Tampa (Fla.) Plant defensive back Mazzi Wilkins becomes is the fifteenth verbal commitment to USF for the 2014 class. Wilkins is the sixth defensive back commitment - and his commitment caps off an impressive summer of recruiting for the Bulls.
Mazzi talked with Runningthebulls.com just minutes after he decided to jump on the bus and do something.
"They've been showing the most love from the start," Wilkins said. "I know with the kind of person I am and what it's going to take to get me to the next level which is to play in the NFL or whatever - I felt like the best fit for me is USF. Not just athletically, but academically as well."
"I feel like they're really on my side and they really want me to succeed as well. They have the best opportunity to help me and I feel like they can help me the most."
USF is the home town school for Wilkins, but his decision to commit was much more than that.
"I feel like I can go anywhere and live and experience life - being close to home is one factor but I feel like it's more than that. It's a bigger picture - going somewhere where I can fit in, not just the place that I like - a place that will actually help me in the future and better me."
Wilkins has been close with USF defensive backs coach Ron Cooper for quite some time - and that made a major impact on his recruitment.
"I was really close with Coach Cooper," Wilkins explained. "For one, I knew him when he was coaching for the Bucs because I played football with his son Tristan at Plant. Tristan was one of my really good friends and that was just a spark to our relationship. Once I heard he was a coach at USF - certain things just seemed right. The chemistry just seemed like it was working."
What are Wilkins plans for his senior season - now that he's committed to the Bulls?
"If somebody reaches out to me I'm not going to shut them down, but it's not like I'm going to reach out to them," he replied. "I'm just minding my own business - going to stay faithful to USF."
"I didn't commit to USF just to decommit."
Wilkins will play a role recruiting the Tampa area - including the cornerback opposite of Wilkins - Derrick Baity. Baity received his lone FBS offer from USF back in June at Sling and Shoot.