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USF’s KJ Sails cleared to play this season

The North Carolina transfer is expected to start Friday against No. 19 Wisconsin
USF cornerback KJ Sails, an East Bay High alumnus, transferred from North Carolina earlier this year. [USF Athletics] [USF Athletics]
USF cornerback KJ Sails, an East Bay High alumnus, transferred from North Carolina earlier this year. [USF Athletics] [USF Athletics]
Published Aug. 28, 2019
Updated Aug. 28, 2019

KJ Sails' four-month confinement in NCAA limbo has come to a merciful and satisfying end.

Coach Charlie Strong announced Wednesday via Twitter that Sails, a former North Carolina cornerback who transferred in May, has been cleared to play this season.

RELATED: What’s it like to be in the transfer portal? ‘It’s a lot’

A former four-star recruit from East Bay High, Sails is expected to start Friday against No. 19 Wisconsin. Strong indicated Monday that if Sails is cleared, he’d line up at the corner spot opposite Hillsborough High alumnus Mike Hampton, with former Tampa Catholic standout Bentlee Sanders the nickel back.

“He brings a lot of energy, a lot of passion," Hampton said Tuesday. "On defense, we feed off his energy. He’ll be big for us and he’ll make a big impact.”

Sails, a junior and father of a 2-year-old son, opted for a fresh start last winter after the previous Tar Heels staff was fired and two of his family members passed away. He announced his transfer to USF in May, and sought a hardship waiver from the NCAA allowing him to play immediately instead of sitting out a season.

That waiver evidently has been granted.

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

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