Friday, November 24, 2017
Colleges

USF's Chandler strong as a Bull

RECOMMENDED READING


TAMPA

Who, you might ask, is the strongest player on USF's football team?

Head strength and conditioning coach Hans Straub says it's junior defensive tackle Todd Chandler.

"He's insanely strong," said Straub, who said Chandler can do the NFL combine test of bench-pressing 225 pounds 37 times — the highest total at the 2013 combine was 38, by two players drafted in the top three rounds. Bucs rookie defensive tackle Akeem Spence also had 37 reps.

Two seniors — defensive end Julius Forte and guard Steven Jacques — are the next-strongest players, said Straub, who came to USF from Stanford in January.

By the numbers

3 Bulls with more than 12 career starts: LB DeDe Lattimore (35), OT Quinterrius Eatmon (22) and DE Ryne Giddins (20)

7 USF players who have earned three letters, and six are on defense: Forte, Giddins, S JaQuez Jenkins, S Mark Joyce, Lattimore and DT Luke Sager. RB Marcus Shaw is the lone one on offense.

Found a home

Another of Hans Straub's strongest is an unlikely name — walk-on fullback Ryan Eppes (left), a fifth-year senior from Largo. Eppes came to USF as a 185-pound quarterback in 2009, and has been busy in the weight room. He now weighs 236, having moved to linebacker last year and to fullback this spring, where he could play regularly.

Eppes, who can do 34 reps at 225 pounds, has played three games at USF — he had one carry for a 2-yard loss in a 2011 win against Florida A&M — and is now competing with freshmen Auggie Sanchez and Kennard Swanson.

Another big one

When USF travels to face Michigan State on Sept. 7, the Bulls should draw one of the 10 largest crowds in their history.

Spartans Stadium — where the Spartans went 2-5 last season — drew at least 70,000 fans for all its home games last year, which would mean at least the ninth-largest crowd to see the Bulls.

Only two of the top 10 came in former coach Skip Holtz's three seasons — the second-biggest crowd of 90,612 in 2010 at Florida, and the fifth-biggest for USF's 2011 win at Notre Dame, which drew 80,795.

These could fall

Keep an eye on USF's tight end receiving records, which could all be broken given coach Willie Taggart's penchant for using the position prominently. Sophomore Sean Price broke out in the second half of last season, getting 21 catches for 209 yards in the final six games.

Trevor Hypolite set most of the records in 1997, USF's first season — game records of seven catches and 75 yards and season records of 34 catches and 390 yards.

 
Comments
Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Presenting the 2017 Sports Turkey of the Year

Happy Turkey Day!Today is a day of tradition.The Macy’s parade. Turkey and stuffing. The Lions and Cowboys.And our annual "Turkey of the Year.’’It’s a tradition started by my former colleague at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the brilliant columnist P...
Published: 11/22/17
Updated: 11/23/17
Rick and Tom podcast: USF vs UCF is the biggest game in Florida this weekend

Rick and Tom podcast: USF vs UCF is the biggest game in Florida this weekend

It’s a Thanksgiving Football Wednesday as Rick Stroud and Tom Jones preview the Bucs-Falcons game, USF-UCF, Alabama-Auburn, Ohio State-Michigan and more.The guys agree on the Bucs game outcome with Rick saying they can’t win. They also agree that Tha...
Published: 11/22/17

Call Missouri jinxed, but Michael Porter Jr. injury is its own story

Please repeat after me: There is no such thing as jinxes, hexes, ghosts or cartoonish black clouds looming with personalized curses for select targets.Honest.But, boy, are there coincidences — even if some say there is no such thing as those, either....
Published: 11/21/17

Chip Kelly is not the best candidate for Florida job

For the sake of a beleaguered and bedraggled fan base, here’s hoping Chip Kelly becomes the next head coach of the Florida Gators even though I think he’s not a great fit — culturally, geographically and philosophically — at UF.Gator Nation needs som...
Published: 11/21/17

Lane Kiffin knows speculation about his future grows with each victory

BOCA RATON — Lane Kiffin already knows what profession he will choose once his coaching career ends.Kiffin, in his first season at Florida Atlantic, thinks he is destined to join the sports-media ranks. It will provide him opportunity to switch roles...
Published: 11/21/17
Jones: Maybe the Florida job isn’t as good as we thought

Jones: Maybe the Florida job isn’t as good as we thought

These are strange, unsettling times for the University of Florida.The Gators need themselves a football coach.They offer a terrific job. Maybe one of the best jobs in the country.Right?Uh, right? (nervous laugh)Well, we’ll soon find out. Maybe this i...
Published: 11/21/17
UF has little to say after meeting with Kelly

UF has little to say after meeting with Kelly

GAINESVILLE — At last, there’s some actual smoke to the Chip Kelly-Florida rumors.The Gators sent a group — including president Kent Fuchs and athletic director Scott Stricklin — to New Hampshire on Sunday to talk with the former Oregon coach about U...
Published: 11/20/17
No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

No. 2 Miami finishes on 30-0 run, tops Virginia 44-28

MIAMI — After Miami clinched the first Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division crown in program history, upset the then-No. 3 team in the country, claimed one of the top four spots in the College Football Playoff rankings and after many of the nat...
Published: 11/18/17
Florida State routs Delaware State 77-6

Florida State routs Delaware State 77-6

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher longed for his team to play in this type of game throughout its disappointing season.After Hurricane Irma caused a three-week layoff between FSU’s first two games, forcing it to play 11 in a row to finis...
Published: 11/18/17
A welcome return to dominance for the Florida defense

A welcome return to dominance for the Florida defense

GAINESVILLE — Chauncey Gardner wasn’t fooled. He saw UAB snap the ball. He saw the quarterback throw a screen. He saw the receiver fire a second pass downfield. Then a crowd of 84,649 saw the sophomore safety high-point the trick-play pass to earn hi...
Published: 11/18/17