Options increase for Rafferty as USF reaffirms offer

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Wed. January 16, 2013 | Joey Knight | Email

The college options appear to be increasing for Connor Rafferty even as USF takes strides to mend fences with the Robinson left tackle, who received a scholarship offer from former coach Skip Holtz and committed last summer.

The Tampa Bay Times first reported Rafferty received a late-night phone call Sunday from new Bulls offensive coordinator Walt Wells. According to the player's mom, Wells told Rafferty he didn't fit into the plans of new Bulls coach Willie Taggart's staff.

The news set off a flurry of discussion in cyberspace and on local radio airwaves, particularly in light of USF athletic director Doug Woolard's prior assertion that all players who committed to USF before Holtz's dismissal would have their scholarships honored.

On Wednesday, USF spokesman Jeremy Sharpe said Woolard's statement remains true and always has. Per NCAA rules, no school representative is permitted to comment specifically about a recruit until they have signed a national letter of intent.

Tracy Rafferty said Connor's dad, Robin Rafferty has a meeting scheduled with USF coaches Thursday at noon. Meantime, former Knights coach Mike DePue said he has heard from two Bulls coaches -- including Taggart -- who have acknowledged a miscommunication.

"It was really unfortunate," DePue said. "As they say, it was a faux pas on their part."

Meantime, Rafferty has received offers from two Division I-AA schools -- Eastern Kentucky and Samford -- since Monday. Division I Buffalo also has made inquiries about him, DePue said.

Another Knights lineman, Bruce Hector, remains committed to USF for now. DePue said he'll support Rafferty even if he chooses to stick with USF.

"There's no vendetta," DePue said.

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