USF’s recruiting has taken a different direction under first year Head Coach Willie Taggart. Taggart & Co. have continued to raid talent rich Florida, loading the class of 2014 with playmakers. The Bulls currently hold commitments from 18 players from the Sunshine State, 20 if Jamie Byrd (Lakewood) and Eric Mayes (Sarasota-Booker) are included following stints in JUCO. The Class of 2014, aptly dubbed the #DreamTeam, is more than just another group with a catchy nickname. When this group laces up they mean business & the 2013 stats provide all necessary backing to silence naysayers.
USF’s Class of 2014 commits lined the 2013 Florida All-State rosters. Sarasota-Booker RB Marlon Mack (5A), Tampa-Sickles OT Zach Hudson (7A) and Tarpon Springs-East Lake DB Devin Abraham (7A) were all first-team all-state selections. The second-team included Bradenton-Manatee OL Mike Galati (8A), Niceville ATH Tyre McCants (7A), Miami-Central OL Michael Smith (6A) & Jefferson LB Juwaun Brown (6A). Immokalee LB Jimmy Bayes (5A) and 2015 Orlando-Lake Nona WR Deondre Farrier (7A) made the third-team, while Tampa Bay Tech standout DB Tajee Fullwood (7A) earned an honorable mention nod. The teams, which can be found here, were selected via state-wide ballots comprised of reporters and newspaper editors.
#DreamTeam: Primetime Playmakers
Juwuan Brown starred for the Dragons at outside linebacker in 2013. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound ball of versatility owned the sidelines, recording 77 tackles (30 solo), 31 TFL, 12 sacks and a 70-yard interception for a touchdown.
USF bound 🙌👌😆😁😏👍😭😰😋😝😊 — Tyre’ D. McCants (@EagleGang7) January 17, 2014
Tyre McCants, a human highlight reel ATH from Niceville High School, finished his final High School season with 818 receiving yards, 560 rushing yards, 540 return yards and punched in 18 total TDs. The Bulls’ coaching staff plans to use McCants’ versatility at WR to provide Soph. QB Mike White with a versatile weapon.
Devin Abraham trolled his opponents this season, racking up 74 total tackles (45 solo), six interceptions, five blocked field goals, two blocked punts, a forced fumble & a fumble recovery. Abraham was an early enrollee & is already attending classes at USF.
Michael Galati, a beast at the line of scrimmage, anchored the Bradenton-Manatee offensive line that averaged 322 rushing yards/game. The Manatee Hurricanes finished 2013 with 3,874 rushing yards and 47 TDs. #BeastMode
At 6-foot-3, 295-pounds, Miami (Fla.) Central offensive lineman and USF commit, Michael Smith, will join Galati to add needed size & athleticism upfront next season for the Bulls.
A stellar performance in the Semper Fi All-American game in California earned Immokalee LB Jimmy Bayes a 5A 3rd-team all-state nod. Mr. 239 blasted his way to 78 total tackles, 8.5 TFL, six forced fumbles, a sack & a blocked field goal. Bayes will likely be a big hitter at the Safety position for the Bulls.
Tajee Fullwood, an explosive ATH, hauled in 21 catches for 356-yards & two TDs for Tampa Bay Tech’s offense in 2013. Fullwood also racked up 23 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles & two fumble recoveries for the defense. Fullwood is rumored to be seriously considering Cincinnati following his Jan. 24th Official Visit. Let’s hope we can hold onto this dynamic Tampa playmaker.
Lehigh Acres-East Lee County RB/DB Kendall Sawyer recorded 28 tackles (20 solo), three blocked FGs, nine passes defended, forced a fumble & snagged two interceptions on defense during his Senior season. Sawyer also posted 239 rushing yards on 59 carries (4.05 yds./carry) while also hauling in 22 receptions for 374-yards. (MaxPreps)
Miami-Jackson QB Quinton Flowers is an absolute animal on the gridiron. Flowers’ highlight reel speaks for itself.
Fort Myers-Dunbar & 2014 ESPN300 #254 WR Ryeshene Bronson hauled in 19 receptions for 272-yards and four TDs during his Senior season. The talented 6’3 wide-out is a big get for Coach Taggart’s crew of Bullies, possessing much needed elite-homerun speed.
Sarasota-Booker RB Marlon Mack scorched opponents for 1,527-yards on the ground via 186 touches (8.21 yds./carry) en route to breaking the plane 19-times during the 2013 season. Under new head coach Johnnie Jones, Sarasota-Booker turned their football image around & reached the second round of the 2013 5A State Playoffs. The Booker Tornadoes fell to the Hardee Wildcats 20-7. Link: Playoffs Week 2: Booker at Hardee
“Marlon Mack has been a stellar running back, but he plays both ways. He is a defensive back too, and that position is preferable. “I would rather play DB; it comes to me more easy. I am a good running back, but I play DB,” says Mack.” Link
Plenty of time, most tend to forget after National Signing Day…. sort of..
