Friday, July 20, 2018
USF Bulls

USF spring preview: Who replaces Auggie Sanchez?

All week, we're examining the most interesting position battles entering USF's spring practice, which begins Monday.

Today: middle linebacker (On deck: running back)

2017 starter: Auggie Sanchez
The consummate over-achiever, Sanchez exited the program as the school's career tackles leader (388). Despite his limitations (in terms of agility and fleetness), he may rank among the Bulls' career leaders in grit. The de facto quarterback of the defense the last three seasons, Sanchez's value in terms of leadership and locker-room presence can't be quantified.

2018 starter: At his signing day press conference a few weeks back, Coach Charlie Strong essentially challenged senior Jimmy Bayes, technically listed as Sanchez's backup last season. Once a four-star recruit (per Rivals.com) from Immokalee, Bayes recorded all of his nine career tackles in 2017. "You won't find a better-looking player than Jimmy Bayes," Strong said. "But Jimmy's got to step up now that we've lost some guys." We don't know if redshirt sophomore Andre Polk Jr. is fully recovered from last season's knee injury (perhaps we'll find out Monday), but this onetime four-star prospect (per 247Sports) presumably will be in the mix if healthy. Also expect sophomore Keirston Johnson — a former three-star guy presumably beefier after a year in the program — to get a serious look. "Once we get into spring practice there's gonna be some guys that we move around," Strong said. That opens the door for some real experimentation. Last season against UCF, Strong slid safeties Khalid McGee and Devin Abraham in the box in dime packages, and it neutralized the Knights for a time. Could we see OLB Nico Sawtelle move to the middle, allowing Strong to employ McGee or another outside 'backer? Lots to sort out here.

Comments
Willie Taggart, Auggie Sanchez reuniting in Tallahassee

Willie Taggart, Auggie Sanchez reuniting in Tallahassee

In a previous life, Auggie Sanchez was a disillusioned USF fullback pondering a transfer.Willie Taggart talked him into staying, obliging his desire to move to defense. A half-decade and 388 tackles later, Taggart is trying to help shape the trajecto...
Published: 07/19/18
Georgia Tech preparing for its day in the (Tampa) sun

Georgia Tech preparing for its day in the (Tampa) sun

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The two Georgia Tech players who appeared Wednesday at the ACC Kickoff were smart enough not to speak at length about their Sept. 8 game at USF, considering they have a Sept. 1 game against Alcorn State.But be assured, the Bul...
Published: 07/18/18
Team featuring USF hoops alumni advances in national tourney

Team featuring USF hoops alumni advances in national tourney

For the second year in a row, a team consisting of several former USF men's basketball players is among the final 16 competing for a $2 million purse.Led in part by Bulls alumnus Dominique Jones' 24 points, sixth-seeded Team DRC topped No. 3 Memphis ...
Published: 07/15/18
Here’s our Mount Rushmore of Tampa Bay college sports

Here’s our Mount Rushmore of Tampa Bay college sports

Of all the Mount Rushmores being chiseled on our previously prostrate landscape, we defy you to find one encompassing more ESPY-worthy clips per granite inch than the carved homage to USF and the University of Tampa:Freddie Solomon, University of Tam...
Published: 07/13/18
Full disclosure: My ballot for the AAC 5-year anniversary team

Full disclosure: My ballot for the AAC 5-year anniversary team

A few hours remain to cast your fan ballot for the American Athletic Conference's five-year anniversary team, which will be announced at the league's media day on July 24.For you procrastinators, a little ballot briefing: Players who appear on it are...
Published: 07/13/18
As USF preseason camp nears, confusion abounds over QB Brett Kean’s status

As USF preseason camp nears, confusion abounds over QB Brett Kean’s status

In simpler times, USF's 2018 quarterback derby shaped up as a two-player dead heat. The prevailing buzz word surrounding the competition was intriguing.Today, it's downright confusing.The arrival in May of former Alabama/Arizona State QB Blake Barnet...
Published: 07/12/18
USF’s Coco Montes continues hitting tear at pro level

USF’s Coco Montes continues hitting tear at pro level

Former Bulls SS Coco Montes' professional career is commencing the way his collegiate one ended.On a mesmerizing tear.Through 21 games with the Colorado Rockies' rookie league affiliate in Grand Junction, Colo., Montes is hitting .453 with three home...
Published: 07/09/18
Former USF standout Gus Gilchrist found in Maryland (UPDATED)

Former USF standout Gus Gilchrist found in Maryland (UPDATED)

Former Bulls 6-foot-10 C Augustus "Gus" Gilchrist, recently reported missing in Maryland, has been located and reunited with family members.Christina Cotterman, a spokesperson with the Prince George's County Police Department, provided the update Mon...
Published: 07/08/18
Updated: 07/09/18
USF’s Shane McClanahan reaches deal with Rays (UPDATED)

USF’s Shane McClanahan reaches deal with Rays (UPDATED)

UPDATE, 3:50: The Rays have made the signing official.In the press release, amateur scouting director Rob Metzler said:"Shane has very lively and powerful stuff from the left side. This natural arm talent combined with great competitiveness yields th...
Published: 07/06/18
Ten Bulls on ballot for AAC’s 5th anniversary football team

Ten Bulls on ballot for AAC’s 5th anniversary football team

Your resident USF beat reporter's annual summer respite, observed this year in segments divided by some pomp and circumstance at the Yuengling Center (see Kelly, Michael), has ended.But the 24/7 Bulls news cycle seemingly never takes a holiday. So wi...
Published: 07/05/18