Welcome to the latest installment of “Welcome New Bulls!” where we discuss each position group in the USF 2020 recruiting class along with expectations for each player as they prepare for their first 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 current USF roster. Without further ado, let’s get the show on the road!
As the 2020 season inches closer to game one at Texas on September 5th, let’s take a closer look at the class of 2020 wide receiver and tight end position group consisting of Omarion Dollison, Sincere Brown, and Holden Willis. Below you will find a brief breakdown on each wide receiver and tight end along with my projections for this fall and beyond.
Omarion Dollison, Columbia, SC (Gray Academy)
As a recruit, Dollison was ranked as the 302th WR in the country, receiving offers from Cincinnati, East Carolina, Middle Tennessee State, Western Kentucky, and Georgia State to name a few. Dollison is currently on-campus as an early enrollee who enrolled with the Bulls on January 13th.
As we step into the film room, don’t let Dollison’s 5-9 height fool you. Projected to be a slot WR at the next level, Dollison has the capability to be effective on deep shots down the field as well. Epitome of a “YAC” (yards after catch) WR that will pick up yards in bunches once the ball is in his hands. Lethal second gear speed along with elusiveness to shake off defenders, whether before or after the catch. More than just a slot WR (as mentioned previously), but will be deadly in the short-pass/screen game where his ability at receiver stands out. Impressive route runner who will give defenders fits in man coverage if they can’t jam him off the line. Shows the capability to be effective as a returner at the next level as well.
Player Comparison: Remember Deangelo Antoine? The former USF Bull transferred to FAU last season as a grad transfer, totaling 1,202 all-purpose yards including 6 total TDs on the year for the Owls. Dollison reminds me of Antoine as both are dynamic playmakers whether taking snaps at WR, RB, or on special teams in the return game.
Player Projection for Dollison: This isn’t ALWAYS the case, but freshmen who enroll early usually have a better shot at playing sooner than the freshmen that come in during the summer. Even with spring ball consisting of just one practice, I like Dollison’s chances at playing early for the Bulls this season in a similar fashion as Xavier Weaver did last year for USF. Biggest difference between Weaver and Dollison is where they line up on the field. Slot WR is simply not as deep as the numbers that exist on the outside and for that reason alone, expect Dollison to see his fair share of snaps this season on offense.
Sincere Brown, Charleston, SC (First Baptist Church School)
Next up we have Sincere Brown out of Charleston, SC (First Baptist Church School). Brown was ranked as the 346th WR in the nation, holding offers from schools such as Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Liberty, Navy, and The Citadel to name a few. Brown was previously committed to Appalachian State before flipping to the Bulls on January 20th.
Size and speed combo that WR coaches dream of. More than just a downfield threat as a capable short-to-intermediate pass catcher that will find yards after the catch as well. Size (6-4) and length at the position is enough of a mismatch against a defender, but jumping/ability to high point the football on deep shots down the field is the icing on the cake. Consistent pass-catcher that shouldn’t have an issue with dropped passes, showing the ability to make contested catches throughout the film.
Player Comparison: Marquez Valdes-Scantling is a perfect player comp to Brown with both possessing the size and speed combo that you want at receiver. If Brown follows a similar player trajectory as MVS at the collegiate level, expect similar results on the field in the coming years.
Player Projection for Brown: I mentioned with Dollison that the outside receiver position has more depth than slot receiver heading into 2020. For that reason alone, it might be harder for Brown to see the field this season, but that might not be a bad thing in giving him a year to develop at the collegiate level. Three seniors leave in 2020 along with another three in 2021, leaving the position wide open for a guy like Brown to find the field sooner rather than later.
Holden Willis, Greenback, TN (Greenback School)
High school WR turned college TE, Holden Willis hails from Greenback, TN (Greenback School). Willis was ranked as the 185th WR in the country, picking up offers from schools such as Tulane, UMass, Jacksonville State, Austin Peay, and Indiana State to name a few.
As we step into the film room, Willis is a natural pass catcher who will carry that strength over to the TE position. As a blocker (keep in mind that he did line up outside as a WR in HS), Willis showed the desire to block out defenders and finish through blocks on outside running plays. For his size, Willis displays enough wiggle and quickness to pick up yards after the catch. Looks the part as a red-zone threat who has no problem catching in traffic in the shorter end of the field.
Player Comparison: I think that current USF TE Jacob Mathis is a good player comp for Willis with both being athletic TEs that operate best in the receiving department for the position. Both can be effective blockers when asked, but their strength is best used at receiver no matter the down or distance on offense.
Player Projection for Willis: A redshirt season will be necessary for Willis to adapt to his new position at TE, but what I’m curious about is how the TE position will be utilized in OC Charlie Weis Jr’s new system. We saw Weis Jr. use two TEs during his duration at FAU and that same philosophy may follow if you look at the emphasis that has been placed at the position through the transfer portal and 2021 recruiting class. How this position is utilized is key, but look at the development of the other TEs on the roster (Frederick Lloyd, Chris Carter, and Thomas Nance) as a barometer to see when Willis can find playing time in the coming years.
Share your thoughts with us below in the comments and keep your eyes peeled for our next installment of “Welcome New Bulls!” later this month!