If you missed the beginning of our spring practice preview series check them out here:
Spring practice begins next week so we will breakdown each position group as we gear up for football season. Note: We will not guess on what impact freshmen who are not on campus yet will have on the team. Except for quarterback because #BattleHive.
Key Loss: Quinton Flowers/GOAT (188-354, 2,911 yards, 25 TD, 6 INT, 53.1% completions, 179 carries, 1,181 yards, 11 TD)
Key Returners: Brett Kean (7-11, 64 yards); Chris Oladokun (1-1, 12 yards)
Who gets the unenviable task of being the guy after The Guy?
The Bulls have two great options to try to fill the void left by the best player in school history in Brett Kean and Chris Oladokun. Both will be in their second year under the Sterlin Gilbert Veer-And-Shoot offense and are more traditional passers unlike Flowers.
Flowers always had his struggles with accuracy during his career, especially on short-to-intermediate routes, but former head coach Willie Taggart was able to mitigate some of his shortcomings with easy throws like screens and pop passes to pad his completion percentage a bit. Flowers had great touch on the deep balls throughout his career, but at times would just lose it for chunks of time. His skill set did not fit what Gilbert wanted.
Yes, I realize how stupid it was of Gilbert to not adjust his system to the talent he had and he didn’t do himself any favors with the fan base by being so resolute in his gameplans #HBDive, tempo for the sake of tempo, little to no jet sweeps/pop passes/screens.
BUT, Kean and Oladokun are a better fit for Gilbert’s system. Both are accurate passers with a more traditional delivery that will help with consistency and they are quick enough to still run read options effectively. Oladokun put linebacker Jimmy Bayes on skates in the 2017 spring game after a particularly devastating cutback.
Former USF QB Steven Bench told us in November that Kean really impressed him during a football camp that Bench worked, saying that Kean outplayed everyone out there including top QB recruits at the time.
Oladokun has a rocket arm. He’s the type passer USF has never really had. The Bulls have had plenty of talented athletes at quarterback but the Sickles High School graduate has the makings to be the best pure passer in school history. For this reason, I believe he wins the QB competition.
His skills will blossom in the Gilbert offense. We will see the entire passing tree with him whereas Flowers threw a very limited set of patterns. I never felt comfortable with Flowers throwing to the far side of the field or out routes. Oladokun has the power to make those throws with ease.
Battle threw for over 3,000 yards and ran for nearly 1,000 as senior and is the dark horse to win the job. It’s unlikely that he does or even sees the field this season, but he can be very good in the future.