Junior college LB to join brother at USF
With USF's Summer B semester starting Monday, we can confirm two new walk-ons joining the Bulls for the 2012 football season: Ronald Pierre, a junior college linebacker from Orlando, and Jackson Cannon, a tight end from Land O'Lakes.
Pierre is the older brother of USF running back Michael Pierre -- the two played together last season at Golden West College in California, with Ronald, a 6-foot-1, 235-pound sophomore, finishing third on the team with 43 tackles, including a sack and forced fumble. Pierre, 23, said he had scholarship offers from I-A schools like East Carolina, New Mexico State and San Jose State, but chose to walk on at USF to stay in his home state and continue playing with his brother Michael.
"I didn't want to leave Florida," said Pierre, who will join the Bulls in preseason camp and start classes with the fall semester. "I want to play for the best, and USF was the only BCS school that offered me a chance to play."
Pierre, who played at Orlando's Boone High School, will have two years of eligibility at USF, and should be able to help the Bulls on special teams -- despite being a starter at Golden West, he said he played on every special-teams unit -- field goal, punt and punt return and kickoff and kickoff return. "I love special teams," he said.
Cannon could have gone the small-school route, with a chance to play at I-AA power Appalachian State, but he's been a USF fan and liked the chance to stay close to home -- the Bulls get a 6-foot-3, 230-pound prospect who played primarily on defense in high school, totaling just six catches as a Gators senior. He made his mark on defense, with 89 tackles and 3.5 sacks -- he'll be used in the tight end/H-back role at USF, with lots of playing time opening up in 2013 after seniors Evan Landi, Andreas Shields and Jeff Hawkins graduate.
-- A familiar walk-on name is back at USF -- running back Jonny Sitton, who briefly had the Bulls' punt return job in the 2010 season, has transferred back to USF after playing last season at NAIA Shorter University. Sitton will likely have to sit out this fall due to the transfer but would have one more year left in 2013.
-- One walk-on we'd mentioned back in February, Ocala Trinity Catholic kicker James Lincoln, is instead heading to Memphis, TC coach John Brantley said Monday. We've confirmed the arrival of a few other walk-ons -- quarterbacks Tommy Eveld and Trenton Miller, as well as former Tampa Bay Tech offensive lineman Caleb Tucker. We'll have more news on walk-on additions as we get additional confirmation ...