The USF Bulls had their second fall practice today, back at the Morsani Practice Fields. Like Thursday, the practice was split into two sessions. (I only saw the second session.) Friday was the last day of Summer B classes, so Saturday will be the first practice with everyone together, including all of the freshmen.
One of the nicer surprises today was the play of freshman QB Chris Oladokun from Sickles High School. He split reps with incumbent starter Quinton Flowers and showed off his strong arm and mobility. Oladokun has the size and arm strength to be a good quarterback in the future. With Flowers, Brett Kean, and Asiantii Woulard all ahead of him, Oladokun’s chances of playing this year are slim to none, but his size and arm strength are worth keeping an eye on.
“First two days, we got ourselves a pretty good football player,” head coach Willie Taggart said. “Today, he led our guys down on a nice, scoring touchdown drive. Yesterday he did some good things and I’m like wow, this kid has a little more to him than I think. My impression of Chris is, ‘we got the right guy.’”
Taggart has been disappointed in the amount of balls the receivers have dropped over the first two days, but a lot of the dropped balls are getting tipped up and falling into the defenses hands, which Taggart was pleased with.
“Our guys are flying around and are doing a great job of taking advantage of tipped balls and getting interceptions, that’s something we’ve stressed” Taggart said. “We’re trying to be really at this year is takeaways, not leading the team in knockdowns, but turnovers.”
It showed as safety Devin Abraham ended practice with an interception... off a tipped pass.
Through two days of practice, new offensive line coach Darren Hiller has been impressed with how quickly his group of guys have learned the technical aspects of the positions.
“After two days with just helmets on, it’s kinda hard to tell where we are from a physical standpoint, but from a technical standpoint you can tell we’ve made strides from spring practice,” Hiller said. “Going from drill to drill, they understand what they’re doing a lot better, so I’m really excited.”
Replacing three starters from the 2015 team is a tall order, but the two returning starters, left tackle Kofi Amichia and right guard Dominique Threatt have taken on the responsibility of teaching the younger guys what to do. Amichia says he’s up 25 pounds to 298 from the end of the season, and Threatt is up 15 pounds to 335. Threatt also tied former defensive lineman Todd Chandler’s weight room record by squatting 700 pounds over the summer, or about 4 1/2 Alex Salvatos.
“I’m here everyday early, I’m prepared, I take the opportunity to get the guys ready and make sure they know what to do,” Threatt said. “I try to be a role model for the young guys. Lead by example, if I mess up, they’re gonna mess up because they’re looking at me.”
CB Ronnie Hoggins left practice with a little bit of a limp. Consider him day-to-day for now.
WR Ryeshene Bronson made another ridiculous catch during 1v1:
It was really hot outside (after just one day in the morning sun, my ginger ass is burnt to a crisp) but here’s Quinton Flowers staying cool in the “shade” during a water break:
Saturday is the last open practice to the public, so come out and support your boys. Practice starts at 10:00 a.m. And learn from me - BRING SUNSCREEN.