USF Defense Gets A Boost With 2017 Signing Class

USF Signs 10 Players On Defensive Side Of Ball

National Signing Day has come to an end and USF can officially give a big sigh of relief, because their 2017 recruiting class did not disappoint.

Having a defensive-minded coach like Charlie Strong come to the Bay Area was a blessing in disguise for the Bulls as they signed 10 players to their defense today. A defense that definitely needed some help and Strong was fully aware of that.

“We signed 10 players on defense and that was an area that we needed to improve on. We have to play much better defense than what we played last season,” Strong said during a press conference recapping Signing Day.

Among those added to the defense were three-star cornerbacks Naytron Culpepper and Donelle Thomas, both from Miami Carol City.


Culpepper is a “big corner, safety, has really great height,” said Strong. “You want six foot guys because you want to match up with big receivers on the outside.”


The Bulls signed five defensive backs, four defensive linemen and one linebacker. They signed eight players to the offense, three wide receivers, three offensive linemen, one running back and one tight end.

“I’m really excited about the class we have, a very solid class,” Strong said. “We were able to meet our needs. I have to congratulate our coaches for the jobs they did in the short period of time that they had. The work they did was relentless. What were able to do is just solidify the class that had already committed to us. We wanted to make sure they made that commitment to the University of South Florida and that’s the reason why we stayed true to our commitment to them. Then our coaches were able to go out and find other players.”

USF landed a trio of three-star recruits from Carol City High School (Miami) the Florida State Class 6A state champion. Culpepper, Thomas and wide receiver Kevaughn Dingle announced their commitments live on CBS Sports Network today.

Five of the signees came from the Miami area, which is current quarterback Quinton Flower’s hometown.

“When you talk about the Miami area Quinton Flowers is a good selling point for us because they see the success that he’s had here,” said Strong.


Besides Miami, USF hit the Bay Area hard as well bringing in seven Bay Area players. USF’s total of Bay Area signees in the last four years is now 29. They also landed one out-of-state player, three-star tight end Fredrick Lloyd of Tifton, GA.


According to 247Sports, USF’s 2017 signing class had 13 three-star recruits and ranked in the top half of the American Athletic Conference.

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Allison Leslie is a University of South Florida graduate with a bachelors degree in Mass Communications. She joined Genesis in 2016. With a passion for sports, Allison has interned with 620 WDAE, Pewter Report, Trifecta Team: St. Petersburg Bowl, Bullscast, and many other publications. Being a native to the Bay Area, she has followed and supported Tampa Bay teams her whole life.