USF doubles its 2020 recruiting class in one weekend

The Bulls, who had five non-binding commitments entering Saturday, now have 11.
USF coach Charlie Strong now has 11 non-binding commitments from the Class of 2020. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
USF coach Charlie Strong now has 11 non-binding commitments from the Class of 2020. OCTAVIO JONES | Times
Published June 17

We all know verbal commitments often are more brittle than binding, and the true value of any recruiting class won't be ascertained for years.

But here in mid-June, when futbol is taking precedence over football and USF fans are thirsting for droplets of uplifting news, we’re not inclined to curb the enthusiasm.

The Bulls had a banner recruiting weekend.

By its end, six prospects had given pledges to USF, more than doubling the Class of 2020′s size, from five to 11. As a result, USF’s ’20 class currently is ranked first in the American Athletic Conference by Rivals.

[ MORE USF: Bulls get commitment from 4star offensive tackle ]

In the wake of Saturday’s flurry of activity, when four players announced their commitment to USF, two Deland High teammates ― athlete Taron Keith and defensive back BenTaveyon Knox ― gave their respective pledges to the Bulls on Sunday. Neither has a star ranking from Rivals at this point.

Keith (5-foot-9, 175) pounds, appears to fit the prototype ― sleek if not terribly sizable ― being sought by new offensive coordinator Kerwin Bell. Five of USF’s 11 commitments are listed between 150-175 pounds, with none taller than 6-foot-1.

A dual-threat quarterback at Deland, Keith likely will line up elsewhere in Bell’s system ― if he remains committed. He recently visited Louisville and Kentucky, and told the Daytona Beach News-Journal that his recruitment “is still open to every school.”

He totaled nearly 2,400 yards (including 773 on the ground) and 21 touchdowns as a junior, leading the Bucs to a district title.

[ MORE USF: Baylor, Notre Dame, Mississippi State highlight USF women’s non-league slate ]

Knox is the younger brother of former USF offensive lineman Benjamin Knox, who left school shortly after being charged with shooting at the exterior of a student dorm in the fall of 2015. He received five years’ probation as part of a plea deal and transferred to a junior college before evolving into a starter at Colorado State.

The younger Knox reportedly runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds. He had 22 tackles, including 15 solos, as a junior in 2018.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

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