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USF signs two quarterbacks, including former Miami starter Jarren Williams

Our national signing day roundup also looks at the Gators’ Tampa-heavy class and FSU’s brightest spot.
Former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Jarren Williams is transferring to USF.
Former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Jarren Williams is transferring to USF. [ Times (2019) ]
Published Dec. 17, 2020
Updated Dec. 17, 2020

USF added to its quarterback ranks during Wednesday’s start of the early signing period. Jarren Williams, a former University of Miami quarterback, and dual threat Timmy McClain out of Sanford Seminole will join a roster that already includes sophomores Jordan McCloud and Cade Fortin, and freshmen Katravis Marsh and Jordan Smith.

McCloud got the bulk of the snaps during the Bulls’ 1-8 season, but coach Jeff Scott made it clear to his quarterbacks that the starting position is up for grabs in the spring.

Related: National signing day: Live updates on Gators, Florida State, USF and more

“We haven’t won many games in the last two years (5-16),” Scott said. “I have to continue to bring other guys in until somebody separates themselves. But bringing in two quarterbacks this year is really not a reflection on my thoughts or beliefs in Jordan or Cade or Trey Marsh or Jordan Smith. It’s about keeping good numbers at that position and adding quality players.”

At Miami, Williams — a former four-star recruit — started 10 games in 2019, breaking the Hurricanes’ school record with six passing touchdowns against Louisville. The offense hit a slump down the stretch, and the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder transferred to Garden City (Kan.) Community College when D’Eriq King joined the Hurricanes from Houston.

Scott said Williams should be immediately eligible and enroll in classes next month.

McClain — a three-star recruit and regular starter since his freshman year at Seminole — has thrown for more than 6,000 yards in his high school career. His team (11-0) is ranked No. 1 in Class 8A, according to MaxPreps, and will compete in the state championship game this weekend against Kissimmee Osceola. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound McClain had offers from the likes of Kentucky, Louisville, UCF and West Virginia.

Early this season, Scott said quarterback was one of two positions — the other being wide receiver — “underperforming.”

McCloud arguably had his best game of the year in USF’s season finale against UCF, throwing for 404 yards and four touchdowns. Marsh sustained a concussion in the Oct. 3 loss to Cincinnati and saw action in only one more game, and Fortin was unavailable much of the season.

“Our job’s to add quality players in every position,” Scott said of the new additions. “And then, eventually, the best of the best is going to rise.”

Florida’s Tampa push

Armwood defensive tackle Desmond Watson was one of the three Hillsborough County prospects to sign with Florida on Wednesday.
Armwood defensive tackle Desmond Watson was one of the three Hillsborough County prospects to sign with Florida on Wednesday. [ Times ]

The Gators had an uneventful day with no major surprises (good or bad) while signing 21 players in the nation’s No. 8 class.

Three of them were from Hillsborough County — four-star tight end Gage Wilcox (Jefferson High), three-star defensive tackle Desmond Watson (Armwood High) and three-star defensive back Jordan Young (Gaither High).

“Obviously it’s a great area, great for high school football in the Tampa area,” coach Dan Mullen said. “A lot of guys there that, you know, dream of being Gators.

“It’s always been a key area for us in recruiting for a long time. A lot of great Gator players have come out of the Tampa area in the past and we hope that they will for a long time in the future.”

’Noles notes

Florida State had a largely surprise-free day, with the exception of three-star defensive end George Wilson. The Virginia native and top-400 national recruit was committed to South Carolina before the Gamecocks fired Will Muschamp last month. Auburn was among Wilson’s other options.

Coach Mike Norvell called the defensive line was one of the “true bright spots” of the 16-person class (including UCF transfer quarterback McKenzie Milton). The Seminoles were ranked 31st as of early Wednesday evening.

Miami gets its QB

The Hurricanes’ class moved to 10th nationally Wednesday evening with the late commitment of four-star quarterback Jake Garcia. The one-time USC commitment is the nation’s No. 46 overall recruit. At one point, FSU was also thought to be in the mix for the 6-foot-2, 195-pound recruit from Georgia.