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February 12, 2013

Staff Grades: 2013 Signing Class

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First year head coach Willie Taggart made quite a splash with his first signing class at USF. The Bulls brought in 23 players; 2 four stars, 15 three stars and 6 two stars. With limited time and and incomplete staff, Coach Taggart was able to put together the 3rd best recruiting class in the Big East and 46th ranked class in the country, by Rivals.com. The Manatee native was able to mine a gem out of his old high school, flipping Manatee High School DT Derrick Calloway away from Louisville. Taggart and company impressed further by locking up Southridge High School (Miami, Fla.) product Lamar Robbins for the Bulls. The recruiting by Taggart and his staff put USF in the position for some of the best talent in the country; competing, not only with the top schools in the state, but in the nation. Bulls Nation is reinvigorated; going from despair and devastation after a 3-9 season to excited and anticipatory for the future ahead.

Although the signing period is not over (the Bulls have five scholarships left to work with), the dust has settled a bit, giving the Running the Bulls Staff an opportunity to grade out USF"s 2013 signing class. We had Josh Appel, Cassandra Khan and Richard Escobar each submit their grades for Taggart's class. Let's take a look at what the staff thought of who Taggart brought in:

The Staff Grades
Josh Appel | Running the Bulls Senior Writer| Grade: A-

Josh's Breakdown: I give Willie Taggart and his staff an A- for this recruiting class. Normally the grade wouldn't be that high because how could you give that good of a grade to a class that's ranked middle of the pack in the country? But for only a month and a half on the job, Taggart and co. Have done an exceptional job. Their class finished third in the Big East. They were able to flip 4-star DT Derrick Calloway from Louisville and hold off another from the Cardinals in 4-star DB Lamar Robbins. Taggart might have found his QB of the future in Mike White, and added two running backs that could be real sleepers in this recruiting class. The staff was able to address arguably it's weakest unit from last season, by adding six defensive backs. We're there some that got away? Sure. But with a full year of recruiting to work with, I doubt that happens again. The future of recruiting at USF looks a lot brighter than it did just a few short months ago.

Follow Josh on Twitter: @JoshAppel

Cassandra Khan | Running the Bulls Staff Writer| Grade: B+-

Cassandra's Breakdown: Willie Taggart's first signing class with the Bulls was pretty solid. Considering he only had a few months to build relationships with recruits, and the fact that for a long period he didn't have a whole staff one could argue that this signing class was a great success. Signings like Lamar Robbins, Deadrin Senat, and Derrick Calloway were huge. That being said, the only reason I docked off was because it was an overwhelmingly heavy defensive class. Only five pick-ups on the offense, and it hurt to see a talented tight end like Travis Johnson, who for a long time was thought to be a lock for USF, leave the area for Cincinnati. Time will really tell how this class truly fairs, but I think WT has done a great job laying the groundwork, and I expect an even better class next year..

Follow Cassandra on Twitter: @SportsCass5

Richard Escobar | Running the Bulls Staff Writer| Grade: B-

Richard's Breakdown: For the limited time Coach Taggart and his staff had, they definitely made the most of it. Taggart knew what the weakness was last season, and he addressed it. That glaring issue was the secondary. With the signing of 6 DB's this class, Taggart made sure he added ball hawks to the roster, including 4-star recruit Lamar Robbins. Taggart and his staff did a great job of persuading 4-star DT Derrick Calloway to change his mind and come to USF. The one thing missing from this class was the lack of RB's. With the departure of Demetris Murray and Lindsey Lamar, USF doesn't have a RB with much experience running at the college level.

Follow Richard on Twitter: @EscoRichard




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