More notes: A new option on punt returns?
There's a new name that could be joining USF's football program this fall, and it's really an old name, in that we mentioned junior college return specialist Faron Hornes in January as a possibility for the Bulls.
Hornes, who has finished classes at Butler Community College in Kansas, met with USF coach Jim Leavitt last week and has talked with him about playing for the Bulls this fall.
"USF has been with me since the start," said Hornes, who averaged a ridiculous 30.2 yards on punt returns as a senior at Bradenton Southeast in 2005, along with 23.2 yards on kickoffs. "Coach Leavitt and I are talking almost on a daily basis."
It's hard to tell if there's a scholarship available for him at USF, which won't know the status of signee Gerard Atkins until August. Hornes, who said he has talked with coaches at UAB, Memphis and Colorado but favors USF, has three years of eligibility remaining because he played only one season of junior college football. He said he's in the process of applying to USF and would consider walking on initially if that's what he needed to do to play close to home with the Bulls.
For more on Hornes, here's a good read from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune's Alan Dell back in December.
-- J.R. Reed isn't the only former USF standout who might be coming back to Tampa as a coach this fall. Former Bulls receiver DeAndrew Rubin, who has played most recently in Arena Football, interviewed with Tampa Catholic coach Bob Henriquez on Monday to coach the Crusaders receivers. There's a mutual interest, and if background checks and procedural hurdles go through, he'll be a volunteer assistant this fall.
-- UFL update: We'd told you former USF defensive tackle Richard Clebert was drafted by the New York franchise in the new pro league. Clebert said Tuesday he's signed a contract with New York, and said former USF guard Frank Davis is expected to play for the league's Las Vegas franchise.
-- ESPN.com blogger Brian Bennett has a Q&A with USF offensive coordinator Mike Canales. He says people are calling USF's offense the "Spread Coast," as a mix of the spread and West Coast schemes.
-- The Washington Times takes a look at Old Dominion's football program and the former startups like USF they consulted to find the best way to direct their early years.
-- More obscure but interesting stat rankings from Phil Steele in the Orlando Sentinel: Today he ranks all 120 teams based on what percentage of their total offense from last year was from players back this fall.
UCF, he points out, leads the nation with 100 percent of its offense back this season. What he doesn't mention is, um, that the Knights had the worst offense in the nation last season, a full 11 yards per game worse than the next-worst team in I-A.
For what it's worth, USF returns the highest percentage of any Big East program, ranking 34th nationally, two spots ahead of Cincinnati. The league doesn't have a lot of offense back -- five of the eight teams rank 82nd or worse, including Connecticut (106th) and Rutgers (109th).
-- This morning, we told you Frostproof cornerback Nickell Robey was down to USF and Georgia. Tonight, the Lakeland Ledger tells you he's committed to Georgia.
-- The New York Times Quad blog, continuing to count down all 120 I-A team, has Pittsburgh No. 42.