Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hornes leaves USF football team

Faron Hornes winding journey to become a Division I football player has apparently ended with one season remaining.

The former multi-purpose standout at Southeast, who took the long route to USF going through junior college amid a family tragedy, has left the USF football team, according to various reports.

There was speculation it was for academics, but USF head coach Skip Holtz would not confirm it.

Hornes left the team’s training facility in Vero Beach just nine days after fall practice began. He joined the Bulls in 2009 under then head coach Jim Leavitt after winning a national championship at Butler Community College.

It was hoped Hornes could be the punt return man USF desperately needed in 2009, but things never worked out for the 5-7, 175 pounder and he eventually lost the job to Terrence Mitchell last season.

In 2010, Hornes had 164 total all-purpose yards. He caught 11 passes for 135 yards that included his only TD, a 70-yarder in a big win against Cincinnati. In ‘09, he was strictly a punt returner and had 16 returns for 80 yards.

In his senior year at Southeast 2006, Hornes was an all-everything standout, playing quarterback, running back and receiver while returning punts and kickoffs. He piled up 1,486 all-purpose yards and averaged 30.2 yards on punt returns and 23.2 on kickoff returns. He averaged 19.6 yards per catch with 30 receptions and 8.4 yards per rush with 40 attempts.

Hornes stayed out of school for a few years to help his mother, who was battling cancer that eventually took her life.

He was the hero in Butler’s 37-30 double overtime victory over Snow College in the 2008 national junior college championship game, catching six passes for 76 yards. He caught a 14 yard TD pass in the first overtime to send the game into a second OT where the Grizzlies won on a fumble recovery off a blocked field goal.

With Butler, he had 32 catches for 433 yards and three touchdowns. He came on strong the second half of the season, highlighted by a 41-yard TD catch in a victory over Hutchinson, which qualified the Grizzlies for the championship game.

Hornes is the third USF player to leave the team during fall pre-season. He follows running back Dontae Aycock, who has given up football and Venice High defensive end Brandon Wilkinson who left because he was looking for more playing time.

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