TAMPA ― If history is any indicator, new USF signee McArthur Burnett arrives in Tampa with the odds of flourishing in his favor.
Burnett, an all-state cornerback at Pahokee who spent two seasons at Florida before landing at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, becomes the latest ex-Gator who will attempt to re-boot his career in green and gold.
His predecessors mostly have prospered. No fewer than five other former Gators ultimately landed in Tampa, and four of them shined for USF. Here’s a look at the other former “Bull Gators” (or is it “Gator Bulls?”). Players are listed with the years they played at USF in parentheses.
WR Elgin Hicks (2001-03)
At UF: Despite a dazzling career at Port Charlotte (124 catches for 3,000-plus yards and 50 touchdowns his final two years), Hicks never made a catch for the Gators, transferring as a redshirt freshman in September 2000.
At USF: 53 catches, 770 yards, seven TDs. All seven TDs occurred in 2003, tying for the second-most scoring catches in a season by a Bull.
TE Trent Pupello (2008)
At UF: Redshirted in 2006, played sparingly in ’07
At USF: A Jefferson High alumnus, Pupello was employed mostly as a run-blocker in an injury-besieged season, catching two passes for 26 yards. He stopped playing because of a neck injury suffered in a 2009 car accident.
CB/KR/PR Chris Dunkley
At UF: Redshirted in 2010, transferred to USF and sat out the ’11 season
At USF: Suspended in 2012 following his arrest on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, Dunkley was allowed to return as a walk-on by new coach Willie Taggart in 2013, and averaged 22.6 yards on 18 kick returns (with a 50-yard TD return vs. SMU). He switched from receiver to cornerback in ’14 and started 10 games, making a team-best five pass breakups. On special teams, he averaged 24 yards on 23 kick returns, earning first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors as a kick returner.
TE Mike McFarland (2011-14)
At UF: The Blake High alumnus redshirted in 2010, transferred to USF in ’11 and was granted a hardship waiver by the NCAA, allowing him to play right away.
At USF: 55 catches, 643 yards, two TDs. One of the handful of bright spots on USF’s woeful 2013 team, McFarland earned second-team All-AAC honors that year, when 17 of his 23 catches went for a first down or TD.
RB Jordan Cronkrite (2017-current)
At UF: 75 carries, 302 yards, four TDs in two seasons. Announced his transfer prior to Outback Bowl following ’16 season.
At USF: After sitting out the ’17 season per NCAA transfer guidelines, Cronkrite became only the fifth Bull to record a 1,000-yard season (184 carries, 1,121 yards, nine TDs). His 302-yard effort (on 23 carries) at UMass set school and AAC single-game records.
CB McArthur Burnett (Class of 2019)
At UF: Redshirted in 2016, played in six games (on special teams and as a backup DB) in ’17. Transferred to Coffeyville CC and had four interceptions (two returned for TDs) last season.
Contact Joey Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.