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Found 12 results

  1. Excerpts: -- Running back, too, is hard to read -- Marcus Shaw and Mike Pierre still get the bulk of the reps with the top two units, though it's clear at least one of the two freshman tailbacks, Darius Tice and Sta'fon McCray, will play this fall. We asked a few veterans before Saturday's drills who had stood out to them among the newcomers, and two named Tice first. Expect at least one of the freshman fullbacks -- Kennard Swanson and Auggie Sanchez -- to play as well. The first catch of Saturday's live drills? Walk-on fullback Ryan Eppes. -- Receiver: Harder to see a depth chart here because guys move around a lot -- the first two receivers on the field with the No. 1 offense were Andre Davis and Deonte Welch, which makes sense. Derrick Hopkins is the next most experienced, and then it's a free-for-all -- guys who sat out last season like Ruben Gonzalez, Stephen Bravo-Brown and Alex Mut. Walk-ons like Clinton Jones and Jordan Duval were getting on the field with the 2nd and 3rd offense. Chris Dunkley was out with an ankle injury. Link
  2. Taggart offense depends on big-play tight ends Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer Monday, August 12, 2013 5:30pm TAMPA — Ask USF's Mike McFarland about the prominent role a tight end can play in a Willie Taggart offense, and his eyes light up with excitement. "It gives me chills to think about the things we can accomplish," said McFarland, a Blake High graduate who totaled five catches in his first two years at USF but could be a major contributor this fall. "Our offense kind of revolves around the tight ends. … It's a pretty amazing feeling, just to be associated with this type of offense, to see the success he's had." Fellow Bulls tight end Sean Price emerged in the second half of last season, catching 21 passes in the final six games as a freshman. He wants to build on that strong finish and, like McFarland, recognizes his position's central role in Taggart's West Coast offense. "Knowing you can be that guy on such a great football team … it's an overwhelming, exciting feeling," Price said. "I thank God every morning for sending me a coach like coach Taggart, making tight ends a very important role. Growing up, tight ends really weren't used much." Taggart's affection for tight ends goes back to his days as a Stanford assistant, learning under Jim Harbaugh — five tight ends during his time there are now in NFL camps. A name you might not recognize, but one that brings excitement to Price, McFarland and other Bulls, is Jack Doyle, a tight end who led Taggart's Western Kentucky teams with 50-plus catches in each of the past two seasons. Rest of Greg's Story
  3. Giddins healthy, bigger for senior year TAMPA -- USF defensive end Ryne Giddins, limited by shoulder injuries for much of last season, said Thursday he's back at "90 percent" and considerably bigger, hoping to make the most of his senior season at a crucial position for the Bulls. "I never was really 90 percent (last year). During the season, I was pretty bad," Giddins said. "My left shoulder feels better than my right one now. I feel pretty good, but I'm still a work in progress, have to rehab every day still and get back to normal." Giddins played in all 12 games, but said he did so with a labrum torn in three places in his left shoulder, an injury he suffered on the opening defensive possession of the season, in the Bulls' win against Chattanooga. He had 1.5 sacks on that drive, but would have just two more the rest of the year. "That's when it all started," he said. The full extent of Giddins' injury wasn't made public last year, so his lack of production wasn't seen in its full context, but he said the people around him were aware of his physical limitations. "My training staff, some of the coaches, they knew what was wrong," he said, "but I tried not to voice it too much, not until the end of the season when they can operate on it." Giddins is a big part of a deep, talented group of defensive ends, along with seniors Tevin Mims and Julius Forte, Notre Dame transfer Aaron Lynch and sophomore Eric Lee, who started in the second half of the season. There's quality players inside at tackle as well, led by senior Luke Sager and junior Elkino Watson. "The competition is really high this year. There's a lot more pressure coming up on everybody on the line," Giddins said. "We've got Aaron Lynch, Ju-Ju, Tevin, Kino, Luke, all them boys. The competition is rising because nobody wants to get beat out." Bunch more from Greg here. Don't you just love the sound of competition? Willie don't play.
