlet Knights to drop out of the running for several of the top uncommitted guys on their board and other school calling everybody in their class to see if they want to take a late official visit and reconsider their pledge.

2. Can Paul Chryst build out a good first effort?

Another swift departure out of town for Todd Graham has led to a very good hire for Pittsburgh in Chryst, who jumps over from Wisconsin where he did an excellent job of developing talent. Graham did a good job of keeping top in-state talent close to home and landed the top big back in the country in Rushel Shell. There are a lot of good pieces, especially on offense, but it's up to Chryst to keep everybody committed and build on it with others in his first effort on the recruiting trail as head coach. More than anything, he can hopefully bring some stability to the program.

3. How are the newcomers doing?

Every report and indication has the Mountaineers playing in the Big 12 in 2012, until the i's are dotted and t's crossed, they're going to be stuck in Big East purgatory for now. Dana Holgorsen knows the league and recruiting in Texas in particular but has hit the state of Florida extremely hard with the incoming class. Regardless of the exact timing, this will be the first group of recruits brought in to play in the Big 12 so it's worth tracking to see if that leads to a boost when the faxes are in or whether the big Orange Bowl victory or coaching turnover has a bigger impact.

4. West Virginia's first Big 12 class... at some point.

While the majority of teams the Big East has added over the past year or so won't join the league for another year, it's still worth tracking how the newcomers fare on the recruiting trail. In the case of a school like Boise State, the past success of the program has led to one of the best classes in recent memory with solid depth and a handful of players that should be in the mix for playing time earlier than is normal on the Blue Turf. Houston and UCF have done a solid job considering coaching turnover and scandal while SMU has still tried to keep things going despite losing the school's top recruiter. The class of 2012 might not play right away in the Big East but you have to keep tabs on them since they will in the not to distant future.

Most impressive class: Pittsburgh

Most underrated class: South Florida

Work left to do: Syracuse

Top Players to Watch
Name Pos Committed
11. Rushel Shell RB Pittsburgh
27. Ronald Darby ATH Uncommitted
29. Darius Hamilton DE Uncommitted
35. Devin Fuller ATH Uncommitted
91. Leonte Carroo WR Rutgers
95. Bennie Coney QB Cincinnati
105. Chad Voytik QB Pittsburgh
107. Wayne Morgan DB Uncommitted
108. Adam Bisnowaty OL Pittsburgh
109. Quanzell Lambert LB Rutgers
 

Assistant recruiters of note:

Kerry Coombs, Mark Elder and Steve Stripling, Cincinnati
George DeLeone, UConn
Vance Bedford, Clint Hurtt and Brian Jean-Mary, Louisville
Bob Bostad and Joe Rudolph, Pittsburgh
Brian Angelichio and Jeff Hafley, Rutgers
Todd Fitch and Phil McGeoghan, South Florida
Scott Shafer and Tyrone Wheatley, Syracuse
Robert Gillespie and Daron Roberts, West Virginia

Head coach under pressure: Skip Holtz, South Florida

Top Big East class prediction: Louisville

Top Big East signee: Rushel Shell

Big East school-by-school
Program Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
32 QB Bennie Coney
RB Dennis Norfleet
OL Caleb Stacey
Butch Jones has done a good job at hitting needs and filling out his class. Coney won't be ready to play right away but has the physical tools to fit right into the offense. Norfleet is an absolute steal at running back.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 QB Casey Cochran
WR Neally Cunningham
WR John Green
Not a lot of remarks about this group other than the fact that Cochran is a very solid pick up at quarterback and is smart and has a strong arm.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 LB Keith Brown
LB James Burgess
LB Nick Dawson
The trio of top linebacker Charlie Strong has managed to grab headline this class but it has several other very good grabs that could have played at bigger programs. OL depth is notable.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 OL Adam Bisnowaty
RB Rushel Shell
QB Chad Voytik
The headliners for the Panthers are on offense and they should fit right into Chryst's system. Voytik has a compact throwing motion and strong arm while Shell is a multipurpose threat who is a load going downhill.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 WR Leonte Carroo
OL J.J. Denman
LB Quanzell Lambert
You can put TBD next to this class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 DB Chris Bivins
WR D'Vario Montgomery
TE Sean Price
Bivins and Price are SEC-caliber players and terrific adds by the staff. Montgomery is a big time threat who should see early playing time and is part of a very athletic freshman class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
21 OL Kyle Knapp
TE Ron Thompson
Knapp and Thompson are two solid adds but other than that, the most remarkable thing about the Orangemen is adding all-Namer Pancho Barnwell.
- Team page
- Commitment list
26 QB Ford Childress
WR Deontay McManus
ATH Brandon Napoleon
Childress is a guy you can project to put up big time numbers in Holgorsen's system and you can say the same about a dynamic threat in McManus. Good job at addressing needs while adding athleticism.



