The University of South Florida offered scholarships to three Manatee High defensive linemen soon after the Hurricanes Class 7A state semifinal victory over Palm Beach Dwyer Gardens last weekend.
Manatee assistant coaches said the offers went to juniors Blake Keller (6-2, 211) and Derrick Calloway (6-1, 302) and sophomore DeMarcas Christmas (6-3. 285). They said there is a chance the fourth member of the 'Canes front four, junior Marquis Dawsey (5-11, 219), could eventually secure an offer.
The players obviously have time to wait, which is good. USF head coach Skip Holtz is on the hot seat after a 5-7 season which saw him win only one Big East Conference game. Quite a few fans are upset that he is third highest paid football coach in the Big East Conference earning $1.7 million with little to show for it.
Ironically, if Holtz does get fired next season there are those at Manatee High who are hoping Willie Taggart might get the job. The former Manatee star quarterback did one of the best turn-around jobs in the country this year at Western Kentucky and is considered a fierce recruiter who gets excellent results.