ust two weeks into his first season at the helm of the USF football program, head coach Alex Golesh and his new USF staff showed their recruiting prowess adding 16 student-athletes to the Bulls’ roster Wednesday – including 12 high school and junior college recruits and four-year college transfers – when the NCAA Early Signing Period began.
USF added 10 signees on offense, five on defense and one on special teams Wednesday, including five offensive lineman, three wide receivers, a running back and a tight end and three defensive backs and two defensive linemen. The Bulls added six Bay area players – including two through the transfer portal – and nine players from the state of Florida. Three of the Division I-transfers to join the Bulls came from the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 – with two being four-star prospects out of Lakeland High School – and the fourth was an all-conference wide receiver at the FCS level.
The Early Signing Period runs through Dec. 23. The Late Signing Period for Division I college football begins on February 1.
“I am very excited about our first early signing class at USF and the talent, work ethic and competitiveness they will bring to the Bulls,” Golesh said. “My staff did a fantastic job in a short amount of time to identify and sign some outstanding student-athletes, both from the high school ranks and the transfer portal, that will elevate our talent level and address several positions of need. We are thrilled to welcome these young men to USF and will be continuing to work to fill out this 2023 class with some strong additions in the late signing period while we prepare to build around a strong core of returners in our first practices this spring.”
On offense, the Bulls added major pieces on the offensive line as they welcomed Blinn College transfer Deonte Bowie (6-4, 325), Bay area products James Jenkins (6-5, 270, Tampa, Carrollwood Day HS) and Nikola Milovac (6-6, 280, Clearwater, Clearwater Academy International HS), as well as TJ Lawrence (6-5, 285, Orange Park, Fla.), and Cole Skinner (6-5, 305, Point Pleasant, N.J.).
New weapons at wide receiver include All-NEC standout Naiem Simmons (5-10, 175, Cherry Hill, N.J.), Bay area product Demitrius Carter Jr. (6-3, 175, Lutz, Fla.), and Keshaun Singleton (6-3, 190, Norcross, Ga.). Simmons posted 50 catches for 796 yards and six touchdowns for Wagner University last season. Carter made 48 catches for 923 yards and 11 touchdowns for Steinbrenner High School in his senior season and Singleton totaled 73 catches for 1,078 yards and 13 touchdowns for Meadowcreek High School.
The Bulls added Jaylen Johnson (5-9, 190, Baxley, Ga.), who totaled 3,581 all-purpose yards, 36 touchdowns and nine 100-yard rushing games at Appling High School (Ga.), to the running back room. Meanwhile, the tight end room welcomed Maryland transfer Weston Wolff (Venice, Fla.), who tallied 147 receptions for 1,822 yards and 16 touchdowns for Venice High School.
On the defensive side of the ball, which will be led by new defensive coordinator Todd Orlando, the Bulls added Florida transfer Lloyd Summerall (Lakeland, Fla.) and Oklahoma transfer Kendall Dennis (Lakeland, Fla.), both former four-star prospects out of Lakeland High School. Summerall saw action in 28 games for the Gators and helped lead Lakeland to a Class 7A state title, posting 117 tackles and 14.5 sacks on his high school career. Dennis saw action in seven games for Oklahoma last year and registered five interceptions in his senior high school season.
USF also added defensive lineman Stantavious Smith (6-1, 261, Albany, Ga.), who posted 168 tackles, 31.0 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks in his career at Dougherty High School.
In the secondary, the Bulls welcomed safety Tawfiq Byard (6-1, 197, Hyattsville, Md.) and Bay area cornerback Jarvis Lee (5-11, 173, Bradenton, Fla.). Byard helped lead national power DeMatha Catholic to WCAC championship and Lee helped fellow national power IMG Academy go 8-1 in his senior year after previously posting 79 tackles and seven interceptions at Clay High School.
The Bulls also added a standout long snapper on special teams, as Trey Dubuc (6-2, 220, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) signed with USF after winning a pair of 4A state titles (2020 & 2021) at Cardinal Gibbons High School.
USF opens the 2023 season on the road at Western Kentucky (Sept. 2) before returning to Raymond James Stadium to face Florida A&M (Sept. 9) and perennial national title contender Alabama (Sept. 16). The Bulls finish the non-conference slate at UConn (Sept. 21). The American Athletic Conference will welcome UAB, Charlotte, FAU, North Texas, Rice and UTSA in 2023. In conference play, the Bulls will have home games vs. Rice, FAU, Charlotte and Temple with road dates at UTSA, Memphis, UAB and Navy.
Season tickets for the 2023 season may be renewed at USFBullstix.com or by calling/texting 1-800-GoBulls.
2023 USF Football Early Signing Class
Signing Class size: 16; Defense: 5; Offense: 10; Special Teams: 1
HIGH SCHOOL & JUNIOR COLLEGE ADDITIONS (12)
POS. HT WT. Elig. HOMETOWN/HIGH SCHOOL
Tawfiq Byard S 6-1 197 Fr. Hyattsville, Md. (DeMatha Catholic)
Jarvis Lee CB 5-11 173 Fr. Bradenton, Fla. (IMG Academy)
Stantavious Smith DL 6-1 261 Fr. Albany, Ga. (Dougherty HS)
Deonte Bowie OL 6-4 325 So. Pflugerville, Texas (Hendrickson HS/Blinn College)
Demitrius Carter Jr. WR 6-3 175 Fr. Lutz, Fla. (Steinbrenner HS)
James Jenkins OL 6-5 270 Fr. Tampa, Fla. (Carrollwood Day HS)
Jaylen Johnson RB 5-9 190 Fr. Baxley, Ga. (Appling County HS)
TJ Lawrence OL 6-5 285 Fr. Orange Park, Fla. (Fleming Island HS)
Nikola Milovac OL 6-6 280 Fr. Clearwater, Fla. (Clearwater Academy International)
Keshaun Singleton WR 6-3 190 Fr. Norcross, Ga. (Meadowcreek HS)
Cole Skinner OL 6-5 305 Fr. Point Pleasant, N.J. (Point Pleasant Boro HS)
SPECIAL TEAMS (1)
Trey Dubuc LS 6-2 220 Fr. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Cardinal Gibbons HS)
FOUR-YEAR COLLEGE TRANSFER ADDITIONS (4)
Kendall Dennis CB 5-10 187 Jr. Lakeland, Fla. (Lakeland HS/Oklahoma)
Lloyd Summerall DE 6-5 220 Jr. Lakeland, Fla. (Lakeland HS/Florida)
Naiem Simmons WR 5-10 175 Jr. Cherry Hill, N.J. (Cherry Hill West HS/Wagner)
Weston Wolff TE 6-4 240 So. Venice, Fla. (Venice HS/Maryland)