Jebbull Posted August 6, 2008 Group: Member Topic Count: 0 Content Count: 242 Reputation: 0 Days Won: 0 Joined: 02/01/2005 Share Posted August 6, 2008 COLLEGE FOOTBALL I USFBulls' CB Roberts eager to step upBy ALAN DELL CORRESPONDENTPublished: Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 1:00 a.m. Last Modified: Tuesday, August 5, 2008 at 11:11 p.m. TAMPA - The best advice Tyller Roberts received from his predecessors at the University of South Florida won't be found in a playbook. And it's one the defensive back has heard many times in his life. Bringing the brawnCOURTESY PHOTO / USF ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT Cornerback Tyller Roberts increased his strength this summer, adding about six reps to his 225-pound bench press."Be yourself," are the words that keep ringing through his ears as he heads into his first season as the Bulls' starting cornerback.A backup for three years, the 21-year-old senior knows you can't follow Superman, not if you expect to be successful.In this case, Superman is the departed Mike Jenkins. The Southeast High graduate started four years at cornerback and became the first USF player to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft this year when he was chosen by Dallas as the 25th overall pick.The Bulls' other veteran cornerback, Trae Williams, also a four-year starter, was drafted by Jacksonville in the fifth round. Now Roberts and junior Jerome Murphy are the starters.The wait has been long for Roberts, but it could help. He has gotten some good playing time in the nickel package and has been in there, subbing for Jenkins and Williams at times.But while Murphy is being touted as a possible star, Roberts could be fighting for respectability. He hasn't gotten any guarantees, though Bulls defensive backs coach Troy Douglas said it would take a lot for someone to unseat him as the starter.The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder felt some pressure when spring practice came and it was evident the job was his to lose. But he has had contact with both Jenkins and Williams, which has helped his confidence."They told me a lot of people are going to try and compare me and Murph to them and to stay away from that stuff," Roberts said. "I talk to those guys every day and they always tell me you know what you can do and just play the game and have fun."Douglas believes the run support could be better with Roberts and Murphy because they are bigger and both have become a lot stronger this summer."The thing that Tyller and Murphy will give us is that they are a lot more physical players than Mike and Trae," Douglas said. "They don't have the long speed that Mike did or the savvy and play-making ability that Trae had."Roberts increased his strength this summer, adding about six reps to his 225-pound bench press while Murphy added about nine reps to his 225-bench. Douglas hopes that will make it easier for them to come up and support the run. At times last year, USF struggled against teams that run it up the gut, particularly with Rutgers' Ray Rice and Oregon's Jon Stewart."The coaches say I am bigger than Mike and Trae, but athletically those guys were unbelievable," Roberts said. "We have big shoes to fill, but I've just got to bring what brought me to the table."Ford bulks up a bitThe biggest surprise of the Bulls' first preseason practice on Monday might have been running back Mike Ford.The former Sarasota High standout weighed in at a career high 233, up about 13 pounds from last year."I got my speed back. I am not a 4.3 (seconds in the 40-yard dash) like I was in high school, but this time if I break out I will probably be gone. I wasn't trying to put on the weight. I was just lifting and lifting and got bigger and stronger."http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20080806/ARTICLE/808060361/2050/sports&title=Bulls__CB_Roberts_eager_to_step_up Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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