Tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m., we'll get our first look at the early stages of Willie Taggart's third USF team at the Bulls' annual spring game. This third season, obviously, figures to be a pretty critical one for both Taggart's future with the program and fans' sanity, so let's hope we see some encouraging signs tomorrow. To begin with, here are the abbreviated rosters for the Green and White squads. You can check out the full rosters here.
|QB||Mike White||Quinton Flowers|
|Steven Bench||Austin Parker|
|RB||Marlon Mack||Darius Tice|
|Sta'fon McCray||D'Ernest Johnson|
|FB||Kennard Swanson||Corian Hamilton|
|WR||Tyre McCants||Rodney Adams|
|Stanley Clerveaux||Ryeshene Bronson|
|Chase Whitehead||A.J. Legree|
|TE||Sean Price||Marlon Pope|
|Spencer Adkinson||Kano Dillon|
|OL||Jeremi Hall||Thor Jozwiak|
|Kofi Amichia||Brynjar Gudmundsson|
|Dominique Threatt||Mak Djulbegovic|
|Michael Galati||Cameron Ruff|
|Clavion Nelson||Michael Smith|
|DT||Derrick Calloway||Deadrin Senat|
|James Hamilton||Bruce Hector|
|DE||Mike Love||Eric Lee|
|Eric Mayes||Vincent Jackson|
|Daniel Awoleke||Kevin Bronson|
|LB||Auggie Sanchez||Nigel Harris|
|Zack Bullock||Tashon Whitehurst|
|Juwuan Brown||Josh Black|
|Jimmy Bayes||LeGrande Harley|
|Nick Holman||Danny Thomas|
|DB||Jamie Byrd||Lamar Robbins|
|Nate Godwin||Hassan Childs|
|Deatrick Nichols||Devin Abraham|
|Tajee Fullwood||Jalen Spencer|
You can't draw too many significant conclusions from spring games-- even though we're all gonna try-- but hopefully we'll get a few answers to some of this team's bigger question marks.
How different is Willie Taggart's new up-tempo offense?
We've heard talk of the new spread offense Coach T is implementing this spring, which sounds exciting at best... and downright terrifying at worst when you consider that Taggart's been recruiting for a pro-style offense the past two seasons. Will this be the first step in eliminating the Bulls' menagerie of offensive woes-- false starts, ineffective line play, no hint of a passing game to speak of-- or will it be more of the same? I'm not believing any sign of progress until I see it.
USF finally has a scheme that fits their defense. How will the D look?
Unlike the square-peg-in-a-round-hole scheme on offense, the 4-2-5 look that new defensive coordinator Tom Allen is bringing in seems to match up well with the Bulls' wealth of speed and young talent in the secondary. USF was pretty poor and very predictable on defense last year; let's hope we at least see some different looks and a few big plays from some of the younger players.
So... who's the quarterback?
We're likely not going to find out anytime soon, no matter what happens tomorrow. That said, reports have been saying that Quinton Flowers has been the leader of the pack so far, and the supposedly even-strength rosters seem to back that up, with Flowers and the walk-ons on one side and White and Bench on the other. We'll see if Flowers looks more natural in the new offense, and if his throwing abilities have improved from last season.
Which of the youngsters will have an impact?
Even without the newest class of freshmen on campus yet, there are a lot of young, highly-touted Bulls that we've yet to see on the field much. Position battles to keep an eye on include receiver, where the Bulls are really, really thin and could use the emergence of an underclassman like Ryeshene Bronson or Tyre McCants. Elsewhere, Taggart has been talking up sophomore defensive end Mike Love's spring performance, and we'll be seeing redshirt freshmen Jimmy Bayes and Vincent Jackson in action for the first time. And who the heck is going to emerge from the secondary as starters? Seriously, try to pick five guys out of there-- they're a surplus of experience, but probably not a single guaranteed starter outside of Jamie Byrd.
Kickoff is tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Corbett Stadium. If you can't make it out, we'll have coverage here and on Twitter.