Two new USF walk-ons: Tackle Smith, safety Griffin
USF isn't going to update its football roster until closer to when players report for the start of preseason practice on Aug. 3, but we've been able to confirm two new walk-ons that joined the program this week with the start of Summer B classes. Jake Smith is an offensive lineman from Bloomingdale who will be part of the 105-man roster the Bulls take to Vero Beach in August, while Trevon "Tre" Griffin is a transfer from Navy who says he had a scholarship offer from the Bulls coming out of Miramar High School a year ago.
Smith, 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds, played tackle at Bloomingdale, and his coach there, John Booth, said he was strongly considering going the small-school route -- Division II Minot State in North Dakota -- when he decided to stay closer to home and walk on at USF. Booth said USF sold him on the Bulls' strong history with walk-on linemen, with two starters on last year's line (tackle Jake Sims and current senior guard Chaz Hine) being players who came into the program as preferred walk-ons.
"Jake's best attribute for us was his toughness -- he was the offensive lineman that all of our defensive linemen hated, and that's what you want," Booth said. "Great kid, great work ethic, but you get him in a game, he's a nasty son of a gun."
Griffin, 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, had four Division I scholarship offers out of high school, including USF, Florida International and Minnesota, but chose Navy, leaving after just one quarter (three months) and sitting out this spring until he enrolled at USF for summer classes. As a transfer, he'll have to sit out the 2011 season, so he won't join the team until the start of fall classes, just to optimize the 105 roster spots for two-a-days in Vero Beach. He'll have three years of eligibility with the Bulls, and his high school coach said he's a steal for the Bulls.
"He's the best safety I've ever coached," said Miramar coach Damon Cogdell. "He started out at quarterback, spent some time at receiver, but once we moved him to defense, we knew he was going to be a heck of a safety."
You can check out a highlight video of Griffin from his Miramar days here -- at the 0:45 mark, you'll see him returning a kickoff for a touchdown.
We'll continue to do what we can to find more late additions to the Bulls' roster as preseason practice grows closer. ...