After becoming the first team in college football history to begin a season 7-0 only to finish it 7-6, we knew changes were coming for USF Football and it appears that process has already begun.
According to a Tampa Bay Times report, USF Football is expected to release eleven players, all of whom were suspended for the Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday night, and four assistant coaches following a sixth-straight loss to end the season.
BREAKING: The Bulls' house-cleaning has begun. 11 players suspended from bowl game not expected back. Neither are four assistants. https://t.co/SjiEzspybN— Joey Knight (@TBTimes_Bulls) December 22, 2018
Following the Bulls’ 38-20 loss to Marshall, head coach Charlie Strong told The Times,
“We don’t like it. I’m telling you right now, we’re going to clean up this whole program. A lot of guys will be leaving. We need a good washing.”
The report states that WR Darnell Salomon, WR DeVontres Dukes, WR Deangelo Antoine, RB Elijah Mack, RB Duran Bell, DB Donelle Thomas, DB Naytron Culpepper (already announced his intention to transfer), DT Brandon Boyce, DT Armon Williams, DL Marquies Price and OL Jeremiah Stafford all were suspended for the bowl game and all will not return in 2019.
It remains to be seen which assistant coaches have been let go by Strong.
While it’s the largest, this isn’t the first purge we’ve seen from Strong who dismissed nine Texas players during the 2014 season in Austin and three USF players before ever coaching a game in Tampa.
Just from initial glance, this slashes a lot of offensive skill position depth USF had stored up in previous seasons as well as on the defensive line. It should be noted that the Duke transfer duo of Boyce and Price along with Class of 2018 signee Williams were all brought to Tampa by Strong and staff.
We’ll see if there’s any more shakeups to follow in the coming weeks.