RB/WR Brian Fisher

2003 Statistics

Coach: Jim Leavitt
51-26, 7 years
2003 Record: 7-4
at Alabama LOST 17-40
at Army WON 28-0
TCU LOST 10-13
at Southern Miss LOST 6-27
at East Carolina WON 38-37 (2OT)
UAB LOST 19-22
at Memphis WON 21-16

2003 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2004 Outlook

Coming off a 7-4 campaign and preparing for their leap to the Big East next season, the South Florida Bulls continue their climb up the scales of Division 1A respectability. The team would love to leave Conference USA fresh off the heels of a bowl bid, but...

With uncertainty under center, the offense is going to struggle to score points consistently, placing the onus squarely on the defense to win games. With NC.net forecasting the Bulls schedule as the 83rd toughest in the nation, there is no doubt that the D can live up to that challenge…sometimes, but not consistently enough (as the offense relies more and more on them as the campaign wears on).

With Pat Julmiste on-the-job-training each week, the Bulls are going to struggle. In fact, keep an eye on this team through the first month as they endure a tough early-season stretch that includes games versus Pittsburgh, South Carolina, and TCU (with those last two on the road!). A rough opening month will really put pressure on the young quarterback, and the remaining slate should be predictable as we see the initial developments.

When all is said and done, their easy schedule and talented defense will have the Bulls on the road to another .500 (or slightly better) campaign. They may not end up in a bowl, but six or seven wins seems likely, and will, at the very worst, keep the program dynamically improving while on the way to the Big East.

Projected 2004 record: 6-5
DE Craig Kobel
QB - 1.5 DL - 3.5
RB - 3 LB - 2.5
WR - 2.5 DB - 2.5
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Ronnie Banks, 261-127-8, 1448 yds., 8 TD

Rushing: Clenton Crossley, 85 att., 441 yds., 4 TD

Receiving: Brian Fisher, 28 rec., 246 yds., 1 TD

Scoring: Santiago Gramatica, 12-20 FG, 30-31 PAT, 66 pts.

Punting: Brandon Baker, 74 punts, 40.6 avg.

Kicking: Santiago Gramatica, 12-20 FG, 30-31 PAT, 66 pts.

Tackles: Lee Roy Selmon, 58 tot., 28 solo

Sacks: Craig Kobel, 6 sacks

Interceptions: Devon Davis, Johnnie Jones, Lee Roy Selmon - 1 each

Kickoff returns: Brian Fisher, 7 ret., 18.9 avg., 0 TD

Punt returns: Brian Fisher, 47 ret., 9.0 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Elgin Hicks-WR, Huey Whittaker-WR, DeJuan Green-RB, Vince Brewer-RB
DEFENSE: Maurice Jones-MLB, Courtney Davenport-SLB, Ron Hemingway-CB, Kevin Verpaele-SS, J.R. Reed-FS

Coming out of spring practice, redshirt sophomore Pat Julmiste is firmly entrenched as the team's starter. The coaching staff is sure that he can finally begin to produce results that are on par with his immense talents. Used mainly as a backup while a frosh, Julmiste was part of a dreadful QB unit that struggled to complete 48% of its passes for a meager 177 yards per game. The team's one-to-one touchdown-to-interception ratio (for a total of 12 each) was also a dreadful indication. A year of experience in the Bulls' wide-open offensive scheme should help Julmiste improve some of his decision-making, but it is simply too early in his career to expect dramatically improved results. Look for flashes of brilliance hidden in another season of mediocre quarterback play. As you would expect, the pickings behind Julmiste are slim, with Ronnie Banks (last year's starter) finding duties on the bench at the completion of spring ball due to lack of production. The team lost possible incumbent quarterback Evan Kraky to transfer. Banks apparently hasn't shown enough to challenge Julmiste, and would be a downgrade if pressed into action.

Running Back
After using the RB-by-committee attack, the Bulls appear ready to hand the reigns of the starting job over to the electric Brian Fisher, who was voted the team's 2003 Offensive MVP. The team struggled to find consistency on the ground, averaging a mediocre 3.4 yards per attempt. Fisher lined up as a QB, a RB, and as a receiver in his junior season, helping all three units as needed. Behind the Bulls' veteran offensive line, Fisher will be a dangerous threat to go the distance every touch. However, Fisher has hit some recent off-the-field legal problems that may find him unavailable for the fall, a hard loss to swallow. Talented backups Clenton Crossley and Andre Hall will help provide depth and offer a change of pace if and/or when the need arises. In an offense that emphasizes the passing game, the ground game will never rack up huge numbers, but this version should certainly improve upon its storied past.

