The South Florida Bulls have gotten spring practice underway in first year head coach Willie Taggart‘s inaugural season. Things haven’t started out so smoothly, though, as three Bulls players have been suspended indefinitely in receivers Terrence Mitchell and Chris Dunkley and running back Bradley Battles. How will losing the three offensive players affect the Bulls in 2013?
Battles hasn’t seen a lot of playing time in the South Florida backfield during his time with the Bulls. The senior had just two carries last season for two yards, adding one reception for 20 yards as well. With many of the team’s top rushers graduating, Battles was likely in line to see increased touches in 2013 as the No. 3 or 4 running back on the depth chart.
Dunkley running into trouble is far from a surprise. The former Florida Gators receiver transferred to South Florida and has been continually running into trouble off the field. In September, he was suspended following a domestic violence charge. He hasn’t seen the football field since 2011 during his short sting with the Gators and it doesn’t look promising for him to see the field in 2013.
The biggest loss for the Bulls may be Mitchell. The 5-foot-10, 164-pound senior caught 31 passes in 2012 for 414 yards and a touchdown, but was a major asset in special teams. He was being considered a lock to return kicks again in 2013 and was being eyed as a candidate to move to cornerback, where he flourished during his high school career.
Taggart didn’t specify what the players did to get suspended, but he wanted to make sure they knew this wasn’t necessarily the end for them at South Florida. Each of them will have an opportunity to earn a spot back on the team for 2013, but they will have to do some very specific things to prove to the coaching staff they are committed to the program.
Will any of them be able to work their way back onto the team and will USF suffer in their absence, even for just a few games next season?