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Spring football capsule: Tampa Bay Tech

Tampa Bay Tech’s offense will follow the lead of back Maurice Hagens, who has 2,500 rushing yards the past two seasons.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Tampa Bay Tech’s offense will follow the lead of back Maurice Hagens, who has 2,500 rushing yards the past two seasons.

Around the county in (about) 30 days A daily spring preview of every football program in the county

Tampa Bay Tech

Coach: C.C. Culpepper (third season, 16-6)

Last season: 10-2 (lost 50-20 to Armwood in the Class 4A region semifinals)

District: Class 5A-7 (Brandon, Freedom, Wharton)

Key losses: CB/WR Antonio Wallace, QB Angel Rodriguez, CB D.D. Johnson, DE Ponce McNeal, LB Marquise Mulkey, OL Markeil Floyd, WR Leon Robinson

Who's back: RB Maurice Hagens, LB Sam Jones, SS Tim Stewart, CB Derrick McCray, DB Jerome Speights, WR C.J. Jackson, OL Deon Robinson, LB Greg Hickman (transfer from Middleton)

What's new: Culpepper liked the way his team's overall depth developed over the spring, but is most pleased with the emergence of new No. 1 quarterback Jonathan Williams, the likely successor to Rodriguez, who ran for 900 yards in a rush-heavy TBT offense in 2008. Culpepper says this year will have more balance offensively thanks to Williams. Still, the Titans' offense will be rooted from the ground and led by Hagens, a big, bruising back who has 2,500 rushing yards the past two seasons and has received national recruiting attention. On defense, nine players have had three years of experience, so there's little resorting to playbook basics. The arrival of Hickman has allowed Culpepper to move Stewart, who played outside linebacker last year, to strong safety, which will make the Titans more athletic.

Audible: "I'd always rather run the ball because you can control the clock and the tempo of the game. Toward the end of last year we were able to complete some passes and keep the defense honest. I think this quarterback (Williams) will be able to pull people out of the box, which will help our running game in the long run." — Culpepper

Did you know? Rising senior wide receiver Charles Davis' father, Charles Davis Sr., quarterbacked the 1991 Tampa Bay Tech team that went 8-2 and to a bowl game. The younger Davis wears the same jersey (No. 11) that his father wore before playing collegiately at Kansas.

Spring game: Defeated King 24-7

2009 schedule

Sept. 4at Plant

Sept. 11vs. Riverview

Sept. 17at Armwood

Sept. 25vs. Chamberlain

Oct. 2 at Alonso

Oct. 9vs. Freedom

Oct. 16at King

Oct. 23at Brandon

Nov. 6vs. Wharton

Nov. 13vs. Hillsborough

Eduardo A. Encina, Times staff writer

Spring football capsule: Tampa Bay Tech 06/03/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 9:27pm]
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