Shuler Shines As White Downs Green, 10-7, In USF Football Spring Game

TAMPA (Florida Sports Wire) – A sold-out crowd of 5,168 enjoyed a beautiful spring day and hard-hitting football at Corbett Stadium on the USF campus Saturday as the White team downed the Green team, 10-7, in the USF Spring Game.

Picking up where he left off in a break-out season last year, linebacker Jhalyn Shuler (Abbeville, S.C.) posted a game-high 12 tackles and 1.5 sacks to go with 2.5 tackles for loss for the White team. Shuler led the Bulls with 97 tackles last year in his first season of extensive action.

Cornerback Brent Austin (San Bernadino, Calif.), a transfer from James Madison, added seven tackles for the White, while safety Tavin Ward (Fort Myers) and cornerback Aamaris Brown-Bunkley (Tampa) posted six and five tackles, respectively for the Green. Freshman linebacker Zavier Hamilton (Navarre) added five tackles and outside linebacker Rico Watson (Tampa) led all players with 3.5 tackles for loss to go with five tackles and a sack.

Freshman Izzy Carter (Corona, Calif.) led all quarterbacks completing 12-of-23 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown in the four-quarter game that had a running clock except for the last two minutes of each half. Bulls’ returning starting quarterback Byrum Brown (Raleigh, N.C.) played just two series and finished 3-of-3 for 13 yards passing.

Tight end Gunner Greenwald (Satellite Beach) caught three passes for a game high 49 yards for the White team, while Keshaun Singleton (Norcross, Ga.) had four grabs and 42 yards for the Green. Ty Ippolito (Orlando) made a 45-yard field goal.

The White team took the early lead when wide receiver Sean Atkins (Veira) hit Kelley Joiner (Clermont) with a 16-yard touchdown pass on a trick play in the first quarter. Atkins, a former high school quarterback, went 4-for-4 for 149 yards and a touchdown (also to Joiner) passing last year to go along with his program records of 92 receptions for 1,054 yards. Defensive tackle Jacquez Williams (Savannah, Ga.) set up the short touchdown drive with a fumble recovery.

The White team made it 10-0 on Ippolito’s 45-yard field goal in the second quarter.

The Green team got on the board in the third quarter when Carter hit Christian Helms (Seffner) with a 34-yard touchdown pass that completed a five-play, 50-yard drive.

2024 BULLS

Head Coach Alex Golesh’s second USF team returns 20 starters – 9 on offense, 9 on defense and two specialists – including record-setting quarterback Byrum Brown (Raleigh, N.C.) and wide receiver Sean Atkins (Viera), coming off the program’s first 3,000-yard passing and 1,000-yard receiving seasons. The 2023 Bulls set 12 team and 16 individual records and capped the biggest turnaround in program history (going 7-6 after a 1-11 campaign in 2022) with a 45-0 rout of Syracuse in the Boca Raton Bowl. The USF offense ranked No. 17 nationally producing 451.6 ypg and led the nation running 82.1 plays per game. The Bulls 5,871 offensive yards on the year ranked as the third-best total in program history.

The Bulls return 10 of their top 12 tacklers, four of their top five leaders in tackles for loss and their top four leaders in interceptions on defense, including leading tackler Jhalyn Shuler (Abbeville, S.C. – 97 tackles/8.5 TFL), interception leader Logan Berryhill (Kingsland Ga. – 3 interceptions) and defensive end Tramel Logan (Miami), who tied a USF record with three defensive touchdowns in 2023.

USF opens the 2024 season on Sat., Aug. 31 vs. Bethune Cookman in Raymond James Stadium before heading to Alabama (Sept. 7) and Southern Mississippi (Sept. 14) and returning the Ray Jay to close out the non-conference campaign with a clash with Miami on Sept. 21.

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