Recruiting Interview: Talking with Mike Singer from Running the Bulls on Recruiting and USF

Posted: June 21, 2013 in Recruiting
USF has been busy lately, landing several new recruits, and adding new talent for the future of the program.  Recruiting is the lifeblood for every program and for Coach Taggart and staff, they are trying to keep the hometown kids at home in the bay and add the best talent to the roster.  Recruiting is a crazy and competitive world and only a few are able to dig deep into the recruiting world and make sense of it.  To get a better idea on the recruiting process and to answer a few questions on the USF side of the recruiting world, Mike Singer (@Mike_RTB) of http://www.runningthebulls.com took some time to answer some questions about USF and recruiting.  Check it out. 
1. Recruiting is a busy, fast-paced world.  Walk us through an average day for you, a recruiting insider.  How much access do you get at the camps with the recruits and how are you able to pick up information from them on their commitments or where they are leaning towards?
— Basically when I get word on an offer, new commitment, or pick up on something via Twitter – I jump all over it. The only problem is – recruiting is so crazy and unexpected – I will have plans on a story to do but it will get pushed back by breaking news or a different story my publisher wants me to write.
People think I don’t do much being the Recruiting Analyst for Runningthebulls.com – which is true but not true. It is not like a 9-5 Monday-Friday job. It’s a job that I’m on my phone or my computer all day doing something. I’ll post on our tidbits on our message board, write articles, work the phones, and dig out information that I need.
As far as access to camps – I’ve attended camps with no problem. The coaching staff is cool in that area. I’m free to roam around and report as I please.
I think fans these days really forget who they’re following when it comes to the recruits – they’re just 16 and 17 year old kids. They’re talented and some look a lot older than their age – but still just kids. I’m able to pick up information from the players – it’s been fun building relationships with these local kids as well as kids over the state. Heck, I’ve even talked to Drew Sample – who is a prospect that USF offered that lives in Washington.
I basically tell where they’re leaning towards based off what they tell me in interviews, talking to other Rivals writers, what I pick up from their Twitter accounts, and common sense. Guessing where recruits will end up is a really tough business to get into – recruiting is crazy and every kid (and his family) have different interests. Things change a lot with recruits – and fast.
2. How are the recruits reacting to Coach Taggart and his staff?  Taggart and company seem to be all over the state, are they getting high praise from recruits?
— Before I started writing for Runningthebulls.com I didn’t have too much of a knowledge of Coach Taggart and his staff. Now after months of talking to recruits and hearing about their relationships with these coaches – I feel like I know these guys like I know a good friend.
Two guys in particular absolutely love Coach Taggart – USF commit Jimmy Bayes and Tampa Bay Tech defensive back Tajee Fullwood. These guys could go on – and on – and on about how awesome Taggart is. I often hear that he’s a “laid back” coach – he’s definitely a player’s coach – but Taggart is definitely not a pushover by any means. He has respect from the kids – and they love him. I doubt Jimmy Bayes is a verbal to USF without Coach Taggart being the head coach. But how are the kids reacting to Taggart? They absolutely love the guy – almost every recruit I’ve talked to thinks he’s the coolest coach there is.
The rest of the coaching staff is awesome – you can tell how they all fit Taggart’s mold. They’re player’s coaches – a coach you’d want to play for.
3. With the conference shifting, USF is now in the AAC, largely regarded as a weaker conference, especially compared to the SEC, ACC, Pac-12, etc.  Is the strength of the conference something recruits talk about?
–Now that you mention it – a recruit has never brought up conference affiliation to me. I’ve never asked – and they’ve never mentioned anything about it. To be honest, I don’t know how much some of these kids watch college football. I’ve even had a kid tell me he doesn’t watch the NFL or college ball. As for the local kids – proximity to home is so much more important than what conference USF plays for.
4.Jimmy Bayes, one of the first commits for USF, has been very vocal (on Twitter) about his commitment to USF.  Is he a guy that can be a leader for this recruiting class and get others to come to Tampa?
–I’d say Jimmy Bayes is definitely THE leader of the 2014 recruiting class so far – not to mention he’s a 4-star Rivals recruit and is ranked in the Rivals top 250 players. Jimmy is a terrific kid and someone I will remember for the rest of my life. He’s a great person, fun to talk to, has his head on straight, and is of course – an outstanding football player. His interest from schools across the nation is extremely high – but I’d say he’s USF bound.
I’m not sure how much Jimmy is actively trying to get others to come to Tampa – but I do know the recently committed Chase Litton has already brought up that he’s going to be vocal in recruiting the area.
5. What are same names Bulls fans should be watching the rest of the year as possible commits to USF and detail some of these recruits if you can?
–USF does not have any receivers verbally committed at this point in June, but there are two guys that I do think will ultimately sign with USF. Like I said before – getting into the business of predicting where recruits go is tough and can leave you looking stupid. However, these next two guys I’m about to talk about are two guys I think might be USF bound.
Ryeshene Bronson Dunbar Fla. – Bronson is an outstanding athlete and a 4-star rivals recruit. His talent is a bit raw right now but has NFL-type potential. The former Gator commit has USF in his top 3 currently – but will likely go to Clemson if they offer.
Kendrick Holland Winter Haven Fla. – I met Kendrick recently and he has terrific size as well. Holland has offers all over the southeast – and lists Kentucky and USF in his top two. Holland has an amazing relationship with the USF coaching staff and it seems like the USF campus is his second home. I expect Holland to be a Bull.
Runningthebulls.com – the USF Rivals site – currently has an incredible deal going on right now running through July 1st. If you buy a years worth subscription (which is 99$) you get a 99$ gift card to the Rivals fan shop. You get your money back – along with a years worth of the best USF football and recruiting coverage and USF gear!
Here is an example of an article that would be normally a “premium article” – only viewable by Rivals subscibers – article
Along with the articles we post – I post my “weekly recruiting nuggets thread” on our premium message board – which only the Runningthebulls.com subscribers have access to read. You get to connect with the best USF fans in the country there too!
Thanks again to Mike for taking the time to answer my questions.  Make sure to follow him and Running the Bulls twitter (@USFBulls_Rivals) for their official account as well.
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