The South Florida Bulls held their Saturday spring practice at Clearwater Central Catholic, the alma mater of potential starting left tackle William Atterbury, and the offense put on a show for the couple hundred people who came out to see new offensive coordinator Kerwin Bell’s new scheme.
“From day one to where we’re at right now, we’ve come a long way and what’s really great is we still got four practices to go [this spring,” head coach Charlie Strong said. “I just love the overall attitude and how we continue to build. We’ve got some leadership where guys are really focusing and they’re locked in and want to get better.”
In a scrimmage-style practice, the offense got off to a bit of a rocky start with senior QB Blake Barnett and company struggling to move the ball consistently before settling for a 47-yard field goal from Coby Weiss.
The next possession, this time with redshirt freshman Jordan McCloud running the second team offense, wasn’t much better as he was nearly intercepted twice before turning the ball over on downs.
Then the fireworks started.
Sophomore slot receiver Johnny Ford continues to impress at his new position. He had multiple highlight reel plays, including the one in the video above. He also found pay dirt twice, once on a great pass from Barnett on what looked like a corner route in the end zone.
Michigan transfer Eddie McDoom showed off his explosiveness all day, including torching the defense on an 86-yard touchdown reception from McCloud. McDoom caught another TD pass from McCloud on a quick slant near the end zone.
“Eddie is a really explosive player out in the slot,” Barnett said. “He gets a chance to get a lot of mismatches. A guy with good speed and agility like him—and all our slots—works well.”
- CB Bentlee Sanders had another good day of practice and faced off against Randall St. Felix quite a bit and was able to keep him quiet for the most part. He also put a good lick on Ford.
- Ford may be the most talkative player on the field since Deatrick Nichols. He was chirping at Vincent Davis, Dwayne Boyles, and Sanders throughout the day.
- Speaking of Davis, he absolutely drilled RB Trevon Sands to force a fumble. The ball went soaring backward 10 yards before being recovered by Atterbury.
- First Team Offensive Line: LT Atterbury, LG Demetris Harris, C Brad Cecil, RG Donovan Jennings, RT Marcus Norman.
- Walk-on slot WR Bryce Miller had another good day and showed off his elusiveness on a few plays, including putting a defender in the spin cycle on the way to a big gain.
- Junior CB Mike Hampton picked off Barnett down the left sideline and was running step-for-step with the receiver.
- DT Kevin Kegler blocked a FG attempt.
- Wide receivers DeVontres Dukes and Stanley Clerveaux each caught touchdowns. Dukes was robbed of another one in the two-minute drill by a horrendous call by the ref in the end zone. The play would’ve been reversed for a TD in a real game.
“Jordan’s a great kid, a great quarterback. He’s studying [the playbook] really, really dominantly. Then, he’s coming on the field and applying it well. He’s a really good player. I look forward to watching him eventually,” Blake Barnett on the rise of Jordan McCloud.