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Gulf had about 45 players, junior varsity and varsity combined, out for the first day of fall practice. What the Bucs lack in numbers, they hope to make up in talent.
Gulf is led by an experienced interior offensive line of Jeff Kruse, Chris Palasky and C.J. Hart. Those linemen will have to do their best blocking for coach Jay Fulmer's son, Will, who is entering his first season under center as the starter. Keeping Will upright this fall will be vital to Gulf's multiple-set offense, as the Bucs lost Leon Orr (Florida), Madison Burr (Wofford) and Will Burbridge (Jacksonville) to graduation.
Fulmer credits Will's offseason transformation into a solid quarterback to throwing more than 200-300 passes each day during the summer, and the work of quarterbacks coach Charlie McCullers. McCullers has worked with quarterbacks at various college programs like Ole Miss, Kansas and Vanderbilt.
The Bucs also have a couple of talented freshmen climbing into the varsity ranks, including 6-foot-4, 203-pound wide receiver Rohan Blackwood, who Fulmer predicts will be a highly touted Division I-A prospect when his high school career is all said and done.
"He's a very talented kid and he can play just about anywhere we put him," Fulmer said.