Five South Florida players to watch

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Sep 12, 2015; Tallahassee, FL, USA; University of South Florida Bulls running back D

No. 4 D’Ernest Johnson

The running game is where the Bulls are going to do a majority of their damage. Obviously, Marlon Mack is the lead dog and will get the bulk of the carries. However, D’Ernest Johnson is a very valuable piece of the offense as well. South Florida doesn’t have the most lethal pass catchers around as Bulls wideouts only have nine receptions through the first two games. The Bulls do run a very up-tempo offense and Johnson is their leading receiver this season. The Immokalee native has eight catches for 166 yards and four touchdowns. His four receiving touchdowns are the most on the team.

Johnson isn’t what you could your traditional running back, but he’s definitely a playmaker. The sophomore has the ability to slip out of the backfield and make key receptions when the Bulls need him the most. For example, South Florida had the ball at the Florida State 1-yard line last week and the Seminoles were keying in on Mack. With so many defenders in the box, Johnson was able to slip to the outside and quarterback Quinton Flowers lobbed a pass right to Johnson in the end zone with a small number of Seminole defenders even aware that he was going to get the football. The coaching staff has mentioned that they want to get pass catchers more involved and if that happens, Johnson becomes an even bigger threat.