Chamberlain punter Pullaro to walk on at USF
News on the walk-on front, as Chamberlain senior Austin Pullaro said Thursday he has accepted an invitation to walk on at USF as a punter and kicker. Pullaro, one of Hillsborough County's top kickers the past two seasons, was planning to walk on at Florida but changed his mind Tuesday and accepted USF's offer.
Pullaro, 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, missed most of his senior year with a knee injury, but returned during Chamberlain's playoff run. He averaged 42 yards on punts as a junior and could punt or kick at USF, as well as compete for kickoff duties this fall -- 71 percent of his kickoffs went for touchbacks.
Pullaro was set on attending Florida and had even paid for admissions and housing, but changed his mind on Tuesday, the same day he graduated from Chamberlain. Academically, Pullaro said he graduated 19th in his class at Chamberlain, with a 5.9 weighted grade-point average; he'll take a Bright Futures scholarship to USF, as well as the USF Directors Scholarship and a scholarship from the National Italian-American Foundation. He's set up his own website you can find here.
He'll wear No. 27 for the Bulls, the same number worn by former walk-on Justin Teachey, who earned a scholarship and handled kickoffs and some punting while at USF.
Pullaro is the fourth incoming freshman walk-on we've confirmed, joining Largo quarterback Ryan Eppes, Seminole long-snapper Cory Schomp and Sickles' Cody Durakovic, who could play defensive end or outside linebacker.
-- Remember Lemon Bay's Matt Piloto? He was a freshman walk-on quarterback at the start of last season, but left the team at midseason. He's going to play at Division III Mount Union College in Ohio, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. "It was a bad situation," he told the newspaper. "I didn't see realistically any playing time. I didn't like USF or Tampa. I lost interest in football and the school."
-- Another summer countdown: USF's student newspaper, The Oracle, finishes its countdown of USF's top 10 players -- George Selvie gets the nod at No. 1, followed by Matt Grothe, Jessie Hester, Jerome Murphy and Nate Allen.
-- Bleacherreport.com ranks the Big East football coaches, with Jim Leavitt tying for third with UConn's Randy Edsall.
-- I'll be at tonight's first "Around the Horns" gathering of the summer, at The Bayou Club in Largo. Lots of coaches scheduled to be there, with Leavitt, Stan Heath and Jose Fernandez due to speak ...