For the first time in four days, the University of South Florida’s football team was together.
After three days of separate practices from underclassmen, the full squad practiced together Thursday. Of the 104 players on the numerical roster, only tight end Mike McFarland was missing.
Bulls coach Willie Taggart said he liked what he saw in the earlier parts of the practice, which lasted nearly three hours.
“We had spurts at times where we went how I wanted us to go, but I think our guys got a little sluggish with the heat,” Taggart said. “It was good to get some of (the freshmen) in there with the older guys and see what they can do, and some of them didn’t let us down.
“They showed what they’re capable of doing.”
Among the freshmen was Quinton Flowers (Miami Jackson). Flowers is one of four quarterbacks on the roster, with Mike White, Steven Bench and Evan Wilson. Taggart showed praise for freshman cornerback Devin Abraham, who he said has really picked up the defense quickly.
A player making a transition from offense to defense is senior Chris Dunkley, who has been practicing with the defensive backs. Dunkley, who hasn’t played defense since his senior year at Pahokee, said the transition has been somewhat smooth. Dunkley is still expected to play wide receiver and return punts.
“(Assistant) coach Ron Cooper has made it real smooth for me,” Dunkley said. “He’s a great defensive backs coach. It’s been smooth and he’s been working with me. He’s wanting to make sure I know the coverages before he throws me out there because my athletic ability is not the issue.”