Vero Beach, FL--- After showing glimpses and flashes late in the 2012 season, Marcus Shaw is ready to take the reigns over from former USF running backs Demetris Murray and Lindsey Lamar, who combined for over 1,000 yards on the ground last fall. Shaw, who polished off the year with 248 yards on 51 carries, is the most experienced running back returning for Coach Taggart's Bulls.
Showing his versatility throughout the week in the passing game, Shaw and his inexperienced party of running backs are ready for the future and new scheme under Coach Taggart, while getting high commendation from his peers and coaches.
"Its going well with our group," Shaw said. "The thing we focus on the most is ball security, that's our main goal. Last year we lost more balls than we gained, that's our main focus, coach said we've been doing a good job."
Shaw (5'9 178 lbs) who's somewhat undersized in Coach Taggart's system, has been showing home run ability and making defenders miss in the open field with his shiftiness in Vero Beach. Being all about the team, the Senior isn't quite ready to take credit for his production this summer. Shaw has gave credit to the big roadblock lined up in front him and offensive coordinator and O-Line coach Walt Wells.
"Actually it's probably not me, it's Coach Wells doing a good job with the line and putting god first in everything I do," Shaw said. "That's probably what helped through the whole thing, I just run (laughter)."
Shaw won't be the only one carrying the old pigskin in 2013. Coach Taggart has Redshirt Junior Mike Pierre and Redshirt Sophomore Willie Davis, while adding true Freshman Sta'fon McCray and Darius Tice to his arsenal. All four provide great size and speed while weighing in at 200 pounds plus. The Bulls coaching staff have been impressed by all four of them, with Senior running back Shaw having a special connection with one of the youngsters.
"I love what I see from Pierre and the younger guys," Shaw added. "The one that stands out to me is Darius Tice. We have a little connection, his family is from Arcadia, so they talked to me and told me to help him out."
Time will tell for who will get the majority of the second team snaps at the running back position this fall for the Bulls. Outside from Shaw, Mike Pierre has the most experience running at the college level, but at a lower level of football. Pierre and the Freshman all have clean slates and have all impressed several coaches in the Bulls new pro-style offense.
Expect a vigorous battle for the second string running back spot with just under two weeks remaining until opening kickoff. Who will redshirt? Time will tell, maybe neither will. That's a hard decision Coach Taggart faces. The Bulls host McNeese State August 31st at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
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