By Ryan Adams

It’s August in Florida so there is no surprise when practice begins at 8:30 AM and it’s still unbearable to any and all on the field at the Morsani Football Complex on the USF campus. Especially if you’re a football player about to practice in upper pads or “shells” for the next four hours. But Bulls Head Coach, Willie Taggart, and his coaching staff lead the players in white and green jerseys and white helmets to the field for the fourth day of camp and by the end of the rare four-hour practice, Taggart said he noticed the heat playing a factor for sure.

“I think our guys got sluggish out there with the heat today,” Coach Taggart said after Day 4 of camp was finished Thursday. “We had spurts at times where we went like I wanted us to go but I think our guys got a little sluggish with the heat.”

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There were some bright spots today amidst the heat. Quarterbacks Steven Bench and Mike White are having a very good camp so far and Coach Taggart believes they continue to improve.

“Each day they come out here and try to make a play,” said Taggart of the still open competition at quarterback. “If you’re making plays daily you’re getting better.”

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The Bulls defense seems to be full of depth and rising stars, especially in the secondary. Sophomore defensive back, Nate Godwin, is among those who got plenty of playing time last year as a freshman and has now taken on a leadership role in just his second year.

“Some of us, you know, we played a lot last year and are probably coming back with the most reps,” Godwin said. “So I’m just trying to take the leadership role and help the young guys.”

Thursday was the first time in 2014 Training Camp that the Bulls were able to really hit and get more aggressive on the field. Having just “shells” on, however, still forced them to pull up or not go all-out and risk injuring their teammates. Tomorrow, however, is a different story, as the team suits up in full pads for the first time in camp this year. That’s when the fun starts. That’s when the “All-Americans” in camp seem to disappear and the guys who are truly ready to play college ball show up.

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Tomorrow is when it all starts to get real.