Posted on: October 26, 2011 11:28 pm
 

DT James Hamilton switches commitment to USF

Posted by Bryan Fischer

South Florida head coach Skip Holtz has done well on the recruiting trail in Florida and may bring his best class in with the Bulls' 2012 group. The young coach grabbed one of his biggest recruiting coups on Tuesday, flipping Florida State commitment James Hamilton to USF.
“Me and my family sat down and talked about it and it seemed like the right thing for me and my family,” Hamilton told the Orlando Sentinel. “Playing time played a role in my decision a little bit but the major role was staying close to home so I can be close to my mom and lil sis.”

The 6-foot-3, 340-pound Orlando (Fla.) defensive tackle committed to the Seminoles in June over offers from Clemson, Michigan State, Texas A&M and others.

 “The coaching staff is great, the campus is amazing and the faculties were amazing too and it just seemed like the right place for me,” he said.

Hamilton is the 12th commitment for USF's class of 2012. His cousin Corian Hamilton is a freshman linebacker.

"He's a big body with quick feet and always seems to be able to get the job done," analyst Tom Lemming said of James. "Not fancy but effective. He already has NFL size, sustains his blocks well, can anchor and effectively pull and trap. He needs to watch his weight but certainly shows the quickness and overall athletic ability to excel at the next level."
Posted on: September 13, 2011 11:03 am
 

USF adds defensive back Jarvis McCall

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Things are going quite well for Skip Holtz' program down in Tampa. USF knocked off Notre Dame a few weeks ago and are ranked in the top 25 heading into their game against Florida A&M this week. Bulls fans had another dose of good news over the weekend as Seffner (Fla.) defensive back Jarvis McCall committed to the team on Saturday.

"They look like they play a lot of man (coverage) and zone schemes and all that," McCall told USFBullsEye.com. "I think I'm pretty good with all that."

The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder is a local product, going to Tampa area power Armwood High School. He held offers from Indiana, UCF, Vanderbilt and others but selected USF after taking in their most recent game against Ball State.

"I had to chance to speak with (the USF coaching staff) before the game," he said. "They were excited. I told coach Skip Holtz and he told the rest of the coaches came and congratulated me and said thanks and all that."

McCall is USF's 10th commitment for the class of 2012 and third cornerback headed there next year.
Posted on: June 26, 2011 7:39 pm
 

USF gets two big in-state commitments

Posted by Bryan Fischer

With new coaching staffs at Miami and Florida, many observers thought that USF could capitalize on the turnover and steal a few recruits that might otherwise head to those two schools or go out-of-state. Skip Holtz and the Bulls picked up two such players this weekend with the commitments of Citra (Fla.) tight end Sean Price and Gainesville (Fla.) cornerback Chris Bivins.

“There is so much to like about USF,” Price, right, told USFNation.com. "When I visited with them and got to hang with Coach (Phil) McGeoghan, Coach (Larry) Scott, Coach Holtz, the whole staff, and some of the players, I felt like it was one big family and I wanted to be part of it.”

Price held scholarship offers from Florida, Miami, Alabama, LSU and Notre Dame among others and has had a terrific summer at 7-on-7 competitions. Despite all of the attention from powerhouse programs in the recruiting process however, it was the school just down the highway that offered Price the best chance to improve his game.

“The campus was real nice, the facilities are awesome and it’s a place where I feel like I can grow into a man at. The whole atmosphere there is electric,” said Price. “They’re a young team and are just going to get better and better, and I know I can go in there and play my freshman year.”

Like Price, Bivins has been a mainstay on the 7-on-7 circuit and camp circuit. He ended up committing at the SuperBull camp put on by USF coaches at Raymond James Stadium.

"After I did everything with the coaches, had some experience with the coaching staff to see how they did things, everything just felt good," Bivins told The St. Petersburg Times.

Bivins' sister, a volleyball player, committed to USF earlier in the week. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound corner also held offers from Arkansas, Illinois and South Carolina. Even with several other programs close to offering this summer, it was tough for the family to be separated and therefore Chris became the second member of the Bivins clan to commit to USF.

"We've been together all our lives. It would be hard for us to separate," he said. "I love my sister to death. I've got to be her big brother and not let anything happen to her. She's older than me, but I still think of myself as her big brother."

The in-state duo give USF six commitments for the class of 2012, including four defensive backs.
Posted on: April 12, 2011 4:27 pm
 

USF adds Pensacola athlete

Posted by Bryan Fischer

USF added another talented athlete to their class of 2012 in Pensacola (Fla.) quarterback Jalen Spencer Tuesday afternoon.

The 5-foot-11, 175 pound Spencer will likely end up playing defensive back for the Bulls once he enrolls in college and was sold on the direction of the program under head coach Skip Holtz.

“I said, well, they’re on the up-rise, and I might as well take a chance on them,” Spencer told Tampa Bay Online.

Spencer recently ran a 4.7 40-yard dash at the Jacksonville Under Armour Combine. He held offers from Southern Miss, UAB and South Alabama and was getting looks from other local schools as a defensive back as well.

“I feel like I can make that jump because I’m athletic,” Spencer said. “I love playing quarterback. I’ve been playing it my whole life, but if I’ve got to switch it up I’ll switch it up.”

