Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Florida Gators RB Mike Blakely visiting USF Bulls, Skip Holtz today

Running back Mike Blakely, the former Bradenton Manatee standout who is transferring from Florida after one semester with the Gators, is scheduled to visit USF today and meet with head coach Skip Holtz, Manatee assistant Rod Frazier said Monday.

Blakely isn't likely to make his decision until he takes a few visits, Frazier said, and confirmed what Josh Newberg of 247sports.com has been out in front on, identifying three schools that Blakely has mentioned as options: USF, North Carolina and Central Florida. Frazier said he hasn't heard Blakely mention any other schools yet, but said "he has a lot of options ... he has no idea right now."

Frazier said that Blakely only used one official visit (to Gainesville) before choosing Florida, so he has still have five official (all-expenses-paid) visits available to him as he re-opens his recruitment. Some media outlets have mentioned that homesickness was a factor in Blakely's decision to leave the Gators after early-enrolling in January -- raising the question of why he would consider schools farther from his Bradenton home -- but Frazier said homesickness was not part of Blakely's decision.

"That was not a factor," he said. "He was just unhappy there."

Frazier said the biggest reason for Blakely's decision to transfer was the complete changeover in coaching staff from the people he committed to, with head coach Urban Meyer, offensive coordinator Steve Addazio and running backs coach Stan Drayton all gone when he arrived on campus in January.

Frazier said Blakely was offered by USF out of high school, but had made it clear he wanted to play in the SEC -- he would have the option of doing that now, despite Florida blockng any direct transfer to a conference rival. Blakely could choose the same path that quarterback Cam Newton took in going from Florida to a junior college to Auburn -- and that "is one option" Blakely is aware of, Frazier said.

Blakely would have to sit out this fall at a four-year school as a transfer, but would then have his full four years of eligibility at USF or another four-year program. The Bulls wouldn't present much in the way of established running backs in Blakely's way, as the top two backs entering the 2011 season, Demetris Murray and Darrell Scott, would be seniors when Blakely was a redshirt freshman. Two other backs, Marcus Shaw and Bradley Battles, totaled 166 rushing yards as freshmen last year and would be two years ahead of Blakely.

UNC, by comparison, had seniors for its top three rushers in 2010, with rising senior Ryan Houston listed as the starter entering 2011. The Tar Heels do have a highly touted recruit in redshirt freshman Giovanni Bernard, who was a four-star back coming out of Fort Lauderdale.

USF already has one Florida transfer all but officially on board for 2011 in receiver Chris Dunkley, a former five-star recruit from Pahokee who will sit out this fall and have three years of eligibility with the Bulls.

Former Florida Gators RB Mike Blakely visiting USF Bulls, Skip Holtz today 05/16/11 [Last modified: Monday, May 16, 2011 3:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Four-time Iditarod champ implicated in dog doping case, pulls out of 2018 race

    Sports

    A doping scandal has rocked yet another sport — this time, the competition that calls itself the "Last Great Race on Earth" — the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

    Dallas Seavey poses with his lead dogs Reef, left, and Tide after finishing the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome, Alaska, in March 2016. Four-time Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey denies he administered banned drugs to his dogs in this year's race, and has withdrawn from the 2018 race in protest. The Iditarod Trail Committee on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, identified Seavey as the musher who had four dogs test positive for a banned opioid pain reliever after finishing the race last March in Nome. [Associated Press]
  2. Bucs: Quick and easy fixes for what ails Tampa Bay?

    Bucs

    The Bucs are 2-4 and have lost five straight road games, so there's plenty to fix. What's the quickest and easiest fix for coach Dirk Koetter and Tampa Bay? The Times' Bucs coverage team weighs in:

    PLAY A COMPLETE GAME

    Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter, seen during the first half, had a heck of a day calling plays, Tom Jones writes. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  4. Bucs journal: Few complaints about Jameis Winston's play

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It wasn't enough to pull out a win Sunday at Buffalo, but a week removed from a shoulder sprain, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns against the NFL's No. 2 pass defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes (24) signs autographs for fans before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  5. Lightning's Jon Cooper uses unusual tactic to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and … who else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times