On days like today, when no one wears a number on our countdown from #99 to #1, we'll highlight the best player to ever wear that number in USF history. And although we have to give some love to Tchehoy Blount for being a good player and having one of the most awesome first names ever, the best #56 for the Bulls is clearly Terrence Royal.
Royal came to USF in 2002 from nearby Wharton High School in Tampa. He had been recruited as a linebacker, but moved to defensive end so that he could get on the field faster. Royal started five games as a freshman and 37 in all, and he might be the best defensive end in school history not named George Selvie. He collected 157 tackles, 47.5 tackles for loss (fourth all-time), and 19.5 sacks (third, only half a sack behind Stephen Nicholas). He also forced six fumbles and recovered five.
Terrence's senior year in 2005 was exceptional. He had 46 tackles, 10.5 for loss, and 10 sacks, plus he intercepted a pass, forced four fumbles and recovered three (both tied for the USF record), and returned one for a touchdown against Rutgers. In his last game as a Bull, he recorded three sacks against NC State in USF's first-ever bowl game. He was the team's defensive MVP and earned second-team All-Big East honors.
After his USF career ended, Royal found his way into the Arena league as a fullback/linebacker for the Tampa Bay Storm. He caught on in 2008, then returned in 2010 when the league came back from its one-year hiatus. Terrence mostly plays fullback now, and he scored a total of 14 touchdowns last season as the Storm reached their seventh Arena Bowl.