Charlie Strong has made the First Coast a priority.

 

USF’s new coach added three commitments from area players over the past two days with pledges from Lee defensive backs Vincent Davis and Eugene Bowman IV, and Ribault corner/receiver Devon Matthews. All three players announced their commitments on Twitter.

Among the 13 players from Northeast Florida who have committed to Football Bowl Subdivision programs in the Class of 2018, four are pledged to USF. Bartram Trail offensive lineman Brad Cecil was the first local to commit to the Bulls in this cycle.

Bowman (6-1, 160) is the top recruit among the three recent commits, drawing a three-star grade from 247 Sports and Scout, and a two-star from Rivals. Matthews (6-1, 180) is rated by two of the four major recruiting services, a three-star in the 247 Sports Composite, and a two-star by Rivals. Davis (5-9, 170) is a three-star by Rivals.

USF has done well in Jacksonville, particularly at Lee, since Strong was hired last December. The Bulls had a strong haul out of the area in the Class of 2017, signing Oakleaf corner Nick Roberts, and two Generals — linebacker Keirston Johnson and offensive guard Demetris Harris. In the five classes before that, one under Skip Holtz and four under Willie Taggart, USF signed just two area players — First Coast corner Darius Whitty and Trinity corner/receiver Chris Barr.

Area commitment list

A look at 35 of the area’s top players in the Class of 2018 and where they have committed. Commitments are non-binding until players sign financial-aid papers or national letters of intent.

Pos., Player, Ht, Wt, School, Commitment

DE, Johnny, Bogle, 6-2, 250, Nease, ECU

CB, Eugene Bowman IV, 6-1, 160, Lee, USF

QB, Carter Bradley, 6-3, 195, Providence, Uncommitted

OL, Brad Cecil, 6-4, 275, Bartram, USF

WR/S, Kenneth Channelle, 5-11, 160, Ribault, Uncommitted

DB, Chamarri Conner, 6-0, 185, Trinity , Va. Tech

S, Vincent Davis, 5-9, 170, Lee, USF

DE, Parker Devine, 6-4, 250, Bartram, Uncommitted

QB, Joey Gatewood, 6-4, 225, Bartram, Auburn

LB, Eriq Gilyard, 5-11, 220, Trinity, Uncommitted

OG, Hamilton Hawthorne, 6-2, 300, Sandalwood, Uncommitted

OL, Orlando Heggs, 6-3, 290, Bolles, Uncommitted

OL, Cooper Hodges, 6-4, 280, Baker Co., App State

LB, Dequan Jackson, 6-2, 200, Lee, Uncommitted

DB, Tyreke Johnson, 6-2, 180, Trinity, Uncommitted

OL, Doug Johnson, 6-5, 325, Fort White, Uncommitted

LB, Ernest Jones, 6-2, 205, Ware County, South Carolina

ATH, Derrick Jones, 5-9, 165, Lee, Uncommitted

RB, Raynell Killian, 5-10, 170, Raines, Uncommitted

OL, Nick Lewis, 6-9, 350, Bolles, Uncommitted

TE, Will Mallory, 6-5, 210, Providence, Miami

LB, Gavin Marts, 5-10, 200, Harvest, Uncommitted

DB/WR, Devon Matthews, 6-1, 180, Ribault, USF

DE, Rushton Roberts, 6-4, 220, Bolles, Colorado State

DE, Myjai Sanders, 6-4, 220, Raines, Uncommitted

CB, Dylan Schofield, 6-2, 175, Raines, Uncommitted

TE, Zach Sheffer, 6-3, 230, Nease, LSU

LB, Ryan Smenda, 6-1, 205, Fleming, Wake Forest

QB, Riley Smith, 6-4, 200, Bartram, Uncommitted

RB, Caleb Steward, 5-11, 200, White, Va. Tech

OT, Jalynn Strickland, 6-6, 295, Ware County, NC State

RB, Charles Strong, 6-1, 225, Union Co., FSU

WR, George Webb, 5-9, 170, Raines, Uncommitted

WR/S, JT Wood, 6-2, 205, Creekside, Liberty

TE , Mason Yost, 6-4, 235, Bolles, Liberty