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Only Mike Love Days Until USF Football

After a quiet freshman season, Mike Love is looking to overcome a spring injury and earn some serious playing time in 2015.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

#98 DE Mike Love
Redshirt Sophomore, 6'4", 245 lbs.

Stats in 2014: Love appeared in three games in 2014, but did not record any stats.

Spot on Spring Depth Chart: Despite an injury suffered in March that sidelined him for the rest of the spring, Mike is listed as the second-string defensive end behind Eric Lee. He's one of only two true defensive ends on the depth chart-- the other DE position ("Bull") is more of a pass-rushing linebacker, with Josh Black and Zack Bullock listed.

How He Came to USF: Love started three seasons at both defensive end and linebacker for Countryside High School in Clearwater. he chose USF over a long list of offers including Nebraska, West Virginia, Louisville, Mississippi State and Cincinnati.

Recruiting Rankings: Both Rivals and 247 considered Mike a low-three star prospect.

Projected Playing Time: It seemed like the stars were aligning for Mike to make a big-time impact this season. The Bulls are thin at defensive end, he bulked up from 210 pounds when he had arrived on campus all the way to 245, and he was explicitly mentioned by Coach Taggart as one of the biggest standouts in the spring. Alas, he then suffered a right foot fracture and was held out for the rest of camp. Assuming he gets back to 100%, he should still see a lot of playing time on the defensive line. The Bulls figure to use a lot of different bodies on the d-line in a lot of different ways (nose tackles like Deadrin Senat & James Hamilton, edge rushers like Josh Black, tackle/end hybrids like Derrick Calloway and Kevin Bronson, etc.), so Love will almost undoubtedly be a major cog in the rotation even if he can't crack the starting lineup behind Lee and the newly-reinstated Demetrius Hill.

Fun Fact: Even with Love's impressive list of Division I offers, USF was at the top of his list throughout the recruiting process-- even before they started showing interest. Take that, Seth Greenberg.