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Former Blake TE McFarland joins Bulls

Ready to work: Former Chamberlain High standout Dontae Aycock runs during USF practice.

EDMUND D. FOUNTAIN | Times

Ready to work: Former Chamberlain High standout Dontae Aycock runs during USF practice.

TAMPA — USF coach Skip Holtz made a late addition to his fall roster Friday, announcing that Mike McFarland, a tight end from Blake who spent last season redshirting at Florida, has transferred and will start practicing with the Bulls immediately.

USF is pursuing a hardship waiver that could allow McFarland to play in the fall. It's unknown whether he will be on scholarship or will join the team as a walk-on.

McFarland's the second transfer from Gainesville to Tampa, joining another freshman, WR Chris Dunkley, who joined the Bulls in the summer. Like Dunkley, McFarland was a coveted recruit out of high school — Scout.com rated him a four-star recruit and ranked him the nation's No. 12 tight end; Rivals.com called him a three-star and No. 24 nationally at his position.

McFarland, 6 feet 5 and 245 pounds, will wear No. 86. If he can play in the fall, it would help the team at a thin position, as junior Jeff Hawkins was lost for the season when he tore his ACL last month during voluntary workouts. Holtz was unavailable for comment, and the team doesn't allow newcomers to speak to the media until they've played in a game.

THIS AND THAT: Junior FB Armando Sanchez, a Northeast High graduate, will earn his undergraduate degree in communications today after three years. Three other players from last year's team will also graduate, including DT Terrell McClain (now with the Panthers), WR Dontavia Bogan (49ers) and FB Richard Kelly. … The team will practice this morning then travel to Vero Beach, where it will hold preseason camp for 12 days.

Miami: Before Hurricanes players take the field this morning in Coral Gables for their first practice of fall camp, they will have been reminded by coach Al Golden about two things: conditioning and unity.

"There are two ways a team goes in training camp: either it develops poor morale or it becomes really strong," Golden said. "We need this team to become really strong, really close and obviously this whole camp is designed to really support those two initiatives."

Golden reiterated what he has said since spring: Neither senior Jacory Harris nor sophomore Stephen Morris has an edge in the QB race.

UCF: Coach George O'Leary says his team is not resting on the laurels of the best season in school history. The defending C-USA champions won a program-best 11 games in 2010, capped by an eye-opening 10-6 victory over Georgia in the Liberty Bowl. "I'd rather be where we're sitting now than where we were when we got here," O'Leary, who went 0-11 in his first season with the Knights in 2004. "I think expectation levels are higher. I think the team has to react to that. I know the coaches do."

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Former Blake TE McFarland joins Bulls 08/05/11 [Last modified: Friday, August 5, 2011 10:45pm]
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