OPINION: Bohanon will still take starting position next season over Brown

Freshman quarterback Byrum Brown led the Bulls to a season high of 499 yards and a tied season high of 42 points scored. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

Freshman quarterback Byrum Brown struck the news with his impressive performance on Friday against Tulsa. While the likelihood of him becoming a starter for the upcoming season is unlikely, that doesn’t mean that role will not be his in the future.

Brown moved up the roster after junior Gerry Bohanon and sophomore Katravis Marsh suffered season-ending injuries. Achieving impressive stats for his first start, fans questioned why he was only third-string on the depth chart.

In one game, he marked an 84% pass completion rate which broke Quinton Flowers’ single-game 82.8%. The first 21 passes he threw were complete, which marked the most thrown by an FBS player since 2016. Brown had the third highest total quarterback rating (QBR) in the AAC this season at 91.5 and snagged a spot on the AAC Week 12 honor roll.

His performance on Friday showed fans the start of him using his skills at a high level, and with time it can only get better. He deemed himself worthy of the back up position compared to Marsh.

Marsh’s best game of the season only nailed a 70.6% completion rate and a QBR of 69.9 against Houston. Before injury, Marsh only had a 51.3% completion rate.

However, the starting position in 2023 will most likely go to Bohanon as he will be a seasoned senior quarterback over Marsh who played an average season and Brown who would be a sophomore that just barely finished two games as a true freshman. The best scenario for Brown would be to continue developing behind Bohanon while he plays his last year, then assume the starting position after Bohanon graduates.

We have already seen a battle of the quarterbacks in the early season between Bohanon and freshman Timmy McClain. Despite the promise McClain showed prior to entering the transfer portal, Bohanon still came out on top.

During his time with the Bulls, McClain threw for 1,880 yards, completed 55.3% of passes and had five touchdowns.

Bohanon has already assumed his loyalty to USF with one more year of eligibility and is expected to pick up where he left off. Before injury, he was playing his best games with the Bulls. During his last two-and-a-half games, Bohanon passed for 501 yards, six touchdowns and ran for 250 yards.

Before transferring, Bohanon led Baylor to a Big 12 title and a Sugar Bowl victory in 2021. During his time in Tampa, he ran for a total of 386 yards on 60 carries for three touchdowns.

To live up to the name he has already made for himself, Brown will need to show consistent strides in growth and prove to not be a one-game wonder. The season isn’t over as USF has yet to face No. 25 UCF in the War-on-1-4 game.

There is also uncertainty in how the incoming head coach will make decisions on the depth chart. Director of Athletics Michael Kelly said he expects to make a decision on who will assume the role by Dec. 5.