Bulls WR Dontavia Bogan: Student of the Game

After an injury sidelined starting receiver Taurus Johnson at Rutgers, true freshman Dontavia Bogan came off the bench to catch three passes for fifty-two yards. With T.J. out for 2-3 weeks, Dontavia Bogan is ready to step it up for the Bulls. Only on USFNation - Get it First, Get it Fast!

Dontavia Bogan


One of the few bright spots that can be taken from last Thursday's loss to Rutgers was the emergence of true freshman wide receiver Dontavia Bogan. After an injury sidelined starting wide receiver Taurus Johnson, Dontavia came off the bench to catch three passes for fifty-two yards. That is an impressive feat considering the atmosphere and implications the game carried. Even with all that pressure, he was not fazed.


"When TJ went down, I felt like this was my time. Coach Leavitt always preaches that if you're a backup, you always have to be ready and I was ready."


With most of the team's receivers struggling most of the night to make plays, the offense needed a spark. The team was counting on him and he came through and made some important plays including a twenty-six yard catch when USF was backed up against its own goal line that helped alleviate some of the pressure on the offense.


"They all knew I had to step up."


As if stepping into the starting lineup mid-way through a pivotal conference match-up wasn't enough pressure, dealing with a hostile crowd did not help the situation. Although it was not quite as loud Jordan-Hare stadium at Auburn, the "red-out" in Piscataway was still intimidating.


"It was wild. It was different and a new experience. It felt like their fans were right up on me."


Dontavia's ability to step in right away and perform the way he did was not a surprise to most of his teammates. Senior receiver Amarri Jackson credits Bogan for inquisitiveness during team meetings and his constant film study. "He's always asking questions and wants the game plan and scripts as early as possible," said Jackson. "He's a true student of the game." These important attributes make a great football player.


"I never wanted to fall behind. I didn't think that I would be able to learn the entire offense so quickly but it all came together the more I studied. I'm a hard worker and that's the way I was raised."


With Taurus Johnson likely out for the next few weeks, Dontavia is likely to see an increased role in the offense as he is already working with the first team. This will likely continue as long as he is able to produce like he did on Thursday. When he signed with USF earlier this year he didn't imagine being a starter on offense so soon.


"No, I didn't expect it…[but] I'm ready for it. I think I can handle it."


The Rutgers' game is already behind him and he is already focusing on the next conference match-up against # 23 ranked team in the BCS, UConn. With all of his film study, he has noticed two simple but important things about UConn's defense.


"I know that they have a talented defense and their secondary doesn't blow coverage."


Although the injury to Taurus Johnson is unfortunate, it does give the staff a chance to evaluate their young wide receivers in real game situations. In this case, the staff discovered a new weapon on offense. Although it was only one game, it shows that future of the Bulls' wide receiver corps is bright and Dontavia is not taking any of this for granted.


"I'm just going to have fun and play 60 minutes of football on Saturday."


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