On Friday the news finally became official that former Blake standout Michael McFarland, who redshirted last season as a true freshman with the Florida Gators has transferred to USF.
The 6-foot-5, 245 pound tight end was added to the current USF roster and has begun practicing with the team.
This is news that USFNation members have known about through editions of quick hits and been expecting the official word for weeks. In case you’ve been living under a rock or aren’t a subscriber here’s the skinny on McFarland.
Coming out of high school, the former Blake stand-out was a four-star prospect and rated the No. 12 tight end in the country by Scout.com. Besides tight end he also played a number of positions including quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, D-end, and linebacker, but had all the tools to develop as a top tight end and was recruited as such. McFarland had plenty of offers out of high school, but chose the Gators.
McFarland enrolled early at UF in January of 2010 and dressed for three Florida games during his career as a Gator against Miami, USF and Kentucky, but never played as a true freshman. In 2011 he was held out of Florida’s spring game in April with an ankle injury. This summer he asked for his transfer release and got it.
When USFNation spoke to McFarland back in July he said he left Florida on good terms, but wanted to get closer to home due to his father’s illness
“I want to stay close because my pops is sick right now,” said McFarland. “He’s a big part of my life and has always been there for me.”
McFarland said that he asked for a release to several programs but due to many reasons USF was his top choices.
“Yeah USF is my top one,” said McFarland. “I can’t get any closer to home then that. They’ve also done a lot with the program and the facilities. But the big thing is they have so many players that I know that it be a great place for me.”
“I have a lot of my boys that go there, a whole bunch,” said McFarland. Andre (Davis), Dontae (Aycock), T-Rex, Ruben (Gonzalez), and (Chris) Dunkley, that’s my dog”
USF has made it known that they want to create a wall around Tampa, and get a lot of top talent to stay at home and play for the Bulls and that stood out to McFarland.
“They have a lot of Tampa players and it would be crazy with all of us there,” said McFarland. “It would be something, especially with all of us playing on the same side of the ball. We’d have all that chemistry and it would be something to see.”
McFarland said he wanted to get it done soon as possible and hoped to be enrolled by early August, but had to wait for things to get worked out.
Over the last few weeks McFarland has been to USF many times. The former local star was at the USF Sling & Shoot in July and was there cheering on several current high school players he’s friends with.
Recently McFarland and his family were at USF checking things out and talking with members of the staff, and even though he couldn’t say much he made it known that he wanted to come to USF, and talked about all the Tampa players he knows and how he would love to be part of the hometown team that is ready to do big things.
McFarland said earlier in the week that he would know something by this Saturday, but fortunately the news came sooner.
The former local star attended the Bulls first practice as a spectator and then after getting all the former details worked out, was added to the current roster and immediately joined the team for their second session of practice on Friday.
Now that McFarland is on the team, USF will be seeking a hardship waiver due to his father’s illness that would allow him to play immediately this fall, and have four years of eligibility with the Bulls.
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