‘Tis the season for Early Signing Day and Transfer Portal commitments! Let’s welcome RB Lavonte Valentine, RB Darrian Felix, and QB Cade Fortin to the Bulls!
Lavonte Valentine Goes from Gamecock to Bull
Via Twitter, former South Carolina RB Lavonte Valentine tweeted his updated portal status on December 11th, giving both the track & field and football teams a speedster to contribute no matter what time of year it is. From GamecocksOnline.com, Valentine was an early enrollee for SC back in 2018 where wasn’t able to see the gridiron that season after recovering from knee surgery. Earlier this year, Lavonte competed as a sprinter for South Carolina’s track and field squad before entering the transfer portal on August 6th according to Hale McGranahan at 247Sports.com. I spoke with Lavonte on the 11th to clarify his status at USF and he confirmed that he is “committed to the track team, but will be playing football” as well. With that being the case, this will use up one of the 85 scholarships that the football team is allowed every year IF the coaching staff goes that route according to Nathan Bond at The Daily Stampede. There is no reason to believe that Valentine won’t be with the football team in the future, but just something to keep tabs on with Valentine being a two-sport athlete at the school. You can’t teach speed and Valentine sure has a lot of it. Whether on the track or on the gridiron, expect Lavonte to make an impact for USF Athletics in the near future.
Darrian Felix Goes from Duck to Bull
DJ Khaled famously coined the phrase “Another One” and that’s just what the program inherited with former Oregon RB Darrian Felix committing to the Bulls on December 13th via Twitter, giving the 2020 class its second transfer thus far in the Early Signing Day/Transfer Portal madness. According to GoDucks.com, Felix had an interesting career with Oregon, showing promise in his freshman season back in 2017 posting 197 total yards (182 rushing) and 1 TD. In 2018, Felix played in two games before going down with a season-ending injury, allowing him to redshirt last year. This season, Darrian picked up where he left off in 2017 racking up 275 total yards (197 rushing) and 2 TDs as a reserve option in the Ducks backfield. Now, Darrian enters the USF program as a redshirt junior that will more than likely sit out the 2020 season due to transfer rule guidelines. Whether it’s 2020 (if an eligibility wavier is granted) or 2021, expect Felix to make an immediate impact for the Bulls backfield as another piece to an already talented position for the USF offense.
Cade Fortin Goes from Tarheel to Bull
A QB coming in from the transfer portal was inevitable for the Bulls heading into the 2020 season, especially with Tate Rodemaker signing with the Noles on December 18th. Coach Scott clearly made this position a priority during #TransferPortalSZN, grabbing former North Carolina QB Cade Fortin before ESD via Twitter. Signing with the Tarheels back in 2017, Fortin started in two games for UNC the next season, throwing for 388 yards and a touchdown with an added 76 yards and a TD on the ground as well. Fortin used a redshirt in 2019, electing to use this past season as a “year off” so that he is eligible to play in 2020. Fortin will join a USF QB room that includes Jordan McCloud, Jahquez Evans, and Kirk Rygol, all who saw snaps in 2019. Look for Spring camp to give an early indication on who the lead guy might be in 2020 with McCloud as the early favorite being the incumbent starter heading into 2020.
Leave your thoughts and comments below and be sure to tune in shortly when I cover all the latest news and updates regarding Early Signing Day for your USF Bulls!