UConn gets USC transfer

July, 9, 2010
7/09/10
10:03
AM ET
Another Big East team is benefiting from the fallout at USC.

Junior fullback D.J. Shoemate told ESPN's Shelley Smith on Thursday night that he is transferring to Connecticut. Shoemate will be immediately eligible because of the NCAA sanctions placed on the Trojans.

Shoemate, who has also played wide receiver at USC, said he wants to play tailback and that at UConn he "will have an opportunity to play right away and hopefully contribute to an up-and-coming program."

The question is, how does he fit in with the Huskies?

Shoemate, who is 6-feet and 220 pounds, has only two career carries for two yards and two catches for 23 yards. He also played a lot on special teams. But like most USC players, he was a big-time recruit, ranking as the No. 59 overall prospect and the No. 5 athlete in the 2008 class, according to ESPN's Scouts Inc.

Jordan Todman is clearly UConn's No. 1 back, having rushed for nearly 1,200 yards last season as a sophomore. But Shoemate is listed as 30 pounds heavier than Todman, and coach Randy Edsall showed last year with Todman and Andre Dixon that he's not afraid of splitting carries. Perhaps Shoemate could be the thunder to Todman's lightning.

If not, Shoemate could also fill needs at receiver or even possibly safety if he is open to such a move. Whatever happens, this is excellent news for the Huskies. When a guy with Shoemate's talent becomes available, you happily take him and figure out his specific role later.

Shoemate becomes the second USC player to land in the Big East. Former Trojans linebacker Jordan Campbell announced his intentions to transfer to Louisville.

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