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Plant High’s Jordan McCloud starts at quarterback for USF

The former Panther gets the nod over Blake Barnett against South Carolina State.
Warming up before the game Saturday night, USF redshirt freshman Jordan McCloud, a Plant High alum, got his first start as a college quarterback.
Warming up before the game Saturday night, USF redshirt freshman Jordan McCloud, a Plant High alum, got his first start as a college quarterback. [ SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times ]
Published Sep. 14, 2019
Updated Sep. 14, 2019

TAMPA ― After three anemic quarters at Georgia Tech last weekend, USF redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan McCloud entered and gave the Bulls a spark off the bench.

Saturday evening against South Carolina State, he got the chance to give them a spark off the bat.

As expected, the Plant High alumnus took the first snap against the Division I-AA Bulldogs, becoming the third quarterback from a Hillsborough County high school to start a game for USF.

The others: Bobby Eveld (Jesuit) and Chris Oladokun (Sickles).

MORE USF: Would USF’s Charlie Strong survive a ninth consecutive defeat?

McCloud’s first possession lasted all of three plays. A Johnny Ford jet sweep resulted in a 3-yard loss, a second-down pass to Randall St. Felix was dropped, and McCloud was sacked on third down.

His second possession, which started in Bulldogs territory after an SCSU fumble, also went three-and-out.

McCloud, younger brother of Carolina Panthers receiver (and former Hillsborough Country career rushing leader) Ray-Ray McCloud, was summoned late in the third quarter at Georgia Tech with the Bulls trailing 14-3.

He entered after a KJ Sails interception deep in Yellow Jackets territory, and tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Johnny Ford on his third play from scrimmage. He finished 4-for-5 for 90 yards.

Two days after the game, coach Charlie Strong indicated McCloud and senior Blake Barnett (25-for-50, 188 yards in ’19) would compete for the No. 1 job in practice.

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