Backyard ball: A dozen locals may start for USF
Deliberate all you wish about whether Saturday afternoon's Green and White Game can serve as any sort of barometer for the fall. What can't be argued is how effectively Willie Taggart's staff has recruited -- and developed -- bay area talent.
If the first-team units employed for much of the spring hold true, as many as 12 of the Bulls' 22 offensive/defensive starters for the Sept. 3 season opener against Towson will hail from Hillsborough or Pinellas County.
In Skip Holtz's final game, a 27-3 loss to Pitt, only four starters hailed from that same two-county area.
Five of those projected starters -- DL Bruce Hector, WLB Nigel Harris, MLB Auggie Sanchez, S Nate Godwin and LG Cameron Ruff -- were members of Taggart's first signing class.
"I remember sitting in their homes...when I first got here and talked about our vision here at USF and where we want to go and how we want to build this program to a winning program," Taggart said Saturday.
"Those guys worked really hard, they went through the storm, and now they're starting to see the light. And I've challenge all of 'em to finish what they started."
Projected Pinellas/Hillsborough starters
WR Rodney Adams (Lakewood)
TE Mitchell Wilcox (Tarpon Springs)
RT Billy Atterbury (CCC)
LG Cameron Ruff (Jesuit)
WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Lakewood)
DL Bruce Hector (Robinson)
DE Vincent Jackson (Jesuit)
MLB Auggie Sanchez (Northeast)
WLB Nigel Harris (Hillsborough)
Striker Nate Godwin (Freedom)
SS Tajee Fullwood (Tampa Bay Tech)
FS Devin Abraham (East Lake)