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Found 25 results

  1. USF journal: Jean-Mary bracing for limited linebacker corps Joey Knight, Times Staff Writer Tuesday, July 25, 2017 9:10pm A day after Coach Charlie Strong reiterated his concern about the Bulls' linebacker depth, new coordinator Brian Jean-Mary quantified it. Ideally, Jean-Mary said he'd like to suit up 10-12 linebackers each game, "just because they're so vital on special teams." But as it stands, only six scholarship linebackers are on the roster, including freshman Keirston Johnson. Toss in a hybrid guy such as Sickles alumnus Josh Black or Jefferson graduate Juwuan Brown, and the number increases to eight. "And that's probably stretching it," Jean-Mary said after Tuesday's practice. "But just because of injuries...and the ability to take some guys off the field and let 'em rest, we'd like to have eight guys." Slightly more plausible is Jean-Mary's goal of a six-tackle rotation. The first four -- seniors Deadrin Senat and Bruce Hector, junior Kevin Bronson and sophomore Marlon Gonzalez -- appear set, with some intriguing candidates behind them such as converted LB Mi'Cario Stanley. ... Full Story, plus Odds and Ends
  2. USF opens preseason workouts with defensive improvement a priority Joey Night, Times Staff Writer TAMPA — To prevent preseason wear on his three normal practice fields, new USF coach Charlie Strong is staging the first phase of the 2017 preseason on the fields used by the original Bulls two decades ago. If that's not throwback enough, he's trying to install another retro component: a defense with an edge. You know, the gritty, relentless Jim Leavitt units of yesteryear. Certainly not last year. "Defensively, we know that's got to be our biggest improvement," Strong said around dusk Monday, after the Bulls' first preseason workout. "We have to improve on defense, and we have to get better, and there's no reason for us not to." Rest of story More: USF journal: Bulls healthy as camp commences
  3. AAC preview: Ranking the conference's QB situations Joey Knight, Times Staff Writer Saturday, July 15, 2017 9:00am ... 1. USFQuinton Flowers, enough said. The two dudes behind him, Brett Kean and Chris Oladokun, appear pretty promising also. 2. MemphisSix-foot-4 senior Riley Ferguson, arguably the conference's top QB draft prospect, threw for nearly 3,700 yards and a program-best 32 touchdowns last season. Considering three of his top four seniors (and nearly his whole offensive line) returns, Ferguson likely will flirt with 4,000 this fall.3. HoustonGreg Ward Jr. (aka Houston's heart and soul) is gone, but Texas A&M transfer Kyle Allen steps in. Say what you will about his turbulent tenure in College Station(including three pick-sixes in one game against 'Bama), there's zero substitute for experience, and Allen made 14 starts over two seasons. Moreover, senior Kyle Postma, who will challenge Allen in the preseason, has made 19 career appearances. ... Rest of Story
  4. Some excerpts from JK .... My favorite part is where Joey creatively substituted "polarizing" for "bat **** crazy" ... When asked a follow-up question, Frost threw in this polarizing proclamation: "Orlando's the best college town in this state."
  5. At times, his demeanor was a demerit. Ruben Guerrero's former coach wanted him meaner, scrappier. Even today, beleaguered USF fans wouldn't mind seeing Guerrero wield an elbow — or even an expletive — on occasion. Bulls interim basketball coach Murry Bartow gets it. And to be sure, Bartow would like his junior 7-footer to be more aggressive — and consistent — on the court. But he's also smart enough not to try to defy human nature. Which is to say, it's futile to try to coax Guerrero into brandishing a scowl as profound as his sneaker size (16). A scowl wouldn't befit one of the nicest guys on USF's campus. "I think he is who he is," Bartow said. "I think what you try to do with every player is build on who they are and not try to maybe make them something they're not." This is who Ruben Guerrero is: native of Marbella, Spain; honor student (3.7 grade point average as a finance major); scathing self-critic and immaculate housekeeper (almost to a fault). He's a member of USF's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee; a two-time recipient of USF's Spirit Award, given to the athlete who shows the most support for the other teams, and winner of the 2015-16 NCAA Division I Male Sportsmanship Award. It's just not in him to elicit trash, even in a dumpster-fire season (7-17 record, 1-12 in the American Athletic Conference after Saturday night's victory over East Carolina). Take that women's tennis match last spring on campus. A few USF fraternity guys were giving opposing players and even coaches the business. Instead of joining them, Guerrero — a towering fixture at Bulls' sporting events — admonished them. "I just went over there and was just like, 'C'mon, guys,' because they were actually hurting our girls, too. They couldn't focus and stuff," Guerrero recalled. "I was like, 'Just keep it down, just cheer on our team and forget about the opposite team.' " They stopped. "As good a young man as I've ever been around," Bartow said. Rest of article
