Spring practice begins today so we will breakdown each position group as we gear up for football season. Note: We will not guess on what impact freshmen who are not on campus yet will have on the team.
Position Coach: Allen Mogridge (Second season at USF)
Key Losses: Jean Marcellus (transfer portal).
Key Returners: Literally everybody else. LT Donovan Jennings, LG Demetris Harris, C Brad Cecil, RG Michael Wiggs, RT Joshua Blanchard, C Dustyn Hall, LT Demontrey Jacobs, RT Jarrett Hopple
Key Additions: Remy Bikowski (So.) incoming transfer from Temple. Didn’t appear to see game action at Temple and Andrew Kilfoyl (Fr.) out of Gaither High School ranked No. 150 on the ESPN 300 top offensive tackles list for 2021 recruits.
2020 was a free year for all students-athletes due to the covid-19 pandemic and no position group will see the benefit of that more than than the offensive line —returning all, but one player who saw game action in the fall. Jean Marcellus entered the transfer portal at the end of the season and recently announced he is heading to Division 2’s Adams State University.
With covid protocols and injuries hitting the position group early on, eight players on the two-deep registered at least one start on the season with 12 playing in at least one game. The entire starting offensive line that helped Kelly Joiner Jr. and Brian Battie each rush for over 100 yards vs. C. will be returning. That kind of continuity generally equates to good things for the future.
Continuity and improvement will be the key words this spring as this unit was responsible for 30 sacks on the season—that’s good for 113th out of 127 teams and dead last in the conference. A revolving door at QB, injuries, covid protocols, and an impossibly crazy year also had a hand in that, but it’s no secret that the key to a good offense starts up front.
The good news is redshirt Sophomore Dustyn Hall was a pleasant surprise playing in nine games with four starts - with time at center, left guard, and right guard. Transfer from Grambling Senior Demontrey Jacobs also made an impact playing in seven games and starting one at left tackle. Uriah Greene, Cesar Reyes, and David Anderton will likely compete for more playing time in the spring and a full spring practice season with summer conditioning could be the key to overall improvement.
Continuity in the coaching staff will also be a huge advantage as most players on the starting line have had three offensive coordinators and offensive line coaches in their career.
The Bulls have allowed 113 sacks since 2018, the year after Quinton Flowers graduated. While QB1 is still to be decided, it won’t matter who is back there if the offensive line continues to be a turnstile.