Two ex-USF players among missing boaters
Two former USF football players are among the four boaters that the Coast Guard is searching for off Clearwater Pass after they did return from a fishing trip Saturday.
Will Bleakley, a tight end from Crystal River who last played in 2006, and Nick Schuyler, a walk-on who was on the 2006 roster but did not play in any games, were on a 21-foot boat that left Clearwater Pass around 6:30 a.m. Saturday, along with former Bucs players Corey Smith and Marquis Cooper.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Will and Nick, as well as the Florida Coast Guard as they continue their search," USF athletic director Doug Woolard said in a statement.
Bleakley came to USF as a walk-on but earned a scholarship and played regularly as a senior in 2006, catching nine passes for 100 yards. Schuyler, a defensive lineman, made the team in spring 2006 but never played in a game.
The Coast Guard was notified around 1:30 a.m. Sunday after the four men did not return from the trip.
Bleakley's father, Robert, said Sunday that his son was supposed to be on the boat in question, and that he had not heard from his son in the past two days. Bleakley is an avid boater and fisherman, according to his father.
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