USF football legends: Where are they now?​​

Tight end Mitchell Wilcox now plays for the Cincinnati Bengals. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

There have been a total of 30 USF football alumni drafted to the NFL, 13 of which have made Super Bowl appearances. 

With NFL preseason wrapping up, here are some USF Bulls to look for when watching Week 1 of the NFL.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling played for USF under former coach Willie Taggart from 2016-17. During his time as a Bull, he set the 2017 receiving yards record of 879 yards. He is ranked 10th all-time with 1,294 career receiving yards in two seasons. 

In 2017, he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers. While with the team, he played alongside Aaron Rodgers and became one of the only players to register 25-plus receptions and an average of 15-plus yards per catch in each of his first four NFL seasons. 

He was picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2022 after Tyreek Hill was traded to the Dolphins. This upcoming season he will be working to be at the top of the Kansas City depth chart and build up its wide receiver room. 

“I wouldn’t be here, in this position, if I didn’t go to USF,” Valdes-Scantling said after signing his second NFL contract. “Coming in here with Willie Taggart and everything that he did for my organization and just winning over the two years that I played here. I met a lot of great guys, a lot of great guys that made it to the league, a lot of friends that I’m friends with now, today.” 

Mitchell Wilcox

Tight end Mitchell Wilcox is best known for his performance at USF from 2016 to 2019. He was a starter for all four years and he set multiple records including the USF career tight end record in receiving yards, receptions and receiving touchdowns. 

Wilcox signed with the Bengals in 2020 as an undrafted free agent. In 2021 he was signed to the Bengals’ active roster out of training camp. During the 2021 NFL season he was the 14th Bull to be part of a Super Bowl team. He also played 84 offensive snaps and 50.5% of special teams snaps with Cincinnati. 

He has now resigned a one-year contract with the Bengals in April for the 2022 season. 

Mike White 

Quarterback Mike White wasn’t considered a huge sell when it came to USF football, but his post-college career proves otherwise. White was the Bull’s starting quarterback from 2013-14. While at USF he started 15 games, but only completed 93 of 175 passes for 1,083 yards with three touchdowns and 9 interceptions.

White was drafted to the Dallas Cowboys in the 2018 NFL Draft. But in 2019 the Cowboys decided not to sign him to the practice squad. He then signed to the New York Jets practice squad and joined the active roster. 

The quarterback is currently a second string for the Jets. He is known for his performance in Week 8 of the 2021 season, when he filled in for an injured Zach Wilson to make his first NFL career start. White ended up finishing the game 34-31 against the Bengals.

After becoming the first quarterback in the NFL to throw over 400 yards in his first NFL start since Cam Newton, White was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance. Just a few months later, White re-signed with the Jets for a one-year, $2.54 million contract on March 16. 

Jason Pierre-Paul

Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul played for USF in 2009. During his time as a Bull he posted a total of 45 tackles, was team Rookie of Year and was named First Team All-American by Pro Football Weekly. 

Pierre-Paul was the 15th overall pick by the New York Giants in 2010 to become USF’s highest draft pick ever. Pierre-Paul played with the Giants until 2017 when he was traded to the Buccaneers. 

By 2020 he signed a two-year $27 million contract with the Bucs and finished with a team record of nine and a half sacks and 55 tackles. In the NFC Championship against Green Bay, he recorded two sacks on Aaron Rodgers, then went on to win Super Bowl LV in their home stadium.