1. Sports
  2. /
  3. USF Bulls

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 Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.


  1. USF guard Enna Pehadzic (0), USF center Shae Leverett (21) and Houston guard Julia Blackshell-Fair (33) battle for A loose ball at the Yuengling Center last season. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The Bulls also have an afternoon home game the same day as the Gasparilla parade.
  2. The Bucs will get their first look at rookie Daniel Jones Sunday when he starts for the New York Giants in a 4:25 p.m. game against Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium. FRANK VICTORES  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Exploring quarterback changes for the New York Giants, Florida Gators and USF Bulls.
  3. USF quarterback Jordan McCloud (12) runs against Georgia Tech during the second half of a Sept. 7 game. JON BARASH  |  AP
    Additionally, quarterback Jordan McCloud makes the AAC weekly honor roll.
  4. USF redshirt freshman Jordan McCloud warms up before Saturday night's game against South Carolina State. McCloud totaled five touchdowns in the Bulls' 55-16 triumph. SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times] SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The redshirt freshman’s five total touchdowns were the most by a Bulls first-time starter
  5. USF rejoices after defensive end Kirk Livingstone, getting hugged, recovers a first-half fumble against South Carolina State. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    Journal: The Bulls force a single-game record eight turnovers against South Carolina State.
  6. Relentless pressure caused this first-half fumble; No. 20 Bentlee Sanders knocking it free with No. 4 Greg Reaves ready to pounce. USF recovered, then scored a touchdown just a few plays later against visiting South Carolina State. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    At least one unit still has some serious shortcomings entering conference play.
  7. Not perfect, but not too bad for USF quarterback Jordan McCloud in his first college start. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The redshirt freshman quarterback totals five touchdowns in his starting debut as the Bulls beat South Carolina State 55-16.
  8. UCF defensive back Aaron Robinson runs after intercepting a pass against Stanford during the first half of Saturday's 45-27 Knights win. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    Fennelly: Like last year and the year before, Saturday’s big win (this one over Stanford) isn’t music to every ear.
  9. UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel throws a pass against Stanford during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday in Orlando. JOHN RAOUX  |  AP
    The true freshman quarterback throws four touchdowns in a 45-27 victory over the Pac-12 Cardinal.
  10. Warming up before the game Saturday night, USF redshirt freshman Jordan McCloud, a Plant High alum, got his first start as a college quarterback. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The former Panther gets the nod over Blake Barnett against South Carolina State.