Bethune-Cookman, FAMU, USF, UCF | National Signing Day

Florida schools also cash in on National Signing Day

Bethune-Cookman, FAMU, USF and UCF all secured commitments from around the state on National Signing Day.

Special to The Miami HeraldFebruary 6, 2013 

UCF SIGNINGS

Player, pos. School Ht., Wt.
Pete DiNovo, QB Tarpon Springs 6-2, 205
Justin Holman, QB Snellville, Ga. 6-4, 205
D.J. Killings, DB Jacksonville 5-11, 180
Mario Mathis, LB Thomasville, Ga. 6-1, 240
Tate Hernly, OL Fort Myers 6-4, 290
Justin McDonald, LB Lauderhill 6-2, 200
William Stanback, ATH Hempstead, N.Y. 6-0, 210
Deondre Barnett, LB Cocoa 6-3, 220
Shaquem Griffin, DB St. Petersburg 6-2, 195
Jake Berman, LB Naples 6-1, 230
Blake Keller, DL Bradenton 6-2, 225
Jordan Prestwood, OL Plant City 6-6, 310
Dontravious Wilson, RB Buford 5-11, 215
Shaquill Griffin, DB St. Petersburg 6-2, 190
Aaron Evans, OL Seffner 6-5, 280
Micah Reed, RB Crestview 5-11, 210
Seyvon Lowry, DL Jacksonville 6-3, 225
Tony Guerad, DL Tampa 6-4, 280
Chequan Burkett, LB Montgomery, Ala. 6-2, 220

USF SIGNINGS

Player, pos. School Ht., Wt
Zach Benjamin, WR Tampa Catholic 6-4, 190
Derrick Calloway, DT Bradenton Manatee 6-1, 300
Hassan Childs, DB Kissimmee Osceola 6-1, 175
Nate Godwin, DB Tampa Freedom 5-11, 185
Jeremi Hall, OT Atlanta Tri-Cities 6-4, 330
Nigel Harris, LB Tampa Hillsborough 6-2, 200
Bruce Hector, DT Tampa Robinson 6-2, 270
Mike Love, DE Clearwater Countryside 6-2, 210
Eric Mayes, DE Sarasota Booker 6-4, 240
Sta’fon McCray, RB Kissimmee Osceola 5-11, 205
Emilio Nadelman, PR Central 5-6, 165
Lamar Robbins, DB Southridge 6-3, 190
Cameron Ruff, OL Tampa Jesuit 6-4, 277
Auggie Sanchez, FB St. Pete. Northeast 6-2, 215
Torrel Saffold, DB K.C. Sumner 5-11, 180
Deadrin Seat, DT Immokalee 6-1, 310
Rahmon Swain, LB Lithonia (Ga.) MLK 6-0, 216
Darius Tice, RB, Miami Northwestern 6-0, 205
Dominique Threatt, OL Tri-Cities 6-2, 295
Johnny Ward, DB Colquitt County 6-0, 165
Mike White, QB University 6-5, 195
Darius Whitty, DB Jacksonville First Coast 6-0, 180
Mitchell Wright, LB Tampa Plant 6-3, 200

Bethune-Cookman SIGNINGS

Name, Pos. School Ht., Wt.
Darian Baker, WR Jacksonville Raines 5-10, 175
Larry Brihm, QB Delray Village Academy 6-0, 210
Frank Brown, WR P.B. Gardens 5-11, 175
Jonathan Cagle, P/K Pensacola Pine Forest 6-3, 175
Jamal Cooper, DL Memphis Kirby 6-4, 280
Jawill Davis, WR Miami American 6-0, 170
Terique Debois, OL Bensalem (Pa.) 6-3, 310
Jamal Dozier, WR Jacksonville Raines 6-1, 160
Andrew Edouard, OL Philadelphia Overbrook 6-0, 290
Atreyu Farrior, ATH Lakeland Kathleen 6-1, 180
Anthony Green, DT Lakeland Lake Gibson 6-1, 245
Uriah Horne, OG Eagles Landing, Ga. 6-3, 260
William Koen III, OL Mountain View, Ga. 6-4, 250
Dazzie Morrs, OG Apopka 6-2, 260
Dre’Sean Nelson, RB Dillard 5-8, 160
Phillip Norman, OG Sebastian River 6-4, 280
Larry Overstreet, RB Lehigh 6-0, 200
Nathaniel Pryor, RB Sebastian River 5-9, 180
Dishawn Ray, DT Wayne County, Ga. 6-4, 305
Bruce Seymore, WR Jacksonville Raines 6-2, 170
Jamaruz Thompkins, RB Tampa Tech 5-10, 185
Devonte Washington, WR Jacksonville Raines 6-2, 180
Shelton Willis, QB Daytona Beach Mainland 6-0, 165

