Report: Bulls tweaking 2010 football schedule
A story in the News-Advance of Lynchburg, Va., reported from the Big South preseason media gathering, reports that Stony Brook is coming to play USF in 2010. We've been chasing that nugget for a few weeks, but Stony Brook officials would only confirm that talks were ongoing, with the same from Samford, who wanted out of its contract. Once a deal is signed, I'd expect a formal announcement from USF.
It's a fun addition to the schedule, if only because Stony Brook is remarkably similar to USF. First, there's its relative youth as a school: The Long Island school was founded in 1957, a year after USF. Then there's the surprisingly large enrollment: about 22,000 students, or about half of USF. Stony Brook is joining the Big South, so they're the Northern version of USF as a school geographically removed from its conference rivals.
The Seawolves had been in the Northeast Conference, which allowed a maximum of 30 scholarships, and the Big South allows schools to have 55, so it's a big step forward, the kind USF made in joining Conference USA and then the Big East. Stony Brook has been playing football since 1984 -- about twice as long as the Bulls -- but didn't join the Northeast until 1999.
USF's 2010 schedule looks to be the Bulls' toughest ever, with games at Florida, Miami, West Virginia and Louisville.
-- Linkage: Today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram has a good read on former USF cornerback Mike Jenkins and how much his family means to him. I'm tempted to pick up HBO, just to watch the behind-the-scenes "Hard Knocks" show, which is following the Cowboys this fall. Could be the second year in a row a Bulls rookie makes the show, as return specialist Ean Randolph was on with the Chiefs last season.
-- One more new walk-on I've been meaning to mention: Defensive tackle Anthony Jones, who played for USF assistant Mike Simmonds at Jefferson High, is expected to join the Bulls from Foothill College in northern California. Jones signed with Colorado State in 2006 but wound up at Foothill, where he earned All-NorCal Conference first-team honors in helping Foothill to a 10-1 record last season. He finished second on his team last season with nine tackles for loss, six sacks and seven hurries, ending up with 35 total tackles. It's always tough for walk-ons with only two years of eligibility, but he has good size -- 6-foot-3, 305 pounds on last year's Foothill roster -- at a position that lacks depth. If he can play even a small role, it might allow a true freshman such as Danous Estenor or Jatavious Jackson to redshirt.