Walk-on 'Mak D' surprises in USF spring draft
Lots of fun notes from USF's spring-game draft on Saturday night, as Chuck Bresnahan's Green team and Ron Cooper's White squad stocked their rosters in decidedly different fashions.
Cooper, who had signed DE Aaron Lynch and C Austin Reiter in "free agency" before the draft, used his top pick on LB DeDe Lattimore, and then Bresnahan (who had signed QB Bobby Eveld and DT Luke Sager) surprised with the next two picks, taking walk-on tackle Mak Djulbegovic -- "Mak D," affectionately -- and guard Brynjar Gudmundsson.
That was just the start -- despite offensive line coach Walt Wells being on Cooper's staff, it was Bresnahan who took five of the top six offensive linemen, completing his line before the White team had picked up a single guard or tackle. Djulbegovic, a sophomore walk-on from Carrollwood Day School once known as the "Bosnian War Hammer," is competing with Quinterrius Eatmon for the starting right tackle job.
Along the same lines, Bresnahan, as USF's defensive coordinator, had just one defensive back and no linebackers on his roster after he had picked 11 players.
The divergent drafting strategies didn't stop there -- White, which had used the No. 4 pick on top RB Marcus Shaw, came back and took his top backup, Mike Pierre, at No. 14, leaving the Green with sophomore Willie Davis as its best remaining option to run the ball. The priority placed on the line of scrimmage was evident, with seven defensive linemen taken before the first receiver, Andre Davis, went with the 18th pick.
Head coach Willie Taggart -- serving as "commissioner" for the draft -- announced picks in the team's main meeting room, greeting players at the podium with a jersey much like in the NFL Draft. The fanfare around the spring game is something he picked up under Jim Harbaugh, adding a level of fun and interest for players and fans.
There was good balance between offense and defense -- when players were allowed to leave after 34 had been taken, there were 17 on offense and 17 on defense. Here's a link to full rosters from USF's official site ...