TAMPA — USF coach Skip Holtz announced to his team Friday that sophomore WR Stephen Bravo-Brown is on scholarship this fall.
Bravo-Brown was one of the surprises of Holtz's first season, making the roster as a true freshman walk-on, then playing all 13 games, starting twice and finishing with 11 catches for 104 yards. With new depth and talent around him at receiver, the Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas graduate could have redshirted this fall, but he stayed in the mix on USF's depth chart.
Holtz did the same thing with a scholarship in December with another freshman walk-on, QB Bobby Eveld from Jesuit, who helped rally the Bulls to victory at Miami last season and is now B.J. Daniels' top backup. Elevating Bravo-Brown is impressive considering Holtz has a limited number of scholarships in this year's recruiting class, with only 14 seniors on scholarship.
Two scholarships came open this fall when RB Dontae Aycock and DE Brandon Wilkinson left the program. Holtz said Thursday he had not decided what he'd do with the final scholarship. TE Mike McFarland, who transferred from Florida this fall, remains a walk-on.
QUICK HITS: Former Ohio State WR James Louis of Delray Beach, who had an interest in USF, has enrolled at Florida International, the Miami Herald reported. … A closed scrimmage was USF's last of the preseason. The Bulls have today off and start game-week preparations Sunday for their Sept. 3 opener at Notre Dame. … According to Notre Dame's ticket office, USF returned a limited number of tickets, which will go on sale Monday morning. It's unknown how many tickets were returned from USF's allotment of 5,000.
FSU: Bring the noise
TALLAHASSEE — With Florida State's band blasting the Seminole war chant throughout the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, the season unofficially kicked off.
Coach Jimbo Fisher said it's about time.
Speaking to assistant coaches, administrators, players and more than 1,000 fans assembled at the 60th annual kickoff luncheon, Fisher appealed each to join him in "living in the now."
"We get so caught up sometimes saying, 'If we win this one and lose this one, we'll do this and do that,' " Fisher said. "We (as a team) don't think that way. We don't want y'all to think that way."
MARROW DRIVE: The Seminoles participated in a bone marrow registry drive hosted by Be the Match, a group affiliated with the national bone marrow donor program. All the Seminoles registered. Fisher's youngest son, Ethan, needs a bone marrow donor; this year he was diagnosed with the rare disease Fanconi anemia.
UF: Elam lines up
GAINESVILLE — Coach Will Muschamp has yet to name starters for Florida's season opener vs. Florida Atlantic, but S Matt Elam seems to be in line for a spot.
The sophomore has stood out, Muschamp and teammates say, and is expected to play strong safety and nickel. Elam played all 13 games as a freshman, mostly on special teams and at backup safety.
"I think he's got great acceleration to the ball. He sees it, and he goes and gets it," Muschamp said. "He's got that umph, and he's got that extra gear."
UM: Freshman's flash
CORAL GABLES — Freshman WR Phillip Dorsett made it known with his performance from the start of camp that he isn't content with easing his way in. And he has impressed coaches and teammates.
Coach Al Golden has raved about Dorsett since 7-on-7 workouts this summer. RB Mike James recently said Dorsett was one of two freshmen that have most impressed him.
"I feel like I can contribute a lot, especially on special teams," Dorsett said. "The coaches have done a great job preparing me to be a starter, so I should be all right."
Dorsett has worked with the first and second units in practice.
WAITING GAME: With eight Hurricanes being declared ineligible in the wake of the booster scandal, and the NCAA left to decide on their eligibility, Golden says: "We've done our part. We're waiting."