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USF Bull-ish on new-look offensive line

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USF Bull-ish on new-look offensive line


By Rishi Barran,
Last Updated: Friday, August 05, 2016


The playmakers are clearly in place.

The big questions as to whether USF can have an even more explosive offense this season will be answeted by the big guys who hit the sleds.

A new-look offensive line is replacing three starters.

But the two starters returning starters feel their unit is in a pretty good place early in preseason camp.

"We're taking the young guys under our wings," senior offensive tackle Kofi Amichia said.  "We've been doing a lot of bonding with them, watching a lot of film with them, taking them out to a lot of places in Tampa.  So it's going along pretty well."

Amichia and fellow senior Dominuique Threatt, who also started every game in 2015, have taken on greater leadership roles in working with their younger linemates.

"The freshmen and the other guys who didn't play last year have improved a lot," Threatt said.  "They've gotten stronger, faster, and they're more ready to play."

The Bulls will need players like redshirt freshman tackle Billy Atterbury (Clearwater Central Catholic grad), sophomore center Michael Galati (Manatee grad), and redshirt freshman ...

Rest of report



More stories on the O-Line, courtesy Joey Knight:

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They can sing me all the songs they want to, but this still is going to potentially be our weakest, thinnest group. I'm glad to see our veteran guys working closely to mentor them, and coaches are definitely working them. We're going to need every one of those guys to do their part to keep the plays from getting broken up and to give Mack and DJ some daylight. I'm going to breathe a long sigh if I see QF back there doing a lot of improv to keep plays alive.

Hoping they're all quick learners and athletic enough to make an immediate difference. I also hope baynews9 hires a new checker, cause dang.

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2 hours ago, Bulls On Parade said:

We just need above average play from them and we will be ok.

We have recruited some decent oline men so like said hope they learn quick and gell quick.

Will need them to learn quick in order to beat FSU 

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O-line getting the reporting fans want, GoUSFBulls.com's Tom Zebold:


Taggart Expects Big Things From New-Look O-Line

August 05, 2016


USF Senior Writer

TAMPA, AUG. 5, 2016 – USF’s Gulf Coast offense made a smashing debut in 2015 while shattering program records with 3,205 rushing yards, 5,741 total yards and 54 touchdowns.

Using its up-tempo approach, USF continues to zoom down the field through two days of fall camp with a new-look offensive line that wants to push the issue and prove itself each time out.


“Our objective is to get off the field as quickly as possible,” senior left tackle Kofi Amichia said. “We’re trying to make sure we have a top-10 offense in the nation.”

In order to take the Gulf Coase offense to another level, USF knows it must get steady production from an offensive line that’s replacing three starters from 2015.

Head coach Willie Taggart isn’t worried.

“Our expectation is to be better than what we were last year,” Taggart said. “We’re in year two (of the Gulf Coast offense), these guys have been with us and understand what we’re doing. We’re expecting for them to be better.”

There’s no shortage of talent up front and it starts with Amichia and right guard Dominique Threatt after both started all 13 games last season. Both seniors have made smooth transitions into leadership roles and Threatt made sure everyone got the most out of the summer.

“He used to be the quiet guy and now he’s calling guys, waking them up and making sure they’re where they’re supposed to be,” Taggart said. “He’s organizing a lot of things for that group.”

One of the things that helped make the offensive line so successful last year was the close bond between players. This year's seniors have already gotten a good jump on giving the new group a great working relationship with bowling trips, Ping-Pong games and country dinners in Threatt’s off-campus kitchen.


“We’re taking the younger guys under our wing,” Amichia said.

The close relationship is paying dividends for a group that’s seeing younger players step up. Sophomore center Michael Galati (Orlando) was at the top of the depth chart in the spring with redshirt freshman Brooks Larkin (Bradenton) also getting snaps.

Senior Cameron Ruff (six games of experience) has taken snaps at center and was at the top of the spring depth chart at left guard, in front of sophomore Michael Smith (Miami). Redshirt freshman Billy Atterbury has impressed coaches at right guard after becoming a two-time all-state pick out of Clearwater Central Catholic.

Junior guard Jeremi Hall brings 15 games of experience to the table while junior JUCO transfer Glen Bethel, redshirt freshman Marcus Norman and freshman Michael Wiggs have an opportunity to show new offensive line coach Darren Hiller what they can do as the season approaches.

“We’ve got to get some of those guys to step up and be able to provide some competition to fight for a job, so we can create some depth,” Hiller said.

Hiller Happy With Stronger Bulls


Darren Hiller stepped into his new role with the Bulls in the spring after coaching Cincinnati’s offensive line for the past three seasons. The 22-year coaching veteran said it was “critical” for his line to have a productive summer and he’s seen very positive results in fall camp.

“I can see we’re stronger at the point of attack with our hands and things like that,” said Hiller, who bragged about his group in team meetings Thursday night.

The proof is in the numbers, too.

Threatt tied the team record set by Todd Chandler by squatting 700 pounds. Threatt now benches 365 and bulked up to 335 pounds after playing at around 320 last year.

Amichia has gained about 25 pounds to get up to 298 and he raised his squat max to 535 this summer. Larkin finished second on the team with a squat of 635 pounds and Ruff wasn’t far behind at 615.

“The entire football team, I look at our guys coming out here and they look so much better than they did last year,” Taggart said. “The credit goes to Coach Irele (Oderinde) and his staff.”

Bulls Bits

- Junior safety Devin Abraham ended Friday’s practice with a big play, picking off a bobbled catch attempt by a receiver near the sideline. “Defensively, guys are flying around. Our guys are doing a great job of taking advantage of tipped balls and getting some interceptions,” Taggart said.

- Quarterback Chris Oladokun made a good first impression on Day 1 of fall camp and the freshman did even more Friday. The former three-star recruit from Tampa connected with Tyre McCants for a touchdown during one-on-one work before throwing a 13-yard TD pass to Trevon Sands during a two-minute drill. “My impression of Chris is we got the right guy,” Taggart said with a smile.

- Athletic linebacker Andre Polk (Fort Myers) has showcased his coverage skills in camp while showing great discipline for a freshman. “He’s putting himself in a good position to make plays these last two days,” Taggart said. “I think that’s only going to improve as he continues to learn our defense.”


-       #GoBulls –

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