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USF football recruit class takes more hits
A position shuffle begins as four more signees fall short academically and a fifth leaves the team.
By GREG AUMAN
Published July 11, 2006
TAMPA - More than a third of USF's football recruiting class from February won't make it to campus this fall, with news Monday that four more signees failed to qualify academically and a fifth quit the team.
That brings the total to 10 players who signed with USF but won't play this fall, with eight failing to meet NCAA initial eligibility requirements.
The newest four are safety Jerrell Young of Gibbs High School, offensive lineman Jeremiah Warren of Panama City, defensive end Joe Jackson of Miami and center Kevin McCaskill of Tallahassee.
Dixie Hollins offensive lineman James Boger quit the team after two days of conditioning last week.
The Bulls added a scholarship transfer in former Kansas State center Ryan Schmidt, who missed last season with a broken ankle. Healthy and competing for a starting job with the Wildcats this spring, he said he chose to transfer because of Kansas State's offseason coaching change to Ron Prince.
"When Coach (Jim) Leavitt was being considered for the Kansas State job, I started learning more about him," said Schmidt, a 6-foot-5, 310-pound sophomore from Boca Raton who will sit out the 2006 season under NCAA transfer rules. "I talked with (former coach Bill) Snyder and he said he was a very good coach."
USF's roster, released Monday, also shows that two reserves who had been on scholarship, offensive tackle Jerome Springfield of Lehigh Acres and defensive tackle Paul Uhatafe of Gibbs, are no longer with the team.
McCaskill and Warren, who missed the NCAA requirements by two points on the ACT entrance exam, said they will retake the test this fall with plans to join the Bulls on scholarship in January. Jackson said USF has placed him at Butler Community College in Kansas.
Boger, who was expected to continue a long line of players from Leavitt's alma mater, needed only two days to change his mind.
"He said he didn't want to play football anymore," Dixie Hollins coach Mike Morey said. "I never would have never seen it coming. He didn't miss a day of practice here. It's a shame, a real disappointment."
Of USF's 10 lost signees, five are on the defensive line. Tight end Shane McElwain and walk-on linebacker Treco Bellamy will now play at defensive end.
Former quarterback Carlton Hill, arrested last month on a charge of possession of marijuana, is now officially listed as a receiver.
New walk-ons include former Leto standout J.B. Bailey, a defensive back who last played as a quarterback at Tennessee Tech in 2003.