Catching up on the state of USF football

By Sam Newlon, Associate Editor
On January 6, 2019

Sterlin Gilbert (in hat) left USF to take the head coaching position at McNeese State on Dec. 5, 2018. ORACLE PHOTO/SAM NEWLON

There was a lot that happened with USF football after the fall semester including a bowl game, the early signing period and a massive change in the coaching staff and player roster.

Gilbert, Mattox go to McNeese State

Former USF offensive coordinator, Sterlin Gilbert, was officially announced as McNeese State’s head coach Dec. 5, 2018, but he wasn’t the only piece of USF’s coaching staff to make the switch.

McNeese State announced Jan. 3, 2019 that former USF offensive line coach Matt Mattox would be the team’s new offensive coordinator.

Gilbert left the team before the Bulls faced off against Marshall in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, leaving an offensive play caller vacancy. Coach Charlie Strong gave the duties to Justin Burke, USF’s tight end and special team’s coach.

Although Burke was given extra responsibilities for the bowl game, it has yet to be announced who the Bulls’ offensive coordinator will be next season.

Kean, Oladokun and others to leave USF

The day after USF’s 38-20 bowl game loss, former USF backup quarterback Brett Kean announced on Twitter his plan to transfer after graduating from USF in May. One week later, USF’s other backup quarterback, Chris Oladokun also announced his intention to transfer to a different program.

Blake Barnett won the starting quarterback position after transferring to USF in the summer — after Kean and Oladokun established themselves as the top two players contending for the quarterback role. After Barnett earned the spot, Kean and Oladokun both took a backseat again.

Whenever Barnett was out, either with injuries or just taking a few plays to catch his breath, it was a toss-up between Oladokun and Kean for who would play.

Oladokun started a few games, but when he was in the game, it was only a matter of time before Kean got his turn.

“I will be transferring from the University of South Florida and have entered the transfer portal to be able to enroll at another university in January,” Oladokun said via Twitter. “Even though I may be starting a new chapter in my life, Tampa will ALWAYS be home for me.”

Barnett is set to return to USF next season, but with the departure of these two backups, fans could be asking themselves: “Who will play quarterback?”

It wasn’t just the quarterback position that will see some changes next season. After USF’s loss to Marshall, Strong told the Tampa Bay Times he planned a personnel house-cleaning.

“I’m telling you right now, we’re going to clean up this whole program,” Strong told the Tampa Bay Times. “A lot of guys will be leaving. We need a good washing.”

11 USF players were suspended from the team’s bowl game, including WR Darnell Salomon, WR Deangelo Antoine, RB Elijah Mack, RB Duran Bell and DB Naytron Culpepper. According to the Tampa Bay Times, none of the 11 players suspended from the game are likely to return in 2019.

Early Signing Period

The NCAA’s early signing period runs from Dec. 19 through 21 and USF inked 19 of their newest recruits during the three-day span when high school athletes decide where they will attend college.

Each of USF’s 19 signees were listed as three-star recruits, according to 247Sports. USF is listed on that website as the fourth strongest recruiting class in the AAC.

One of the more interesting stories of the first early signing day was that of Jahquez Evans, a 6-foot-2-inch, 180-pound dual-threat quarterback from Atlanta. Evans decommitted from USF Dec. 12 before an official visit to Cincinnati on Dec. 14. He was quiet until Dec. 19, when he signed his letter of intent with USF.

“There’s not going to be any surprises,” coach Charlie Strong told the Tampa Bay Times after the early signing period. “We know who we’re gonna get and it’s already done.”

The Bulls signed four offensive linemen, three linebackers, wide receivers, cornerbacks and defensive ends and just one running back, safety and quarterback.

The regular signing period for college football reopens Feb. 6.

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

More usforacle News Articles

Recent usforacle News Articles

Discuss This Article

MOST POPULAR USFORACLE

GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY

How do you most commonly view stories from the Oracle

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER

TODAY'S PRINT EDITION

Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
OR
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format