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Stampeding Through The Roster: #24 DB Ernie Tabuteau

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Our other #24 is a fascinating story from spring practice who might end up being the next Mistral Raymond.

#24 DB Ernie Tabuteau

Junior, 5'10", 180 lbs.

Stats In 2010: Tabuteau is new to college football and did not play last season.

Current Position On Depth Chart: Despite not having played before this past spring, Tabuteau was listed as co-second string at right cornerback on the post-spring depth chart.

How He Came To USF: In a car, maybe? Tabuteau wasn't recruited at all after playing defensive back and special teams at North Miami High School. In fact, he ended up on the football team by accident. Greg Auman told the whole story back in April:

Former strength coach Ronnie McKeefery discovered him, as Tabuteau was dating a USF track athlete and hung out around the weight room. McKeefery worked him out, checked his 40 time, vertical leap, etc. "I talked to the kid, got his highlight tape off YouTube, watched it," (defensive backs coach Rick) Smith said. "I tried to get him in the program that day. Coach (Holtz) wouldn't let me do that. He went through all the process. He's really going to be good."

Recruiting Rankings: Ernie was not rated by Rivals or Scout.

Projected Playing Time In 2011: Tabuteau is another player we'll have to look for on the first depth chart of fall practice. He might have been up there because he truly is that good, or because other cornerbacks like Tyson Butler, Ricardo Dixon, and Spencer Boyd missed some or all of spring practice. The coaches were raving about him during the spring as he forced his way onto the two-deep with a string of big plays. Even if he doesn't make it on the field as a cornerback, he can help on scout teams, and he's got a lot of potential as a heat-seeking missile on special teams.

Here's the YouTube highlight video that McKeefery saw to sell him on getting Tabuteau in as a walk-on. I would have embedded it, but the video used a song that the label who owns it won't allow to be played anywhere except YouTube. That makes total sense, right?