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USF's new search for a running back

10/17/2012

South Florida’s recruiting class suffered a big blow Tuesday when four-star running back Jojo Kemp decommitted from the class two weeks after taking an official visit to Nebraska.

Kemp hasn’t officially removed the Bulls from consideration and is planning on an official visit after the season, but he is also looking at West Virginia (with an official visit planned this weekend) and Georgia has recently stepped up its contact with the 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior.

“After the visit to Nebraska I was just thinking that I need to be sure that my decision is the right one,” Kemp explained. “That’s really the main reason.

“There are a lot of big schools that have been watching me, so I have to be smart. I talked with the USF coaches and I still like them. I’m just going to take my time.”

With the reality that South Florida might have to look in another direction to fill its needs at running back, here are a few names to keep an eye on:

A.J. Turman, Orlando (Fla.) Boone -- The ESPN 300 running back seems to be leaning towards Tennessee and Georgia, but he’s always mentioned South Florida as a school he was interested in. It’s a long shot for sure, but expect the Bulls staff to push hard and hope that location and the promise of many carries will attract him.

Alex Collins, South Plantation (Fla.) -- The ESPN 300 running back is committed to Miami but is looking heavily at Florida State and Wisconsin. Another long shot for South Florida, but much like Turman they can promise the 5-11, 190-pound senior that he will get a shot to be their feature back for the next 3-4 years.

Fred Coppet, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas -- The 5-9, 180-pound senior has had South Florida and Boston College in his top two for much of the last six months. If South Florida decided to make a strong push for him it seems likely he would commit.

Robert Davis, Tampa (Fla.) Carrollwood Day -- The three-star running back committed to Cincinnati earlier in the fall but there’s little doubt he would seriously consider playing much closer to home. The concern with Davis is his size (5-8, 160) and if he could effectively run between the tackles.

Rapheal Webb, Gainesville (Fla.) -- The three-star Webb is another name that could pop up giving how successful South Florida was in recruiting Webb’s former teammates Chris Bivins and Tashon Whitehurst. Three-star linebacker Keith Kelsey, Webb’s current teammate, is also looking at South Florida.

Daryl Chestnut, Miami Christopher Columbus -- If his senior year is any indication, the 5-8, 185-pound Chestnut could be one of the biggest steals in the class of 2013 for a program. Not sure if South Florida has had much contact with Chestnut since the summer, but he’s a back who is waiting for a program to go all out for him.