East Mississippi Community College head coach Buddy Stephens and his staff have coached several players who are currently starring for No. 23 ranked and undefeated South Florida and they expect to have another of their players starring for the Bulls next season.
When defensive end Claude Davis signed with South Florida in the class of 2007 out of Lake Gibson High School in Lakeland, Fla., he was a 6-4, 225-pound prospect. Davis spent a year at Pearl River C.C. before landing at East Mississippi C.C. this fall and he has now grown into a 6-5, 260-pound pass rusher who is doing his part for a 5-1 Lions team this fall.
"Claude is doing well and he is a very, very good player," Coach Stephens said. "You'll see him playing on Sundays because he's that good."
Before Davis will have a chance to play football on Sundays, though, Coach Stephens is sure that he will be playing some football on Saturdays for South Florida.
"Florida State and a lot of people are calling about him, but he and me both are committed to him going back to South Florida," Coach Stephens said. "They placed him here and that's what he is going to go back to. We've already got the academic part squared away, and he'll be leaving in December to go back there.
"I'm sure he will [take an official visit to South Florida] and I'm sure it will coincide with the end of the semester. All I know is that when we get him graduated and walks out the door, we'll take him to the airport and the next place he will show up is going to be the University of South Florida campus."
The coaching staff at South Florida also appears excited about Davis' pending arrival. They have kept close tabs on Davis' progress this fall.
"Coach [Jim] Leavitt and Coach [John] Hendrick and I have talked on several occasions," Coach Stephens said. "They know they need him and he's going to add to their arsenal. They're pretty good up front already, and when they add him they're going to be even better."