  6. State's Big 3 never will be toppled in recruiting, analyst says At least one national analyst doesn't believe the state's recent run of splash coaching hires will alter Florida's balance of recruiting power. The Big Three -- FSU, Florida, Miami -- will remain entrenched at the top, national recruiting director Mike Farrell said Friday. Which isn't to suggest Butch Davis (FIU), Lane Kiffin (FAU) and Charlie Strong (USF) won't snag a four-star Floridian now and again. They will, Farrell said. Just not enough to topple the state's oldest and most established programs. Rest of article
  7. USF center Ruben Guerrero is the only recruit from the Orlando Antigua era to have any sort of lasting impact on the program. College basketball never has held a monopoly on virtue. Like most other segments of society, it has long since succumbed to the undertow of instant gratification. Hence the reason the quick fix has evolved into standard operating procedure in the sport. From Westwood to Krzyzewskiville, one-and-dones are prevalent. And there's a mercenary feel to the way some players with baggage (i.e. transfers, jucos) are summoned to help a foundering program suddenly flourish. Can't blame coaches for maximizing how the system's set up. And to be sure, it works splendidly at some places. But it has flopped recently at USF. And whomever is hired as the program's 10th permanent coach must avoid the allure of such a philosophy at all costs. Time to rebuild the Bulls with patience and pragmatism. Adding a local player or two also would help. Rest of article
  8. Following Tuesday afternoon's practice, USF interim men's basketball coach Murry Bartow, promoted following the dismissal of Orlando Antigua, spoke to a couple of news outlets (including the Tampa Bay Times) inside the Muma Center. A bulk of the conversation is transcribed below. I know you can't read the players' minds, but what does the mood seem like among the team? "It was good today. I mean, any time there's a change it's not easy, there's a lot of emotions. But we had a great practice, guys were very upbeat and I thought we had a good day." So there seems to be a sense of optimism that this season can be salvaged? "Oh I think so. We've got a lot of good players, and we've got a lot of student-athletes that are hungry to be good. I saw a great energy today, it was a great enthusiasm today. We've obviously got a lot of work to do and keep building, but today was a good start." Did Coach Antigua have a chance to talk to the guys before he left? "I'm not sure if he did or he didn't. I don't think he did but I'm not sure." Rest of interview
  9. TAMPA — This wasn't how the defensive tactician initially drew it up. The Charlie Strong of a quarter-century ago, as studious as he was dirt poor, could not have fathomed the greeting he received Thursday morning at USF. Not the ballroom, and certainly not the boosters or band. In a previous life — before stints in South Bend and South Carolina, before dodging visors in Gainesville and vitriol in Texas — the Bulls' newest football coach thought he would be delivering lectures instead of pep talks. "I always wanted to be a college professor," Strong said. "I always told him … he was wasting his mind," added University of Central Arkansas track coach Richard Martin, a football assistant at the school in the early '80s when Strong starred as a defensive back. "He was really too smart to be a college football coach." But Strong was barely ankle deep into adulthood when, like many other coaches cutting their teeth in the profession, he discovered coaching was teaching. It was more gradual realization than epiphany, but it evolved into a conviction and calling. Rest of article
  10. It would be great to have an actual reporter do the actual game articles instead of JK in his wannabe columnist mode ... Before a generously announced Sun Dome crowd of 2,206, the Bulls (1-1) had more turnovers (10) than field goals (nine) in the first half. Four of Elon's 10 3s came during a 16-0 first-half run that pushed its lead to 24-12.
