Bulls Add 14 in NCAA Late Signing Period. Bulls add more offensive talent

 Head coach Alex Golesh and the USF football program announced the addition of 14 student-athletes on the first day of the NCAA Late Signing Period Wednesday, bringing the Bulls’ 2023 Signing Class to 30 members, including 17 from the high school and junior college ranks and 13 Division I transfers.

On Wednesday, the Bulls announced the addition of five high school student-athletes and nine transfers to add to 16 2023 Class members announced in the early signing period.

All five of the late period high school signees are on the offensive side of the ball, including quarterback Israel Carter (Corona, Calif/Centennial HS), a late flip after originally committing to Arizona State. A dual-threat quarterback, Carter earned MVP honors at the Under Armor Next All-America Camp, was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and passed for 1,863 yards and 23 touchdowns while running for 592 and 11 scores in his senior season.

He was joined by wide receivers Tyree Kelly (Cairo, Ga./Cairo HS) and JayQuan Smith (San Bernadino, Calif./Cajon HS). Kelly tallied34 catches for 624 yards and nine touchdowns in his senior season, while Smith was named Citrus Belt League co-Most Valuable Player after making 26 catches for 459 yards and four touchdowns and running for 544 yards and three touchdowns in nine games as a senior.

The Bulls =added tight end Gerard Edimo (Round Rock, Texas/Stony Point HS), an athlete with big upside just two years into his football playing career, and 6-8, 330-pound offensive lineman Drew Perez (Southlake, Texas/Southlake Carroll HS), who earned first team All-District 4-6A in Texas after his team averaged 258 rushing yards a game and went 13-1.

“I’m really excited about the guys coming in,” Golesh said. “There are a bunch of them here already that will practice through the spring and the rest will be here on June 1. Football work starts March 6 and we’ll have the whole class here on April 14 to celebrate with our fans and our team at the Spring Game on campus.

“I’m very excited about where we are about two-thirds of the way through this recruiting cycle. We still have another period with the portal later this spring. I told the staff I think we are better than we think. There are a bunch of guys that didn’t play that will have a shot to earn that this spring. We’ll identify where we need to address our roster further through spring practice, and then will do that after spring ball concludes”

In the transfer portal, USF picked up defensive end D.J. Harris (New Caney, Texas) who comes to Tampa from the University of Texas with three seasons of eligibility remaining. He was a two-time all-state selection in Texas.

The Bulls added seven offensive players from the portal, including 6-3, 205-pound quarterback Bryce Archie (Powder Springs, Ga.) who will have four seasons of eligibility after coming from Coastal Carolina. Archie was named the Region 2 6A Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for 2,521 yards and 26 touchdowns and rushing for 470 yards and seven touchdowns his senior year.

USF added two running backs in Nay’Quan Wright (Opa-Locka, Fla), a senior who ran for 735 yards and five touchdowns and caught 35 passes for 415 yards and a touchdown in four seasons at the University of Florida, and Dominic Gonella (Riverview, Fla.), a Bay area product who joins the Bulls after running for 1,134 yards and five touchdowns at North Dakota State.

Two offensive linemen joined the Bulls in 6-5, 280-pound Derek Bowman (Magnolia, Texas), a Houston transfer who played in 15 career games for the Cougars, and 6-6, 325-pound RJ Perry (Fairfield, Ala.), a Tennessee transfer who played in 20 games for the Vols, including in all 13 in their recent 11-2 season.

Athletic, 6-6 tight end Teigan Martin (Mayer, Minn.) came to the Bulls from Liberty University. He was a two-way player and district MVP in high school and led his team to a Minnesota state championship. Wide receiver Seth Jones (Pearland, Texas) joined USF from Baylor, where he played in nine games and joined the Bears after leading his high school team to the state title game and posting 38 receptions for 643 yard and nine touchdowns as a senior.

The Bulls also added Virginia transfer kicker Brendan Farrell (Dunwoody, Ga.), who made 15-of-19 field goals in 19 games for the Cavaliers.

The Bulls have now added 30 student-athletes to the roster in both the early and late periods, 22 on the offensive side of the ball, six on defense and two on special teams. USF has 17 of those new additions on campus now going through strength and conditioning workouts. The Bulls will have the first of 15 spring practices on March 6 and will practice for five weeks, taking the University’s Spring Break week off, before concluding with the annual Spring Game at Corbett Stadium on the USF campus on Friday, April 14. That game will kickoff at 7 p.m. and will be streamed live to ESPN+ and can be heard on the Bulls Unlimited digital radio channel.


USF added 16 signees in the NCAA Early Signing Period, including 10 on offense, five on defense and one on special teams.

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.