Chris Oladokun USF's lone QB in 2016 class
TAMPA — No matter who he put under center last spring, nothing had seemed to work for Sickles quarterbacks coach Jason Silbert.
Frustrated, the longtime Gryphons assistant was almost ready to throw his hands up. But then an answer came one day in the form of a transfer from down the road at Alonso.
It was Chris Oladokun.
"I was working with a bunch of punch-buggies," Silbert told a packed audience inside the school's auditorium Wednesday afternoon.
"Then, one day I walked in the room, and it was like a sports car showed up."
Oladokun hopes to have that same effect at USF, too.
The three-star, pro-style prospect, who remained orally committed to the school for nearly two years, made it official, inking his letter of intent with seven other athletes.
Other Sickles signees included fellow teammates Jack Weston (Ave Maria), Carter Mulroe (Princeton), Jake Hampton (Gardner Webb), Kelvin Clemons (Coffeyville Kansas. CC) and girls soccer players Paige Napolitano (Nova Southeastern), Christina Clements (Warner) and Nicole Amador (Farmington State College).
"I've been dreaming about this for a long time, ever since I played little league," said Oladokun, the lone quarterback to sign with the Bulls in this year's class.
"To actually fulfill that dream when a lot of people thought I couldn't, it's a great feeling."
With a logjam at the position atop USF's depth chart with an established starter in rising junior Quinton Flowers and coveted UCLA transfer Asiantii Woulard, Oladokun isn't expecting to see much early playing time.
"(Quinton) has always told me, 'It's all about competing,'" Oladokun said. "You get in, you step in. You may be the best player on your high school team, but when you get (to USF), you're starting all over again."
That won't stop him from giving them a challenge, though. Especially after throwing for 1,390 yards and 15 touchdowns to lead Sickles to a runnerup spot in Class 7A, District 8 last season.
Despite fielding offers from several other Division I-A programs, including Nebraska, Iowa State and Temple among others, it was that opportunity to compete that made USF stand out from the rest.
The ability to play in front of family and friends? That wasn't bad either.
"(USF coach Willie Taggart) always says, 'Bay made, bay stayed and bay played," Oladokun said. "That really hit me hard. To play for your hometown, to really rep the 813, I think that's a really important part. ...
"It's going to be a great experience."