Welcome to the latest installment of our new series, “Welcome New Bulls!”. This series is devoted to discussing each position group in the USF recruiting class of 2019 and my expectations for each player as they prepare for their first collegiate season adorning green and gold for our beloved Bulls. While it’s difficult to predict exactly how much each true freshmen will contribute on the field in year one at the collegiate level, I’ll take a stab at it based on the most current USF roster available. Without further ado, let’s get the show on the road!
As the season inches closer and closer to the Wisconsin game on August 30th, let’s take a closer look at the class of 2019 wide receiver room consisting of Logan Berryhill (loganberryhill7), Xavier Weaver (thtkidzayy), and Kelley Joiner Jr. (kelleyjoiner8). In the following paragraphs, I’ll do a brief breakdown on each player along with my expectation on what 2019 (and beyond) holds for each receiver.
Let’s start with 6-4, 186 LB WR Logan Berryhill out of Camden County High School in Kingsland, GA. According to 247, Berryhill was rated as a three-star recruit coming out of high school receiving offers from FIU, Elon, Mercer, and Wofford to name a few.
Based on his film, Berryhill is a long, rangy WR that saw most of his success on intermediate and deep passes at the high school level with a few screens and short passes mixed in along the way. Regardless of his size, Berryhill showed the ability to win against defenses in the red-zone, an area that he should continue having success in once he hits the field at the FBS level.
One thing that I absolutely loved from his film was his willingness to block at the position, similar to what #Ocho (Tyre McCants) was able to do during his career at USF. All in all, Berryhill is the epitome of what you want to see from an outside WR as someone that will be effective in both the passing AND running game as soon as the offense touches the field.
As for the 2019 season, I expect Berryhill to redshirt as the coaching staff looks for DeVontres Dukes (6-4) and Stanley Clerveaux (6-3) to serve as the big bodies at the position. Based on the comments made by first year offensive coordinator Kerwin Bell in regards to how his red-zone offense will operate, it sounds like Bell will not just run fades to the backside of the end zone when the Bulls are inside the 20.
With that in mind for guys like Dukes, Clerveaux, and Berryhill, keep an eye on how Bell utilizes the possession receiver in his #PlayFastScoreFaster offense, a role currently occupied by Clerveaux as shown in the spring game a few months ago. A good player comparison for Berryhill would be Clerveaux, so look for him to make a name for himself on the outside as a big-bodied receiver to fill Clerveaux’s spot after he graduates.
Next up, let’s move to 6-1, 165 LB WR Xavier Weaver out of Orlando Christian Prep in Orlando, FL. According to 247, Weaver was rated as a three-star recruit coming out of high school collecting offers from Wake Forest, East Carolina, Middle Tennessee State, Troy, and Western Kentucky to name a few.
Based on the film from his junior season, Weaver is a wideout that excels in the YAC (yards after catch) category once the ball is in his hands. Not only was he successful in that regard, but also in jump ball situations down the field where the WR is asked to beat the man in front of him for the ball. I liked his ability to win against the defense on intermediate and deep passes along with him being a factor on jet sweeps behind the line of scrimmage. All in all, Weaver is what I like to call a “complete route tree” receiver that will be effective on all routes no matter where he is lined up on the field.
As for the 2019 season, I expect Weaver to redshirt as the coaching staff currently has guys at the position with experience that can step in when asked to. Besides that, the coaching staff may hold off on Weaver until he can get his weight up to handle the rigors of the position at the collegiate level as well. As for the future beyond 2019, look for Weaver to be utilized in a similar fashion at WR as Zion Roland was (who is currently working in the secondary according to USF Senior Writer Tom Zebold). Like Roland, Weaver has the ability to play either inside or outside which should help him see the field sooner depending on what Bell wants to do with the receiver position as a whole.
Kelley Joiner Jr:
Last, but not least, let’s discuss 5-9, 175 LB WR Kelley Joiner Jr. out of South Lake High School in Groveland, FL. According to 247, Joiner Jr. was rated as a three-star recruit coming out of high school picking up offers from Appalachian State, UConn, Tulane, Troy, and South Alabama to name a few. Something to note before we dive into his film is that Joiner Jr. was a RB at the high school level before the USF coaching staff recruited him as a slot receiver at the collegiate level.
Based on his film (which only included 3 games due to a broken fibula), Joiner’s speed and elusiveness in the open field stood out to me right off the bat. Just off that alone makes you understand why they want him in the slot position where they can get him out in space, similar to Johnny Ford being moved to the slot to utilize his talent there. One of Joiner’s more underrated abilities is his toughness and ability to run through tackles. This was highlighted in his film at several points and will suit him well at the collegiate level when going against guys in the secondary.
As for the 2019 season, I expect Joiner Jr. to redshirt for two main reasons: 1) The transition from RB to WR is a game of learning how to go from north/south to east/west. I think a year to really digest the position and know what it fully entails would be helpful for Joiner Jr. 2) The slot position includes guys like Johnny Ford, Eddie McDoom (Unsure if Bell will utilize him here or on the outside), Jernard Phillips, Bryce Miller (Who has been fantastic since spring camp), and Terrence Horne (Who should be available for Wisconsin if things keep trending in the right direction).
Much like the other freshmen receivers coming in, I see Joiner Jr. becoming a factor on offense in the coming years, especially when he has a full grasp of the position. That could come sooner than later, but what I’m extra curious to see is whether or not Bell utilizes Joiner Jr. at the RB position as well, essentially becoming another Johnny Ford on offense. Don’t call it a surprise if it happens!
Leave your thoughts and comments below and be sure to tune in next week when I discuss the Class of 2019 OL room!