The quarterback position has been a point of uncertainty for USF under coach Willie Taggart. A slew of athletes have tried to make their case, but none have been able to make their name stick.
This uncertainty will continue as the school announced Tuesday that junior quarterback Mike White, who started 10 of the Bulls’ 12 games last season, will be transferring in search of new opportunities.
The quarterback said he didn’t make the decision due to any frustration with the program, but said it was a “career move” and the best choice for him to leave now rather than wait.
“Given that my redshirt wasn’t burned, I have three years left to play football, so playing at another school is the best opportunity for me,” White told The Oracle. “This decision wasn’t made in spite of anyone or any coaches at USF.
“It’s just what I felt — after talking to my family — was the best opportunity for me and my football future.”
White had the most experience running Taggart’s system but still showed little improvement. He threw only eight touchdowns last season.
Though not a flashy sell to fans, White did show glimpses of success. His 242-yard, three-touchdown performance in the second half against Tulsa sparked a comeback-victory late last season.
White was benched the following game due to poor play and was in the midst of yet another heated battle for the starting role with senior Steven Bench and sophomore Quinton Flowers.
“Mike and I talked after the conclusion of spring practice, and he expressed his desire to pursue the remainder of his career at another school,” Taggart said in a statement released by the school. “We wish Mike all the best in his future and thank him for his contributions to our program and university.”
Taggart, now entering his third year with USF, signed only one quarterback in this year’s recruiting class, which leaves him with one less option now that White has left the team.
“I think they’ll do a heck of a job,” White said of Bench and Flowers. “They’re good quarterbacks and there is a reason they were recruited here. They can go out there and get the job done. They’ll be just fine.”
Women’s basketball roster changes
The Tampa Bay Times reported Tuesday that coach Jose Fernandez and the USF women’s basketball team picked up another European player.
Kitija Laksa, a 6-foot shooting guard from Latvia, is averaging 9.1 points per game for the TTT Riga Basketball Club.
Once the 18-year-old signs with the Bulls, Fernandez will have three scholarships left to give after juniors Shavontae Naylor and Bre Brooks were granted their releases Monday.
Women’s golf takes ninth
The Bulls shot their best round Tuesday in the final round of the Web.com Intercollegiate in Ponte Vedra, as they finished ninth out of 17 teams.
Sophomore Ashley Burke shot an even-72 Tuesday and finished with 3-under for the tournament. She tied for fifth in the tournament individually, and shot 11 strokes better than the next-best Bull.
The University of Miami won the tournament with a team score of 10-under for the two-day event.