USF players gain Player of the Week honors in consecutive weeks

TAMPA (USF) – Redshirt freshman quarterback Byrum Brown made his last start as an 18-year-old one for the ages on Saturday as the Bulls had a 42-29 AAC opening win over the Rice Owls in Raymond James Stadium. On Monday, he was honored as the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week. This is USF’s first offensive player of the week honor since Jordan Cronkite in 2018.

The honor comes one week after defensive back Daquan Evans earned the AAC Defensive Player of the Week for his play against Alabama.

Brown, who turns 19 on Friday, completed 22 of 29 passes for 435 yards, two TD’s and no interceptions against Rice. This ranks second-best total in the Bulls program history behind the 503 yards posted by Quinton Flowers against UCF in 2017.

Hailing from Raleigh, NC, Brown also had a team best 82 yards rushing and a touchdown. He now has 18 total touchdowns in six career starts, a USF record previously held by Blake Barnett at 15 through six starts.

Brown also earned two additional honors this week in being named to the Davey O’Brien Award “Great 8” Quarterbacks and Manning Award “Stars of the Week”. He is the first Bull to be so honored since Barnett in 2018. The Davey O’Brian National Quarterback of the Week was announced at 12 p.m. (ET).

College football fans can follow the Manning Award on social media (@ManningAward) to vote for what they think was the best performance from the past weekend. When voting closes on Thursday at 9 a.m. (Central), the top vote-getter will be announced as the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week.
Fans can vote for the Manning Award winner at

Naiem Simmons, USF wide receiver/ USF Athletics

Also honored this week was junior receiver Naiem Simmons to the AAC Weekly Honor Roll. Simmons posted a USF record 272 receiving yards and a touchdown against Rice. His eight catches on eight targets tied his career best as he made grabs of 42, 49, 51 and 53 yards and racked up 71 yards after the catch on the day. His receiving yards vs. Rice rank as the most-ever by a player from a state of Florida FBS program, breaking the 55-year-old record of 268 set by Florida State’s Ron Sellers vs. Wake Forest in 1968. The total nearly broke the AAC record, ranking second-most in the history of the conference behind CJ Johnson of ECU who posted 283 yards vs. Cincinnati in 2019. Simmons ranks 11th nationally averaging 23.8 yards per catch.

The Bulls are in Annapolis this Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. face off with the US Naval Academy. They return to Raymond James on October 14th for the Homecoming game against in-state rival Florida Atlantic. Game time is TBD. There will be free Thunder Sticks for the first 30,000 fans.