  11. Joey Knight, Times Staff Writer Tuesday, November 8, 2016 2:01pm Though he hasn't been ruled out for Saturday night's game at Memphis, Bulls PK Emilio Nadelman's full recovery from a quad injury might require more than a bye week. Nadelman, injured late in the Bulls' 52-45 victory against Navy two Fridays ago, exited Tuesday morning's practice using a crutch. But Coach Willie Taggart said the week's still early. "You know around here, we heal differently," he said. If Nadelman -- perfect on seven field-goal attempts this season -- remains sidelined, Jacksonville University transfer Brandon Behr takes over. A 23-year-old junior, Behr had a 48-yard field-goal try blocked late in the fourth quarter against Navy, leading to a Midshipmen TD. Last season at JU, he was perfect on 41 PATs and hit 14 of 23 field goals including a long of 48 yards. In 2014, he was a second-team All-Pioneer Football League pick, connecting on 13 of 18 field goals including a 50-yarder against Drake. As a senior at Fleming Island High, he missed only two of 11 field goals. "We always say if a guy goes down, the next guy's got to be ready to go," Taggart said. "Same thing with Brandon. He's got to be ready to go and we know he'll get it done for us." Rest of article

    These are a couple of articles that were part of JK's weekly Bulls Report in the print version ... Offense on best pace in USF football history 'Trap game' not part of Bulls' terminology What I couldn't find online from the Report is a REAL small-yet-interesting stat ... Number of the day 14 - Offensive toucdowns by USF through its first two games. 11 - Offensive TDs for the Bulls in all of 2013
  13. (If this needs to be towed to another lot on our trailer park, mods feel free to do so.... )
  14. Brett Kean named USF's backup quarterback Joey Knight, Times Staff Writer Tuesday, August 23, 2016 9:41pm TAMPA — Bulls coach Willie Taggart confirmed Tuesday morning what spring practices and recent scrimmages seemed to suggest: redshirt freshman Brett Kean is his backup quarterback. Kean, who guided Ohio's St. Edward High to a state title in 2014, exited spring practice at No. 2 on the depth chart and remained there as recently as Saturday night's closed scrimmage. According to the Bulls' official Twitter feed, he directed at least two touchdown drives in that 120-play situational rehearsal. "Brett has had an outstanding camp; really, really stepped it up," said Taggart, whose team practiced in shells Tuesday morning, when feel-like temperatures eclipsed 100 degrees. "I think … not necessarily surprised all of us, but really impressed all of us." Link
  15. Raymond Woodie brings quiet strength as USF defensive coordinator Joey Knight, Times Staff Writer Saturday, August 20, 2016 8:18pm TAMPA — Go back to the beach. Specifically, Daytona Beach, home to what was then Bethune-Cookman College. Backpedal to the era when the Wildcats frequently got sand kicked in their faces, only to spit it right back. The Wildcats of a quarter-century ago, handcuffed by limited resources and — later on — a one-year NCAA probation, oozed far more grit than glamour. And few were grittier than Raymond Woodie. A versatile defensive end who led far more by example than exhortation, Woodie bowed his head and lowered it with equal fervor. On game days he'd pray, then prey. He typically rushed off the edge, but didn't live on it. Some teammates figured if the pros didn't come calling for Woodie, the pulpit would. "To be honest with you, we probably kind of thought Raymond would end up being a preacher. He was a real religious guy," said former B-CC teammate Jerrell Cogmon, a Plant High alumnus who watched Woodie evolve into a Division I-AA All-American. "Always a smart guy, very intelligent and aware of his surroundings and things like that. Never really hung out and dabbled into the negative aspects of life." Fast forward to Wednesday, and Woodie's back at the beach — only this time on the Gulf Coast. USF coach Willie Taggart has given the Bulls a respite from two-a-days with an afternoon on the Clearwater coast. Woodie, Taggart's first-year defensive coordinator .... Rest of story
  16. Jeff Odom Sunday, August 14, 2016 3:55pm USF has confirmed the addition of OT Grant Polk, a Virginia transfer. Coach Willie Taggart said Sunday -- the Bulls' picture day at Raymond James Stadium -- that Polk (6-foot-6, 295 pounds) has enrolled in classes, but will sit out the season due to NCAA transfer rules. Polk, who redshirted last season, took part in the team's picture day at Raymond James Stadium, wearing No. 79. Rest of story
  17. Lessons from past propelling Nigel Harris Jeff Odom Friday, August 12, 2016 6:19pm WLB Nigel Harris has just about everything going his way as he embarks on his final season with the Bulls. The former Hillsborough High standout was one of the first defensive players to be awarded a gray “Bull Shark” jersey for his effort in spring camp. He has been referred to as a leader by his teammates. He’s even in arguably the best shape of his playing career at 218 pounds -- 13 fewer than last season. This time last year, however, Harris was in a much different place following a breakout sophomore campaign. Toward the end of spring practice in March 2015, he was suspended indefinitely along with teammate Tashon Whitehurst for an undisclosed violation of team rules. It carried over into the regular season, costing Harris the first two games of the season -- including USF’s matchup at Florida State. But instead of letting it affect him negatively, Harris said he worked to set himself straight. ... Rest of Story
  18. Joey Knight's wrap on media day: USF football is preseason pick to win AAC East Division
  19. 20 years of USF football: Five biggest program wins (w/video) By Joey Knight and Greg Auman, Times Staff Writers Friday, July 22, 2016 10:28am Link
