#17 RB Tyler Pippens
Freshman, 5'10", 160 lbs.
Stats in 2014: Tyler played for Ola High School in McDonough, Georgia last season, about an hour south of Atlanta. He ran for over 1,000 yards as a senior and added 17 total touchdowns.
Spot on Fall Camp Depth Chart: Not listed.
How He Came to USF: Matt spoke with Tyler's high school coach about his route to USF here-- definitely check it out if you haven't already. The Sparknotes version: Tyler had a remarkable high school career, becoming the first 1,000-yard rusher in his school's history and earning co-Offensive Player of the Year honors for his region. He began to attract some interest from Ivy League and other FCS schools, but bigger programs backed off after he tore his MCL late in his senior season. Ola Head Coach Jared Zito had coached under former USF special teams coach Stu Holt, and sent him Pippens' highlights, which was enough to get the young running back a preferred walk-on spot.
Recruiting Rankings: This is often used as a copout, but it's fair to say that Pippens really flew under the radar in the recruiting process. He was not listed by any of the major recruiting services.
Projected Playing Time: Pippens comes to USF with a decent amount of hubbub for a walk-on. He's delivered so far, getting some snaps with the third-team offense in practice. It's probably unrealistic for him to contribute on anything besides special teams this season-- the Bulls are pretty stacked at running back, as you may have heard-- but Tyler has a legitimate chance to make an impact at slot receiver in the future. He's lightning quick-- Zito, who worked with NFL draftee Tre McBride, called Pippens the fastest player he's ever coached-- and has the size and hands to be an absolute nuisance in the open field. Keep an eye on this kid.
Highlights: Here is Tyler's very impressive highlight reel from Ola.
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