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Will USF have another congested quarterback room in 2021?

Only one of this season’s five scholarship signal callers are seniors, and Jeff Scott just got a commitment from a 2021 left-hander.
Third-year sophomore Jordan McCloud, who started 10 games last season, is among five scholarship quarterbacks on the 2020 roster.
Third-year sophomore Jordan McCloud, who started 10 games last season, is among five scholarship quarterbacks on the 2020 roster. [ Times (2019) ]
Published Apr. 23, 2020

In his four-plus months on the job, new USF football coach Jeff Scott has watched his quarterback situation evolve from a scarcity to a surplus.

Now, the inevitable market adjustment looms.

Roughly 60 hours before coveted class of 2021 tight end Gunnar Greenwald announced he’ll sign with USF, Scott got a non-binding pledge from Sanford Seminole left-hander Timmy McClain. A three-star prospect with verified 4.6 speed in the 40 (per 247Sports’ Andrew Ivins), McClain led the Seminoles to the third round of last year’s Class 8A playoffs.

Related: ESPN's Phil Steele ranks USF's football schedule No. 2 nationally

Though deemed a dual threat, McClain’s arm and ability to navigate his progressions are more coveted than his feet. His accuracy and mechanics have been widely hailed by no less an authority than former NFL journeyman Jeff Blake.

“He doesn’t drop the ball and doesn’t have a big release,” Blake, himself a Seminole alumnus, told the Orlando Sentinel upon observing McClain in late October.

“He has a very tight, compact release, which I was very impressed with and very surprised about. His base footwork is pretty good and he short-steps into this throws, so mechanically I think he’s pretty good.”

Question is, how many passers will he match those mechanics against in 2021?

The Bulls have five scholarship quarterbacks on the 2020 roster, including graduate transfer (and Armwood High alumnus) Noah Johnson. None of the others are seniors, meaning USF will have another quarterback quintet in 2021 if McClain honors his pledge and no one transfers out.

Conventional logic, especially in the portal era, says that’s not likely.

Only once in the last decade — in 2018 — has USF carried five scholarship quarterbacks. Following that season, three — Chris Oladokun, Brett Kean and Octavious Battle — moved on.

At some point this fall (or next winter or spring), games will be played and the depth chart will stabilize. Those at the bottom of it likely will seek better playing opportunities elsewhere.

Or convention could be defied, and Scott could have one doozy of a QB derby in 2021.