USF Bulls enrich offense during spring transfer portal season

Though he ended the spring with a roster far more stable — not to mention speedier and stronger — than the year before, USF coach Alex Golesh vowed to keep scouring the transfer portal in a ceaseless quest to fortify depth.

Today, the Bulls appear a bit richer offensively than they were when spring drills concluded.

Golesh, who struggled to find a consistent wide receiver behind record-setting pass catcher Sean Atkins and got precious little production from the tight end spot in 2023, further addressed those concerns by landing two Big 12 transfers.

On Saturday, the school formally announced former Cincinnati tight end Payten Singletary has joined the team, nine days after confirming the arrival of former Houston receiver Joshua Cobbs. They join former Florida Atlantic defensive lineman Decarius Hawthorne, whose transfer to USF was confirmed May 6.

Not yet confirmed by the school is the transfer of Bowling Green tailback Ta’ron Keith, a prolific pass-catching back (44 catches in 2023) who previously announced his arrival to Tampa on his Instagram account.

Singletary and Cobbs join an incoming 2024 class that already featured five receivers (four of them high school seniors) and coveted IMG tight end Jonathan Echols, sidelined most of spring practice with an undisclosed injury.

The Bulls got 26 total catches from the tight end spot in 2023, and had no player with more than 40 receptions aside from Atkins (92 for 1,054 yards).

Singletary (6-foot-4, 240 pounds), a former three-star prospect from Thomasville, Georgia, totaled only 15 catches in four seasons, but was noted more as a run-blocking specialist who helped the Bearcats produce the country’s No. 5 rushing offense (217.1 yards per game) in 2023.

Cobbs (6-3, 215), who began his career at Wyoming, had 60 catches over his final two seasons (2021-22) with the Cowboys, but managed only eight for 71 yards for the Cougars last fall.

Hawthorne (6-2, 272) totaled 46 tackles and five sacks over the previous three seasons at FAU. He joins a defensive front that lost veteran Tramel Logan to Louisville following spring practice, but added seven other defensive linemen — six of them edge rushers — during the 2024 recruiting/portal seasons.

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