Spencer is the third commitment for USF's class of 2012.

Posted on: February 8, 2011 3:36 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2011 3:46 pm
 

Big East Recruiting Breakdown

Posted by Bryan Fischer

We continue our daily conference-by-conference breakdown of Signing Day with a look at the Big East.

1. Louisville

Overview: Head coach Charlie Strong knows what Florida talent can do in the college game and he certainly injected a lot of the Sunshine state into his class of 2011. In addition to some solid in-state guys, the wave of Florida talent, especially at the skill positions, should serve the Cardinals well going forward.
Hidden gem: Wide receiver DeVante Parker isn’t the highest ranked receiver in this class but with a redshirt year and a bit of polish, should turn out to be a contributor on offense.
Pencil in for the fall: Safety Gerod Holliman attracted a host of SEC offers but headed to Louisville instead. He should be able to play on special teams and in nickel packages right away but it shouldn’t be too long until he’s the starter.

2. Rutgers

Overview: A good year for talent in the Northeast and Greg Schiano was able to take advantage. Although he missed on a few kids in the state of New Jersey, Josue Matias comes to mind, the Scarlet Knight nevertheless have an impressive class for 2011.
Hidden gem: Defensive tackle Kenneth Kirksey originally signed with the class of 2010 but headed to prep school for a year. He’s a player who has the size to jump into the rotation at tackle right away and make an impact.
Pencil in for the fall: Running back Savon Huggins is the headliner in this class and he should jump in at running back right away. Several people have compared him to a bigger Ray Rice.

3. West Virginia

Overview: It’s no surprise to see several speedy offensive players in this class with the arrival of Dana Holgorsen to Morgantown. The final class of the Bill Stewart-era might not be the best brought in but it certainly is very good top to bottom.
Hidden gem: Running back Dustin Garrison is a small speedster out of Texas who impressed many on his high school’s run to a state championship this year. Very quick and very fast, he should fit in well for the Mountaineers.
Pencil in for the fall: The departure of Noel Devine leaves the running back spot open for the taking and Andrew Buie could be the guy that helps fill it. Like Garrison, he’s not the biggest back but he is very explosive and should do well in the passing game too.

4. South Florida

Overview: Although some didn’t think Skip Holtz took advantage of some of the in-state turmoil at programs such as Miami and Florida, he did sign a very solid class. There’s lots of needs filled and several solid contributors.
Hidden gem: A surprising get out of Alabama, offensive tackle David Simon has the size and strength you look for in a tackle. He probably is a bit of a project but he has the tools to develop in to a very solid offensive lineman.
Pencil in for the fall: With B.J. Daniels at quarterback, finding some young targets for him to throw to were key for this class. Receiver Andre Davis should be able to jump in right away and contribute a number of ways on offense.

5. Syracuse

Overview: Doug Marrone has slowly turned the program around this class should help fuel the push up the Big East ladder. There’s a lot to like on the offensive side of the ball coming and that’s good considering where the Orangemen were on offense last year (97th in the country).
Hidden gem: Receiver Brandon Reddish is a very good receiver who could develop into a very good slot receiver. Very fast with good hands, he could also make an impact on special teams early in his career.
Pencil in for the fall: Tight end Louie Addazio stayed with Syracuse instead of going with his dad, Steve, to Temple. Known more as a blocker than a receiver, Addazio should also help the ground game.

6. Cincinnati

Overview: Despite the disappointing season, Butch Jones did turn things around a bit on the recruiting trail. There are several very good prospects in this group as well as a few guys who should use a redshirt to develop.
Hidden gem: Quarterback Stephen Weatherford is a nice player out of Florida with a very good arm. He needs to work on his footwork but could fit in nicely in the Bearcats’ offense.
Pencil in for the fall: Running back Jameel Poteat is a great pickup late in the process after previously committing to Big East rival Pitt. Very impressive when you watch him, Poteat has great speed to go along with his very good frame.

7. Pitt

Overview: It was tough going through three coaches in less than two months and that shows up in this class. That said, new coach Todd Graham did a good job of keeping several recruits in the fold while getting several former Tulsa targets to head to Pittsburgh.
Hidden gem: Running back Malcolm Crockett might need to add a bit of weight to match his running style but he could be a very good fit in Graham’s offense down the road.
Pencil in for the fall: Safety LaQuentin Smith has great size and speed for his position and it wouldn’t shock anybody if he makes an impact right away. He’ll likely start out on special teams but he could be a factor early depending on how Pitt chooses to play him.

8. UConn

Overview: It’s no surprise to see the Huskies at the bottom of the Big East recruiting classes, Randy Edsall or not, UConn never brought in a highly regarded class. There are a few players who should develop in solid players but we still have to see how the new staff chooses to integrate them.
Hidden gem: Corner David Stevenson is small but he has enough speed and leaping ability to cover many of the Big East receivers.
Pencil in for the fall: Don’t be surprised if Marquise Vann immediately makes an impact on defense.

 
 
 
 
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