It's never too early to talk about college football, which might be good news for local standouts Jon Dowling from Southeast and former Manatee High running back Mike Blakely.
Both were selected to the 2012 All-Transfer team released by CollegeFootballNews.Com. Ironically both began their careers at the University of Florida where you might say they stayed long enough to get a quick lunch.
Okay that might be a stretch. But neither was there long enough to finish their freshmen year and both are ready to go in 2012: Dowling at Western Kentucky and Blakely at Auburn.
Dowling, who was rated among the top two or three cornerbacks in the country by some scouting services, figures to be a jack of trades and master of many for the Hilltoppers. WKU head coach Willie Taggart says Dowling will start at DB (either safety or CB) and see time at receiver.
Blakely was rated the 10th best running back by Scout.Com when he signed with Florida, but was unhappy with the new coaching regime and left. He will be battling returnees Onterio McCalebb and Tre Mason to replace Michael Dyer who transferred to Arkansas State.
All three will be vying to fill some big shoes. Dyer was the Tigers leading rusher and first team All SEC pick before he was suspended from the team prior to its bowl game and eventually left transferring to Arkansas State where he will play for new head coach Gus Malzhan, who was his offensive coordinator at Auburn.
Don't ever say college football gets dull! Both of these guys will get a second chance and lets hope everything works out for them this time.