- Dave Hooker, Reporter, RecruitingNation
Here's a look at how the Big East recruiting classes are shaping up. Our scouts provided the rankings based on not only the talent of each class, but also the needs filled. We also offer a breakdown of the players each class has and whom the programs are still targeting, but remember, it's still way early, and plenty can -- and will -- change between now and national signing day.
Commits: 15 | ESPN 150: 1 | ESPN 300: 1 | Class rankings: NR
Who they have: Despite lesser facilities and even less tradition, South Florida continues to win its fair share of battles in the Sunshine State. Perhaps the Bulls don't regularly beat out Florida, Florida State and Miami for top prospects, but they do beat out schools from out of state that try to pilfer players from Florida. Four-star quarterback Asiantii Woulard from Winter Park (Fla.) High School is a prime example. The ESPN 150 prospect had scholarship offers from all over the Eastern seaboard but stuck with the Bulls. Running back Jojo Kemp is another. The standout from DeLand (Fla.) HS had scholarship offers from SEC and Big 12 schools but wanted to be a Bull. For yet another example, look to receiver Xavier Richardson from Immokalee (Fla.) HS, who turned down South Carolina to stay in-state. With improving facilities, a big city and a beach nearby, South Florida has plenty to offer. Whether that's enough to beat out the big three schools in Florida regularly remains to be seen, but, as of now, they're in the discussion for top prospects and that speaks volumes.
Who they want: South Florida is in a unique position in the Big East, as it is surrounded by more talent than any of its conference brethren. That allows the school to go after a couple of long shots nearby. Stacy Coley and Denver Kirkland fit the bill. Coley, a four-star receiver from Oakland Park (Fla.) Northeast, has scholarship offers from Florida, Florida, State, Georgia and Tennessee. Kirkland, an offensive lineman from Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington, has offers from Auburn, Florida State and Southern California. Clearly, either -- or both -- would be huge for the Bulls. Perhaps more realistically are four other in-state prospects: offensive lineman Shawn Curtis from Orlando (Fla.) Olympia, running back Fred Coppet from Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas, linebacker Nigel Harris from Tampa (Fla.) Hillsborough and defensive back Cortez Leonard from LaGrange (Ga.) Troup. That group might not have the same sizzle as Coley or Kirkland, but they'd be significant pickups nonetheless.
Here's a look at how the Big East recruiting classes are shaping up. We rank them based on not only the talent of the class, but also the needs filled. But plenty can -- and will -- change between now and national signing day.