USF coach Willie Taggart walked onto the training fields at the Frank Morsani Football Complex on Monday morning in search of next year’s standout players as day one of spring practice began.
“There’s always energy on the first day,” Taggart said on GoUSFBulls.com. “We want to try to continue to match that daily and that’s important for us to be consistent with our enthusiasm as we come out to practice. We want to come out and compete every time we’re out here, and our guys are starting off on the right note.”
With a rough offensive showing last season in which the Bulls averaged only 17.2 points per game, Taggart is opting to implement a spread-style of offense that he hopes will utilize the team’s speed.
Sophomore running back Marlon Mack, who broke the freshman-rushing record last season with 1,041 yards, is excited about the pace of the new offense and said it will be hard for defenses to keep up with.
“It’s much faster,” Mack said. “We’re not huddling up every play. You’re getting quick reps, so you have to learn how to breathe right, get through it and go to the next play.”
The new offense takes its toll on opposing defense, testing their conditioning and durability. For the USF defense, it is forcing them to work harder and stay in better shape.
“That pace is hard for a defense to stop and when you’re running that every day, that’s making us better as a defense,” senior safety Jamie Byrd said.
USF spring sessions are open to the public and admission is free. The Bulls practice Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays beginning at 9 a.m. and Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. at the Frank Morsani Football Complex for the first three weeks of practice. Parking is available in the Sycamore lots.
Evans makes first honor roll
USF softball’s freshman first baseman Lauren Evans was named to the AAC Honor Roll for the first time Monday after an impressive weekend at the USF Wilson DeMarini Tournament.
USF went 2-3, but Evans continued to thrive, batting .538 with five runs off seven hits, helping the Bulls reach the title game against No. 16 Auburn where they fell 8-0.
The Land O’ Lakes native drove in a career-high three RBI in the Bulls’ 18-5 win over Marshall and ranks in the top three in batting average (.400), hits (12), runs (13), RBI (nine), slugging percentage (.744) and on-base percentage (.526).
Three Bulls earn AAC basketball honors
Following her first career double-double in the Bulls rout of Tulsa on Wednesday, Laura Ferreira was named AAC Freshman of the Week for the second time this season.
Junior forward Alisia Jenkins, on the other hand, pulled down 10 rebounds and scored 13 points on her way to her 18th double-double of the season. This effort secured her place on the AAC Honor Roll.
Senior Corey Allen Jr. rebounded from back-to-back single-digit scoring outings by putting up a game-high 28 points in the Bulls’ loss to Eastern Carolina, including 25 second-half points. Allen received his third award of the year by locking down a spot on the AAC Honor Roll.
USF’s sailing team notched its second consecutive win over the weekend at the USF Women’s Interconference regatta in St. Petersburg.
USF finished with 142 points in the six-team event, eight points higher than second place College of Charleston.