Bulls Nab a Big-Bodied DE in Marlon Gonzalez

Willie Taggart and the South Florida Bulls struck gold on Thursday with the commitment of 6-foot-4, 260-pound defensive end, Marlon Gonzalez, who was initially committed to Jimbo Fisher and the Florida State Seminoles.

Fresh off landing a pair of in-state commitments from Danny Thomas and Khalid McGee in the past 10 days, Willie Taggart and the South Florida Bulls struck gold on Thursday afternoon with the commitment of 6-foot-4, 260-pound defensive end, Marlon Gonzalez.

"I just felt that a couple of weeks before when I went there, I felt real comfortable and I really felt like at home there," Gonzalez said. "I came over here with my mom today because she hasn't seen the campus before.

"She really liked it, so I had to make the move before the season started and I committed here. I felt like I was at home."

At the time when Gonzalez informed Taggart of his intentions to become the latest member of the Bulls' 2015 recruiting haul, the second-year head coach was still in full-blown coaching mode.

"Coach Taggart got out of his office and started blowing his whistle and everyone came in to congratulate me," Gonzalez said. "It was like a family atmosphere and they just went crazy."

Gonzalez, who's the No. 66 defensive end in the country and a three-star prospect on Scout.com, transferred into North Fort Myers (Fla.) High School over the offseason from Cape Coral (Fla.) Island Coast.

"My record was 7-2 at Island Coast and we were district champions," Gonzalez said. "They were 3-7 at the school I'm at now, but we have a new head coach, a whole new coaching staff and a whole new team. We're looking to do big, big things this year.

"I'll be playing the 9-technique, which is a little bit more outside. It will really show my athleticism this year. I've been focusing on my team and working hard all summer, so we'll see how the fall goes and stuff like that."

Earlier this week, USFNation.com had the opportunity to speak at length with the former Florida State commit, who was intrigued with the opportunity to play early and close to his loved ones if he opted to become a Bull.

"I speak to (USF) a lot, probably like two or three times a week," Gonzalez said. "Coach Taggart sat down with me and told me straight up that I was their top guy on their recruiting board.

"They really want me to come in and make an impact early. It's really close to home as well."

Gonzalez, who accounts for offers from the likes of Tennessee, Arizona, Maryland, Purdue and Iowa State as well, is South Florida's 10th commitment in the 2015 recruiting class.