Alabama RB Taylor seeking transfer to USF
For the second time this year, USF is in position to land a coveted local running back who was supposed to play at Alabama. Back in January, it was Sarasota's Mike Ford, who enrolled and will compete for carries for the Bulls this fall. And now it's Jamar Taylor, a standout from Lakeland's state championship teams who enrolled early at Alabama this spring but is seeking a transfer closer to home.
That possibility has been all over message boards all summer, but here's the key update: Jamar Taylor was on USF's campus on Tuesday at the athletic facility to discuss the possibility of his transferring in this fall. His mother said Tuesday night said she wasn't aware of any decision being made, as Lakeland coach Bill Castle said Monday, but it appears the only hurdle is whether USF can get his transcripts and get him accepted into the university in the six weeks before fall classes start.
A little more about Taylor, who paired with Florida signee Chris Rainey as a dominant running tandem for Lakeland. He's 5-foot-10, 200 pounds and rushed for 1,113 yards as a junior and totaled 40 touchdowns in his final two seasons. USF already has solid depth at running back, with Ben Williams back and Mike Ford and Aston Samuels ready to splash as freshmen, with true freshmen Richard Kelly and Tyson Butler already on campus as well.
I expect Alabama coach Nick Saban to address this issue from his end today -- last month, he'd downplayed the rumors, saying Taylor was still on campus and the team would do whatever it could to help him. If there is a family illness involved, Taylor would be in position to seek a hardship waiver that could allow him to avoid sitting out the transfer year that's normally required. If he didn't get that, this would still just count as a traditional redshirt year most freshmen take.
Again, this is still just something in the works, something that has hurdles to clear, but I wanted to address that there's more to this than idle gossip and speculation. It'd be a solid late addition to USF's recruiting class and would help build more of a relationship with one of the state's true prep powers.