Football notebook: Over a dozen seniors officially announced as 2022 returnees

A number of USF seniors have made the decision to return to the team next season, including linebacker Dwayne Boyles. ORACLE PHOTO/LEDA ALVIM

Due to the NCAA granting all athletes who participated in the COVID-19-altered season in 2020 an extra year of eligibility, 16 senior USF football players decided to use their bonus year and return to the team in 2022.

Among those coming back are offensive linemen Brad Cecil, Demetris Harris, Demontrey Jacobs, Donovan Jennings and Sebastain Sainterling, according to USF football’s game notes available to the media Tuesday. 

Linebackers Dwayne Boyles, Antonio Grier, Andrew Mims and Brian Norris, as well as safeties Vincent Davis and Mekhi LaPointe will also be returning. Joining them are defensive linemen Darrien Grant and Rashawn Yates, wide receiver Latrell Williams and tight end Chris Carter.

“Basically, I just want to win,” Boyles said. “I want to go out winning. I had the chance to leave, but no, this is where I want to be at. This is where I see myself in the next year.

“I want to bring all the other seniors back that came in with me and we all just want to win.”

Wide receiver Bryce Miller was also a player named on the list, but according to Will Turner of 247Sports, the former walk-on has decided to enter the transfer portal.

USF secures transfer of former Clemson running back

Former Clemson running back Michel Dukes Jr. announced his intent to transfer to USF via an Instagram post Sunday.

Dukes committed to the Tigers in early 2019 and went on to appear in 15 games over the next three seasons, tallying 212 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 42 carries, with the majority coming in his freshman season.

Coach Jeff Scott and Dukes worked together for one year at Clemson in 2019, as Scott was a co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach from 2015-19 before coming to USF.

Dukes is the ninth player overall and the second transfer to commit to joining the Bulls in 2022. He joins a recruiting class ranked 100th nationally and 10th in the AAC, according to 247Sports.

Bulls on pace to be least penalized USF team ever in full season

Aside from the 2020 season, a year in which the Bulls played just nine games due to COVID-19-related cancellations, the lowest number of penalties ever committed in one season by USF is 74 in 2010.

The Bulls are currently on pace to break that record as they average 4.8 flags per contest through the first 10 games of the season.

If the Bulls continue playing clean football on this level over the final two games of the season, they will finish with approximately 58 total penalties.

Looking to end on a high note

The Bulls have not ended a season with back-to-back wins in their final two games since 2016, and Scott is looking to do just that to give his team momentum heading into next season.

“[Ending with two wins is] the opportunity that’s in front of us over the next 10 days, and I think that would be a great exclamation point to really put on this season of improvement and really give us a lot of momentum going into recruiting going into the offseason, going into next year,” Scott said.

“[We also have the opportunity to] give our seniors that are leaving a way to leave on a positive note, but you can’t win your final two if we don’t win [on Saturday] against Tulane.”