1. Sports
  2. /
  3. USF Bulls

USF has quarterback derby after all

Four players are vying for the No. 3 spot on the Bulls’ depth chart.
First-year USF offensive coordinator Kerwin Bell speaks to reporters following Monday's practice on campus. [JOEY KNIGHT | Times]
Published Aug. 6

TAMPA ― As USF coach Charlie Strong can attest, possessing a roster with three proven quarterbacks has evolved into one of the greater challenges in the transfer-portal era.

The offseason departures of scholarship quarterbacks Chris Oladokun (Samford), Brett Kean (Charlotte) and Octavious Battle (Tennessee State) have left Strong and first-year coordinator Kerwin Bell scrambling to find a reliable No. 3 guy behind incumbent Blake Barnett and redshirt freshman Jordan McCloud.

Freshman Jahquez Evans, the only other scholarship quarterback in camp, has taken third-team snaps, but so have sophomore junior college transfer Kirk Rygol, Gardner-Webb transfer Kaden Frost and former Miami walk-on Augie DeBiase.

MORE USF: USF season ticket sales holding steady in 2019

“That’s where we’ve just got to continue to develop the guys that we have,” Strong said after Tuesday’s practice, the Bulls’ first in full pads.

“We have three or four guys there that are taking a lot of reps, so it’s more of us giving them the reps. Once they get the reps and they can learn the offense, then we can see where we are.”

A four-year starter at Jacksonville Raines, DeBiase (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) threw for 105 career touchdowns before walking on at UM. He played last year at Tyler (Texas) Junior College, completing 51 percent of his passes (53-for-104) for 793 yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions.

Rygol (6-0, 195), a 5,400-yard passer (and 1,300-yard rusher) at Nation Ford High in Fort Mill, S.C., redshirted last year in his lone season at ASA College ― a private, for-profit two-year program ― in Brooklyn.

More USF: Charlie Strong: ‘We have to worry about us.’

Frost (6-3, 197), who threw for 6,162 yards and 44 touchdowns in four seasons at Naples Gulf Coast, redshirted as a freshman at Gardner-Webb last season.

Whether any of them ― including Evans ― have distinguished themselves through five practices is unclear.

“That first and second group really has great knowledge,” Bell said Monday.

“That third group is frustrating right now because (it’s) a lot of the freshmen, and they’re trying to pick it up; they’re way behind. But I really like our first and second group right now as far as where they’re at as far as our knowledge of the offense.”

MORE USF: Billy Atterbury transitions to left tackle for USF

Fan Fest set for Saturday

USF’s annual Fan Fest, where fans can get autographs and snap photos with football players and coaches, will be held Saturday from 2-4 p.m. at the Yuengling Center. Admission is free.

Free “Fan Fest” posters will be available at the event for use in obtaining autographs; outside items will not be permitted to be signed. Bulls football merchandise also will be on sale, and interactive fan events will be held.

Following the event, a youth flag football clinic will be held from 4-6 p.m. at the Morsani Football Practice Complex, across the street from the Yuengling Center. Dr. Jen Welter, the first female coach in the NFL, will conduct the event.

The clinic is open to the first 200 registrants; boys and girls from third to eighth grade are eligible. To register, go to this link.


  1. Former USF quarterback Quinton Flowers was drafted by the XFL's Tampa Bay Vipers on Tuesday.
    The XFL club selects the record-setting Bulls quarterback as a running back.
  2. A Navy ROTC cadet matches his pushups with the USF-Navy score during a 2016 game at Raymond James Stadium. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    A stout defense and sleek quarterback have sparked the Midshipmen’s resurgence.
  3. USF point guard LaQuincy Rideau (3) was named to the coaches preseason All-American Athletic Conference first team on Monday. JONES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Bulls point guard Laquincy Rideau is a first-team pick on the preseason all-conference squad
  4. USF defensive lineman Kelvin Pinkney (96) celebrates the stop against BYU during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Suddenly, bowl eligibility doesn’t seem so far-fetched for the Bulls.
  5. BYU quarterback Baylor Romney (16) is stopped on fourth down by the USF defense during the second half Saturday at Raymond James Stadium. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Journal: The school also announces $2.5 million in athletic department donations, a good chunk of which will go toward an indoor practice facility.
  6. The Bulls come back from a 13-point deficit to win 27-23.
  7. USF running back Jordan Cronkrite (2) dives over BYU defensive back Tavita Gagnier (34) for the first down during the second half of the game at Raymond James Stadium. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Martin Fennelly: The senior running back has his second straight big game to help lift the Bulls.
  8. USF tight end Mitchell Wilcox (89) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against BYU during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The Bulls come back from a 13-point deficit to win 27-23.
  9. Florida Gators defensive back CJ Henderson (1) wags his finger after breaking up a pass intended for Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Jeff Thomas during the season opener. MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Matt Baker: A running back duel at Clemson and why Jordan Cronkrite could be in for another big day for USF. Plus, Tampa Bay Times staff picks for week 7.
  10. BYU redshirt freshman Jaren Hall will become the first African-American to start a game at quarterback for the Cougars when they face USF on Saturday. JAREN WILKEY  |  BYU
    The freshman will become the first African-American to start a game at QB for the Cougars