As USF turned the page from a dreadful 2021 season to the offseason optimism of 2022, Bulls coach Jeff Scott looked for inspiration for his team.
So he brought up Baylor.
The Bears struggled through a 2-7 year and were picked to finish near the bottom of the Big 12 in 2021, too. Instead, they went 12-2 and won the league.
“Gerry (Bohanon) was a big part of that,” Scott said recently.
Now Bohanon will try to lead a similar turnaround at USF after the Bulls named him their starting quarterback Monday ahead of incumbent Timmy McClain.
A few hours later, news broke that McClain was entering the transfer portal.
Monday’s decisions followed the timeline Scott set at the start of preseason camp of naming a starter after the first scrimmage to give that quarterback plenty of time to mesh with the first team and establish himself as the locker room leader.
Both McClain and Bohanon completed more than 64 percent of their passes in the scrimmage over the weekend, according to USF, with two touchdown passes and an interception each. Both also rushed for at least two scores.
Scott has not yet explained his decision, but Bohanon had clear positives that made him an attractive addition through the transfer portal. The 6-foot-3, 226-pound Arkansas native started a dozen games last year, accounting for 27 touchdowns (18 passing, nine rushing). He was 173-of-225 passing for 2,200 yards, rushed for a score in five consecutive games and went the first six without throwing an interception. As importantly, the junior is a veteran presence for a program still learning how to win.
McClain had flashes of success and high-end ability as a freshman last fall but completed only 55.3 percent of his passes.
With McClain’s impending departure, Katravis Marsh is the only other quarterback with significant playing time. The Hialeah native has started one game each of the past two seasons.
Bohanon will become the sixth different starting quarterback in Scott’s 23-game tenure. The others: Jordan McCloud, Noah Johnson, Cade Fortin, Marsh and McClain. His first USF start will come Sept. 3 against BYU — the same Cougars team his Bears beat by two scores last year as part of Baylor’s turnaround.
A turnaround he’ll try to replicate this season in Tampa.
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