  20. AAC Preview: Top 10 offensive linemen Joey Knight, Times Staff Writer Thursday, June 16, 2016 12:12pm LT Kofi Amichia, Sr., USF Amichia served as the left bookend of arguably the best Bulls offensive line ever last fall. That quintet, which started all 13 games, helped USF produce a school-record 5,741 total yards and allowed a league-low 1.12 sacks per game in American Athletic Conference play. Three of those starters -- and position coach Danny Hope -- are gone, meaning Amichia must emerge as both a leader and left-side anchor in 2016. ... RG Dominique Threatt, Sr., USF Is there a more unheralded Bull on the roster? Threatt, who enters the season with 20 career starts, and Amichia are the lone returning starters from last season's durable quintet that paved the way to a record-setting season for the offense. Click here for full list
  21. AAC Preview: 10 must-see games Joey Knight, Times Staff Writer ... FSU at USF, Sept. 24 When this game arose in newsroom conversation the other day, it was mentioned as possibly the most important contest in the Bulls' brief history. Amid possible Big 12 expansion and a feasibility study for an on-campus stadium, USF is in dire need of a big-time win, if for nothing else than to ratchet up fan support. The Bulls have a real chance here if they can find an answer for 'Noles TB Dalvin Cook, who shredded them (266 rushings yards, three TDs) last season in Tallahassee. ... USF at Temple, Oct. 21 Quite possibly the AAC East championship game when all is said and done. Could be a bit chilly in Philly, where the Owls will seek atonement for last season's embarrassing 44-23 defeat in Tampa. ... Rest of 10 must see games
  22. USF sports: The year in review Joey Knight, Times Staff Writer Monday, June 13, 2016 12:52pm ... Team of the Year While men's tennis and men's golf repeated as conference champs, and women's hoops could almost taste the saccharin in the Sweet Sixteen, our nod goes to Willie Taggart's resuscitated bunch. With talk about his job security percolating after a 1-3 start, Taggart removed the shackles from his offense and watched it respond with a historic spurt. The Bulls (8-5) won seven of their last eight regular season games, and set school records for total yardage (5,741), rushing yards (3,205) and offensive TDs (54). With essentially every skill guy back, USF enters '16 as the overwhelming favorite to win the AAC's East Division. ... Rest of Story
  23. Dear Subscriber, For those who care about newspapers and the vital role they play in civic life, this is an important day. Today, the owners of the Tampa Tribune sold it to our company. This purchase puts the Times on solid financial footing and gives the Tampa Bay region an independent, locally-owned newspaper that can keep serving customers and communities for the long term. Without this move, the continued competition between the Times and Tribune was putting both newspapers in peril. In today’s economy, you can count on one hand the number of cities that can sustain more than one daily newspaper, and the Tampa Bay region is no longer among them. To the Tribune’s readers and advertisers, we say welcome. From today forward, we will deliver the Times to all the subscribers for both newspapers, and it will include the advertising that has been scheduled for either one. We want to make the Times a better newspaper for all our readers, including those who have been with us right along. In Hillsborough County, the Times will expand our local news sections and give them a new name. Starting Friday, those sections will become the Tampa Tribune, just as the comparable section in south Pinellas is now called the St. Pete Times. We raise these banners to honor the history of both newspapers and their hometowns, now part of the larger region and the newspaper that reaches throughout. Each newspaper has built its own website, and we will keep both. We are looking for ways to improve both and The Times launched its Tampa edition in 1987, recognizing that the region was not only growing, but that its parts were growing together. To survive, a newspaper would have to serve readers and advertisers throughout Tampa Bay. Starting from a small base in Hillsborough County, the Times has worked to build a network of customers and friends, to become a truly local newspaper throughout the entire region. Four years ago, we even changed our name to embrace all of Tampa Bay. It’s fair to say that we have seen this day coming for a very long time. Now that it is here, we can look toward many more days ahead. To all our readers and advertisers, no matter where you are, no matter how long you have been buying the Times, we are honored to have you with us. We call ourselves “Florida’s Best Newspaper” not to brag, but as our commitment to you. Sincerely, Paul Tash Chairman & CEO Tampa Bay Times
  24. Can Bulls turn the corner in 2016-17? Joey Knight, Times Staff Writer Saturday, March 12, 2016 10:37am When the Bulls' season formally ended Friday afternoon at Orlando's Amway Center, so too did their chronic depth issues. At least presumably. Barring another sequence of on- and off-court catastrophes, USF should be far better equipped to compete in the American Athletic Conference in 2016-17, when Orlando Antigua -- 17-48 in his first two seasons -- is expected to be coaching for his job. "They're going to be a tough, tough out in the coming years," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. In Friday's 79-62 loss to Temple, Antigua had seven available scholarship players -- roughly the same number to which he has been confined this whole calendar year -- and eight total guys. Walk-ons Justin David (exam back at USF) and Tre' Bryant (concussion-like symptoms) were unavailable. Also on the Bulls' shelf: F Tulio Da Silva (academic non-qualifier) SG Troy Holston Jr. (torn ACL) PF Isaiah Manderson (Texas Tech transfer) PG Roddy Peters (foot fracture) PF Luis Santos (personal matter) G Geno Thorpe (Penn State transfer) Rest of Story