A little over a week after the end of spring practice, USF has seen its depth at linebacker take a bit of a hit.
Calling it “a hard decision,” Nick Holman took to Twitter Wednesday night to announce that he has decided to transfer out of the Bulls football program and “pursue other opportunities” elsewhere. The linebacker gave no specific reason for his decision to transfer.
Barring something unforeseen, Holman would be forced t sit out the 2016 season if he moves on to another FBS program. He’d then have two seasons of eligibility remaining beginning in 2017.
Holman came to USF as a three-star member of the Bulls’ 2014 recruiting class, rated as the No. 31 player at any position in the state of Alabama. After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, Holman played in 11 games in 2015.
The Tampa Bay Times wrote that “Holman led the White team with five tackles in the April 16 Green and White intrasquad game, and was listed as the backup to senior Nigel Harris at weakside linebacker on the post-spring depth chart.”
Raymond Woodie was promoted to from South Florida’s linebackers coach to defensive coordinator, and on Thursday we learned just how much that promotion is worth to his bank account.
According to Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times, Woodie signed a two-year contract that will pay him $260,000 in 2016 and $275,000 in 2017. It’s a decent dump from his 2015 salary, a flat-screen shy of $239,000 according to the USA Today salary database, but well below the $350,000 then-defensive coordinator Tom Allen brought home.
Allen left this winter for the same job at Indiana.
South Florida’s new co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Darren Hiller will earn $250,000 in each of the two years on his contract, the same amount the Bulls’ previous offensive line coach Danny Hope made in ’15.
Additionally, co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach T.J. Weist will earn $220,000 annually over a two-year deal, quarterbacks coach Shaun King will make $180,000 on a one-year contract, and safeties coach John Jancek will average $190,000 over a two-year deal.
Head coach Willie Taggart signed a five-year, $9 million contract in December that included a half-million dollar boost to his assistant salary pool.
After a legal misstep last year, Lamar Robbins is being afforded a second chance by Willie Taggart.
This past October, Robbins, along with USF offensive lineman Benjamin Knox, was arrested following an on-campus incident in which it was alleged they fired celebratory gunshots from the same weapon after a win over Syracuse. Robbins was charged with discharging a weapon on school property, a second-degree felony, and a misdemeanor for providing false information to a law-enforcement officer, and was indefinitely suspended from the football program.
Robbins remained suspended through the final two months of the season and on into the offseason, although that changed recently as Taggart confirmed over the weekend that the defensive back is out of the doghouse and back with the team for spring practice.
“He’s back on the team,” Taggart said. “He’s like all the other guys. He handled his business. He took care of his consequences. He learned from his mistakes and now he’s out there with the rest of the guys, trying to win a job.”
And, on his first day back, Robbins stated his case for said job.
Robbins had played in four games in 2015 prior to his legal entanglement. In 2014, he started five of the last six games at cornerback for the Bulls.
The other half of the Bonnie & Clod duo, Knox, has since left the program and transferred to a Kansas junior college.
One of the feel-good stories of the USF football program will continue on to another, final collegiate chapter.
The Bulls announced Saturday that Daniel Awoleke has been awarded a sixth season of eligibility and will play for Willie Taggart‘s squad in 2016. While the reasons behind the waiver are complicated, the fact that Awoleke will return is a boost for USF’s defensive line.
“He filled out a waiver with the NCAA and he found out (Friday) that he can come back, and it’s great news for all of us. We’re really excited,” Taggart said according to the Tampa Bay Times.
“I know he was excited, but it was great to see how excited his teammates were, knowing that they’re gonna have another year with him around here, running around on special teams and hitting people really hard, and then helping out on the defensive line.”
Shortly before the start of the 2015 season, the one-time walk-on Awoleke was rewarded with a scholarship. The end proceeded to go on to play in all 13 games that season and record four tackles for loss and a pair of sacks. At 6-5, 283 pounds, he was also named the team’s Special Teams Most Valuable Player.
Health issues will keep a once-promising prospect from ever seeing the football field again, at least as a player.
USF head coach Willie Taggart confirmed Monday that Reilly Gibbons will e forced to retire from the sport because of lingering issues in his right knee. According to Taggart, the offensive lineman will have an undetermined role within the football program.
“He just keeps re-injuring it,” Taggart said. “He wants to be able to walk around and play with his kids one day.”
Gibbons originally signed with Stanford as a four-star member of the Cardinal’s 2014 recruiting class, and was rated as the No. 19 tackle in the country by Rivals.com and the No. 34 player at any position in the state of Florida. The lineman was a part of the team at summer camp that year, although he didn’t participate because of an undisclosed lower-body injury.
In October of 2014, it was announced that Gibbons had moved on from Stanford and transferred to USF. While he was eligible to play for the Bulls in 2015, the knee issue prevented him from seeing the field.