Butler pair commit to join Bulls in January

12

December

New USF coach Willie Taggart needed just a few hours to get his first commitment from Fort Lauderdale QB Mike White, and he's since picked up a pair of commitments from defensive standouts at Butler Community College in Kansas, with cornerback Torrel Saffold and linebacker Rahmon Swain pledging to join the Bulls next month.

USF beat out Big East rival Boise State for both players, and in talking to Butler coach Troy Morrell and defensive coordinator Tim Schaffner, Bulls defensive coordinator Chris Cosh -- whose son Billy was Butler's starting quarterback -- was a big part of USF's recruiting success.

More on each player:

-- Saffold is a 5-foot-11, 180-pound corner from Kansas City -- had 52 tackles and tied for team lead with four interceptions this fall, with 2.5 tackles for loss and one blocked kick. Boise was the closest challenger to USF, and he canceled a scheduled visit there as he made his decision to sign with the Bulls.

"He's a physical corner, obviously has great speed and quickness, good feet. He can play man coverage and zone coverage," Morrell said. "He's one of the most athletic guys I've had here, tests well in all the combine-type testing. Very aggressive and has a lot of good skills to get to the next level."

Schaffner said he's been a "warrior in the weight room," putting on signficant weight since arriving at Butler. "He became not just a guy who can lock you down in coverage, but a guy who's a physical, violent corner. He's not an ankle-biter," Schaffner said. "I think his best ball is in front of him. That position is all about confidence and swag, and that's just going to continue in the next few years. When he gets into a Division I program with a nutritionist and training table, he's going to put on another 15-20 pounds. He's very lean and his frame can handle more muscle."

-- Swain (his first name has a hard H, almost like "Rockmon") is small for a college linebacker at 6-foot, 216 pounds, but he did a little of everything at Butler, working primarily as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense (with some 4-3 mixed in). He had 83 total tackles, with 4.5 sacks among eight total tackles for loss; he forced three fumbles and recovered two. He canceled a scheduled visit to Minnesota once he committed; he's likely a weakside linebacker at USF.

Swain signed with Kent State out of high school but didn't make grades -- his high school coach, Corey Jarvis, was Patrick Hampton's high school coach at Lithonia MLK, and he even mentioned that his first interaction with Taggart was when he was recruiting Hampton for Stanford.

"Rahmon brings intensity and passion and drive," Schaffner said. "He's been a huge part of our success in the last two years. Our two inside linebackers are the most fundamentally sound and technique-oriented, really play their position like a technician. He can play in space, but he can play in the box as well."

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 12:13pm]

    

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