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Recruit who left FSU track team signs with USF football

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National Signing Day was three weeks ago, but the process of recruits putting their Herbie Hancocks on National Letters of Intent continues.

South Florida has announced that Charlie Strong has added Chauncy Smart to the Bulls’ 2017 recruiting class. Smart had originally signed with the Florida State track team last fall, but was given a release from that scholarship in order to pursue a career in college football.

Smart’s signing pushes Strong’s first class with the program, which is ranked 77th by 247Sports.com, to 19 members strong. 14 of those signees, including Smart, were rated as three-star recruits.

The new member of the Bulls will certainly bring some speed to the football table. From the release:

Smart was ranked No. 1 in Florida and No. 3 nationally at 100 meters among the class of 2017. He played football for three seasons at Auburndale Senior High School, seeing action at running back and cornerback, before taking off his senior year to focus on track. He clocked a school record of 10.3 in the 100 meters and won county, district and regional sprint titles. He also finished second in the 100 meters at the 2016 FHSAA 3A State Championships and third at the national Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle, Wash.

It’s unclear at which position, or even which side of the ball on which Smart will start.

Charlie Strong completes first USF coaching staff

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Just a little over two months after taking over at South Florida, Charlie Strong has put the finishing touches on the coaching staff that will help him through his first season at the AAC football program.

USF confirmed Thursday that Strong has filled his last two openings with the hirings of Damon Cogdell and Sean Cronin.  The former will be responsible for defensive ends, the latter defensive tackles.

Cronin was a graduate assistant from 2006-08 at Florida, where Strong was the Gators’ defensive coordinator.  His first full-time job at the FBS level was at Temple as defensive line coach from 2011-12.  From 2013-16, he coached ends at Marshall.

“Sean has been winner everywhere he’s been,” Strong said in a statement. “He has been a part of four national championship winning teams and several other high achieving teams over the course of his career. I look forward to working with Sean again and think he will be an excellent mentor and coach four our players.”

After spending 2014-15 as defensive line coach at West Virginia, Cogdell was an assistant coach at a South Florida high school in 2016.  Cogdell was the defensive coordinator at Miramar High School from 2002-07, adding the title of head coach from 2008-13.

The WVU job has been his only one at the FBS level.

“We are excited to welcome Damon to our USF staff,” the coach said. “He has a long history of coaching success in the state of Florida and has produced some of the best high school defenses in the state. He is a former collegiate linebacker and coach with strong ties in the state and experience developing and mentoring student-athletes.”

Medical waiver gives RB Darius Tice another year at USF

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In his first season at South Florida, Charlie Strong will indeed have a very experienced presence patrolling his Bulls backfield.

USF officials confirmed Wednesday that Darius Tice has been granted a medical hardship waiver by the NCAA and will be eligible to play again in 2017.  This will be the running back’s final season of eligibility.

Tice sustained what turned out to be a season-ending ankle injury in a Week 4 loss to Florida State.  Because he didn’t play in more than 30 percent of USF’s games — the NCAA rounds up in such instances — and none of those games came in the second half of the season, the decision to grant the request for a waiver was not much of  surprise.

The past four seasons, Tice has run for 874 yards and five touchdowns on 193 carries.  His best year came in 2015 when he was third on the team with 460 yards and four touchdowns.  He’s also caught 16 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown.

The return of Tice is particularly good news as USF’s leading rusher the past three seasons, Marlon Mack, opted to give up his final season of eligibility for early entry into the 2017 NFL draft.

Former Wisconsin, USF safety Austin Hudson to give Oregon State a try

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Austin Hudson has become the latest to hit the FBS trifecta.

In March of 2015, Hudson decided to leave his original college football home of Wisconsin, ultimately ending up at South Florida.  Monday, the defensive back confirmed via Twitter that he has decided to leave USF and continue his collegiate playing career at Oregon State.

Scheduled to graduate in May from USF, Hudson would be eligible to play immediately at the Left Coast OSU in 2017.

Rivals.com had Hudson rated as a two-star member of Wisconsin’s 2014 recruiting class. His head coach that first season? Gary Andersen, Oregon State’s current head coach.

As a true freshman in 2014, Hudson played in all 14 games for the Badgers. After sitting out the 2015 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, the safety played in 11 games for the Bulls in 2016.

Coming to Corvallis, Hudson will have two years of eligibility remaining.

USF officially announces addition of WVU assistant

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West Virginia’s loss is officially South Florida’s gain.

A couple of days after the reports first surfaced, USF announced in a press release Tuesday that Danny “Blue” Adams has been hired as part of Charlie Strong‘s first football staff with the program.  Adams will serve as defensive backs coach and replace Corey Bell, who left for a job at Florida earlier this month.

Last season was Adams’ first at WVU as defensive backs coach, and first at the FBS level.

“Blue coached one of the best cornerbacks in the country last season and has great experience both on the collegiate and professional level as a player and a coach,” Strong said in a statement. “He is a Miami native with great ties in the state of Florida and will be an excellent addition to our staff at USF.”

Prior to his brief stint in Morgantown, Adams spent four seasons with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.  He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Purdue in 2010 before moving on the Northern Iowa thew following season in his first year as a full-time on-field assistant.