USF knew that 2018 would be a different year under center, as arguably their best offensive player in school history, Quinton Flowers, had graduated and moved on to trying to make it in the pros.
Did they have a solution all along that we are just now finding out about?
It appears so, as the Bulls announced that former Alabama and Arizona State QB Blake Barnett officially joined their program on Friday:
Welcome to the Bay, Blake Barnett ☀️ ?
— USF Football (@USFFootball) May 18, 2018
Barnett appeared to be the next big time quarterback for Nick Saban at Alabama. However, it began with not being able to beat out Jake Coker three years ago. Then, as CBSSports.com college football writer, Barrett Sallee, wrote about, Barnett was actually practicing with a small cut on his intestine. That was causing internal bleeding, required surgery and affected the rest of his season.
Coker would go on to lead the Tide to the SEC and eventually, National Championship in 2015.
Barnett was finally healthy again and appeared to the guy, as Bama opened the 2016 season with their game against powerhouse USC (above). However, he was replaced during the game with the Crimson Tide’s new freshman sensation dual threat QB, Jalen Hurts.
And Hurts never lost the job. also leading Alabama to the SEC Title but this time a loss to Clemson in the championship game to Clemson.
Barnett, meanwhile, saw the handwriting on the wall, and decided to ask for, and was granted, a transfer out West to Arizona State. He became eligible last year for the Sun Devils, but could not beat out Manny Wilkins, who ended up starting the entire season.
Arizona State fired coach Todd Graham and staff after the season, and again, Barnett could see that he didn’t have a future in Tempe under new coach Herman Edward’s staff.
So, that brings us back to USF, and Barnett having had a previous recruitment by USF’s offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert. Gilbert had recruited Barnett, while at the University of Texas.
And now, he landed him for the Bulls, who have redshirt junior Brett Kean and true sophomore Chris Oladukon currently sharing snaps. Neither of them has played significantly for USF.
Barnett obviously has size and arm strength, but baggage of having transferred twice in three seasons, now, too. And, even with transferring twice, he actually got his degree at ASU, and therefore, could play immediately with two years of eligibility left.
And, you have to believe that his “transfer recruitment” is because coach Charlie Strong and Gilbert believe he has the potential to be a star for the green and gold, right now.
Will Barnett finally seize the starting job that has eluded him? Can he sustain the success Flowers put out there the last two seasons?
We are going to find out.
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