| 8 years ago||
With senior starters Tyrone McKenzie and Brouce Mompremier moving on after the 2008 season and little proven depth behind them, linebacker figures to be an area of focus for the Bulls in recruiting. USF has already secured a commitment from Tallahassee North Florida Christian's Chase Griffiths, and two other prospects the staff has in its sights are Largo's Mike Marry and Weston Cypress Bay's Shane Gordon.
Shane Gordon is one of three Division I linebacker prospects at Cypress Bay High School.
Both hold offers from the Bulls and both said they plan to be on campus later this month for the program's Super Bull senior showcase camp.
Marry could help USF break a streak at nearby Largo High. The staff recruited defensive back Leonard Johnson (Iowa State) last year and running back Dexter McCluster (Ole Miss) in 2006, but saw both sign elsewhere. This time around, the Bulls find themselves in competition with Stanford, Ole Miss, Purdue, Boston College, Vanderbilt, UCF and others.
Marry, an impressive student with a 3.75 GPA, named only one school – Stanford – when pressed to mention his favorites. But he did confirm that the Bulls are among the programs he'll continue to take a hard look at.
"I really like the coaches there," he said. "I like the way they play and I think I'd have a chance to play early. I'm just going to try to get to as many camps as possible over the summer to find the best fit."
As a junior, Marry recorded 142 tackles, four sacks, three interceptions and one forced fumble as he helped lead Largo to an undefeated regular season before losing in the Class 5A state semi-finals to St. Thomas Aquinas. Marry earned honorable mention all-state honors and was named the St. Petersburg Times defensive player of the year.
Gordon was just as impressive a season ago. Despite missing games with a nagging back injury, he was All-Broward County and a second team all-state choice in 6A. Gordon is one of a trio of linebackers at Cypress Bay (in addition to Phil Walker and Austin Gamble) who are projected Division I signees.
Gordon currently holds offer from USF, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Ole Miss, Louisville, Mississippi State and Kentucky.
"They're close to home and they're a team on the come up. It usually takes programs decades to get where they have in just a couple of years," Gordon said of the Bulls. "I've never been there before so I'll get a good chance to check them out when I'm there for the Super Bull camp."
Gordon added that USF is recruiting him to play middle linebacker.
"I really play sideline to sideline and they've just said that if I came in there and worked hard I'd have a real good chance," he said.