TAMPA, Fla. – Demetris Harris has seen a number of quarterbacks come and go during his six years at USF. Hence, the offensive lineman can be excused for pausing when asked Tuesday if this was the first time in his five years as an active player that he and the offense knew who was going to be the starting quarterback more than two weeks before the opener.
“Maybe Blake,” he said, in referring to Arizona State transfer Blake Barnett, who started the 2018 opener against visiting Elon and would start 10 games that season under Charlie Strong. “Even then, it was still kind of….”
Harris, who redshirted during Quinton Flowers’ final season of 2017, trailed off and motioned with his arms to indicate the situation in 2018 was still somewhat iffy as the season neared.
It is not iffy in 2022. Coach Jeff Scott said he and his staff concluded Sunday night that Gerry Bohanon will be under center in the September 3 season opener against No. 25 BYU at Raymond James Stadium. The Baylor transfer will be the Bulls’ eighth starting quarterback since the start of the 2018 season. (See list below.)
“We know that Gerry against BYU will, knock on wood and barring injury, go out there with the first-team offense,” said Harris, who has started 41 games at left guard. “Gerry’s the guy. There’s no confusion and there’s no rumbling. Gerry’s the guy.”
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That was becoming clear to Scott even before Saturday’s scrimmage. He previously indicated he would like to have a starter identified following the scrimmage.
“I am confident that we made the best decision for this year’s team to win this year,” said the third-year coach. “That’s really the way to look at it. You can’t really think about what’s best for two or three years from now. In this environment, it’s about who gives us the best chance to win this year.”
Bohanon arrived at USF in May with the mindset he would be the starting quarterback. He bonded with his teammates almost immediately upon his arrival at the Selmon Center, which has made his transition so much easier. Another thing Bohanon said has made his life easier is the level of talent that surrounds him.
“There is so much firepower,” he said. “For me, it is get the ball into their hands. It is not making a crazy play. Get them the ball and they will make the play for me. As a quarterback, that’s all you ask for. They make my job so much easier. I am excited every day about going out there with them.”
With last year’s starter, Timmy McClain, having entered the transfer portal, Katravis Marsh (two career starts) is Bohanon’s primary backup. Marsh entered the portal in December before reconsidering.
The Bulls had seven different starting quarterbacks the past four years.
2018: Blake Barnett (10 starts), Chris Oladokun (3)
2019: Jordan McCloud (10), Barnett (3)
2020: McCloud (7), Noah Johnson (1), Katravis Marsh (1)
2021: Timmy McClain (9), Cade Fortin (2), Marsh (1)