Willie Taggart needs help and he needs it at almost every position.
Luckily for the second year coach, he got a few glimpses of what his team could look like in 2014 early on during spring football when transfers WR Rodney Adams, DB Jamie Byrd, and DE Demetrius Hill arrived on campus in January.
Although those three players won’t be able to fill every position Taggart is in dire need of, it’ll provide a good start.
Adams will give the Bulls an immediate threat in either the slot or opposite veteran WR Andre Davis. Neither quarterback was able to produce much in 2013 and the position battle is still ongoing, but the Toledo transfer has the speed to make the big play and could also make an impact in the return game if given the opportunity. Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times awarded the 6-foot-1, 180 pound receiver the Newcomer of the Spring.
“With his ranginess and raw athleticism, Adams helped deepen a receiving corps mostly nonexistent last year outside Andre Davis. In the spring game, he had five catches for 46 yards. Whether he lines up wide or in the slot may depend on his progress in the weight room this summer.”
The starting secondary from Taggart’s first year in Tampa has either graduated or transferred. However, the coach who played high school from nearby Bradenton has to be happy that sophomore Nate Godwin earned playing time as freshman, making nine starts with his first interception coming against I-4 rival UCF.
What about the other three spots in secondary?
JUCO transfer, Byrd, is expected to fill the void for the safety position next to Godwin with the question still looming of who will line up at corner. The lengthy Lamar Robbins is a safe bet at one side of the field. True freshmen Deatrick Nichols and Devin Abraham were early enrollees who got to get acclimated to the college game earlier than the rest of their 2014 signing class.
The defensive line is in shambles after losing Aaron Lynch, Ryne Giddins, Julius Forte, Tevin Mims, and Luke Sager.
Enter in another transfer from the junior college ranks, Hill, who has the size and experience to earn him a spot at an end position. JCGridiron.com ranked the former Fort Scott Community College player the No. 4 defensive end. The NJCAA honorable mention in 2013 recorded six sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss, which would have led the Bulls in tackles for loss and tied him for first in sacks.