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Bulls' commits in the playoffs

In the midst of one of the South Florida Bulls worst football seasons in its history, recruiting moves on. The Bulls have a number of verbal pledges that are in the midst of the postseason hunt, trying to win a state championship.

Bulls247 takes a deeper look at the pledges who remain in the chase for a state championship.

In the playoff hunt

Zach Benjamin
Tampa Catholic (Fla.), WR (6-4, 190)

Benjamin’s Tampa Catholic Crusaders (8-3) are in the midst of the 3A playoffs and will take on cross-town rival Clearwater Central Catholic on Friday. It will be Tampa Catholic’s second consecutive game on the road as it is coming off a 24-23 win over Fort Meade. CCC plays host for the second consecutive playoff game as it downed Frostproof 35-0 last week.

Benjamin has 20 receptions on the season for 303 yards and five touchdowns. He is ranked a two-star recruit by 247Sports.

Connor Rafferty
Tampa (Fla.) Robinson, OL (6-4, 275)

Rafferty’s Robinson Knights (10-1) have been, arguably, the most impressive team in Tampa this year. The Knights have outscored opponents 444-100 this season and its only blemish was a two-point loss to the defending 8A State Champion Plant Panthers.

The Knights are coming off a 41-8 win over Port Orange (Fla.) Atlantic and host St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood who it beat 19-8 in late October. Rafferty is ranked a two-star recruit by 247Sports

Bruce Hector
Tampa (Fla.) Robinson, DL (6-2, 270)

Hector, who plays beside Rafferty on the offensive line, has been a versatile element for the Knights this year. Playing both sides of the ball, Hector has been a force defensively.

The Bulls’ commit has 40 tackles on the year and 3.5 sacks. Hector is ranked a three-star recruit by 247Sports.

Mitchell Wright
Tampa (Fla.) Plant, LB (6-3, 200)

The Plant Panthers (10-1) are riding a nine-game winning streak after suffering a 33-3 loss to River Ridge (La.) Curtis. Plant will have one of its biggest tests of the playoffs this week as it is on the road against Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips, the Associated Press No. 1 8A team in the state.

Wright has been dominant in his first full season transitioning to linebacker. He is the second-leading tackler with 109 tackles and has 10 sacks, tied for the top spot on the team. The lean linebacker has also added seven pass deflections, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Wright is ranked as a three-star recruit by 247Sports.

Xavier Richardson
Immokalee (Fla.), WR (6-3, 185)

The Indians (8-3) have strung together three wins after dropping a close contest to Barron Collier (12-9) in the middle of October and are coming off a 35-13 playoff win over Estero.

Richardson has been effective on both sides of the ball for Immokalee. He has 15 catches for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively he’s contributed 24 tackles, two INTs (one returned for a touchdown), two passes defended and caused one fumble. He is ranked a three-star recruit by 247Sports.

Johnny Ward
Moultrie (Ga.) Colquitt County, CB (6-0, 165)

The Packers (8-3) are riding a three-game win streak with signature wins over Camden County in its regular season finale and McEachern in the first round of the playoffs.

Ward has contributed 59 tackles, six sacks, one INT, defended four passes, recovered two fumbles and caused two fumbles from his defensive back position. He is ranked a three-star recruit by 247Sports.

Mikey Bart
Buford (Ga.), TE (6-3, 245)

The class AAA Buford Wolves (8-3) posted a 10-1 regular season record before having to forfeit a pair of games toward the beginning of the season for using an ineligible player. The Wolves are outscoring opponents 402-89 and are coming off a 41-27 win over Cedar Grove in the first round of the playoffs.

Emilio Nadelman
Miami (Fla.) Miami Central, K (5-6, 165)

The 5A Central Rockets are riding a seven-game win streak and are coming off a 59-7 blowout win over Southwest Ranches Archbishop McCarthy in the first round of the playoffs. The Rockets will host Miami Northwestern in the second round of the playoffs who are coming off a 38-6 blowout win over Hollywood Hills.

Eliminated from the Playoffs

Darius Whitty
Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast, CB (6-0, 178)

Previously undefeated, the First Coast Buccaneers were upended in a defensive battle by the Buchholz Bobcats in the opening round of the playoffs. They were held to just seven points and fell 10-7 as Buchholz hit a 40-yard field goal in overtime.

Jeff Badet
Orlando (Fla.) Freedom, WR (5-11, 160)

The Freedom Patriots were eliminated from playoff contention by the Plant Panthers as they fell 48-31.

Dominique Threatt
Atlanta (Ga.) Tri-Cities, DL (6-2, 293)

The Bulldogs limped into the playoffs with a 4-6 regular season record and were blowout by Lovejoy 51-13 in the first round of the playoffs.

Cameron Fraser
Phenix City (Ala.) Central, OL (6-5, 297)

The Red Devils were eliminated from the playoffs by Spain Park as they fell 43-13 in the opening round of the playoffs.

JoJo Kemp
DeLand (Fla.), RB (5-10, 190)

The Bulldogs relied heavily on Kemp throughout the year and were eliminated by Sanford (Fla.) Seminole 26-12 in the first round of the playoffs.

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