Walk-on Raymond now worth checking out
There's a feature in Friday's Times on junior walk-on safety Mistral Raymond, who has stepped up and gotten most of the snaps in place of injured starter Jerrell Young the past two weeks.
We went back to the "Sweetbay" story from preseason last year, when defensive backs coach Troy Douglas wrote Raymond off as a special-teams player who wouldn't line up on defense with the game on the line.
Raymond had lined up with the seniors when the Bulls took their team picture last month, but it turns out he'll have an extra year of eligibility, since he redshirted his first season at Ellsworth Community College in 2006. With key defensive backs Nate Allen and Jerome Murphy gone after this season, it's one more experienced player who will be back at the position in 2010 ...
-- Here's a note from Friday's paper on David Bedford from Times correspondent Kerry Klecic ...
TAMPA — If there’s anyone who benefits from USF defensive end George Selvie getting double and sometimes triple teamed, it’s probably junior David Bedford.
Bedford made his first career start at defensive end when USF faced Western Kentucky Saturday, recording his first career solo sack. He said lining up on the other side of Selvie is something he cherishes.
“I’m getting one-on-one blocks, because I know what George is getting over there. He’s getting tight ends, running backs and double teams,” he said. “I sometimes mess with him, saying I love it. … It puts me alone with a tackle and if you can’t be a tackle one-on-one, you don’t deserve anything.”
After transferring from junior college to USF in 2008, Bedford said he had trouble adjusting to then-defensive coordinator Wally Burnham’s system. He saw limited playing time last season, recording just four assisted tackles in seven games. Things are different this year, though.
“Last year I was playing confused, but now I’m out there having fun … I love (defensive coordinator) Joe Tresey. He’s what you want in a defensive coordinator, “Bedford said. “He’s your coach before he’s your friend. You don’t want a coach that’s your friend first, because he’ll take it easy on you sometimes.”
Bedford said Tresey is stressing run defense this week because of the success USF’s first two opponents had. Wofford rushed for 177 yards in the season opener, while Western Kentucky racked up 200.
Tresey said there were some problems with assignments, which resulted in some big runs.
“We had some issues with guys trying to jump outside of their responsibility and do too much, and it created two gaps sometimes because people weren’t where they were supposed to be … The nice thing is you can look at it on tape and address it,” he said.