Tampa, May 8, 2019- Tis’ the season for incoming collegiate prospects; with that also comes with the inevitable reality of departing collegiate seniors moving onto the next chapter. Just like the other 130 division one teams in the FBS, USF is staring the recruiting process in the face, and so far, they’ve collected 19 commits (15 signed, 4 enrolled) in 2019, along with the 26 tallied in last year hunt. Here are two local ballers that have the ability to fill needs on both sides for South Florida and what they’ve proved up to this point in their gridiron careers.
Largo High OT Raymond Collins- The three-star, (stars don’t define a player by any means, it’s just an arguable rating for the recruiting ‘scale’) 6’4″ 289-pound exterior offensive lineman and BCP camper had received offers from UCF, Toledo, Indiana, Michigan, Florida Atlantic, Florida Gators, Cincinnati, Purdue, Southern Miss, and Marshall, before solidifying his spot with ink as a green and gold signee. The 5.16 40-yard dash Collins recorded is QUICK for a maturing lineman, (next-level average is around a 5 flat or so) and is a solid fit for the void that former 6’4″ 295-pound offensive tackle Eric Mayes left; who was an instrumental part in paving the way for South Florida’s nationally ranked total offense (33rd) with 437.7 YPG and incoming senior running back, Jordan Cronkrite’s 1,000-yard rushing season.
In 20 games played according to MaxPreps, Collins was a major key to Largo’s stone wall, totaling 21 pancake blocks, jumped on and recovered 3 fumbles, CAUGHT A PASS for a 67-yard TOUCHDOWN, accumulated 25 total tackles, (7 solo), 3 TFLs, and added a cherry on top with 3.5 sacks for a total loss of 16 yards.
Plant High RB/ATH Leonard Parker- This recruit is a weapon in both backfields; fitting all the criteria of an all-around athlete, and is also a three-star player out of the Bay area. Leonard wore the belt of versatility for the Panthers, posting numbers as a running back, wide receiver and defensive back, and ran a 4.76 forty per ESPN.com. If you’re thinking that’s average for a guy who relies on his legs so heavily, (next-level average is around the 4.4-4.6 range for defensive backs) he still has 4 years left to put on some muscle mass and bring down that time a little bit. USF has the 5’11” 190-pound incoming freshman listed as a safety, which hints at him maybe filling the role of the Bull’s former running back Davion Sutton in combination with fellow Plant alum and cornerback Mazzi Wilkins. Parker earned offers from Toledo, Middle Tennessee, Southern Miss, and Indiana before devoting his future contributions to the Stampede.
With 36 games under his high school belt per MaxPreps data, Parker amassed 558 rushing yards on 94 carries, averaging 5.9 YPC, 8 rushing scores, 1,194 receiving yards on 61 catches, hauling in 15 TDs with his mitts and on special teams, he racked up 400 kickoff-return yards on 15 returns, 201 yards on 10 punt returns, and brought a kickoff return to the house for six. Defensively, the resourceful back tacked on 53 total tackles (35 solo), 1 TFL, 3 INTs, and recovered a fumble.
Vaughan Sixbury, BCP Contributor