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USF Football Spring Practice: Day Three

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First day in pads, y’all.

NCAA Football: Central Florida at South Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

USF football wrapped up their first week of spring practice today at the Frank Morsani Football Complex before they go their separate ways for spring break.

Today was the first day in pads, and while we didn’t all of practice, we were able to see the last few team periods of the day. Almost immediately quarterback Chris Oladokun and wide receiver Ryeshene Bronson provided some fireworks.

From about 30-yards out, Bronson—who is still wearing a red non-contact jersey—soared above Roberts to make the impressive catch at the back of the end zone. Bronson’s offensive teammates mobbed him afterward, with some exclaiming that the receiver is “back”.

Defensive players were complaining that if he can make those catches then he needs to take off the red jersey.

The first-team offense:

  • LT Grant Polk, LG Demetris Harris, C Michael Wiggs, RG William Atterbury, RT Marcus Norman.
  • Oladokun and Kean cycled in with the first-team.
  • RB Jordan Cronkrite, WR Stanley Clerveaux, WR (slot) Tyre McCants, WR DeVontres Dukes, TE Mitchel Wilcox.

First-team defense

  • DE Josh Black, DT Kevin Bronson, DT Kevin Kegler, Kirk Livingstone
  • LB Nico Sawtelle, Khalid McGee
  • CB Mazzi Wilkins, Nickel Ronnie Hoggins, CB Mike Hampton, S Jaymon Thomas, S Naytron Culpepper

“We slid [McGee] over to linebacker the last quarter of the season and he did a good job,” defensive coordinator Brian Jean-Mary said “He flashed more with just his athleticism. I’m not sure he understood the basis of playing linebacker. But, he’s such a great athlete he was able to find the football and do some things. His challenge now that he’s entrenched as a linebacker, he has to learn the basic fundamentals of playing the position and what it’s going to take to be successful for a whole season.”

McGee said he began cycling in at linebacker during the Houston game after asking head coach Charlie Strong and BJM about moving there to help with the depth and he recorded six tackles and a forced fumble that day. 31 of his 38 tackles in 2017 came after he made the switch to linebacker.

Culpepper had an outstanding freshman season at cornerback and playing some nickel. This spring he is working at safety as well to help with depth and to get as much talent on the field as possible.

“He’s a very, very talented kid,” Jean-Mary said. “He’s a kid that can play all the positions in the secondary, which is a great quality to have. Now, we’re letting him get some reps at safety and it just speaks of his football IQ because we’re bouncing a lot off of him and he’s doing a great job there.

The Bulls are on spring break all next week and return the following week for the rest of spring practice.

Notables:

  • WR DeVontres Dukes had a nice one-handed catch down the right sideline on a pass from Brett Kean. Dukes saw limited time in 2017 but appears ready for an expanded role.
  • WR Stanley Clerveaux, who recently got an extra year of eligibility, looks huge now. He has a very sturdy frame and powerful legs. He had a good catch on the sideline today.
  • RB Duran Bell had another great run up the middle, making a couple of defenders miss in the process.
  • WR Jernard Phillips caught a slant route and took it nearly to the paint after juking at least three players. He had a good spring last year as well. Let’s hope it translate with additional playing time.
  • CB/nickel Ronnie Hoggins had a pick-six near the end of practice that had the defensive coaches fired up. Unsure who threw it though, our view was blocked by the backup offensive linemen and staff.

Injury Report

  • DE Greg Reaves was still on Rehab Island with an undisclosed injury.
  • WR Darnell Salomon did not participate in the team session that was open to the media.
  • DT Kevin Pinkney Jr. was held out of practice today due to a leg injury that doesn’t seem serious. Three days in, the Bulls will be very protective of injuries.