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USF’s Blake Barnett set for season-ending surgery

The graduate transfer quarterback injured his ankle against SMU.
USF quarterback Blake Barnett (11) tackled by SMU linebacker JC Rispress (32) while throwing during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 28. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]

USF senior quarterback Blake Barnett will undergo season-ending surgery on the ankle he injured in the second half against SMU, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.

Spectrum Sports and first reported the news earlier Thursday. It’s unclear if Barnett, a graduate transfer who has played at three different universities and already has taken a conventional redshirt season (at Alabama in 2015), will pursue a medical redshirt. He has appeared in four games, the maximum allowed by the NCAA in one season to remain redshirt-eligible.

A married father of a 19-month-old son, Barnett turns 24 in December.

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After totaling slightly more than 3,000 yards in 11 games (10 starts) last season, Barnett entered ’19 as the Bulls starter, but was hindered by a lack of protection and nonexistent run game at the outset.

After failing to lead USF to a touchdown over the season’s first seven quarters, he was replaced by redshirt freshman Jordan McCloud in the second half of the Bulls’ 14-10 loss at Georgia Tech.

After the Bulls spotted SMU a 34-0 halftime lead at home Sept. 28, Barnett played the second half and tossed three touchdown passes in USF’s 48-21 loss. But he was sacked four times and suffered what coaches called a high-ankle sprain in the game’s waning moments.

He didn’t make the trip to Connecticut the following weekend, and didn’t suit up for last weekend’s home game against BYU. On Monday, coach Charlie Strong announced Barnett wouldn’t be available for Saturday’s contest at Navy.

Contact Joey Knight at Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.