During spring practice, the Miami Herald, Elite Scouting Services and Friday Night Football Magazine had the opportunity to check out coach Kevin Pettis and the Deland Bulldogs on the Florida Spring recruiting and evaluation tour.
As the players went through their workouts and schools such as the University of Miami, Tennessee and South Carolina were on hand, the one player they had all singled out was safety Mark Joyce.
On Tuesday, the 2009 All Daytona Beach region standout committed to join head coach Jim Leavitt and and the University of South Florida as the Bulls continue to add to and impressive group of players.
"Tremendous pickup for USF," said Josh Newberg of Elite Scouting Services. "Here's an athlete who turned heads last year as a junior and continued to do so during the spring. This is a major addition to the program."
Newberg, who had the chance to watch Joyce, felt the 6-1, 210-pounder, who many felt could play outside linebacker, would be a great addition to a program that had one of its best recruiting years in school history in 2009.
"We had the chance to watch him before his junior year," said Charles Fishbein of ESS. "This is no surprise that a program like USF would get a commitment from him. The Bulls have really worked this state, believing that they can recruit with the best in the country."
Joyce had been pursued by coach Lincoln Riley and Texas Tech as well.
COCOA’S JOHNSON TO PURDUE
While many want to focus on the state championship game last year against Tallahassee Godby, when Cocoa safety E.J. Johnson came up with three interceptions in the win, many are forgetting that this talented football player had a tremendous season as well, coming up with 8 interceptions and 56 tackles.
On Tuesday, the 6-1, 175-pounder announced that he would be attending Purdue University and will enter with other Boilermakers in the Class of 2010.
Johnson chose Purdue over Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State and East Carolina.
Purdue and head coach Danny Hope, a one-time Miami Killian High product, continues to recruit the state of Florida with former FAU assistant coach Gary Nord leading the charge in the Sunshine State.
Have a commitment to announce. Just e-mail Larry Blustein with the information and a contact name and number and we will get something up on our statewide list. Whether it's D1 or junior college, we want to let everyone know about it. LBlustein@miamiherald.com.
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