In our piece with Josh Newberg of Bulls247.com a week ago, the one player he mentioned that could really make an impact on USF was Karan Higdon. Higdon is a 4-star 5'10 190 lb running back out of Sarasota Riverview that Newberg described thusly:
USF has an incredible player committed to them in Karan Higdon. He's a running back that could make an even bigger impact than Marlon Mack has. Higdon is explosive, strong and has the ability to score from anywhere on the field. He also has excellent hands and could even be a slot receiver if he wanted to.
Right now there isn't a more talented player that USF is recruiting.
We were super excited about Higdon when he committed last January, going so far as using a Shawn Michaels wrestling clip to celebrate. Well now we need the Piper's Pit clip with Superfly Snuka. Break out the coconuts.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Four-star RB Karan Higdon tells me he’s decommited from <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USF?src=hash">#USF</a>, focused on four schools (FREE) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Iowa?src=hash">#Iowa</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ARK?src=hash">#ARK</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Zona?src=hash">#Zona</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BBN?src=hash">#BBN</a> <a href="http://t.co/COganr3i7M">http://t.co/COganr3i7M</a></p>— Josh Newberg (@joshnewberg247) <a href="https://twitter.com/joshnewberg247/status/521640194400092160">October 13, 2014</a></blockquote>
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It looks like Iowa is the leader right now for his services next year. Higdon took a visit to Iowa City in September, but only decommitted this weekend.
In Willie Taggart we trust on the recruiting trail, but these are the type of kids USF needs to keep in the stable to move to the next level in terms of talent. I don't think we're looking at a mass exodus of kids to B1G country, but it still sucks to lose a kid that might be a game changer this early in the process. Also Karan took his visit in September, when it's pretty nice there in the Midwest. Hey Karan, FYI:
Just sayin' bro.
You have to wonder: if the Bulls are 4-2 instead of 2-4, and the seats are more full at Raymond James... is this happening? Sure Iowa has its advantages (a run heavy offense in a P5 conference), but do kids from Sarasota truly want to go to the middle of nowhere for 4-5 years and freeze to death? These are the type of kids USF needs to get: local talent not good enough to play at UF/FSU or top-tier SEC schools, but talented enough to make an immediate impact at USF.
As of right now USF has 11 kids committed in the Class of 2015 & a national ranking of 77th according to 247sports.com, which is good enough for 4th in the AAC. There's plenty of time to see these numbers increase, and Coach Taggart and his staff deserve the benefit of the doubt following the monster class that was signed in their first full recruiting cycle. But landing impact players (like Marlon Mack's and Karan Higdon's) that can crack the two-deep right away is essential to raising the talent level.
There's no need to panic yet about the Class of 2015, but it's something to keep an eye on.