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Zebold: Bulls Have Big Shoes to Fill at Defensive End

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    Bulls Have Big Shoes to Fill at Defensive End



    USF Senior Writer


    TAMPA, MARCH 8, 2014 – The Bulls have some big shoes to fill after the departure of a ton of talent at the defensive end position.


    Gone are names that USF fans have grown accustomed to cheering for – Ryne Giddins, Julius Forte, Aaron Lynch and Tevin Mims – and now it’s up to a new crop of ends to produce, especially this spring when coaches are watching and waiting for Bulls to step up.


    “I’m seeing guys that haven’t played a lot of football, so the more football they play now the better they’re going to get,” head coach Willie Taggart said. “They’re in there trying to compete, they’re trying to learn the defense and I think they’ll get better with time. We just have to keep trying to do that every day; we can’t take a step back.”


    Fortunately for the Bulls, they have more than a few numbers to choose from and part of the group now includes a versatile veteran. Senior Elkino Watson has played in 35 games as a Bull at tackle since appearing in 12 as a true freshman in 2011 and the 6-foot-2, 289-pounder has been getting reps at the end position.


    “He’s an athletic kid,” defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan said. “He’s got the versatility, he’s got the ability. Now I don’t see him as a third-down defensive end, he’s a guy we’d move back in as an inside technique or an inside pass rusher on third down. But on first and second down he’s stout enough, he’s athletic enough and he’s versatile enough to play end or tackle for us.”


    Junior Eric Lee has been a popular name mentioned by coaches this spring and the Daphne, Ala., native provides the Bulls with some experience with five starts and 22 games of action under his belt.


    “Coming in as a true freshman I had to get adjusted quickly,” he said.


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