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Day 3 report: Wulff pleased with o-line's progress

6

August

TAMPA -- As new overseer of USF's most scrutinized -- and vilified -- position, offensive coordinator/line coach Paul Wulff is learning a thing or two about taking heat.

Or more specifically, humidity.

"I didn't realize you could get showers throughout practice on your body naturally," said the California native, who never previously has held a coaching job east of the Pacific time zone. "I can't stand here and say I love the humidity; I don't think anybody does. But I feel a heck of a lot better now than I did my first few months here."

Florida mugginess, however, isn't the only thing that has taken Wulff aback three days into preseason camp. The physicality of his beefed-up line -- a beleaguered unit that contributed greatly to USF's offensive anemia in 2013 -- has surprised him.

"They're smart guys; I've been really impressed," Wulff said. "And their commitment; they want to be good. They work hard, they get along. I've been really impressed."

Wulff, Washington State's former head coach, inherits essentially the same lineup from '13 -- albeit roughly 13 pounds heavier across the board. Additionally, junior Thor Jozwiak -- who missed all of last season with a heart condition -- is back at full strength and appears entrenched at left guard.

"We've got a chip on our shoulders, man," Jozwiak said. "That's been an area of criticism for us throughout the spring and coming off last season, so all of us in the o-line room, we've taken it upon ourselves to work really hard and settle that chip and have a great offensive line season and
get this offense rolling."

If the Bulls played today, the starting five likely would be LT Darrell Williams, Jozwiak, C Austin Reiter, RG Quinterrius Eatmon and RT Brynjar Gudmundsson. Wulff has slid Eatmon -- a former tackle -- inside and Gudmundsson out from his previous guard spot.

"It just felt like it suited their skill sets a little bit better," Wulff said.

"And with Thor coming, I think that really allowed us to put him to left guard. And then Brynjar...what could we do with him? But I think just moving him to tackle just fits him a little bit better; he seems more comfortable. And the same thing with (Eatmon). ... Both of them have improved dramatically and that's been fun to see."

WHITE STANDS OUT: Sophomore QB Mike White, trying to retain the starting job he held at the end of 2013, had an especially sharp practice Wednesday, Coach Willie Taggart said. White and junior steven Bench have been alternating reps with the first team.

"I thought Mike was really locked in," Taggart said. "From one-on-one all the way through practice, I thought he was really locked in today and he came out on a mission. It was probably the best day he had throwing the ball deep. ... Steven made some good throws in there as well, but I thought Mike was really solid today and I thought Steven was really solid (Tuesday)."

PADS ALERT: For the first time this preseason, the Bulls will practice in shoulder pads -- and as a full team -- Thursday. USF spent the first three days of camp in shorts and helmets, with the freshmen practicing early, followed by the veterans.

The workout, open to the public, begins at 8:30 a.m. The first full-padded workout is Friday.

ODDS AND ENDS: Williams (soreness) and OLB Kieran Pettus (upper right leg) were limited in practice Wednesday, but neither injury is believed to be serious. ... Sophomore Alex Salvato, who played at Lakeland's Victory Christian, is an early favorite for the Bulls' long snapper job, Taggart indicated. ... USF's linemen will get a chance to try out the Polar Pod -- a mobile cooling station -- at today's practice.

AUDIBLE: "Toledo, you wouldn't see the sun for like, a month. So just coming out here is great, playing football back in Florida." -- new USF WR (and Toledo transfer) Rodney Adams, who appears to be playing his way into a spot in the Bulls' rotation

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 3:50pm]

    

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