USF Inks 18 Today

By on February 1, 2017

Tampa, Fla. — Despite a limited window to secure his first class at the helm of the USF program, Strong, announced as USF’s fourth head coach on Dec. 11, and his staff turned several high level recruits on Signing Day, helping USF’s 2017 class vault into the top half of the American Athletic Conference according to 247Sports and Rivals. The Bulls’ 2017 class included 13 three-star recruits according to 247Sports.

“I’m really excited about the class we have, a very solid class,” Strong said. “We were able to meet our needs. I have to congratulate our coaches for the jobs they did in the short period of time that they had. The work they did was relentless. What were able to do is just solidify the class that had already committed to us. We wanted to make sure they made that commitment to the University of South Florida and that’s the reason why we stayed true to our commitment to them. Then our coaches were able to go out and find other players.”

Among the late commitments to USF were a trio of three-star recruits from Florida State Class 6A state champion Carol City High School (Miami). Cornerbacks Naytron Culpepper and Donelle Thomas and wide receiver Kevaughn Dingle announced their commitments live on CBS Sports Network in the middle of the day.

The Bulls also swung late commitments from three-star recruits Jabreel Stephens (DL, Seffner/Armwood HS), Demetris Harris (OL, Jacksonville/Robert E. Lee HS), Keirston Johnson (LB, Jacksonville/Robert E. Lee HS), as well as Jeremiah Stafford (OL, Citra/North Marion HS).

The Bulls signed 10 players on the defensive side of the ball (five defensive backs, four defensive linemen and one linebacker) and eight on offense (three wide receivers, three offensive linemen, one running back and one tight end).

The Bulls landed seven Bay Area players, bringing USF’s total of Bay Area signees in the last four years to 29. All but one of the Bulls’ 2017 signees hail from the state of Florida, the exception being three-star tight end Fredrick Lloyd (Tifton, Ga./Tift County HS).

Joining Stephens among the Bay Area players to sign with the Bulls were fellow Armwood High School standout Mekhi LaPointe (DB, Seffner), Hillsborough High’s Duran Bell, Jr. (RB, Tampa), Southeast High’s Darrien Grant (DL, Bradenton), Thomas Jefferson High’s Jean Marcellus (OL, Tampa), Booker High’s Kelvin Pinkney (DL, Sarasota) and Tampa Catholic High’s Bentlee Sanders (DB, Tampa).

USF continued to mine talent in Miami, bringing its total signees from the area to five in this class with Randall St. Felix (WR, Miami/Dr. Krop HS) and early enrollee Jernard Phillips (WR, Miami/Miami Central HS). The Bulls brought in more talent from the north end of the state with Kelvin Kegler (DL, Madison/Madison County HS) and Nick Roberts (DB, Orange Park/Oakleaf HS).

Season ticket deposits for the 2017 season start at $50 per seat and can be placed at The Bulls will play seven home games in Raymond James Stadium in 2017, hosting notable games vs. Illinois, Houston, Temple, Tulsa and Cincinnati.




Early Enrollees: 1

February Signees: 17

DEFENSE: 10 DB: 5 DL: 4 LB: 1

OFFENSE: 8 WR: 3 OL: 3 RB: 1 TE: 1

3-Star Recruits (247Sports): 11 Mid-Year Enrollee

 Jernard Phillips WR 5-10 180 Fr. Miami, Fla./Miami Central HS

Duran Bell, Jr. RB 5-10 170 Fr. Tampa, Fla./Hillsborough HS

Naytron Culpepper DB 6-1 175 Fr. Miami, Fla./Carol City HS

Kevaughn Dingle WR 6-1 185 Fr. Miami Gardens, Fla./Carol City HS

Darrien Grant DL 6-4 220 Fr. Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS

Demetris Harris OL 6-3 280 Fr. Jacksonville, Fla./Robert E. Lee HS

Keirston Johnson LB 6-0 215 Fr. Jacksonville, Fla./Robert E. Lee HS K

Kelvin Kegler DL 6-2 280 Fr. Madison, Fla./Madison County HS

Mekhi LaPointe DB 6-2 180 Fr. Seffner, Fla./Armwood HS

Frederick Lloyd TE 6-5 210 Fr. Tifton, Ga./Tift County HS

Jean Marcellus OL 6-4 285 Fr. Tampa, Fla./Thomas Jefferson HS

Kelvin Pinkney DL 6-3 284 Fr. Sarasota, Fla./Booker HS

Nick Roberts DB 5-11 177 Fr. Orange Park, Fla./Oakleaf HS

Bentlee Sanders DB 5-9 175 Fr. Tampa, Fla./Tampa Catholic HS

Jeremiah Stafford OL 6-4 295 Fr. Citra, Fla./North Marion HS

Jabreel Stephens DL 6-5 225 Fr. Seffner, Fla./Armwood HS

Randall St. Felix WR 6-2 190 Fr. Miami, Fla./Dr. Michael M. Krop HS

Donelle Thomas DB 5-11 175 Fr. Miami, Fla./Carol City HS

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