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USF Football Spring Practice Preview 2023: Quarterback

Can Byrum Brown give himself a leg up before the big battle in fall camp?

NCAA Football: Central Florida at South Florida Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Spring practice begins on Monday 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.

Position Coach: Joel Gordon

Key Losses: None

Key Returners: Byrum Brown (RFR),Gunnar Smith (RFR) Ryan Bolduc (Jr.) Gavin Gosnell (RFR) Gerry Bohanon (SR.-Not Participating) Katravis Marsh (Jr.-Not Participating)

Key Additions: Bryce Archie (RFR-Coastal Carolina)

With good health, this position would have the biggest spotlight going into spring practice. Unfortunately, one of the most heated position battles will have to wait until fall camp. The debates began almost as soon as the final whistle blew on the 2022 season, maybe even sooner. Bohanon or Brown? Experience or potential? How much does the new coach change things?

To start, both players fit the new offense being brought in by Alex Golesh. Golesh loves to use wide splits by the receivers. Not only do these splits generate a lot of space for the passing game, but they also open up lanes in the running game. And having a quarterback who can run seems to be a turbo button for this offense.

The debate is an interesting one. Gerry Bohanon took some time to get acclimated last season after transferring from Baylor. His legs showed up early and his arm was starting to come around at the time of his unfortunate injury against Tulane. Katravis Marsh filled in admirably starting a few games until he also had a season ending injury. Marsh’s injury opened the door for Byrum Brown and he made the most of his opportunity. Brown played in 4 games to finish the season (allowing him to maintain his redshirt) and completed 72% of his passes for five touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for three more scores and showed to be a true dual threat.

Brown’s strong finish and four years of eligibility remaining has led some to believe he should be the presumptive starter. He will get that chance to stake his claim this spring as both Bohanon and Marsh will continue to recover from their injuries. Gunnar Smith was in the same 2022 recruiting class as Brown but didn’t see any playing time last season. Ryan Bolduc was Brown’s backup in the final three games of the season, but he also failed to register any stats.

Bryce Archie was a surprising addition to the transfer class in December. Archie was a three star recruit coming out of high school and played last season for Coastal Carolina. It certainly feels like he will be the biggest competitor to Brown this spring.

This definitely feels like a position where we see some attrition during the next transfer portal period. Without any movement, USF will have six scholarship quarterbacks going into fall camp. Four is typically the number teams like to carry and it certainly seems like Golesh has positional thresholds he’d like to maintain (14 safeties?!?). If one of the scholarship QBs falls way behind the pack, I’d imagine we see at least one portal entry in May.