Having already reaped a bountiful transfer harvest this offseason, USF pulled off its biggest portal coup yet Sunday, landing a commitment from Baylor quarterback Gerry Bohanon.
The starter for 12 games last season, including the Bears’ 21-7 Sugar Bowl win against Mississippi, Bohanon made a visit to Tampa this weekend after previously visiting Missouri. He also had generated interest from Oklahoma, Georgia Tech and Liberty.
National recruiting analyst Mike Farrell recently named Bohanon the best QB remaining in the portal. He’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
“It was USF because I believed in Coach (Jeff) Scott, I believe in that staff, I believe in everything they’re doing right now,” Bohanon, a 6-foot-2½, 220-pound dual threat, said Sunday evening.
“Coach Scott is very passionate, he’s a family man. Great leader, great father, great husband, so that was just the place I wanted to be. I felt home there, I wanted to be a part of that and I’m excited for the change that’s coming.”
Barely used his first three seasons at Baylor, Bohanon broke out in 2021, throwing for 2,200 yards, 18 touchdowns and only seven interceptions while helping lead Baylor to the Big 12 title. An All-Big 12 honorable mention, he didn’t throw a pick the first six games of the year.
He missed the regular-season finale and Big 12 title game with a hamstring injury, but returned for the Sugar Bowl. Though not 100 percent, he winced his way through the game, totaling 61 yards and two touchdowns in the triumph.
But Bears coach Dave Aranda named Blake Shapen, Bohanon’s backup last season, the starter after the end of spring, prompting Bohanon to move on.
“Just some things me and the coaches talked about, we thought it was the best decision,” he said.
His arrival in Tampa intensifies the third quarterback derby in as many seasons for Scott, who did not set out to pursue a quarterback at the end of spring practice but wasn’t going to bypass the opportunity to upgrade the position.
As it stands, incumbent Timmy McClain, third-year sophomore Katravis Marsh, freshmen Byrum Brown and Jordan Smith and incoming freshman Gunnar Smith also are in the room.
“Once you can meet a coach that’s very passionate about the game and has those beliefs, you know that it’s the right decision,” said Bohanon, raised about a half-hour west of Memphis in Earle, Ark. “That’s the connection and that’s what you want to be a part of.”
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