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From left, University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft, new football coach Charlie Strong, his wife, Victoria, and daughters Hope and Hailee, and USF Athletic Director Mark Harlan, pose for a picture after an NCAA college football press conference at the Marshall Student Center at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, Dec 15, 2016. (Andres Leiva/Tampa Bay Times via AP)

Football

Charlie Strong recruits 18 signatures during first signing day at South Florida

Posted February 1st, 2017

Many of Texas’ football fans have been grading their new coach’s performance on his first signing day. How, though, did the Longhorns’ old coach do?

South Florida has announced that Charlie Strong signed 18 players on Wednesday. 247Sports rated thirteen of those Bulls-to-be as three-star prospects, and South Florida’s recruiting class was ranked 75th nationally by 247Sports and 67th by Rivals.

Strong, who was fired by Texas on Nov. 26, 2016 and hired two weeks later by South Florida, played a lot of defense during his first recruiting cycle in Tampa. Eleven of the Bulls’ signees were originally committed to Willie Taggart, who is now at Oregon. Strong, however, did secure last-minute pledges from seven players.

Cornerback Naytron Culpepper and receiver Kevaughn Dingle were Strong’s biggest gets, and the duo joined Miami Carol City teammate Donelle Thomas as late additions to Strong’s haul. Jean Marcellus, a three-star offensive lineman from Tampa, was Strong’s highest-rated holdover.

South Florida opens its 2017 season against a San Jose State team that also plays Texas in a non-conference game. The Bulls are coming off a season in which they went 11-2 and occupied the 19th slot in the Associated Press’ final football poll.

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