(UPDATED 9/1/16: Now that Logan MacDonald is on campus and at practice, we've updated the post to include his profile. We also corrected the spelling of Darnell Salomon's name -- that's a terrible job by us -- and added the USF coaching staff running off on the plug when he signed because, well, why not.)
To meet all of this year's newcomers, we'll do them in groups. Today are all the incoming freshmen on offense. Tomorrow will be all the freshmen on defense, including the #12 we would have met today in countdown order. Then we'll do another post for the JUCOs, and one more for the new walk-ons. (Right now there's only one walk-on, but his story is fantastic.)
#3 WR Darnell Salomon - 6'3", 215 lbs.
#10 QB Chris Oladokun - 6'2", 184 lbs.
#18 WR DeVontres Dukes - 6'4", 203 lbs.
#31 RB Elijah Mack - 6'0", 205 lbs.
#50 OL Christion Gainer - 6'6", 300 lbs.
#52 OL Michael Wiggs - 6'3", 300 lbs.
#76 OL Logan MacDonald - 6'4", 270 lbs.
That's Pronounced... Oladokun's name is pronounced Oh-LAD-oh-kun. DeVontres's first name is pronounced De-VONN-tres.
2015 Stats: None at USF. All of these players were still in high school last year.
Position on Depth Chart: There hasn't been a depth chart issued since these players joined the team, so none of them are listed.
How They Came To USF: Let's go one by one and tell their stories.
- Darnell Salomon: Moved from Hialeah's Champagnat to Miami Central High School as a senior. Caught 32 passes for 527 yards and eight TDs for the Rockets as they won the Class 6A state title. Totaled 136 receptions for 2,565 yards and 31 touchdowns in high school. Shocked almost everyone by holding his commitment to USF all the way until signing day, turning down Alabama, LSU, Clemson, Notre Dame, and a lot of other big-time programs. Inspired the coaches to run off on the plug twice when he sent in his LOI.
Darnell Salomon is a Bull! #USFNSD16 pic.twitter.com/9xAK6DiG3O— USF Football (@USFFootball) February 3, 2016
- Chris Oladokun: Started three years at quarterback - two for Alonso High School and one for Sickles High School, both in Tampa. Threw for a total of 5,036 yards and 57 touchdowns between the Ravens and Gryphons, with only 11 interceptions. Also played basketball at both schools. Committed to USF after the Syracuse win and stayed with them to signing day.
- DeVontres Dukes: Played at Tampa's Wharton High School. Made 18 catches for 366 yards and three TDs as a senior in a very run-heavy Wildcats offense. Made seven tackles on defense and scored four two-point conversions. Had offers from NC State, UCF, and Miami. It seemed for a long time like the Hurricanes would get him, but at the wire Dukes chose USF.
- Elijah Mack: Ran for 2,400 yards and 39 TDs in his two years on the varsity at Charlotte High School in Punta Gorda. Had 11 games with over 100 yards rushing and helped the Fightin' Tarpons to an undefeated regular season in 2015. Chose USF over offers from Arizona, Cincinnati, Indiana, and UCF. Is not related to fellow USF running back Marlon Mack.
- Christion Gainer: Anchored the offensive line at Panama City's Bay High School. The Tornadoes ran for over 200 yards per game and scored 31 rushing touchdowns in Gainer's senior year, reaching the Class 5A state playoffs. Committed to USF in June 2015 and stayed with it, turning down offers from Florida, Miami, Louisville, North Carolina, and others.
- Michael Wiggs: Played left tackle for Lakeland's Lake Gibson High School and was on the varsity all four years. Helped the Braves run for 2,109 yards and 31 TDs as they climbed out of an 0-3 hole to make the Class 6A playoffs. Was named to the Class 6A all-state second team.
- Logan MacDonald: A very late add to the USF roster, only arriving when the fall semester began. Played at Ridge Community High School in Davenport, a small town just south of the I-4/US-27 interchange in Polk County. Helped running back Keandre Griner break 1,000 yards rushing in his senior year and was a clear bright spot on a pretty bad Bolts team. Chose the Bulls over offers from division rivals UConn and Temple.
Recruiting Rankings: Here's a table of their rankings from the major recruiting sites:
Projected Playing Time: The easiest way to guess if an incoming freshman will play right away is to check their uniform number. Darnell Salomon had enough juice to come right in and get a coveted single-digit number, and you'd be crazy not to think he will see some game action. Christion Gainer and Michael Wiggs might get to play too, given USF's relative lack of depth on the offensive line. Despite a lot of praise and having a knack for finishing practice with big pass plays, Oladokun will certainly redshirt. It seems like Mack, Dukes, and MacDonald (because he got such a late start and probably needs to buik up) will redshirt as well.
Follow Them On...
- Darnell Salomon: Twitter @All_AmericanD7
- Chris Oladokun: Twitter @1Chrisoladokun0, Instagram chris_oladokun
- DeVontres Dukes: Twitter @TreDukes4
- Elijah Mack: Twitter @E_Mack3
- Christion Gainer: Twitter @ChristionGainer, Instagram bigcizar77 (private)
- Michael Wiggs: Twitter @Wiggs_52
- Logan MacDonald: Twitter @Loganjosephmac1 (protected)