With WR Chris Dunkley in the house, the next hot topic to focus on is running back Mike Blakely, the former 4-star back who’s transferring from Florida after one semester.
We said in Friday’s quick hits that the Bulls were trying to bring Blakely in for a visit early this week, and that visit will happen today, according to his former Head Coach Joe Kinnan.
“Mike is going to go up to USF today and speak with Skip (Holtz),” said Kinnan. “The coaches there have been in contact and wanted to get him up there face-to-face, so we’ll see how that visit goes.”
The 5-foot-9, 198-pound former 4-star prospect ranked the No. 10 back by Scout enrolled early at Florida this spring, but missed all of spring recovering from shoulder surgery. He didn’t like the Gators new offense, didn’t have the relationship with the new coaching staff and just wasn’t happy at Gainesville. There is also word that he wanted to be closer to home. After word of his transfer got out, plenty of schools showed interest in Blakely.
“He’s a pretty good player and a lot of schools were interested in him,” said Kinnan. “Florida released him to everybody except FSU, Miami, and all the SEC schools.”
The talk was that Blakely wants to play in the SEC and Auburn was his first option, but with UF blocking all requests to the SEC, FSU and UM that is not an option unless Blakely appeals, but it doesn’t sound favorable that it would be granted. There was talk about him going the JUCO route like Cam Newton, but that doesn’t appear like that going to happen either.
“He’ll go somewhere and enroll in the fall and sit out the year and not have to lose two years of playing time,” said Kinnan. “He’s not going to a junior college.”
After sitting out the transfer year Blakely would then have four years of eligibility where ever he chooses, and is strongly considering USF, along with some other options including UNC and UCF. Southern Cal is also rumored to be in the mix, while others could come into play.
“He’s a special player and there are three or four BCS schools that said they want to sign him,” said Kinnan, who inferred that Blakely won’t make a quick decision, as he wants to make sure wherever he ends up is the right fit for him. “I expect something to happen within the next couple of weeks.”
It is sounding more and more that USF may be one of his better options, and Skip Holtz and the Bulls are making a strong push to make Tampa his landing place, but so are several other teams as well.
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