USF football embarked on the post-Quinton Flowers era with their first spring practice this morning in shorts and helmets at the Frank Morsani Football Complex.
“What’s really great about [the first day of spring practice] just getting out here and getting back into the feel of football. It just seems like it was two days ago we were playing in that bowl game,” head coach Charlie Strong said.
Strong was noncommittal about whether he’d like to name a starting quarterback after spring practice.
“Both of them [Brett Kean and Chris Oladokun] are going to get a lot of reps. Maybe by, you know, I don’t know, if it will be by the end of spring. We’ll just be able to see where we are and just let those guys continue to battle it out.”
Strong said he doesn’t anticipate much of a change in the identity of the offense with Kean or Oladokun replacing Flowers.
“Quinton was just a different type of player. He had speed [and] quickness. Whereas now, you have guys that release it.,” Strong said.
Kean and Oladokun split time with the first-team offense during the portion of practice open to the media. Olakdokun did overthrow a receiver and senior safety Jaymon Thomas intercepted it.
The running back position looks to be in good hands with UF transfer Jordan Cronkrite looking every bit like an RB1 today. Fellow RB, Duran Bell showed why he’s my pick to be Cronkrite’s backup. He ran hard and showed great vision through the holes created by an offensive line that has to replace two starters from 2017. He also caught a swing pass that went for ten yards.
The first-team offensive line today was: LT Grant Polk (Eric Mayes is injured), LG Demetris Harris, C Brooks Larkin, RG William Atterbury, and RT Marcus Norman.
- DE Greg Reaves was on Rehab Island today, but it was unclear why he was not playing.
- LT Eric Mayes had off-season left knee surgery to “clean some things up”. He may get back before spring practice ends.
- LB Andre Polk did not practice as he’s still recovering from the knee injury that forced him to miss most of 2017. He did run after practice with the defense, but had a fairly big knee brace on.
- WR Ryeshene Bronson practiced in a red non-contact jersey as he makes his way back from the dislocated shoulder injury suffered in fall practice.
- DT Brandon Boyce is still with the team, but Strong is unsure if/when he’ll be at spring practice. Strong did not state why he was being held out.
- DB Khalid McGee is now LB Khalid McGee. He made the switch late in the season and looks like he’s staying there. DT Marlon Gonzalez is now an offensive lineman. WR Chris Barr is a CB after being pushed down the depth chart over the last two season.
- Six early enrollee’s have numbers [These may change]. RB Brian Norris is #29; Punter Trent Schneider is #39; WR Zion Roland is #82; DE Stacy Kirby is #47; DE Dwayne Boyles is #93 (which was Boyce’s number in ‘17); and LB Antonio Grier is #44.
- RB Elijah Mack looked slimmed down and faster than he did in 2017. He may make an impact yet.