Spring football report: Spring game rosters set
After a brief round of free agency and ensuing NFL-style draft, the rosters for Saturday's annual USF spring game have been set.
The draft, overseen by coach/commissioner Willie Taggart, was privately held in a Bulls meeting room after last Saturday's scrimmage. The top five picks (in order): OG Thor Jozwiak, LT Darrell Williams, QB Mike White, RT Quinterrius Eatmon and OG Brynjar Gudmundsson.
Jozwiak and Eatmon will play for the White team. The four free-agent signees, courted by each team's coaching staffs (within NCAA rules) during spring drills are WR Andre Davis (White), DE/DT Elkino Watson (White), RB Michael Pierre and DE Demetrius Hill.
Complete rosters can be found here. The game kicks off at 4 p.m. Saturday at Corbett Stadium, home to USF's soccer teams. It will feature two regularly timed quarters in the first half and a running clock in the second.
WATCHING BYRD: Secondary coach Ron Cooper said Thursday S Jamie Byrd, a former Pasco High standout, has added physicality and maturity to a unit already brimming with rising sophomores who played extensively as rookies.
A 5-foot-11, 183-pound transfer from Iowa Western Community College, Byrd could log action at safety and nickel back for the Green team Saturday.
"He's tough, he'll tackle, he'll hit," Cooper said. "The secondary, if you can add somebody in it whom receivers or coordinators or quarterbacks fear a little bit to say, 'You know what, he'll hit us,' then it adds a little more to it."
GODWIN, SAFFOLD DOUBTFUL: FS Nate Godwin (sprained ankle) and S Torrel Saffold (knee cartilage) likely will miss Saturday's game though neither injury is believed to be serious.
The two were among four freshmen defensive backs thrust into extensive playing time last season due to performance and/or suspensions. Collectively, that foursome teamed for 14 starts and six of the Bulls' 11 interceptions.
"A lot of times as a coach you look at them and because they played last year, you think of them as being mature," Cooper said.
"But I've had to step back a little bit this spring to realize that hey, these guys still are just freshmen right now. And we're starting the teaching process over again because guys forget."
ODDS AND ENDS: In accordance with spring game tradition, the winning team earns a steak dinner -- CB Johnny Ward said it's steak -- that will be served by the losing team. ... A Bulls alumni flag football game, featuring former QBs Matt Grothe and B.J. Daniels on separate teams, will be staged during an extended halftime Saturday. Those rosters are here. ... Taggart told radio station WFHS 98.7-FM on Thursday that White is completing 70 percent of his passes against the defense in spring practice.