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2021 USF Football Spring Practice Preview: Quarterbacks

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It’s a wide open battle for QB1.

South Florida v Cincinnati Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Spring practice begins Tuesday so we will breakdown each position group as we gear up for football season. Note: We will not guess on what impact freshmen who are not on campus yet will have on the team.

Quarterbacks

Position Coach: Charlie Weis Jr. (Second season at USF)

Key Losses: Jordan McCloud (120-194, 1,341 yards, 9 TD, 2 INT, 61.86% completions); Noah Johnson (48-77, 459 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT, 62.34% completions)

Key Returners: Katravis Marsh (14-31, 92 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT, 45.16% completions); Cade Fortin (4-8, 39 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT)

Key Additions: Jarren Williams (Miami Hurricanes transfer); Timmy McClain (HS)

Year one of head coach Jeff Scott’s tenure at USF can be summed up by looking at the quarterback position. No consistency, and poor decisions.

While he had his troubles, former QB Jordan McCloud kept getting the call for Scott and OC Charlie Weis, Jr. over two hand-picked players Scott brought in to compete and eventually take over at QB in Johnson, and Fortin. But, injuries, and inconsistency between them forced Scott to go back to McCloud time and time again.

That “blanket” is no longer there, and the Bulls still need a quarterback.

Enter Miami transfer Jarren Williams.

Williams was a coup for the Bulls on signing day in December as someone who could come in and right the ship at the position, much like Fortin, Johnson, and Blake Barnett before him.

During his lone season at Miami, Williams threw for 2,187 yards, 19 TD, and 7 INT, albeit it was bumpy tenure that ended with a thud in the bowl game. He transferred to Garden City CC, but never suited up for them due to COVID-19.

Cast aside QBs rarely work out in the favor of the new team, but Williams showed flashes early on in 2019 as the starting QB for the Hurricanes before things fizzled out for him at The U. Something that can’t really be said for Fortin at UNC or Barnett when he was at Alabama or Arizona State.

Fortin saw limited action in 2020 due to injuries throughout the season, and while he could still prove to be capable, it’s notable that USF brought in another veteran QB to compete for the starting job.

Then you have the trio of Katravis Marsh, Jordan Smith, and newcomer Timmy McClain to sort out and battle for snaps. Marsh is highly-regarded by the staff, but concussions and injury derailed his season. Marsh could be a darkhorse to steal time away from Williams, and Fortin. Smith may never see the field at QB for the Bulls.

McClain Hive stand up. He’s the future, but likely not the Now.

This is Jarren Williams’ job to lose.