Where Are They Now: Ex-Bulls in college football
Game day is here, with USF and Florida A&M kicking off tonight at 7 p.m. -- lots to come from there, starting with our usual in-game live-blog, but first we'll catch up on former Bulls in the rest of college football.
Between former players and signees, there's still a good number of erstwhile Bulls playing elsewhere in college football, most at smaller schools compared to USF -- some are still making big impacts at their schools. We wrote this week about former Bulls walk-on Jonny Sitton making a splash at tiny NAIA Shorter University in Georgia, but here's a roundup of other former Bulls and USF signees playing elsewhere:
-- Michael Hayes, RB, Houston: Hayes signed with USF in 2010, but wound up getting his release and signing with Houston, where he scored 11 touchdowns last season. Now a senior, Hayes already has four scores in the Cougars' first two games, including two in Houston's win against UCLA. He's rushed for 118 yards and three scores while catching 11 passes for 74 yards and another score.
-- Khyri Thornton, DT, and Thomas Edenfield, OT, Southern Miss: Both guys are starting for Southern Miss -- Thornton, who signed with USF but never made it to campus, has three tackles (one for loss) and two quarterback hurries, while Edenfield, a transfer from USF, is now the starting right tackle.
-- Ivan Nicholas, S, Ole Miss: The former USF signee and the younger brother of Bulls linebacker Stephen Nicholas has played in his first two games at Mississippi, but has yet to log any statistics.
-- Adaris Bellamy, RB, Youngstown State: Another Bulls signee who didn't make it to campus, Bellamy has thrived at the I-AA level, rushing for 180 yards and two scores in a 77-13 romp against Valporaiso. He had just one carry for 2 yards in a loss to Michigan State.
-- Lucas Darr, DB, North Alabama: Darr was a special-teams player at USF, but has stepped in as a starting safety on Terry Bowden's Division II team -- he has seven tackles and a half-tackle for loss in the first two games.
-- Chase Griffiths, LB, Liberty: Griffiths transferred this summer after two years as a linebacker and fullback at USF, but he's done well in his move back to defense. He has six tackles in his first two games, including four in a win against Robert Morris.
-- Brandon Wilkinson, DE, Samford: Wilkinson transferred this fall after redshirting his first season at USF -- he's played in Samford's first two games but hasn't logged any statistics.
-- T.J. Knowles, WR, Sacramento State: Sac State made big headlines by knocking off Oregon State in its opener, but Knowles has yet to play in the Hornets' first two games after transferring there this summer.
-- Josh Bellamy, WR, and Kamran Joyer, OL, Louisville: Bellamy signed with USF in 2007 but never made it, and the former Boca Ciega star is off to a modest start, with five catches for 44 yards in two games. Joyer signed with USF but wound up a Big East rival Louisville; he's in his third season with the Cardinals but has yet to see game action, limited by a foot injury last year after redshirting in 2009.
-- Carlos Savala, OT, East Central University: The big junior college signee never made it to USF, and is in his second year at this NAIA school, where he's the starting left tackle.
-- If there's others we're missing, please let us know in the comments -- tight end Gerard Atkins of Dixie Hollins, for instance, was dismissed from the football team at Toledo this spring, according to Dixie coach Mike Morey, and is taking classes this fall at St. Pete College with the hopes of finding another football home after he gets his associate of arts degree.