2013: The Taggart Takeover

Largo LB Frankie Hernandez Verbally Commits to USF

Largo LB Frankie Hernandez Verbally Commits to USF | by Ryan Bass | SoFloBulls.com |

Largo linebacker Frankie Hernandez is joining his teammate, Jarvis Stewart, in USF’s 2014 recruiting class.

The rising senior tweeted Tuesday afternoon he’s joining the Bulls, choosing them over offers from UCF, Kentucky and LSU, among others. Stewart committed to the Bulls last week, and both talked about playing for the program together.

“Oh yeah, we talked about it a lot,” Hernandez said in a phone conversation with BHSN. “Since our visit, that’s all we talked about. His mom was there, but my mom had to work. I didn’t want to do it (commit) without my mom, so I talked to her…and I just decided to commit.”

Hernandez racked up 99 total tackles, 17 tackles for loss, two interceptions and a sack for the 11-1 Packers last season as a junior.

“He’s a kid that’s going to make an instant impact at USF, instant,” Largo defensive coordinator Jeremy Frioud said of Hernandez. “He’s one of the most natural football players I’ve ever coached, and he’s definitely one of the toughest football players I’ve ever coached.”

USF head coach Willie Taggart is like family to Hernandez. But, really.

“Me and coach Taggart are real cool,” Hernandez said. “His uncle and my aunt are married, so I always knew about coach Taggart, but I never got to meet him because he was at Western Kentucky. He came to USF and he offered me and Jarvis…we came up there and we felt like we were at home.”

“They made a plan for us, for our grades and stuff, and made us feel like we were at home.”

Frioud is very familiar with Taggart. His first year coaching at Western Kentucky on the defensive scout team was Frioud’s first year playing for the Hilltoppers. Now, two of Frioud’s players will be staying close to home to play their college ball.

“I think it’s really cool, because I’ll be able to go out and watch them on my Saturdays,” Frioud said. “We’ve been coaching these kids since they were little, and it’s really cool to see who they’ve become. It’s really cool to see them playing for a guy that actually coached me too, when I was in college.”

How good was Hernandez, the 6-foot, 180-pound linebacker, as a junior?

“The thing that’s so impressive about those 99 tackles is that our defense was never on the field, because we 3-and-outed everybody,” Frioud said. “He still managed to get 99 tackles…he’s going to have an immediate impact at USF.”

By Ryan Bass, Bright House Sports Network

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