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#USFNSD16 Blast From the Past: Recapping the 2016 USF Recruiting Class

(Cue the song 'It's Been Awhile' by Staind...)

2016 National Signing Day USF Football

One of the more interesting aspects of college football recruiting is taking a look back at how a class fared during their time at the university. Even though it might be easy to look at a more recent class and gauge how well/how bad it went, it’s only fair to evaluate an entire recruiting class once each player has played their final snap for the South Florida Bulls.

Below, we’ll cover the 2016 recruiting class and give our grade on how the group turned out under former head ball coach Willie Taggart’s final recruiting haul before joining the Oregon Ducks. Let’s get after it!

You can also read some of the article we wrote back when the class came together here: 

Our rating system will go off of three parameters: The Good (equal to 3 points), The Meh (equal to 2 points), and The Bleh (equal to 1 point). After points are totaled up and averaged among the players ranked, we will give our overall score of the recruiting class at the end.

The Good…

WR Darnell Salomon is a great example of a player that you would’ve loved to see finish the remainder of his eligibility with the Bulls. Totaling 966 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns in three seasons at USF, Salomon elected to leave the program before the 2019 season and entered his name in the 2020 NFL Draft. (Score: 3) (Our Article)

In one of the more impressive careers for a cornerback in USF history, CB Mike Hampton was a cornerstone for the Bulls defense from 2017-20, totaling 137 tackles, 2 INTs, and 30 pass breakups. Hampton was a 2018 All-AAC Honorable Mention. (Score: 3)

What a wild ride for WR DeVontres Dukes… From being an afterthought in his first four seasons at USF, Dukes went on to post his best season for the Bulls in 2020. After declaring for the NFL Draft, Dukes was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Denver Broncos. Dukes is currently with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL. (Score: 3)

In six seasons with the Bulls, OL Michael Wiggs accumulated 17 starts with the program as one of the more versatile lineman on the team from 2016-21. His veteran presence (both on and off the field) will be missed… (Score: 3)

The Meh…

To see QB Chris Oladokun have success post-USF was a great thing to see as the Bay Made QB showed flashes of being the right man for the job when he played for the Bulls. Oladokun would go on to start for Samford and South Dakota State, eventually being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 7th round in 2022 NFL Draft. (Score: 2)

The Bleh…

After totaling five tackles in two season with the Bulls, S Craig Watts decided to transfer elsewhere, making stops at Valdosta State, Tusculum, and now Southeastern University. Funny thing is, Watts has been a force to be reckoned with at his first two stops (with SEU as his new team this season), leaving Bulls fans to ask “What if…?” (Score: 1) (Our Article)

I remember the hype surrounding LB Andre Polk during his time at USF and unfortunately, injuries derailed the linebacker from ever being a factor in three seasons for the Bulls. (Score: 1) (Our Article)

Through three seasons with the Bulls, RB Elijah Mack saw 59 total rushing yards with the program, eventually following Sterlin Gilbert to McNeese State where the former Bull racked up 558 rushing yards and 4 TDs for the Cowboys in 2019. Mack was eventually dismissed from the McNeese State program in 2021. (Score: 1) (Our Article)

OL Christion Gainer appeared in one game during his tenure with the Bulls. (Score: 1)

CB Armunz Matthews appeared in one game in 2016 before transferring to the University of Tennessee at Martin. He is looking for his next program to play for. (Score: 1)

DE Frank Johnson appeared in three games over two seasons for the Bulls. (Score: 1)

DE Tramal Ivy never made it on campus. (Score: 1)

CB Josh Dunn never made it on campus. Transferred to UTEP. (Score: 1) (Our Article)

LB Micario Stanley played two seasons for the Bulls and made one tackle. Was moved from LB to DL after putting on nearly 50 pounds in the weight room during his time at USF. Stanley would end up transferring to UAB where he would play end up playing in 22 games. (Score: 1)

DE LaDarrius Jackson was dismissed by the USF program following sexual assault charges. (Score: 1)

OL Logan McDonald was with the Bulls for one season. (Score: 1)

Overall Score for the 2016 Recruiting Class: 1.56

There were too many misses in this class to get it over the 2.0 “Meh” mark. I look at guys like Stanley, Mack, Oladokun, and Watts who found success outside of USF and have to wonder what they could’ve been if things worked out in Tampa. If a guy like Andre Polk stays healthy, what type of career does he have with the program? All in all, this class was a sign of things to come for a USF program that is still trying to get over the hump in the 2022.

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