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December 20, 2013

USF lands four midyear transfers

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USF landed four signatures on Wednesday as the midyear transfer signing period begun.

Eric Mayes and Marlon Pope were no surprises as USF signees. Mayes signed last year in the 2013 class, but had to go the prep school route. After receiving interest from a few schools, he decided to commit himself once again to be a Bull.

"I'm very excited. I'm ready to start this football season and show everybody what I'm capable of," Mayes told Runningthebulls.com the day before he signed. "I'm very anxious and excited at the same time to get back on the field and start working again."

Marlon Pope's favorite school all along was USF, and waited to receive an offer from the Bulls. As soon as he got it, he jumped all over it and committed on the spot. "I'm very excited because that's where I want to be at," he said right after his commitment. "There needs to be a change there and I think I can help that."

Three-star defensive end Demetrius Hill had a tough decision in deciding where he would sign. He planned to decide his college on Monday morning, but had a very tough time deciding between USF and Minnesota. He pushed his decision back a day, committed to USF on Tuesday, and signed to be a Bull on Wednesday.

"I just felt like it was the best fit for me," Hill said. "My mom - she liked the coaching staff. It came down to USF and Minnesota. I just felt like it was a good opportunity for me. Not saying it wouldn't be at Minnesota, but I just felt pretty comfortable with South Florida."

Even though it was just the midyear transfer signing day, it still had a surprise. Iowa Western safety Jamie Byrd committed to Arizona back in August, and held to that commitment till he signed with USF. Byrd originally signed with TCU in 2011 before going the JUCO route.

"I just felt like the coaching staff was trying to make a big change around that program and I just thought that I could see myself playing in that program," Byrd said on signing day.

USF sits at 16 verbal commitments for the 2014 class and signed four midyear transfers. The four transfers will count towards the 2013 class.

Getting an impact pass rusher in this class was important, and USF got two in Mayes and Hill. Mayes is eligible to play four years, and Hill will come in as a junior.

In Willie Taggart's offense, the tight end is a very important position as an edge blocker and in the pass game. Marlon Pope will look to give added depth to a young tight end crop.

Jamie Byrd will give an immediate veteran presence to a youthful secondary. Byrd is known for his highlight big hits.



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