USF excited about Taylor, at RB or LB
Monday's practice marked freshman running back Jamar Taylor's USF debut, just a few days after he learned he'd been accepted into USF, allowing him to transfer after one semester at Alabama.
Coach Jim Leavitt, given his first chance to speak publicly about Taylor, introduced a new wrinkle: while Taylor's first look is certainly at running back, the Bulls think he could help them on defense as well.
"We wanted him out of high school. We thought he was a very good player, either as a running back or as a linebacker," Leavitt said. "We thought he was an awfully good Will (weakside) linebacker, too. We're going to look at him at running back first, see how he does. If we feel real deep and strong at running back, which we don't right now, we may move him over to Will linebacker."
Leavitt said "the odds are it wouldn't happen," and running backs coach Carl Franks said he was pleased after seeing Taylor run in person for the first time since his days at Lakeland High School.
"Everybody's always going to look good when you don't have pads on," Franks said. "We'll see how everybody does, once we get into full gear. We'll see how well he runs the ball, how well he's learned all the plays, how well he blocks, all the things running backs have to do. It's very encouraging right now. He looks good."
Taylor, wearing a No. 33 jersey, said he's happy to be closer to his family in Lakeland and his 1-year-old son, Jamar Jr., and looking forward to his first college football season.
"I love it here. I love USF," Taylor said. "Everybody brings athleticism, everybody's on this team for a reason. I'm just another part of this team, trying to get on the field somehow."