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Preseason mags offer modest outlook for USF

Three preseason guides peg the Bulls to remain behind UCF in the AAC East
USF senior tight end Mitch Wilcox is a first-team All-American Athletic Conference pick by two preseason college football magazines. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Published May 24

The first wave of preseason college football magazines has hit newsstands, though Bulls fans may wish to peruse with caution.

The covers are far glossier than the 2019 projections for USF.

Street & Smith’s offers the most optimistic forecast for Charlie Strong’s team, picking the Bulls to finish second (behind UCF) in the East Division of the American Athletic Conference. Athlon Sports picks them to place third, behind the Knights and Cincinnati.

Related: USF strikes 2-for-1 football deal with Alabama

The Southeastern Conference-heavy edition of Lindy’s offers no specific AAC division forecast, but pegs USF as the league’s fifth-best team and 77th nationally.

The Bulls are projected to play in the Boca Raton Bowl and Gasparilla Bowl by Athlon and Street & Smith’s, respectively.

MORE USF: USF’s history vs. national title programs

“The offensive playmakers are there,” Athlon notes on its Bulls preview page. "The defense must drastically improve, though, or else the Bulls are looking at more mediocrity instead of realistic AAC title contention.

Individually, senior tight end Mitch Wilcox and junior cornerback Mike Hampton are first-team picks on Street & Smith’s preseason All-AAC squad, while Wilcox gets the same recognition from Athlon.

Related: Record-setting tight end Mitch Wilcox to remain at USF

Hampton, tailback Jordan Cronkrite, all-purpose back Johnny Ford, offensive tackle Marcus Norman, defensive end Greg Reaves and linebacker Nico Sawtelle are Athlon second-team All-AAC picks. Street & Smith’s lists Kerwin Bell as the league’s “coordinator to watch.”

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.


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