Tuesday, November 13, 2018
USF Bulls

Ten Bulls on ballot for AAC’s 5th anniversary football team

Your resident USF beat reporter's annual summer respite, observed this year in segments divided by some pomp and circumstance at the Yuengling Center (see Kelly, Michael), has ended.

But the 24/7 Bulls news cycle seemingly never takes a holiday. So with the body refreshed and batteries re-charged, time to play a little catch-up on what has transpired on the USF landscape recently.

* Ten former Bulls are on the ballot for the American Athletic Conference's fifth anniversary football team, which can be found at this link. Nominees on the fan ballot were first-team all-conference picks at least once in their careers, or multiple-time second-team selections.

Representing USF are QB Quinton Flowers, RB Marlon Mack, LB Auggie Sanchez, CB Deatrick Nichols, OL Kofi Amichia, OL Jeremi Hall, DE Aaron Lynch, DT Deadrin Senat, P Mattias Ciabatti and PK Emilio Nadelman.

Fans also may write in their own selections for each position, giving Bulls fans the opportunity to vote for players (i.e. Marvin Kloss, D'Ernest Johnson, Marquez Valdes-Scantling) who may have been overlooked. Deadline for fan balloting is July 13.

* Don't be surprised if some degree of administrative turnover (prevalent in the Mark Harlan era) also occurs on Michael Kelly's watch.

As he said more than once during his introductory press conference Friday, the Bulls' new athletic director is "drinking water from a fire hose" right now, engaging in a crash course on the Bulls' personnel and programs.

RELATED: New USF AD Michael Kelly on football center, conference realignment and new stadium

But it's only natural Kelly ultimately may wish to do some re-structuring, and perhaps bring in some people with whom he has worked in the past. "What we're doing is, we're going in to learn, assess and make the best assessment we can on what we have," he said.

"Talking to the whole staff (Friday), we're gonna be a positive team culture. We've got many sports, but we've got one team, and if people want to jump on to that type of philosophy, there's probably a place for you here at USF. But we're gonna make sure we're modeled for excellence."

* Sunday was a transformative day for USF on two fronts: The Sun Dome officially became the Yuengling Center, and the Bulls' eight-year partnership with Adidas formally began. Here's our story on the details of the agreement. (Note how the deal potentially becomes enriched if USF joins a Power Five conference).

* With six non-binding commitments (three offensive, three defensive players) at this point, the Bulls' 2019 recruiting class currently is ranked ninth in the AAC by 247Sports.

Which means squat.

More than five months remain until the NCAA's early signing period, and from what history has taught us, Charlie Strong and Co. are capable of going on a staggering recruiting surge. Not that such history will appease the more panic-prone members of the fan base.

* USF recently had 212 student-athletes named to the 2017-18 AAC All-Academic team, only two shy of the program record achieved in the 2015-16 school year. Women's track/cross country led the way with 41 honorees, while football (36) was second.

To be eligible, student-athletes must have competed in an AAC-sponsored sport, maintained a minimum GPA of 3.0 for the preceding academic year, and completed a minimum of two consecutive semesters — or three consecutive quarters — of academic work (a total of 18 semester or 27 quarter credit hours).

* Slipping through the cracks amid the Yuengling/Kelly news was the completion of the Bulls women's basketball team's 2018-19 non-conference slate, which features seven games against teams that reached last season's NCAA Tournament.

The home highlight is Oklahoma (Nov. 18). Less than a week later, the Bulls will face Kentucky, North Carolina and UCLA on consecutive days in the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam.

"We can control who we play during our non-conference," said Bulls coach Jose Fernandez, whose program seeks its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament berth next season.

"This type of schedule will prepare us for January, February and the NCAA Tournament. We strive in continuing to compete at the highest level and against the best teams in the country."

Question now becomes, will the NCAA selection committee strive to take notice?

Comments
Know the Foe: Temple

Know the Foe: Temple

The Owls have evolved into arguably the American Athletic Conference's second-best team
Updated: 11 hours ago
USF men trail early, blow late lead, prevail in OT

USF men trail early, blow late lead, prevail in OT

The Bulls blow an 11-point second-half lead before eking out the triumph
Published: 11/12/18
Strong: Bulls ‘not big enough’ at key defensive spots

Strong: Bulls ‘not big enough’ at key defensive spots

The Bulls, who lost two interior defensive linemen to the NFL, are allowing nearly 250 rushing yards a game
Published: 11/12/18
USF journal: Mitch Wilcox has record night in defeat

USF journal: Mitch Wilcox has record night in defeat

The Tarpon Springs High alumnus had seven catches for 90 yards and a touchdown
Published: 11/10/18
Down a quarterback, USF’s skid continues at No. 25 Cincinnati

Down a quarterback, USF’s skid continues at No. 25 Cincinnati

CINCINNATI — On a frigid night when adversity's biting gusts could have chilled USF to the bone, at least credit the Bulls for not shivering.With starting quarterback Blake Barnett (shoulder soreness) not suited up, the kickoff temperature (28 ...
Published: 11/10/18
Joey Knight’s takeaways from USF-Cincinnati

Joey Knight’s takeaways from USF-Cincinnati

We probably should have seen the Blake Barnett injury coming. Never bashful about tucking the ball on a zone read or designed run, Barnett had 90 carries through his first nine games (26 more than second-leading rusher Johnny Ford). On some of those ...
Published: 11/10/18
QB Blake Barnett not suited up tonight for USF

QB Blake Barnett not suited up tonight for USF

The junior transfer from Arizona State is battling shoulder soreness
Published: 11/10/18
USF women rout Albany in home opener

USF women rout Albany in home opener

Senior Laura Ferreira leads all scorers with 21 points
Published: 11/09/18
College football Week 11 viewing guide: Can USF upset Cincinnati?

College football Week 11 viewing guide: Can USF upset Cincinnati?

The Bulls haven't beaten a ranked team on the road since 2011. Does that change Saturday?
Published: 11/09/18
As daunting stretch looms, who will lead these Bulls?

As daunting stretch looms, who will lead these Bulls?

With so many youngsters starting, USF is lacking an assertive veteran voice in the locker room
Published: 11/08/18