George O’Leary continues to bring good, raw quarterbacks to UCF.
The Golden Knights have 16 commitments for the 2014 class led by Tyler Harris, a 6-4 pocket passer from Blackshear, Ga. It seems unlikely Harris will be the immediate replacement for Blake Bortles. But the quarterback, one of eight commitments from Georgia, has enrolled early, which will allow him to start learning the offense before summer practices.
Harris verbally committed to Southern Methodist in July before visiting UCF in November. He made two unofficial visits that month, committing right before his second visit, before making his official visit in mid-December. He also received offers from Alabama, Kentucky and Mississippi State.
O’Leary also attracted two junior colleges defenders to help bolster a defense returning four of its five leading tacklers from last season. Former Miami Central defensive end Errol Clarke will return to the state as a linebacker for the Knights after a year at Garden City Community College in Kansas. Clarke is expected to compete for a starting spot at outside linebacker.
Defensive tackle Lance McDowell was ranked as the No. 49 JUCO recruit in the nation by ESPN and turned down offers from Alabama, Miami, Tennessee and USC to go to Orlando. McDowell should make an immediate difference on an undersized defensive line with his 6-5, 300-pound frame.
Versatility was the theme for the Bulls in their 26-man 2014 recruiting class.
USF has four athletes committed to this class including Immokalee’s Jimmy Bayes and Miami Jackson’s Quinton Flowers. The ability to play multiple positions will be critical for a team coming off a 2-10 season in coach Willie Taggert’s first season.
Bayes can play on either side of the ball with his 6-3, 195-pound frame. He played tight end and defensive end at Immokalee and had 78 tackles last season. Bayes would likely fit as an outside linebacker on a defense that gave up 350 yards per game a year ago.
Flowers was a dual-threat quarterback at Jackson, but could be shifted to wide receiver when he gets to Tampa. He is one of 12 offensive players Taggert brings in to a unit that produced only 255 yards per game in 2013.
The Wildcats’s recruiting plans are still in flux as many recruits wait until the last minute to make their decisions.
Bethune-Cookman does have four players verbally committed, three of which hail from the state of Florida. Miramar running back Cameron Rigby is the best of the bunch, turning down an offer from Florida Atlantic to play for the Wildcats. 247Sports.com ranks Rigby as a two-star recruit, the only recruit committed to B-CU who earned a star.
He is one of two offensive players committed to the Daytona Beach school along with Tyler Gildner, a tight end from New Jersey.
Rattlers coach Earl Holmes got a lot of his work done early this season.
There were 11 recruits who officially committed to FAMU during the early signing period, most of them JUCO transfers. The most notable is defensive back James Sample, who played a season at the University of Washington before transferring to American River Community College near Sacramento, Calif. The Rattlers also brought in a quarterback to try and help lead the struggling offense.
The defense was a big issue for the Dolphins last season, but they have yet to address it with this recruiting class.
Monsignor Pace’s Henderson Gray is the only player currently committed to Jacksonville, according to 247Sports.com. The wide receiver will be a good addition to last season’s sixth-ranked passing offense in the country. At 5-10, Gray is not the biggest receiver, but he is quick, having run a 4.48-second 40-yard dash, according to 247Sports.com.
Stetson signed two new transfers and has one verbal commitment as signing day approaches.
Running back Marcus Dixon is the biggest name of the group. The Daytona Beach native spent a year at Snow College where he averaged 4 yards per carry in five games.
The Hatters’ only recruit who hasn’t signed is Nick Bialkowski, a linebacker from Arizona.