TAMPA, Fla. — For the second straight season, the biggest question mark about USF’s offense is who will be the starting quarterback. Four quarterbacks are taking snaps in spring practice, but sophomores Cade Fortin and Jarren Williams look like they’re the top two candidates for the starting job.
Fortin, a transfer from North Carolina, saw limited playing time last season before suffering a shoulder injury against Tulsa on October 23. He said this is the first time he’s had the same coaches for consecutive offseasons since his junior year of high school.
"Just being able to learn the fine details of all the routes, all the different reads that we have, different concepts,” Fortin said after practice. "I feel like that’s been a huge advantage for me so far."
Forton said being the most experienced quarterback on the roster comes with increased responsibility.
"I gotta take everything seriously. From getting to bed early to workouts and the meetings,” Fortin said. "These guys are really pushing me. They’re pushing me to be the best version of myself."
Williams was one of the top recruits in the country in 2018. He went to Miami, where he threw 19 touchdown passes as a redshirt freshman in 2019. He left the Hurricanes and transferred to Garden City CC (Kansas), but the pandemic shifted the 2020 season before he could take a snap.
Williams says he’s happy to focus on making his home in Tampa and not looking at what’s down the road.
"My biggest thing right now is focusing on each day at a time,” Williams said after Tuesday’s practice. "I’m not looking into the fall. I’m not looking into the season. Really gelling with my teammates and buying into this new system.”
He said he feels like learned as much off the field as he learned on the field.
"I feel like I wasn’t the best leader I could’ve been,” Williams said. "I’m glad that I went through that because it made me a better person. I’m just grateful to have this opportunity right here."
Second-year head coach Jeff Scott doesn’t necessarily think it’s an issue — for now.
"It’s a good problem to have. It’s good that we have several guys I think legitimately can be the starter. But it’s still a problem,” Scott said with a grin. "We still have a long time before we really have to make that decision.”
The Bulls Spring Game is scheduled for Saturday, March 27 at Raymond James Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.