Lamar gets Hillsborough pipeline going again
Hillsborough High coach Earl Garcia got his undergraduate degree in 1974, then went back for his master's in 1983, so there's an extra pride in his voice when he talks about Terriers running back Lindsey Lamar committing to play football for the Bulls next fall.
Garcia laments that 2008 was the only season in USF's history that there wasn't a Hillsborough grad on the Bulls' roster, but is excited to have Lamar continue the tradition. Just 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, Lamar brings track-star speed -- he'll run sprints at USF when he's not playing football -- and could give USF the big-play running threat that Florida has found in smaller backs like Jeff Demps and Percy Harvin.
"He'll be the fastest player on the team by his second year on campus," said Garcia, who thinks Lamar's first contributions could come as a kick returner. "With his speed, he has unlimited potential at USF."
Lamar chose the Bulls over offers from South Carolina and Duke, among others, and could help the Bulls with two big recruits in next year's senior class. USF has already extended offers to Hillsborough QB Tarean Austin, as well as receiver Terrence Mitchell. Garcia said Austin has about a dozen offers and Mitchell about eight, but he said he expects USF to be a top contender for them -- former USF center Joe Sipp is the Terriers' offensive line coach.
-- Former USF quarterback Marquel Blackwell, who resigned as head coach at Freedom on Monday after an arrest on a charge of driving under the influence, is at the national coaches' convention in Nashville, Tenn., and is seeking a fresh start as a graduate assistant at the college level.
-- More recruiting: I caught up with 6-foot-6, 305-pound offensive tackle Carlos Savala, who's at College of the Desert in California, and he said USF remains a strong possibility, ahead of Hawaii and Kansas. Savala, who visited USF last month, was scheduled to visit Kansas, but had to postpone due to a death in the family. He said he'll try to reschedule before making a decision, but when pressed for a front-runner out of his three finalists, he said "I guess USF." The commitment of Steven Jacques helps the Bulls' needs on offensive line, but Savala is still a key because he could come in and compete for a starting job right away.