The battle for USF's opening-day quarterback job remains a bona fide three-man derby, courtesy of Charlie Strong's announcement that fourth-year junior Brett Kean is eligible for the contest.
And every one thereafter.
Strong said Wednesday that Kean, whose early-season status appeared uncertain at one point for academic reasons, has been cleared by the NCAA.
"He will not have to sit the two games and he'll be ready to go," Strong said.
A published report in early July by The Daily Stampede indicated Kean would be suspended the first four games for academic issues. Sources close to Kean, however, indicated while he faced a four-game suspension at one point, he had done well enough in the spring to have it reduced to two games.
He also sought a waiver from the NCAA — on unspecified grounds — to have the two-game suspension negated.
"He's been competing this whole camp this whole summer. It's just good to finally hear that," Bulls WR Tyre McCants said.
"It's been kind of iffy whether he was gonna be here, whether he was not gonna be here. But just that confirmation, that just gives the team and him a lot more confidence. You could tell today once he found that out, he was smiling."
The primary backup to Quinton Flowers the last two seasons, Kean (193 career passing yards, two TDs, one INT) continues battling redshirt sophomore Chris Oladokun and Arizona State transfer Blake Barnett for the starting job, with each appearing to get first-team reps during the limited practice window open to reporters.
The Bulls will hold their first preseason scrimmage (closed to the public) on Saturday.
"It's a battle," Strong said. "You have three (candidates), it's hard for three. But we've got to find who's gonna be (No.) 1 and 2 and then get them in position where they can come and practice."