Lynch, who led Notre Dame with 5.5 sacks as a freshman in 2011, signed scholarship paperwork on Monday. When he left Notre Dame, Lynch expressed a desire to play closer to his home in Fort Myers, Fla. At 120 miles away, USF is the closest FBS school to Fort Myers.
It is unclear whether the Bulls will seek a waiver from the NCAA that would allow the 6-foot-6, 270-pound Lynch to play immediately. If there is no waiver, Lynch must sit out the 2012 season.
At Notre Dame, Lynch was one of the nation's best freshman defenders. After an 18-14 Champs Sports Bowl loss to Florida State in which Lynch had five tackles and 1.5 sacks, Seminoles quarterback E.J. Manuel predicted Lynch would be "all-world" in future years.