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January 16, 2013

Where do the Bulls stand at WR?

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One of the most oft-injured positions for USF, the wide-receiver position has been a puzzling one for the Bulls in recent history.

Already stored with talent, wide receiver isn't a position that needs to be a priority focus for 2013, but instead for seasons after. Let's take a look at some of the top returners on the roster for the Bulls and whom they are targeting to bring in.

To find out more information on each player, just click on the player's name for a complete Rivals.com profile.

Active Wide Receivers (top 4)
Andre Davis
6-foot-1 |207 | So. | Jefferson (Tampa, Fla.)
Buzz: Obviously Davis would be first on the list of top returners for USF. The 'Freak Show' as they call him turned in a fine 2012 season for the Bulls. Last year, Davis caught 46 passes for 534 yards and 6 touchdowns for USF. Going into next year, Davis will be the Bulls' downfield threat every play. The question is whether or not the Bulls can find a way to get him the ball

Sterling Griffin

6-foot-0 | 194 | R-Jr. | Monsignor Pace (Opa Locka, Fla.)
Buzz: That's right, Sterling Griffin will be back for the 2013 season. The oft-injured wide-out missed the final ten games of the season after suffering a season-ending, right knee injury in the Bulls' win over Nevada on September 8th. Griffin, who will be in his sixth season with USF, redshirted in the 2010 season after suffering an ankle injury in the offseason and missed four games in 2011 due to a broken foot. Before suffering his season-ending injury this past season, Griffin caught 2 passes for 43 yards and a touchdown. If the Opa Locka native can stay healthy for 2013, the Bulls will have a very nice tandem of wide receivers with Griffin and Andre Davis for whoever is playing quarterback to target.

Terrence Mitchell

5-foot-10 | 164| Jr.| Hillsborough (Tampa, Fla.)
Buzz: Another oft-injured wide receiver for the Bulls, Mitchell had a career year as a wide receiver in 2012. This, mostly, was due to playing time; Mitchell had never played more than four games on offense in a season before this past year. In 2012, the converted defensive back caught 31 passes for 414 yards and a touchdown. The 2012 season was Mitchell's most successful, and he has begun to develop into one of the Bulls' most targeted wide outs. With his speed, Mitchell gives the Bulls a great ability to stretch the field vertically. If he can reduce the number of dropped passes, Mitchell can be one of the Bulls' most reliable wide receivers in 2013.

Derrick Hopkins

5-foot-5 | 160| R-Jr.| Monsignor Pace (Opa Locka, Fla.)
The Buzz: Hopkins saw a great deal of playing time in 2012 and turned it into a career year. The Opa Locka posted career highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns this past year. Hopkins caught 19 passes for 278 yards and a touchdown, the first of his career, in 2012. Once again, Hopkins will be in the mix for regular playing time for the Bulls in 2013. Hopkins, who redshirted the 2009 season, played in just 7 games before the 2012 year and was ranked the 149th best athlete by ESPN in the class of 2009.

Others on the Depth Chart
Deonte Welch - 6-0, 202, R-So.
Jonny Sitton - 5-8, 175, Jr.
Alex Mut - 6-3, 191, Fr.
D'Vario Montgomery - 6-5, 204 - Fr.
Victor Marc - 5-11, 220 - Sr.
Clinton Jones - 5-9, 160, Fr.
Ruben Gonzalez - 6-3, 202, So.
Jordan Duval - 6-2, 219, R-So.
Chris Dunkley - 6-0, 180, R-So.
Jimel Atkins - 6-3, 217, R-Fr.
David Aristil - 6-1, 184, Sr.
Committed - Not Signed
Zach Benjamin

6-foot-4 | 187| Tampa Catholic (Tampa, Fla.)
Buzz: Benjamin is the only wide receiver so far that has committed to the Bulls. The Tampa native chose USF over reported offers from Air Force, Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Colgate, Massachusetts, Ohio, Toledo, and Western Kentucky. Benjamin, who has been one of the Bulls' most outspoken commits, caught 22 passes for 303 yards and 5 touchdowns for Tampa Catholic last year. The three-star recruit will be making his official visit to USF on January 18th.
Prospect Video: Zach Benjamin

