Monday, May 21, 2018
Colleges

Bobby Eveld proves to be a model USF Bull

TAMPA — Shortly after what may have been his final snaps as a Bulls quarterback Saturday, Bobby Eveld exited Raymond James Stadium on crutches. With neither a grimace nor an entourage, he trudged off quietly.

The symbolism was as crisp as Teddy Bridgewater's spirals had been all afternoon.

How many times in his statistically modest career could Eveld have walked away from USF's program on his own power? How many people would've blamed him?

From separated shoulders to dinged-up ankles to fractured hopes, the fourth-year senior has been battered. Like a volatile stock, he rose and tumbled on the depth chart. One year, he was being awarded a scholarship. The next, he was being robbed of a redshirt.

But the next whimper you hear from Eveld will be the first. Instead of fleeing to a Division II school with a grudge, he'll hobble gracefully from the program to which he walked on in 2010.

The public may remember the mediocrity; teammates will remember a model Bull.

"He had the respect of his teammates and he played for all of us and for the fans also," junior LT Darrell Williams said. "He was a great teammate and I wish his senior year would've gone better."

Eveld's latest setback is a high-ankle sprain, notorious for taking weeks to fully heal. If he doesn't re-take the field, he'll finish with 1,292 passing yards, a 48.8 completion percentage (120-for-246), five TDs, nine interceptions and zero tantrums.

The apex: a sparkling second-half relief appearance (8-for-15, 120 yards) in 2010 at Miami. Six months removed from his Jesuit High graduation, Eveld rallied the Bulls to a 23-20 overtime win.

He has made six total starts since. Two years later, Skip Holtz abruptly scrapped his plans to redshirt Eveld, starting him at Miami in the season's 10th game for an injured B.J. Daniels. On the day's second possession, Eveld separated his shoulder.

Alas, that might be the on-field epilogue for Eveld — far more ebb than flow. But coaches and teammates would prefer the lasting snapshot be an image from Monday's practice, when Eveld joined the rest of the Bulls in shorts and jerseys.

And crutches.

"He was helping (freshman QB) Mike White," CB Fidel Montgomery said. "I guess he was just being (White's) backbone."

"Bobby's a team player," coach Willie Taggart said. "He wants to win for this program, he loves this program, he loves his teammates. And he tries to do everything within his power to help … this program."

CONCERN FOR COLLINS? Five days before USF's only public exhibition game, PG Anthony Collins' surgically mended left knee still is swelling to a degree. So is concern among the Bulls staff.

Tuesday, coach Stan Heath said Collins remains limited in practice, estimating he's 70-75 percent at this point. Initially, Collins, who insists he's getting better, was expected to miss no more than a week to 10 days of preseason drills.

"And it's turned into a month," said Heath, who was still unsure if Collins will play Monday against Barry. "So yeah, I am a little bit (concerned). I don't know why it's taking this long and I'm a little baffled by it, but I do think he's going to be fine."

THREE-PEAT: Bulls sophomore outside hitter Erin Fairs, whose team (13-10, 7-2) is riding a five-match win streak, has pulled off a feat that might go unmatched for some time.

On Monday, Fairs was named American Athletic Conference player of the week for the third week in a row. Fairs, whose team has moved into second place in the league, has seven consecutive double doubles. Her 3.67 kills per set lead the conference.

BULLS BITS: The women's soccer team (9-4-5, 4-3-2) earned a No. 5 seed in the American tournament and travels Sunday to fourth-seeded Connecticut for a quarterfinal match. … Behind individual runnerup Richard James (6-under 210), the men's golf team won the three-day Ocean Course Invitational, which ended Tuesday on Kiawah Island, S.C. The Bulls had an 871 team score, four strokes better than South Alabama.

Comments
Willie Taggart will take more fourth-down chances than Jimbo Fisher. But how many more?

Willie Taggart will take more fourth-down chances than Jimbo Fisher. But how many more?

TAMPA — Florida State coach Willie Taggart fielded an interesting question near the end of his Q&A with fans during Sunday's booster stop at Armature Works.Are the Seminoles going to be going for it more on fourth down?"We will be goin...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Athlon: Florida Gators, FSU and Miami will all finish in top 20

Athlon: Florida Gators, FSU and Miami will all finish in top 20

One of the first big nuggets from preseason college football magazines is out: Athlon's top 25.The site considers its rankings a prediction of where teams will be at the end of the year, not the beginning.Alabama and Clemson are 1-2 (no shock). Miami...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Taggart delivers a bolt to area

Taggart delivers a bolt to area

TAMPA — After spending four years as USF’s football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it’s no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," he sai...
Published: 05/20/18
Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

Willie Taggart: ‘Pretty cool’ to be back in Tampa as FSU coach

TAMPA – After spending four years as USF's football coach, Willie Taggart knows what to expect this time of year in the area, so it's no surprise how he began a chat with reporters Sunday before a booster stop at Armature Works."Go Lightning," ...
Published: 05/20/18
ACC football announces early kickoff times, TV info for FSU, Miami games

ACC football announces early kickoff times, TV info for FSU, Miami games

The ACC has released some kickoff and TV information for the first three weeks of the season:Week 1 (previously announced)Miami vs. LSU (in Arlington, Texas): Sunday, Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m., ABCVirginia Tech at Florida State: Monday, Sept. 3, 8 p.m., ESP...
Published: 05/18/18
Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Why FSU playing Boise State in Jacksonville is a smart risk

Old, unofficial news is expected to become old, official news today with a formal announcement that Florida State and Boise State are kicking off the 2019 season in Jacksonville.  A lot has changed since the schools announced the series (FSU pla...
Published: 05/16/18
FSU-Boise State to open 2019 season in Jacksonville

FSU-Boise State to open 2019 season in Jacksonville

What had been an open secret for months is now open and shut: Group of Five power Boise State will face FSU at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville in the teams' 2019 opener.A formal announcement is expected Wednesday, but the '19 schedule on Boise's offi...
Published: 05/15/18
RHP Mark Moclair’s versatility proves valuable to University of Tampa

RHP Mark Moclair’s versatility proves valuable to University of Tampa

TAMPA — He’s the accidental pitcher who can’t be pigeonholed into a defined role. He’s a well-spoken economics major who morphs into fire-breathing intensity on the mound. And he’s one of the biggest reasons why the University of Tampa Spartans are p...
Published: 05/15/18
Police: Florida Gators recruit Justin Watkins kicked female’s car, broke her phone

Police: Florida Gators recruit Justin Watkins kicked female’s car, broke her phone

One of the Florida Gators' top incoming recruits was released from jail early Wednesday after police allege he kicked a female's car and broke her phone after an argument.Justin Watkins — a four-star athlete from Clermont — and ...
Published: 05/10/18
Why Gators’ Dan Mullen still name-drops his second grade teacher

Why Gators’ Dan Mullen still name-drops his second grade teacher

When first-year Gators coach Dan Mullen spoke to a packed crowd at the Tampa Yacht and Country Club this winter, he told stories about the stars Florida fans recognize instantly.Tim Tebow. Steve Spurrier. Percy Harvin.Then he name-dropped someone els...
Published: 05/10/18