The UCF football program wants to find speed for its offensive skill positions, and that’s why they are recruiting Xavier Townsend, ATH, 5’10”, 175-pounds, Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep. One of the quickest athletes in Tampa, and also one of the most durable as he plays running back the majority of the time, Townsend could play multiple roles once he reaches college.
From his list of schools, Townsend is open-minded about which position he plays. Beyond that fact, each of his contenders (see below for details) is okay with Townsend playing running back and/or slot wide receiver.
Townsend was a terror in seven-on-seven as a slot wide receiver, and his exploits as a running back for Berkeley Prep make him a unique player now and even more so as a collegiate football player.
Were you at UCF this past weekend for an official visit?
“This past weekend, yeah I was at UCF,” Townsend admitted. “Yeah, I was there. Yes, sir.”
What other official visits have you taken?
“I took one (official visit) to Iowa State, took one (official visit) to Louisville, and (one official visit) to Vanderbilt. Then UCF (for an official visit).”
I’m sure Iowa State quarterback commitment Rocco Becht is after you pretty hard because he’s from Tampa.
“Oh yeah, we talk every day.”
When are you trying to make your decision?
“Um, I don’t have a specific date yet, but you know, I think it will be sometime in July.”
What position are college teams recruiting you to play?
“That’s a very interesting question. You know, because with the schools recruiting me, some recruit me as a receiver, some recruit me as a running back, and then there’s a few that recruit me as both really.
“The schools that I listed, you know, they are schools that are recruiting me as an athlete. They want me to be able to make plays out of the slot, and then have some plays where I get in the backfield and take some handoffs and stuff like that. Then, make plays in the punt return game and kick return team. Just all over, basically.”
So, all of the four schools you’ve visited are open to you playing multiple positions?
“Yes, sir. Yes, sir.”
What did you think of the facilities at UCF?
“You know it was awesome. The facilities were cool and everything like that. We got to see the dorms. We were able to see the Bounce House. That was something special. You know, walking into the Bounce House.”
Which coach from UCF is recruiting you?
“(Wide Receiver) Coach (Darrell) Wyatt.”
Is the only guy recruiting you or is any other coach involved?
“Coach Wyatt and (Tight ends and Special Teams) Coach (Brian) Blackmon. Then (UCF Head) Coach (Gus) Malzahn.”
What did you think of meeting Coach Malzahn?
“Just seeing him on TV and everything, you would think that, I don’t know how to say it, be a little cocky. I don’t know. Like he was real down to earth. He was a humble person. Just from our talks and everything, from the first time I met him, we hit it off. He’s a great coach and it seems like he’s an even better person.”
Any chance for taking any other visits, or are you done taking official and unofficial visits?
“I think for the summer, this will probably be it for the summer. I can’t really tell you anything for the future. I mean, I still have that one more (official visit) left. There’s a chance of me taking another official visit, but I’m not positive.”
With Iowa State (June 4), Louisville (June 11), Vanderbilt (June 18), and UCF (June 25) already completed official visits, Townsend could make a decision this summer. He’s still mulling over that option. Perhaps Townsend will take that last official visit, and perhaps not.
UCF is in the running, and that’s a good start. Townsend is fresh off his trip to Orlando so let’s see where things stand in a few weeks.