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The USF football team doesn’t have a “speed limit” this season.
This may be the fastest running of the Bulls we’ve ever seen in Tampa.
When you have fast players on both sides of the ball, you see the results when they go up against each other in practice.
That’s been a huge benefit for the Bulls throughout preseason camp.
“Every day we go in there to watch film,” special teams and defensive backs coach Alonzo Hampton said. “And I keep saying ‘how do (the receivers) keep getting behind us?’ But then I realize that those guys running are NFL caliber guys.
“So for me as a coach, I’m just giving my guys techniques and different things. But this is a fast football team.”
The Bulls offense returns nearly all of its top weapons from last season’s record breaking campaign, and several speedy players have also been added to the mix.
That has forced USF’s defense to step things up a notch to keep up in practice.
“Just having guys who actually have the speed to run to the ball and actually tackle those guys, it’s a good feeling,” junior defensive back and Tampa Bay Tech High School graduate Tajee Fullwood said. “Because (wide receiver) Rodney Adams and those boys are crazy fast.”
“We’ve just got to change our schemes,” sophomore safety Jaymon Thomas said. “If we’ve got a fast guy, we know we’ve got to get our depth. We’ve got to widen out. Little things- little things will help us beat the fast guys.”
In addition to having fast players, the incredibly quick pace the Bulls move at between plays could cause a number of matchup problems for opposing defenses in 2016.
“It adds a lot of pressure to the defense,” sophomore wide receiver Chris Barr said. “Because the faster we line up, the fast the defense has to get set. And if they don’t get set fast enough, it’s going to be a touchdown.”
Coach Hampton was like a kid in a candy store when he told us that head coach Willie Taggart is only holding two players off limits for him to use on special teams: starting quarterback Quinton Flowers and reigning AAC rushing champion Marlon Mack.
All of the other speedsters on the USF roster are ripe for the taking for Hampton’s special teams units.
“We have a special group of kids here,” Hampton said. “And all we’re trying to get them to do is understand that every person is doing their one of eleven. You do your job, and it can go to the house. So it’s fun.”
The mix of talent and depth has created a high level of competition every day at practice.
That’s forced players to dig deep each day to take things to another level.
“Every guy knows that if he’s not giving his best on that day that he’s going to be on the sideline because we literally grade every practice,” Hampton said. “We grade every rep. And there’s just no better way to judge a kid than grading him on film. And so his work shows for him.
“And those guys are really competing hard, man. And that’s why you see them flying around and having fun.”
“Everybody’s trying to get in everybody’s head because everybody wants the same spot,” Fullwood said. “So for instance, Deangelo (Antoine) back there. He dropped the ball. ‘Oh- you fired, you fired! That’s my spot- you’re fired- I’m taking that!'” Continue Reading by Clicking Here
by Rishi Barran, Bay News 9
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