1. Immokalee RB D’Ernest Johnson slashed for 744 rushing yards on 122 touches (6.1 yds./carry), scoring five TDs. Hopefully @Slow_Grind_239 commits to USF soon. #GetOnTheBus
2. Bradenton-Manatee RB Trevon Walters earned second-team all-state (8A) honors. The Bradenton-Manatee northern light gutted opposing defenses for 1,696-yards on 218 work-hoarse carries. Walters is nothing short of explosive & posted 17 TDs in 2013.
3. Lynn Haven-Mosley WR Nat Dixon second-team all-state (5A)
Chillin at boston college this place is beautiful💯! — Nat Dixon (@DixonNat) January 17, 2014
4. Miami-Northwestern WR JoJo Robinson
5. Tampa-Jesuit OLB Vincent Jackson
6. Chicago- Simeon Learning Academy OT Denzel Ward
Coach G from South Florida came through today! — Denzel Ward (@DWard75_) January 16, 2014
7. Lakeland-Victory Christian Academy DT Chris Nelson
8. Tampa-Sickles LB Josh Black first-team all-state (7A)
Rodney Adams Transfers in from Toledo
WR Coach Ron Dugans. Former Louisville wide receivers coach Ron Dugans will join the Bulls coaching staff in the same position and that current USF wide receivers coach David Reaves will take over duties as the Bulls’ quarterbacks coach.
A former standout receiver at Florida State (1995-1999), Dugans has spent the last four seasons as wide receivers coach at Louisville (2010-13). Dugans spent five years playing in the NFL before joining the coaching ranks and brings nine years of collegiate coaching experience to USF. Prior to his stint at Louisville, Dugans coached wide receivers at Georgia Southern (2007-09) for three seasons. Dugans served as a coaching assistant with the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals during the 2007 season. From 2005-2007 he coached at his alma mater Florida State under Bobby Bowden.
Dugans was drafted in the third round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals and spent five years in the National Football League. He spent his first four seasons with the Bengals and one season with the Houston Texans.
A member of the Florida State program from 1995-99, Dugans won a National Championship his senior year and played wide receiver opposite fellow NFL Draft pick Peter Warrick. Dugans holds the distinction of having played in three national title games with the Seminoles, recording a stellar 45-4 record during his playing career.
A native of Tallahassee, Fla., Dugans played his first two seasons at FSU before taking a medical redshirt during the 1997 campaign. He returned as a starting wide receiver his final two years in 1998-99 and posted 105 receptions for 1,520 yards and seven touchdowns on his career. He caught six passes for 135 yards in the 1999 Fiesta Bowl BCS National Championship Game vs. Tennessee and tallied five receptions for 99 yards and two touchdowns in the 2000 Sugar Bowl BCS National Championship Game victory over Virginia Tech.
OC/OL Coach Paul Wulff. Paul Wulff named new offensive coordinator/offensive line coach on the Bulls’ coaching staff for 2014. Wulff has spent the last two seasons serving as a senior offensive assistant with the San Francisco 49ers and head coach Jim Harbaugh. Wulff brings 12 years of experience as a collegiate head coach to USF, serving stints at Washington State University (2008-11) and Eastern Washington University (2000-2007), and more than 25 years of collegiate coaching experience.
In Wulff’s four seasons leading the Washington State program, the Cougars’ offensive production improved in each season. In his final season of 2011, WSU ranked ninth in the FBS in passing offense (322.25 ypg) and 33rd in total offense (422.42 ypg). Prior to his time at Washington State, Wulff spent 15 seasons (1993-2007) at Eastern Washington University, eight of those as head coach. Named head coach of the Eagles program in 2000, he successfully led the FCS program from 2000-07. Wulff was honored as the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year three times (2001, 2004 and 2005) and was named a finalist for National Coach of the Year honors in 2004 and 2007. In his eight seasons at the helm, Wulff led EWU to a 53-40 record, two Big Sky Conference Co-Championships (2004 and 2005) and three appearances in the NCAA FCS playoffs (2004, 2005 and 2007). Wulff’s 2004 and 2005 EWU teams both finished the year ranked fourth in the FCS in total offense.
Wulff served as the offensive coordinator/line/strength coach at EWU from 1998-99 and the Eagles offensive line/strength coach from 1994-97. He began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant/offensive line coach at EWU, in 1993. A standout offensive lineman at Washington State, Wulff was a four-year letterman (1985-89) and earned second-team All-Pac 10 and honorable mention All-America honors from The Sporting News as a senior in 1989.
Jim Harbaugh – Head coach San Francisco 49ers
“Coach Wulff is a great coach, fine person and a good friend who has the respect and appreciation of all with the San Francisco 49ers organization. We wish Paul, Sherry and family great success and happiness at the University of South Florida. Coach Taggart and the USF family are never too far from our thoughts. Go Bulls!”
1993: Eastern Washington (Volunteer Assistant)
1994-97: Eastern Washington (Offensive Line/Strength Coach)
1998-99: Eastern Washington (Offensive Coordinator)
2000-07: Eastern Washington (Head Coach)
2008-11: Washington State (Head Coach)
2012-13: San Francisco 49ers (Senior Offensive Assistant)