TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 1: Wide receiver Deonte Welch #83 of the South Florida Bulls grabs a pass against the West Virginia Mountaineers December 1, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. West Virginia won 30 - 23. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Finally, a USF player we have a picture of! And a YouTube clip too!
#83 WR Deonte Welch
Stats in 2011: Quietly had the second-most receiving yards and third-most catches on the team, with 31 for 433 yards. Played all 12 games, and made five starts, including 4 of the last 6 games. Had a monster night against Cincinnati, with 5 catches for 130 yards. Scored one touchdown, on a halfback option pass from Demetris Murray in the Louisville game. A left-handed option pass, reminiscent of the night Amari Jackson pwned Louisville back in 2005. Sheesh, you'd think Louisville would know to watch for this sort of thing by now:
Current Spot on Depth Chart: Oddly, he's not listed. He was listed on earlier iterations of the spring depth chart, and isn't injured that I know of, so this could be more a motivational tactic than a true reflection of Welch's place in the receiver rotation.
How did he come to USF: From Williston High School, as part of Skip Holtz's first recruiting class in 2010. And this was really a Skip Holtz signing; Welch was committed to Arkansas, but took a campus visit after Holtz took over from Jim Leavitt and flipped to USF very late in the recruiting process.
Projected Playing Time for 2011: Last year in this space, we said "he might not make the leap this season, but expect some big things from Deonte in 2012 and beyond." He did make a leap last season, working his way into more and more playing time, and we continue to expect big things from Deonte in 2012 and beyond. He'll be a part of the receiver rotation, and is as good a bet as Ruben Gonzalez, Andre Davis, Sterling Griffin, Terrence Mitchell, or anyone else any to be USF's top receiver this season.