Targeting - Not Committed
Taj Williams

6-foot-4| 166| Uncommitted| Lincoln (Tallahassee, Fla.)
The Buzz: - Arguably one of the best wide receivers left on the board for the Bulls, Williams would be a big get for Willie Taggart and USF, but Williams will not be an easy get. The four-star recruit has been reportedly linked to 18 schools and has received 16 offers. Some notable schools linked to Williams are Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, Miami, and Notre Dame. But our sources tell us the new 'leader' is Louisville - where Ron Duggans is the wide receivers coach. A burner and playmaker that has great hands, Williams is ranked 23rd at his position, 33rd in the state and 205th nationally by Rivals.com. The Tallahassee native caught 34 passes for 608 yards and 9 touchdowns for the Trojans in 2012. Hands down, Williams would be a big pickup for Willie Taggart and the Bulls at wide receiver. It also doesn't hurt to remember how well the Bulls did last time they recruited out of Lincoln High School, signing a young quarterback named BJ Daniels

Schools in the mix: USF, Louisville, Alabama, South Carolina
Prospect Video: Taj Williams.

Janarion Grant

5-foot-9 |165| Uncommitted| Pasco (Dade City, Fla.)
The Buzz: - Another big target for the Bulls, Grant has been a popular recruit the past few weeks as signing day get closer and closer. Grant, a three-star recruit out of Pasco High School, has received 13 offers and has been linked to 17 schools. The Dade City native has been tough to pin down for the Bulls, especially for an official visit. Grant was scheduled to visit Kentucky on January 11th, but that visit was move to February 2nd. Other visits for Grant are Houston on January 18th, and reportedly Rutgers on January 25th. Reports are that West Virginia and Oklahoma State are also in the mix. Due to a broken hand, Grant saw more action as a runner than a receiver. The Pasco High School product ran the ball 60 times for 582 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2012. Just like Williams, Grant is a very strong athlete that would most likely make an impact for the Bulls, giving USF all kinds of options at wide receiver
Schools in the mix: Oklahoma State, Houston, USF, Rutgers, West Virginia.
Prospect Video: Janarion Grant
Marquez Valdes

6-foot-3 |184| Uncommitted| Lakewood (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
The Buzz: - A surprise offer from USF, Valdes was just about counting the Bulls out after the program had gone quiet after contacting the wide receiver in September. Clearly, the Bulls still had interest, offering to Valdes on January 5th. Valdes - a three-star recruit - has been linked to 20 schools and picked up offers from 16. He's has been busy on the recruiting trail and may be a tough visit to schedule for Willie Taggart. The wide receiver visited N.C. State on January 11th and is scheduled to visit Cincinnati on January 18th. Valdes also visited Houston and Toledo in December. At Lakewood High School, Valdes caught 26 passes for 444 yards and 6 touchdowns his senior season, helping the Spartans to a 10-2 record. Valdes is still trying to decide on his last official visit.
Schools in the mix: N.C. State, Houston, Cincinnati, Kentucky, USF.
Richard Benjamin

6-foot-1 |195| Committed| Tampa Bay Tech (Tampa, Fla.)
The Buzz: - Benjamin is a long shot for the Bulls. A Louisville commit, Benjamin took one of his final official visits to USF on January 11th and said the visit went well. Benjamin is the 49th ranked wide receiver and 72nd ranked player in the state of Florida by Rivals.com. If the Bulls can somehow convince Benjamin to flip and stay home, the wide receiver would be a great addition to the tandem of Sterling Griffin and Andre Davis. However, based on the twitter chatter after the visit to USF, getting Benjamin to join the other Benjamin (Zach) may be a long shot.

Committed to: Louisville
Prospect Video: Richard Benjamin

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