1. Sports
  2. /
  3. USF Bulls

USF’s Terrence Horne set to return from ACL injury

The Bulls’ standout kick returner was lost for the season last September.
USF wide receiver Terrence Horne (80) runs for a touchdown during the first half against Georgia Tech last September at Raymond James Stadium. (OCTAVIO JONES | Times)
USF wide receiver Terrence Horne (80) runs for a touchdown during the first half against Georgia Tech last September at Raymond James Stadium. (OCTAVIO JONES | Times)
Published Jul. 16, 2019
Updated Jul. 16, 2019

NEWPORT, R.I. ― Two significant Bulls players absent during USF’s season-ending six-game skid in 2018 are set to practice when the team opens preseason camp Aug. 1.

Coach Charlie Strong said kick-return extraordinaire Terrence Horne (knee) and veteran middle linebacker Nico Sawtelle (neck/shoulder) both are good to go. Horne suffered a torn ACL last September, while Sawtelle missed the last seven games of ’18.

“Sawtelle could’ve gone through spring, and I didn’t do it because he had just come off that injury and I wanted him to heal up more and give us a chance to look at some of the younger players,” Strong said Tuesday at the American Athletic Conference media day.

“Horne, it’s all mental for him. Any time you have an injury like that, you’ve got to take a lick. I think when he takes his first lick, his whole mind will change.”

Horne briefly took college football by storm ― and tied an NCAA record ― by returning two kickoffs for touchdowns (98 and 97 yards) in a 49-38 victory against Georgia Tech on Sept. 8. He suffered his injury during practice days before the Sept. 22 home game against East Carolina.

Related: RELATED: Michael Kelly: Spring ground-breaking possible for USF Football Center

“He’s planting on it, he’s doing everything he needs to do, but he’s yet to get hit,” Strong said. “So I think when that happens, then he’s gonna be like, ‘Oh, I’m okay now, now I can go.’”

Strong also said a chance remains that former North Carolina cornerback KJ Sails can play this season. A former four-star prospect from East Bay High, Sails is seeking hardship waiver from the NCAA, and also must complete some summer courses at USF, Strong said.

“Oh, there’s a good chance for him to play (in ’19),” Strong said. “A lot of things have got to fall in place, and if it falls in place then he’ll have a chance.”

Contact Joey Knight at Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.


  1. USF sophomore Elisa Pinzan had seven 3-pointers Sunday in the Bulls' 64-57 loss to UCF at the Yuengling Center. [JOEY KNIGHT | Times] [Joey Knight]
    The Knights women complete UCF’s weekend basketball sweep of the Bulls
  2. USF senior point guard Laquincy Rideau (3) drives in the first half of his team's 55-54 loss Saturday at UCF. [Photo provided by UCF Athletics] [UCF Athletics]
    The Bulls coach doesn’t hold back following his team’s controversial 55-54 loss in Orlando
  3. USF sophomore center Michael Durr faces a daunting challenge on Saturday night in Orlando against UCF 6-foot-11 veteran Collin Smith. [CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP]
    The Bulls, who appear on the cusp of a breakthrough win, haven’t defeated the Knights since 2015.
  4. New USF football coach Jeff Scott, left, meets with members of his coaching staff and support staff at USF on Thursday. [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    The new coach also has a date set for the Bulls’ spring intrasquad game
  5. New USF football coach Jeff Scott, right, talks to members of the football team during a team meeting at USF on Thursday. [SCOTT KEELER  |  TAMPA BAY TIMES]
    Clemson’s former co-offensive coordinator holds his first full team meeting as USF coach.
  6. USF women's coach Jose Fernandez, talking with guard Enna Pehadzic (0) during the Bulls' season-opening win against Jacksonville, leads his team into a critical American Athletic Conference game tonight at Temple. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    A mediocre showing in non-conference play has hindered the Bulls’ NCAA Tournament hopes.
  7. USF tight end Mitch Wilcox with a reception during a drill on the field during the East practice for the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field on Monday. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    The Tarpon Springs alum insists the Bulls’ disastrous 4-8 season benefited him as he prepares for the NFL draft in this week’s East-West Shrine Game activities.
  8. Expect USF third-year sophomore Jordan McCloud, who started 10 games last season, to get serious competition for the job this spring. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    A look at some of the Bulls’ greatest areas of need entering the recruiting cycle’s final stretch.
  9. LSU coach Ed Orgeron, left, and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney shake hands on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, near the national championship trophy after a news conference for the College Football Playoff title game. [CHRIS CARLSON  |  AP]
    Goodbye, task-master ways. The duo leading their teams into the CFP national title game are all about a very personal, aw-shucks, family approach.
  10. USF guard David Collins, left, goes up for a shot against Memphis forward D.J. Jeffries during the second half of the Tigers' 68-64 triumph Sunday at the Yuengling Center. [CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP]
    The Bulls squander a 14-point second-half lead in a 68-64 loss to the Tigers at Yuengling Center.