  4. USF RBs: Lockette ready for high expectations One more position breakdown to wrap up the series, and we close with running backs coach Telly Lockette, who joined Willie Taggart's staff from prep powerhouse Miami Central after Larry Scott left to go to the University of Miami. Lockette will help the Bulls with strong recruiting ties in Miami, but he also has a good history at the position, having starred at running back at Miami Northwestern and cultivated college talents at that position throughout his high school coaching days. Lockette has a tough act to follow in Taggart offenses -- every year going back to Taggart's Stanford days with Toby Gerhart, his leading rusher has gained at least 1,500 yards, including two seasons by Bobby Rainey at Western Kentucky and Antonio Andrews there last year. USF, on the other hand, hasn't had a 1,000-yard rusher since Andre Hall in 2006, and none of the Bulls' current backs have experience as a go-to college runner. "The expectation on the run game is going to be very high. It's what Coach Taggart has built his legacy on," Lockette said. "We're going to put a lot of emphasis on our guys that, as well as rushing the ball, they have to be able to protect the quarterback." Link to full report, plenty more: www.tampabay.com/blogs/bulls/usf-rbs-lockette-ready-for-high-expectations/2135709
  5. Parents, roots instill Taggart work ethic Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer Saturday, August 3, 2013 9:04pm PALMETTO — The wide, green fields where Willie Taggart first learned about hard work had no yard lines, no hashmarks, and certainly no end zones to dream of reaching. Here, not an hour south of where he will proudly stand this fall as USF's head football coach, a young Taggart, tiny bucket in hand, would watch his parents, John and Gloria, work the fields. They picked tomatoes and potatoes and oranges, whatever was in season, whatever would help keep six children fed and happy. They didn't bring their youngest son to the fields often, and the simplest lessons they wanted to drive home to all their children were the true value of a hard day's work, of taking pride in what you did. The second lesson was more profound: You can be more than this. "Growing up, watching my mom and my dad working, I learned how to work, to work at all costs to take care of your family," Taggart, 36, said. "I also learned what I didn't want to do when I got older. I thought it was one of the better things for me to be put in that situation. It helped me along the way." Plenty more from Greg HERE
  6. USF Bulls Football News And Notes By Gerardo Gonzalez Producer, Web Editor Earlier today on The Whitney Johnson Experience, Tampa Bay Times USF Bulls beat writer Greg Auman joined the show to talk all things USF with Ryan Bass who is filling in for Whitney. Why you should listen: Greg talked about the QB battle and who could emerge as the favorite to start week 1. Greg also talked about the rest of USF’s team. Visit SportsTalkFlorida for Greg's audio with radio host (11 minutes)
  7. QBs prone to turnovers in USF spring game Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer Saturday, April 13, 2013 4:30am Sophomore Matt Floyd offered up the pros and the cons for his case to be USF's starting quarterback in Saturday's spring game, hitting Andre Davis for two touchdowns but also fumbling four snaps, three of which the defense recovered. Floyd's TD throws — including an 85-yarder on his first offensive play — sparked the White team's 14-11 victory over the Green before an announced crowd of 4,606 at Raymond James Stadium. But his struggles with exchanges carried over from last season. "Matt threw some good balls in there," Bulls coach Willie Taggart said. "One area that was a concern was diminishing the fumbled snaps. Too many balls on the ground. Like I told him all spring, you put that ball on the ground, it takes away from all the good things you did. … Fumbled snap, defense recovered the ball. That will get you beat. We can't turn the football over." Floyd said the exchanges are "something we will work on all summer long, for sure." He finished 9-for-16 for 208 yards and hit Davis on a 1-yard strike with nine seconds left in the first half. Senior QB Bobby Eveld, who Taggart had said was "leading the pack" in spring, went 14-for-24 for 143 yards and an interception, and ran for a 1-yard touchdown with six seconds left. Taggart said Eveld played "not as well as I thought he would play," but the quarterback felt good about his progress. "Turning the ball over, that's never acceptable, but other than that, I think I had a pretty decent day," said Eveld, who also caught a 10-yard pass. "I think overall our team made a ton of progress. I'm very happy with where we are, but at the same time, we've got a long way to go." Rest of Story
  8. Cornerback George Baker matures into starter for USF Bulls By Greg Auman, Times Staff Writer Greg AumanTampa Bay Times Posted: Sep 06, 2012 05:49 PM TAMPA — George Baker ultimately made his own decision in signing with USF in 2008, but ask Bulls coaches, and the key to getting the coveted cornerback from Miami to back out of a commitment to Auburn was first convincing his mother that USF was the best place for her oldest child. Stephanie Grant was a big part of Baker's college decision, which is no surprise. She has been a big part of everything in his life. "My mom, she's a very strong, independent woman. Growing up, it was just me and her and my little brother and sister," Baker said this week as the Bulls prepared for a tough road challenge Saturday at Nevada. "She always did the best she could to provide for us. ... We have a very close relationship. I thank her every day, tell her I love her every day." Grant has worked the past 15 years as a security guard for the Miami-Dade County School Board, but when Baker was younger, she worked two or three jobs — Winn-Dixie, Wendy's, the Miami Children's hospital — to pay the bills as a single mother. Juggling that and the challenge of getting Baker to football practice wasn't easy, but she saw how much he loved playing the game. "I knew there was potential when he started playing Pop Warner football. He was very small, about 7," she said. "No matter where he went, he had that football in his hands." Rest of Story
  9. ...lack of mental toughness. Per Greg Auman aka "The Man" http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/bulls/content/smith-looking-toughness-usf-secondary
  10. Excerpt: Williams, having grown up and played high school and college football in Tampa, knows he has a fanbase rooting for him and fellow former Bulls star Jason Pierre-Paul next week against the Patriots. He said the calls and text messages that came after Sunday's win were something he won't forget. "Tampa always showed me a lot of love, but now, that's a true blessing from my hometown," he said. Sunday's win came at the expense of former USF coach Jim Leavitt, another NFL rookie in his first year as the 49ers' linebackers coach. It was Leavitt who first used Williams on special teams in his first year with the Bulls in 2009, and Williams was grateful to see his former coach before and after the game. In the minutes after his play helped send the Giants to the Super Bowl, he got a phone call from his mother, Theolanda, in Tampa, and he's excited to be able to bring her and other family members to Indianapolis for another chance at football history on Feb. 5. "That," he said, "would be special." http://www.tampabay.com/sports/football/bucs/ex-usf-bulls-player-jacquian-williams-plays-key-role-in-new-york-giants/1212440
  11. I didn't realize it was a forgone conclusion that Genshaft/Leavitt were working to keep UCF away. http://t.co/ZsGLO92w
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