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January 15, 2013

Bulls target depth, speed at Running back

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The running back position for USF has attracted a great deal of attention in the off-season.

The Bulls will need to reload at tailback if the want to compete at a high level once again, especially because the Bulls will open next year without their top three runners from 2012.

The Bulls will be fairly inexperienced at running back in 2013. Let's take a look at what the Bulls' options are at running back for 2013.

To find out more information on each player, just click on the player's name for a complete Rivals.com profile.

Active Running Backs (top 3)
Marcus Shaw
5-foot-9 |189 | Jr. | DeSoto (Arcadia, Fla.)
Buzz: Marcus Shaw opened the 2012 season as the backup to Demitrius Murray at the running back position after getting just 32 carries from 2010 to 2011. Shaw saw his carries reduced early after Lindsey Lamar's redshirt was removed, but the running back finished the year as the team's fourth leading rusher. In 2012, Shaw rushed for 248 yards on 51 carries, averaging 4.9 yards per carry and no touchdowns. Going into 2013, Shaw should be the future back for the Bulls unless new head coach Willie Taggart makes a drastic change.

Bradley Battles

5-foot-9 | 209 | R-Jr. | Marianna (Marianna, Fla.)
Buzz: Battles started his fourth season (redshirted in 2009) in the USF program buried on the depth chart behind Demitrius Murray, Lindsey Lamar and Marcus Shaw. The product from Marianna High School has yet to have a season where he see regular playing time. In two years in the USF offense, Battles has just 15 carries for 57 yards and no touchdowns. Coming out of Marianna High School in 2009, Shaw was ranked as the 16th best prospect among athletes by Rivals.com

Michael Pierre

5-foot-10 | 206| Jr.| Agape Christian (Winter Garden, Fla.)
Buzz: A transfer from Golden West College, Michael Pierre is an enigma to most USF fans. The Winter Garden native spent two years with Golden West College, rushing for 1,160 yards and 9 touchdowns on 227 carries. Pierre redshirted his first year with USF and will be in the mix for regular playing time in 2013.

Committed - Not Signed
Currently, the Bulls have not signed, nor has any running back verbally committed to the USF. The Bulls will need to try to land at least one of the recruits they have offered to if they want to find someone new to shoulder the load for 2013.

Targeting - Not Committed
Matt Dayes

5-foot-10 | 195| Uncommitted| Cypress Bay (Weston, Fla.)
The Buzz: - With just three weeks before signing day, there are a lot of questions from Bulls fans about the where Dayes will be signing. The three-star, Cypress Bay product has been linked to sixteen schools and received offers from fourteen. Dayes visited the UCF and said that the visit went well with the Knights. Aside from UCF, the Cypress Bay product has visited N.C. State and plans to Vanderbilt on January 25th. According to Dayes, the Bulls are still in the mix, but no visit has been scheduled with the Weston native. It has been reported that Dayes could be at USF the weekend of January 18th, but that has not been confirmed, yet. In his senior season, Dayes and the Lightning went 12-3 and lost to Apopka High School in the 8A Florida State Championship.

Schools in the mix: USF, UCF, N.C. State, Vanderbilt.

Fred Coppet

5-foot-9 |176| Uncommitted| St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
The Buzz: - The Bulls' interest in Coppet has grown over the past few weeks. Ranked the 49th running back in the state of Florida, Coppet has received offers from four schools. Including USF, Coppet has been offered to from Bowling Green, Houston and Indiana. Coppet has also been linked to Boston College, but the Eagles have yet to offer to the Fort Lauderdale native. After speaking with him last week, Coppet said that the Bulls were still very much in the mix and he was meeting with coach Scott to arrange an official visit with his family to USF. The three-star product says that he still has a lot to think over in the next few weeks.

Schools in the mix: Bowling Green, Houston, USF, Indiana.

JoJo Kemp

5-foot-9 |176| Uncommitted| Deland (Deland, Fla.)
The Buzz: - Jojo Kemp has been the popular running back in the past few weeks. Kemp, who has been linked to 31 schools, has received 23 offers and is still, reportedly, on the fence about his decision. It was reported last week that Kemp had eliminated the Bulls from his 'top choices', but the three-star product refuted such claims and says that USF is being considered. Kemp made an official visit to Kentucky last weekend and is still planning to visit Tennessee on January 18th. The Deland product has also made visits to West Virginia, Nebraska and Pittsburgh. USF is still trying to schedule a visit with Kemp, but time is beginning to run out. He would be a big addition to Willie Taggart's signing class if the coach can get him locked up, but it appears the Bulls may be fading.

Schools in the mix: Kentucky, Tennessee, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, USF.

Dontravious Wilson

5-foot-11 |220| Uncommitted| Buford (Buford, Ga.)
The Buzz: - Willie Taggart and the USF offered to Wilson just last Friday, January 11th. Wilson, who verbally committed to Western Kentucky in July 2012, was recruited by coaches Raymond Woodie and Taggart before they moved to USF. Wilson says that USF and WKU are in tailback's top three along with the UCF. The Buford native will visit UCF on Friday, January 18th before making his official visit to the Bulls on January 25th. Bulls fans will have to wait to find out where Wilson is going, the Buford High School product says that he will make his announcement on National Signing Day on February 6th.

Schools in the mix: USF, Western Kentucky, Georgia Southern, Cincinnati.

Raphael Webb

5-foot-10 |190| Uncommitted| Gainesville (Gainesville, Fla.)
The Buzz: - The offer for Webb came on Monday, right after LB target Keith Kelsey Jr. returned to Gainesville from his official visit. Webb was excited about the offer and would be teamed up with former teammate Chris Bivins. Webb is quick and cuts back very well against the grain, and runs surprisingly hard up the middle, given his size. It is - however, the outside where Webb made his living for the Purple Hurricanes, in leading them to a 14-1 record, with only a loss in the 6A state championship game. Webb will try to schedule a visit, but is headed to Minnesota next weekend, and was supposed to visit Boston College this weekend.

Schools in the mix: USF, Minnesota, Boston College, FAU.



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