There were a lot of colleges in pursuit of Citra North Marion tight end Sean Price.
The No. 5-ranked tight end in the country by Rivals.com, was getting interest from schools like Tennessee, Arkansas were in the picture, and Miami was a big player for the 6-3½ 238-pounder with 30-plus offers.
He had been to a Miami camp and was starting to consider Miami a top contender for his services.
“Miami, they’re great,” Price said. “I just don’t have a lot of contact with them anymore and so I’m not really that close with them. At first I felt a comfortable vibe with Coach [Brennan] Carroll [tight ends coach and national recruiting coordinator] … I don’t really have any issues with them. Just haven’t had any contact in a while.”
He would not have to worry about that once he stepped foot on the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida on Thursday. The gates flew open and the hospitality overwhelmed him, swarmed him with a green and gold warmth of Bulls’ love that was too much to fight.
The kid fell. Sean Price committed to USF on Friday and he’s a very happy man.
“It’s a great day,” Price said. “I knew it was the place for me shortly after visiting the campus and talking to the coaching staff and they told me how much they really needed me to play for them.
“They caught my heart, my attention, my passion for the game and I talked to Coach [Skip] Holtz and he said I was the one they wanted. It’s a big opportunity for me and a great place to start my college life.”
USF has other tight ends on the board, and if Yulee’s Kelvin Rainey wanted to join Price as a Bull, USF would gladly have him. The tight end need, however, is taken care of in this class.
“Coach [Larry] Scott [assistant coach/tight ends] told me I’m their man. If they do recruit somebody else, I’ll still battle for position … it won’t really matter,” Price said.
Price comes from a recently successful line of college prospects at North Marion. Currently on the squad with Price is Florida commitment ATH Latroy Pittman (6-1, 201) and uncommitted and highly touted RB Jamie Gilmore (5-8, 170), as well as fellow 2012 hopefuls DT Jabarri Bothwell (5-11, 250), CB Brian McIntosh (5-8, 155) and QB Chase Tuten (6-0, 210).
Price actually figures it won’t be long before Gilmore also commits to the Bulls. He is expected in attendance at the SuperBull camp at Raymond James Stadium today (June 25).
Two other North Marion top prospects are 2013 ATH Reggie Wilkerson (6-11, 170) and 2014 RB Dominique Brown (5-9, 160).
Last year the Colts sent LB Devon Brant to Western Michigan and in 2010, ATH T.J. McCullough signed with Iowa State.
“Yeah, we have some good players up here,” Price said. “We were 10-2 last year. .. lost to [Ocala] Vanguard in the second round of the playoffs. I got hurt the game before so I didn’t play in that game.”
He’ll have his chance again this year and it’s likely the Colts will air the ball out a bit more this season, after churning out more passing offense than usual a year ago.
Price caught 22 balls for 530 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior.
“Last year was probably the most North Marion has throw the ball in a while,” Price said. ‘So we’ll expect it again this year. We know the ball is going to be distributed evenly, so we just have to catch it and make the best of it when we get the chance.”
Price is happy to have the recruiting process finalized and he learned one thing from several schools during the courtship.
“All the colleges talk a lot about what they have to offer me and what I could do at their school,” Price said. “A lot of them also would tell me who I reminded them of and whose footsteps I could follow in.
“ I’m not trying to follow in any footsteps. The only footsteps I’m worried about are my own.”
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun