As cliché as it may sound, we are certainly entering the dog days of camp. The excitement from the first week of camp starts to lose its luster. Everyone is happy that football is back, but at the same time, players get that itch to hit somebody who isn’t wearing the same jersey that they are. We’re still two weeks away from that glorious moment, so here are some practice notes to tide you over.
Special teams ruled the day
We saw a very limited amount of 11 on 11, and what we did see left little to report. A completion here and there, but nothing newsworthy. About 90% of what the media saw today was special teams, be it field goal, kick return, or punt return.
Couple things regarding the kicking battle for @USFFootball:— Award Winner Nathan Bond (@BullsNathanSBN) August 16, 2018
Marco Salani is no longer with the program.
Walk-on Jake Stone was a reserve goalkeeper for @USFMSOC for the last three seasons. (H/t @c350Zee)
We saw one attempt each from kickers Jake Stone, Coby Weiss, and Jake Vivonetto from around 35-40 yards out. Each kicker made good on their attempt.
The focus on special teams has been the kicking battle, but we know Punters Are People Too and Aussie punter Trent Schneider deserves the recognition for JUICING some punts out there today.
Saw a couple of very nice punts by “Aussie” Schneider, including an end-over-end rugby punt. @USFFootball— Joey Knight (@TBTimes_Bulls) August 16, 2018
One of Schneider’s better punts was a bomb with enough spin to force an uncharacteristic muffed punt from WR Tyre McCants.
Up-downs: Still a thing
As you may recall, a sloppy practice this past Monday resulted in a lot of penalties. We soon found out players would be held accountable with some good, old-fashioned up-downs in the delightful Florida sun. While it was the defense that caught the brunt of the policy yesterday, we saw the entire offense get their turn following a false start today.
- Keeping with the trend, tight end Mitchell Wilcox was not in pads for the fourth straight practice. His situation will hopefully become a little clearer on Saturday when we speak to head coach Charlie Strong.
- For the second day in a row offensive lineman Jeremiah Stafford was seen in a walking boot. Today he was putting in some work on rehab island.
Depth at Receiver
We spoke to wide receiver coach Charlie Williams following practice and he offered some encouraging words about his corps of receivers. Williams seemed particularly happy with his group’s ability to block downfield and help out in the running game.
WR coach Charlie Williams on the competition at wideout and what he is seeing from his receiver group. #USF pic.twitter.com/IKEPucxkeN— Austin DeWitt (@austinfdewitt) August 16, 2018
We also got the chance to catch up with returning star wide receiver Tyre McCants, who also praised the toughness of the group. McCants mentioned the progress Ryeshene Bronson, who was sidelined all of last season.
“He looks like the old Ryeshene,” said McCants. “We tell him all the time. Me and Stanley Clerveaux we tell him, ‘Oh, that’s the old Ryshene we know.’ He’s come along a lot since his injury last year and I’m excited to see what he does.”
Tyre McCants is Just Like
Coach Strong can be an intense guy, but yesterday he showed his softer side by bringing in Konan’s barbecue for his team after practice, much to the delight of McCants. I can’t speak on the war McCants has with Nathan over salt on watermelon, but when he said, “I like it all to be honest. I’m big so you know I like to eat,” I felt that.
I’ve only covered #USF for a short time but idk if @T_McCants8 will ever relate to me more than when he spoke about yesterday’s post-practice BBQ. “I’m big so you know I like to eat.” pic.twitter.com/1ipWrkPzgY— Austin DeWitt (@austinfdewitt) August 16, 2018
I’m similar in size to McCants, so his statements truly resonated with me. For a second I thought, “We’re not so different, you and I.” Until I remembered that while we’re similar in size, McCants is an athletic freak and I can barely stand up after playing pickup soccer on Saturdays.
The Bulls are off tomorrow, but catch us back here at TDS on Saturday for a recap of the Bulls’ second scrimmage of fall camp.