The South Florida Bulls football team completed their fourth preseason practice today under an unrelenting sun as temperatures crept into the mid-90s at the Frank Morsani Football Complex and there was plenty to digest from today’s humid practice.
One particular guy stood out (and over) everyone today. Graduate transfer Blake Barnett is every bit of the 6’5”, 217 lbs that he’s listed on the USF roster. And he’s...mobile.
Through two practices I’ve seen his mobility at that size has been impressive. While he doesn’t have Quinton Flowers or B.J. Daniels-type of mobility, he definitely has Matt Grothe-ish mobility. It’s hard to tell what his balance will be like in-game, it’s very nice to see that Barnett isn’t a stiff in the pocket.
“He’s really athletic, that’s the thing about Blake that has been a pleasant surprise when he got here in the summer,” Gilbert told reporters after Sunday’s practice, the Bulls’ first in shoulder pads (and third in shorts). “You see tape on these guys in high school, the little bit of college film that he had, and then you get him in person and realize he’s that big. He’s 218 pounds and he’s very athletic with the ball in his hands. So the height deal doesn’t really concern us at all.”
Redshirt junior wide receiver Stanley Clerveaux, coming off a healthy spring practice after battling multiple injuries over his USF career, has been impressed by Barnett so far.
“He’s fantastic. The man can throw, so I would hate to be in that room trying to make that decision but eventually they’ll make it,” Clerveaux said. “Blake is good. He’s a good kid, he can throw that ball. We’re just happy to have three good QBs, [you can] never go wrong have three good [QB’s].
From what I was told from people who saw the entire practice, junior quarterback Brett Kean looked sharp today, as did the rest of the QB’s.
Kean has finished up his summer classes and the appeal to have his suspension reduced has been submitted to the NCAA. It’s a wait-and-see affair now. He is taking reps as normal.
Depending on how the appeal process shakes out, we could see something different, but for now, he’s still in the hunt for QB1.
Kickers are Good? Long Snappers? (Gulp)
During the portion of practice open to the media, the kickers were lights out. The group of contenders—Colby Weiss, Jake Vivonetto, Jake Stone, and Marco Salani— made all but one kick during the open session. The final kick of practice was good from 47-yards out and would’ve been good from 51.
Aussie punter Trent Schneider can boom the ball a long way. Getting the ball to him has been the problem. During punting drills, we saw no fewer than five bad snap from the new long snappers (Alex Salvato ain’t walking through that door).
One particularly bad snap sailed four feet over the head of a leaping Schneider and into the end zone.
Tyre McCants is Wrong
What’s better than orange slices on a hot day after practice?
According to senior WR Tyre McCants it’s watermelon..with salt.
Apparently I’m in the minority on this based on my Twitter mentions, but you all are wrong. Nothing beats a ripe and juicy watermelon. Just ask USF grad, Gallagher.
How Kirk Livingstone Got His Groove Back
Through three practices, senior defensive end Kirk Livingstone said he was shaking off the rust from summer, but started to feel good today.
“I feel like the first three days I was kinda slow out there and today I kinda picked it up. We first started out with tempo and I feel like I was kinda rusty then we got to red zone and I had a couple sacks and I got a couple pressures. So now I feel like I’m back in the groove and now tomorrow we get on full pads so I can really see where my technique and stuff has been.”
“Don’t change this song Jeremy or I’ll come out here with Under Armour gear tomorrow,” a player told USF equipment manager [and practice D.J.] Jeremy Lees.