Welcome back to USF’s favorite off-season dating game, #ALLTHETRANSFERS, where young men destined for little playing time at their former locales are courted by, um, us fans who hope these kids have something to prove, a chip on their shoulder, instead of mere impetuousness.
With offensive players fleeing Gainesville with the alacrity of, well, people fleeing Gainesville, and USF’s offense being, shall we say, tepid in 2013, it would seem a natural fit for USF to put feelers out for these in-state transfers.
Not only that, but the reasons for the change seem to stem from the fact that UF is changing from the pro-style offenses of recently fired offensive coordinator Brett Pease, and before him, Charlie Weis, to something else, probably a spread. On the one hand, USF is also running a pro-style offense under Willie Taggart, so these players might be a doubly good fit. But on the other hand, UF’s offense (99th in F/+) sucked almost as bad as USF’s offense (123rd); are these cast-offs any better than what we’ve got? Are they a better investment scholarship-wise than a freshman?
In any event, let’s run down the roster of Gators evacuees and see how likely they may be to come to Tampa.
QB – Tyler Murphy – Murphy, a fourth-year junior, played well in the first three starts after Jeff Driskel was injured, 39/54 for 530 yards and 5:1 TD/INT and picking up 3 wins. But after spraining his shoulder he was abysmal in four losses, throwing 4 picks and only 1 TD, and getting sacked 18 times. A Connecticut-native, Murphy just graduated and can play his at his transfer school right away. However, he seems to want to rejoin former UF OC Charlie Strong at Louisville (perhaps to start if Teddy Bridgewater declares for the draft) or head closer to home and join Boston College. It's doubtful he'd go to a school not in a Power Five league. USF Chances for Transfer – Not a Chance in Hell
QB – Max Staver – Staver, a 6'6" 240 lb. true freshman who saw no playing time this season, would have to take a redshirt year wherever he ends up, but would have three years of eligibility after that. Staver was a three-star recruit last season. A pocket passer with a cannon, he's a tall kid with defensive end size. A native of Tennesse, Staver might also be considering nearby Louisville, which would make sense if Murphy was the starter during Staver's redshirt season. USF Chances for Transfer – Not Likely
TE – Kent Taylor – Taylor is another guy who got minimal playing time, in his case due to injury. He caught two passes as a freshman in 2012, but was injured and redshirted in 2013. He'd have to take another year off, and would have two years of eligibility remaining (he may eventually be eligible for a 6th year because of this season injuries.) In USF's favor, he's from nearby Land O' Lakes up in Pasco. But going against Taylor is the fact that USF has seven(!) tight ends on the roster for next season, including Sean Price and Mike McFarland. Willie T. seems to like his tight ends, though, so we'll list his USF Chances for Transfer – Definitely Warm
FB/S – Rhaheim Ledbetter – Ledbetter just finished his sophomore season, and will have two seasons of eligibility after a redshirt year. In 2012 he was a defensive back but couldn't get on the field. In 2013 he switched to fullback, but still had minimal playing time. While fullback does figure prominently in USF's offense, and Ledbetter has some versatility, how good can he be at fullback after only one season? And was he not good enough at DB? Also, he's a native of North Carolina, so his in-state ties might not be strong. USF Chances for Transfer – Not Likely
OL – Ian Silberman – Recruited by Steve Addazio seemingly ages ago, Silberman recently graduated, and can play immediately for his fifth-year senior season. After an off-season injury, he played in all 12 games this season for the Gators, including starts in the team's final four games, per our friends at Alligator Army. He's a native of Fleming Island, Florida, just outside of Jacksonville, so he may be interested in staying in-state. USF could certainly use some experience on a line that was very young and not very good this season. USF Chances for Transfer – Definitely Warm
OL – Quinteze Williams – Williams redshirted in 2012, and couldn't get much playing time in 2013, and would have to sit out 2014 to transfer; he'd have two years of eligibility remaining. A Georgia-native, Williams was also suspended for the first game of 2013, although he was discipline free for the rest of the season. USF's O-Line needs help, but after not playing for two seasons, how much of an impact could Williams have for the Bulls? USF Chances for Transfer – Questionable
OL – Trevon Young – Just finishing his freshman season, Young would have to sit out a year and would have three years of eligibility remaining. The 6'5" 275 lb. Bradenton-native also played basketball in high school and intends on playing basketball across the bay over at Eckerd College. He'll be a house down low for the Tritons. USF Chances for Transfer – Not Likely