Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  By SCOTT CARTER  |  Last updated 8/28/13
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Michigan wanted him. So did Michigan State. One of the state's most high-profile recruits his senior season in 2010, Gators redshirt sophomore Valdez Showers was named Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year at Madison Heights High, located 15 minutes north of downtown Detroit. He surprised some in his home state when he chose to sign with Florida as a defensive back. Showers was primarily a running back in high school until playing the secondary his senior season. "It's a long way from Detroit, but I didn't really want to stay in-state, so that influenced my decision," Showers told the Detroit Free-Press at the time. "Even though Michigan and Michigan State came at me, I had to do what I had to do." Showers did what he had to do this fall, too. He moved back to offense. Showers didn't mind when coaches asked if he wanted to convert back to offense with sophomore running back Matt Jones, the projected starter at tailback, came down with a serious viral infection right before fall camp opened. "It's always a good thing to have the ball in your hands," a relaxed Showers said Tuesday as he took questions from a group of reporters in the visiting locker room at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. "It's not a bad move at all." Showers served on the scout team in 2011 as a freshman redshirt, and last season he appeared in 11 games primarily on special teams. However, with the Gators short-handed in camp, Showers made the transition into a role similar to the one occupied by Omarius Hines in Florida coach Will Muschamp's first two seasons. Hines was used at receiver and running back and effective in the short passing game and on misdirection runs. Showers (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) lacks Hines' bulk but is quicker and more elusive. His teammates were impressed by Showers' easy transition back to offense. Showers enters the season opener Saturday against Toledo as the third-team tailback. As a senior at Madison Heights, Showers intercepted three passes and rushed for 2,024 yards and 29 touchdowns. Madison Heights reached the regional finals both seasons and Showers the Detroit News named Showers its Player of the Year. "I think it's a real good move," said starting running back Mack Brown, one of the players Showers will compete for carries with on Saturday. "I think it'll help out the offense a lot. He's a real fast back. He can catch, is real smart. So this is a big opportunity for Valdez." One Showers is ready for and in some ways, has waited on. "The way I pictured things playing offense probably never went away, to score a touchdown," he said. "That's something you can't let go. Offense comes natural to me, so it wasn't hard at all. It's easier than defense." If his number is called on Saturday, will Showers be edgy? Will he hesitate when taking a handoff? "I'm not nervous at all. It's football," he said. "I've been playing it all my life."
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Yankees close to trading Aroldis Chapman

WATCH: Dontrelle Willis' great reaction to Giancarlo Stanton home run

Reports: Sale cut up throwback uniforms with knife in protest

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that protested gun violence

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’


Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

NCAA rules that hanging out with Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker