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Bulls studying high school tape of Towson QB



Even with their season opener looming, Bulls coaches have spent recent days continuing to dissect tape of high school talent.

Thing is, the prep quarterback they've been studying lately is someone they hope to sack, not sign.

No college tape exists of new Towson QB Morgan Mahalak, an Oregon transfer who never took a snap for the Ducks, so the Bulls have resorted to watching footage of Mahalak during his dual-threat days at Marin Catholic High in Kentfield, Calif.

Mahalak totaled more than 3,300 yards as a senior, passing for 2,795 and 38 TDs. "He went to Oregon for a reason," Bulls MLB Auggie Sanchez said. "He's a good player, athletic."

Yet aside from some runs designed for Mahalak, Coach Willie Taggart doesn't expect Towson to digress from its two-back, power-driven scheme featuring two-time 1,000-yard rusher Darius Victor.

"(Mahalak) is a talent, and I don't think they're just gonna change their entire offense (for) a guy who just got there in training camp," Taggart said.

"I think it's more about Towson's philosophy and what they do offensively. He's an athletic guy, so you probably anticipate having some quarterback runs in there that allow him to do some things, and they had some of those things anyway in their system, so you'll probably see a little more of that."

FLUID DEPTH CHART: Taggart said some of the shakeups on the Bulls' latest depth chart -- released Monday afternoon -- are etched only in pencil at this point.

"That depth chart is a moving depth chart," he said Tuesday. "We probably should've put that on there."

Among the surprises was redshirt freshman Marcus Norman's promotion to starting right tackle, with redshirt freshman Billy Atterbury -- the starter exiting spring drills -- now the backup to LT Kofi Amichia. Taggart said both will play Saturday against Towson.

"(Norman) goes hard every day, he doesn't complain," Taggart said.

"You don't hear (the position) coach yelling at Marcus a lot, which means he's doing something right. But he's competitive, he's out there competing every single day trying to get better. And I can honestly sit here and say that kid has gotten a lot better each and every day we've been through training camp."

Elsewhere, Taggart confirmed senior Nate Godwin's lingering hamstring problems enabled sophomore Khalid McGee and Sickles High alumnus Nate Ferguson to move up the depth chart at striker, where no starter officially has been named. Taggart also said Texas transfer Cecil Cherry will play significantly this season, though he doesn't appear on the two-deep roster at middle linebacker.

"You're gonna see a couple of different things out of Cecil," Taggart said. "I'm not gonna give it to you yet."

PRAISE FOR MUT: The odds seem favorable that fifth-year senior WR Alex Mut will catch his first collegiate pass Saturday. After a solid spring, and some mild attrition at receiver (i.e. A.J. Legree's knee injury), Mut was moved to second-team X-receiver behind Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

"Alex Mut, he's not the biggest, not the fastest, not the strongest," QB Quinton Flowers said. "But I'll say one thing about Alex Mut, when the coach tells him to do something he'll do it. He knows the offense in and out."

ODDS AND ENDS: Taggart said junior college DE Tramal Ivy and Lake Wales High S Josh Dunn, the only two Class of '16 signees currently not on the roster, will join the team next spring. ... Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson will serve as the honorary captain for Saturday's game. ... The height and weight of FSU transfer Jonathan Hernandez -- a 6-foot-4, 241-pound punter -- is no misprint. "He's got a little bit to him," Taggart said. "But you can see it too, when he kicks the ball. I don't think the ball likes him when he kicks it." ... No walk-on has earned a scholarship this summer, Taggart said. ... RB Marlon Mack seeks his sixth consecutive 100-yard rushing effort Saturday.

AUDIBLE: "I'd say last year, I took on the role around the Syracuse game, when Coach T gave me the go-word. I felt like last year (at) the beginning of the season I was playing like a robot, just fundamentally sound instead of just going out and playing my game. Once he gave me the go, I told the guys...'He gave me the go and it's time to show the world what I can do.'" -- Flowers, when asked at what point last season he felt he assumed a leadership role. USF defeated Syracuse 45-25, then won six of its next seven games.

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 4:44pm]


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