One of the best stories on National Signing Day 2013 took place in Orlando, where UCF announced the signing of safety Shaquem Griffin, who lost his left hand at age four due to a rare medical condition.

Considered a three-star recruit out of St. Petersburg Lakewood, Griffin also set a state record in the triple jump. His twin brother, Shaquill, is another Lakewood safety who signed with UCF.

Elsewhere around the state, two new coaches — Earl Holmes at Florida A&M and Willie Taggart at South Florida — made their first major steps in rebuilding their programs on Wednesday.

Both schools finished with losing records last season. FAMU finished 4-7 and tied for sixth in the MEAC at 4-4. USF went 5-7 and tied for last in the Big East at 1-6

Meanwhile, Bethune-Cookman coach Brian Jenkins and UCF coach George O’Leary just want to keep the momentum going.

Jenkins’ Wildcats have won two MEAC titles in three years. Last season, they went 8-0 in the conference for the first time in school history and have won 13 MEAC games in a row.

UCF (10-4) tied for the second-most wins in school history. The Knights won Conference USA’s East Division title in their final year in the league and also won the Beef ‘O’Brady bowl game.

Here is a closer look around the state:

BETHUNE-COOKMAN

Jenkins signed 23 recruits, including 17 from Florida and three from Georgia. Four of the recruits are junior-college transfers.

The Wildcats graduated two tall and talented receivers in 6-4 Eddie Poole and 6-3 K.J. Stroud but responded by signing six wide receivers, including Jawill Davis of Miami American. However, none of the new targets are taller than 6-2.

Depth at running back, where backup Rodney Scott (675 yards) graduated, was another need. The Wildcats signed four running backs, including Dre’Sean Nelson of Fort Lauderdale Dillard.

Jenkins also loaded up at offensive line (six recruits) and quarterback (two).

FAMU

Holmes, a FAMU graduate who played linebacker in the NFL for a decade, signed 20 recruits, including 15 from Florida. The only player signed from Miami-Dade or Broward is Belen fullback Keonte Cash.

Holmes inherits a Rattlers team which has major needs on offense, including running back and receiver. They finished eighth in the 12-team MEAC in scoring and rushing.

The Rattlers signed one running back — Lemond Buice from Alabama. They also got a pair of tall receivers in 6-5 Victor Love from Orlando and 6-3 Joseph Williams from West Palm Beach.

SOUTH FLORIDA

Taggart was an all-state quarterback at Bradenton Manatee and played for Super Bowl coach Jim Harbaugh at Western Kentucky. Harbaugh was also the best man at his wedding.

Taggart used his Manatee connections to sign defensive tackle Derrick Calloway. USF also got Miami Southridge defensive back Lamar Robbins. Calloway and Robbins are four-star recruits, which is impressive since in-state rival UCF did not sign any player rated as highly as those two.

Taggart’s other South Florida pickups include Fort Lauderdale University quarterback Mike White, Northwestern running back Darius Tice and Central punt returner Emilio Nadelman, rounding out his class to 23.

UCF

UCF signed 19 players, including 14 from Florida and three from Georgia. They loaded up on linebackers with five but did not sign a wide receiver or tight end.

One of those linebackers is Justin McDonald, who is from Boyd Anderson and represents the only South Floridian in this class.

One of the biggest areas of need for UCF is running back, where Latavius Murray graduated after he led the team in rushing (1,106 yards, 5.6 average). Former Hurricanes RB Storm Johnson will return after rushing for 507 yards (4.5 average), and UCF also added two recruits: Micah Reed and Dontravious Wilson and potentially a third in RB/LB William Stanback.

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