The future definitely looks brighter in Tampa. Another National Signing Day is history and Willie Taggart has once again locked down a solid group of kids who will be rocking the green and gold in the near future.
"There's a lot of good football players in this class," Taggart said during his press conference. "It's not as many from a quantity standpoint, but quality wise I feel like this is one of our better recruiting classes when it comes to that. These are really talented kids that have a chance to come in,compete, and have a chance to help this football team. I think some guys have the chance to come in and make an impact immediately and that's their expectation."
The story of the day is that for the second year in a row, there really was no drama. By the time 11 a.m. rolled around, almost all of USF's targets had already put pen to paper and signed their LOI's to make their commitments official. No one de-committed, including prized 4-star WR Darnell Salomon, who gave Bulls fans a scare after flirting with Temple and Pittsburgh over the past two weeks. The only last second pleasant surprises came in the form of locking down hometown Tampa CB Michael Hampton and ripping WR DeVontres Dukes from NC State.
For the third consecutive season, USF has reeled in one of the top two classes in the AAC while ranking as the fifth best G5 class in this cycle. The talent from Coach T's previous classes finally started to translate on the field towards the end of the 2015 season and now the Bulls are stockpiling depth as they look to continue to boatrace opponents on both sides of the football in 2016.
The stars of the class were the aforementioned Salomon and 4-star S Craig Watts, who coaches have said could see the field almost immediately. The Bulls were able to pull in two 4-Star and fourteen 3-Star prospects according to 247. That doesn't include 2015 commits Glen Bethel and Trevon Sands, who are finally academically eligible to enroll and join the program. Late add-on and Tampa-Plant standout Markese Hargroves will walk-on in the fall.
Location wise, Coach #Swaggart followed his philosophy and added fourteen Florida kids, including six who hail from the Tampa Bay area. #BayMade and #BayStayed is what he has emphasized as there are now 23 hometown kids.
Also, get a load of damn near every kid and coach Running Off the Plug Twice in ode to noted USF fan Plies. The coaching staff celebrating after Salomon signed was the Twitter moment of the day. You're not the only AAC program with mid-2000's rappers from the South in your corner Houston!
Tramal Ivy to the 8️⃣1️⃣3️⃣ ✅ pic.twitter.com/SPl2GzS8if— USF Football (@USFFootball) February 3, 2016
Andre Polk! https://t.co/iPXp1QbjuN— USF Football (@USFFootball) February 3, 2016
I see you 863. Go Bulls! pic.twitter.com/B5jsAzXgzH— Willie Taggart (@CoachTaggart) February 3, 2016
Another one from the 863. Go Bulls! pic.twitter.com/tV1NowaCm4— Willie Taggart (@CoachTaggart) February 3, 2016
Hey Rocky The Bull, what did you think of this Signing Day?