Surprise: WR Griffin transferring from USF
Surprising news from USF today, as the Bulls announced that USF junior receiver Sterling Griffin, expected to play a key role for the Bulls this fall, will graduate this summer and finish his eligibility at another school.
Griffin, who suffered a season-ending injury in the second game of last season, was one of USF's most experienced receivers, having caught 43 passes for 560 yards as a sophomore in 2011. Best known for a 73-yard touchdown pass he caught as a freshman in USF's 2009 win at Florida State, he missed the entire 2010 season with an ankle injury, and would be eligible for a medical redshirt for 2012, so it's possible he could land a sixth year of eligibility and play two years at his new school.
"I've had a great experience at USF and I'll cherish the memories and relationships I've made while on campus," Griffin said in a statement. "I appreciate Coach (Willie) Taggart for all he's done since taking over the program, and I wish this team nothing but the best moving forward. I want to thank my teammates, the fans, the administration and all the support staff, especially the athletic training staff, who have helped me during my time here."
USF suddenly has depth concerns at receiver -- in addition to Griffin leaving, the Bulls' No. 2 receiver from 2012, Terrence Mitchell, was suspended from the team in spring and is transferring to tiny Fort Hays State in Kansas; junior Chris Dunkley remains suspended from the team since his September arrest for domestic violence battery, though he has since resolved his legal issues by completing a pre-trial diversionary program.
USF has experienced receivers in juniors Andre Davis and Deonte Welch, sophomore D'Vario Montgomery and senior Derrick Hopkins, but after that, there's little with college experience. The Bulls have former walk-on Stephen Bravo-Brown, sophomore Ruben Gonzalez and redshirt freshman Alex Mut, with only one receiver, Zach Benjamin, among the incoming recruits.
Davis had a team-best 46 catches last season, but the rest of USF's returning receivers combined for 43 catches and just one touchdown in 2012.