The brand-new NCAA early signing period for football commenced Wednesday morning with Okeechobee ATH Jajuan Cherry officially became the first USF signee from the Class of 2018.
Port St. Lucie Treasure Coast DE Rashawn Yates became No. 2, shortly after 8 a.m. By 9:15, the school already reported nine signees including Orlando Jones three-star DE Stacy Kirby, who stunned many by signing with USF over UCF.
A onetime FSU commitment, Kirby plans to enroll at USF in January, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
No fewer than a dozen Bulls recruits are expected to sign during the 72-hour period, a majority of them today. USF also is believed to be among three finalists for Tampa Bay Tech QB Michael Penix, who will sign at his school this afternoon. Penix also is considering FSU and Indiana.
A few tidbits on the initial signees:
* Leacock won the Class 2A state weightlifting title (heavyweight) with a combined total of 820 pounds (430 bench, 390 clean-and-jerk), which tied the state record.
* At 6-foot-, 220 pounds, Norris projects as the biggest running back on USF's 2018 roster.
* Kirby was the day's early surprise. He committed to FSU before his offer was pulled by new 'Noles coach Willie Taggart, then stunned many by signing with Taggart's old school. He told the Orlando Sentinel a recent official visit to USF won him over.
* Sainterling played his first three seasons at Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, winning three state titles. As a junior, he helped block for a rushing attack that amassed nearly 3,000 yards.
* Battle totaled more than 6,800 yards (including 5,581 passing yards and 43 TDs) in 40 career high school games. This past season, he helped lead Carver to the Class 5A semifinals, the school's first final four appearance since 1968.
ATH Jajuan Cherry, Okeechobee (5-9, 182)
DE Rashawn Yates, Port St. Lucie Treasure Coast (6-3, 250)
DT Devin Leacock, Port Charlotte (6-3, 270)
TE Chris Carter, Homestead South Dade (6-4, 230)
RB Brian Norris, Chiefland (6-2, 220)
OL Sebastian Sainterling, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna (6-2, 356)
DT Armon Williams, Snellville (Ga.) South Gwinnett (6-3, 285)
QB Jordan McCloud, Plant (6-0, 180)
DE Stacy Kirby, Orlando Jones (6-3, 245)
QB Octavious Battle, Atlanta Carver (6-2, 200)
WR Terrence Horner, Miramar (5-9, 165)
DE Trey Laing, Tallahassee Godby (6-2, 220)
DE Dwayne Boyles, Miami Central (6-3, 225)
RB Johnny Ford, Miami High (5-8, 175)
P Trent Schneider, Santa Barbara (Calif.) CC (6-0, 190)
LB Antonio Grier, Atlanta Mays (6-1, 220)