It seems like every year that spring camp flies by before anyone realizes that the spring game is among us. Each spring camp/spring game can help highlight current and/or new Bulls players that have stood out for the duration of March-April and we’re here to highlight the standouts with all eyes peeled on April 9th to show what the future might look like come September against BYU. Let’s get after it!
RB – Kelley Joiner – Junior
Joiner had his best season of his career last year with 496 yards rushing, averaging a team best 6.2 yards per carry. To no surprise, the junior running back out of South Lake HS has stood out throughout spring camp this year and looks to again resume his place in a backfield that will utilize him plenty in the 2022 season.
One thing to note, new offensive coordinator Travis Trickett is a big fan of using RBs as receivers and Joiner is plenty capable to be a factor in the backfield as a receiver. This is an area that will grow exponentially in comparison to offenses in the past.
DT – Rashawn Yates – Senior
You want a breakout player in 2022? Look no further than Rashawn Yates who if utilized properly will wreck havoc at the DT spot this season. With former defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer running mostly 3 man fronts, Yates moving back to a 4-3 DT fits him best. This has been a player that has been on the radar for being a breakout over the past two seasons and based on what he has been able to do in camp so far, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is #YatesSZN
S – Mekhi LaPointe – Senior
The local Armwood product has been the epitome of why staying in the Bay is not a bad idea at all if you are a local Bay Area product who is looking for a new home in 2023 and beyond. 2021 was LaPointe’s best season to date and with 2022 being the last season for guys like Mekhi, it has been all gas, no breaks thus far with the senior safety showing out during spring camp once again. This could be a scary good season for LaPointe if the momentum keeps rolling…
LB – Antonio Grier – Senior
To no surprise, the cornerstone for the Bulls linebacker position over the past few seasons is having a great spring camp after having his best season of his career in 2021. Could the former Mays HS LB be even better? Absolutely… In a defensive system that wasn’t overly aggressive last year, guys like Grier seem to be even better if they are in a system that allows them to attack, attack, attack. Much like LaPointe and Yates above, 2022 represents the final chapter for these Bulls who are longing for team success more than anything else as their career at USF already speaks for itself. Get ready for takeoff in September!
CB – Aamaris Brown – Sophomore
The former Kansas State defensive back has been highlighted as much as anyone else in spring camp up until this point and at a position that is still putting the pieces together on who goes where, Brown comes in with as much fanfare as a guy like safety Will Jones II did last year where Jones II was expected to be an immediate contributor if not for a knee injury during fall camp. Unlike the other defensive guys mentioned earlier, Brown has the opportunity to become the next face of the USF defense once the above players leave the program after the 2022 season is over.
RB – Brian Battie – Sophomore
Mr. All-American himself is one of the most lethal kick returners in the nation, but Bulls fans aren’t naïve to Battie’s ability in the backfield either. Having a strong spring camp in lieu of being the second All-American in program history (next being George Selvie), expect Battie to be a threat once again this upcoming season. If Trickett utilizes his backs in the receiving game, you better believe that Battie will be in the picture.
DE – Tramel Logan – Sophomore
Logan is the next man up for a Bulls pass rush that needs to find players that can get to the QB and wreak havoc in the backfield. Switching to a four man front, Logan should be a player to watch for after playing as a 3-3-5 DE over the past two seasons. He has flashed the ability to be a solid pass rusher since he signed with the program and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the rotation this season if he carries the same momentum into fall camp.
OG – Mike Lofton – Sophomore
The former UCF lineman has inserted himself nicely into an offensive line group that comes in with experience all across the line in 2022. Whether he starts this year or next, this OL group will look completely different come 2023 with several seniors leaving after this season. Lofton comes in after appearing in 11 games with the Knights and word on the street is that the Clearwater native has made an early impact.
QB – Timmy McClain – Sophomore
Timmy’s development as a QB will be made evident against BYU in September as the incumbent starter heading into the 2022 season. Spring games can help “hint” at the players who have taken a step up since the previous year, but just like any other season, it doesn’t really matter until Week 1 of the college football season. Based on what has been said, it sounds like McClain has studied film from last year and is starting to come to terms on what works and what doesn’t work at this level as a former high school state champion quarterback that could get away with a lot more at Seminole HS than the University of South Florida.
Honorable Mentions: WR Dequan Stanley, LB DJ Gordon IV, RB Jaren Mangham, OT Derrell Bailey, WR Ajou Ajou