No team in college football has been hotter on the recruiting trail than USF over the past month. With a staggering 11 commitments in July alone, the Bulls’ program added three commitments on Wednesday alone, including highly coveted four-star athlete Bruce Judson.
USF continued its hot streak on Tuesday, as four-star junior recruit Jermaine Eskridge, a native of the Sunshine State, issued his verbal commitment as well.
Go bulls???????????????????????? pic.twitter.com/xtpcEX0Kxy
— EJ2 (@Iam_Jermaine4) July 28, 2016
Today’s U touched base with Eskridge on the eve of what turned out to be his commitment day, and the No. 6 athlete in the country, according to 247Sports.com ,spoke the state of his recruitment.
“Recruitment is great,” Eskridge said. “I love it. It’s fun.”
Adding on to that statement, Eskridge mentioned that he currently hears from Ohio State, Michigan, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Florida, Florida State, Alabama and LSU the most. Eskridge holds 48 Division-I scholarships at the moment, including offers from all of the schools he named, and he is clearly one of the most sought after recruits of the 2018 cycle.
What stands out about his view of recruitment is that he planned on leaving the state of Florida for college.
“See, I definitely want to get out of the state,” Eskridge said. “I’m not staying in Florida. That’s one thing I have in mind. What’s important is academic wise and education wise. The second is the coaching staff. How long are they going to be coaching there? I also want to see the players overall. How do I fit into the program and how many recruits do they have playing my position? So, that’s what I want in a school.”
With those questions at the forefront of his mind, Eskridge still approached his visit to USF, which occurred Thursday afternoon, with an open mind. The coaching staff at USF is relatively new, so he took that into account when visiting the Bulls’ campus as well. Despite his initial desire to leave Florida, Eskridge broke down what USF would have to show him in order to become a major player in his recruitment.
“Really, I’d say they can show me I need to stay in the Tampa area by showing me how I could fit into their scheme on offense,” Eskridge said. “They can tell me this school is really made for me and why.”
Eskridge also touched on what specific areas he would be looking at during his trip to campus.
“I’m looking for, because they’ve got a new coaching staff a little bit, I’m going to be looking at the coaches there,” he said. “USF is getting a lot of commits, so they are on fire right now. I want to see the school. I’ve been to USF, but I haven’t seen the school overall. I want to see how it looks in the locker room and how the players are.”
Judging by his prompt commitment, Eskridge experienced an enjoyable visit to USF that appears to have checked all the boxes for what he is looking at in a school.
Standing at 6-foot-3 and 185-pounds, a lot of programs are looking at Eskridge at the wide receiver position, but the majority of schools see him as an athlete. This upcoming season at Jefferson High School, the four-star recruit is slated to see time at both the X and Z receiver positions, running back and cornerback.
“A lot of schools offered me as an athlete, so I see myself playing like Tony Lippett, who just went to Michigan State,” Eskridge said. “I can see myself playing corner and receiver at the next level. He got drafted as a corner.”
Eksridge is planning to gain over 1,000 receiving yards, between 15 and 17 touchdowns, 400 rushing yards, several interceptions and “a lot” of tackles this fall, which is no small feat. However, Eskridge says he plays like Julio Jones on offense and Jalen Ramsey on defense, so he has the confidence and ability to reach those benchmarks.
Eskridge is USF’s first commit in the 2018 class, which shoots it to the No. 22 position overall, according to 247Sports.com.