The Bulls have an assortment of talented wideouts, an absolute must. While no one put up gaudy stats last year, that was largely a function of inferior quarterback play rather than a dearth of talent. With Brian Fisher no longer moonlighting (or will he?) as a flanker, the unit will have to step up and replace his explosiveness. That shouldn't be a problem, though, as speed and skills are abundant in a group that appears as deep as it is talented. Look for Joe Bain and Allynson Sheffield to become consistent targets and improve upon last year's 11.8 yards per catch average.

Tight End
With such a need for pass catchers, the tight end position is ironically not a weapon that is utilized in the Bulls' spread offense. Expect strong blocking from the position, but nothing more then the occasional catch. Anything over double digits would be a surprise. Employing the TE in consistent route running obviously would commit a LB and/or a safety that could then be easily decoyed away to another area instead of just being another helmet-to-helmet match-up for the Bulls to lose.

Offensive Line
With five returning starters, several of whom have NFL potential, the Bulls can rely on their line to drive the offense to higher levels of success. Considering all of the talent along the front five, we'd expect better production than the 31 sacks allowed and that puny rush-attack. While improvement is certainly needed, one can't blame the line entirely. The sack total is inordinately high for two reasons: 1) the team's reliance on the passing game (USF averaged 25:46 time of possession per game), and 2) the struggles of starting QB Ronnie Banks. With the more athletic and promising Julmiste under center, the line's play is going to produce the kind of numbers that justify the unit's true talent level.

In order for the Bulls to continue their climb upward and contend for the Conference USA title, their offense will have to carry the weight (that it couldn't in 2003). Sustaining drives and improving their turnover ratio are absolute musts for the team to succeed. While we do foresee some improvement (from ranking 107th in total offense), it's just not going to be enough to pull the Bulls very far over .500. Inconsistent quarterback play will once again cost the Bulls some winnable games and doom them to another, at best, six- or seven-win season. Simply put, the development of Julmiste will make the offense a real threat…in 2005, or whenever/if this even happens.


OT Derrick Sarosi


Returning Starters in bold
QB Pat Julmiste-So (6-2, 220) Ronnie Banks-Sr (6-3, 230)
FB Clenton Crossley-Sr (5-10, 210) Mike Ruegger-Jr (6-2, 240)
RB Brian Fisher-Sr (5-9, 180) Trae Williams-Fr (5-10, 185)
WR Joe Bain-Jr (6-3, 190) C.J. Lewis-Jr (5-11, 175)
WR S.J. Green-So (6-3, 200) Travis Lipp-Jr (5-11, 175)
WR Allynson Sheffield-Sr (5-11, 180) J.B. Garris-Fr (6-2, 180)
TE Mike Ruegger-Jr (6-2, 240) Mark Feldman-Sr (6-4, 245)
OT Derrick Sarosi-Sr (6-6, 295) Mike Lube-So (6-5, 270)
OG Frank Davis-Jr (6-4, 310) Chris McBee-Jr (6-5, 310)
C Alex Herron-Sr (6-3, 280) John Miller-Jr (6-2, 275)
OG Chris Carothers-Jr (6-3, 290) Walter Walker-Fr (6-5, 285)
OT Levi Newton-Sr (6-4, 305) Jerome Springfield-Fr (6-8, 335)
K Santiago Gramatica-Sr (5-10, 165) Justin Geisler-Sr (6-1, 170)



Defensive Line
This small but quick group was ferocious recording 29 sacks and limiting opponents to 3 yards per carry on the ground. A year of experience playing together will only serve in helping them to wreak even more havoc in opposing backfields this fall, which will add to that impressive sack total. We expect Craig Kobel to emerge as a pass rushing force as he moves from nose tackle to end; a move that will only sharpen the teeth of the already imposing defensive monster.

Depth could be an issue at linebacker, as the Bulls will feature only one returning starter. But when that veteran is sophomore stud Stephen Nicholas, things can't be that bad. This emerging star will lead a group that is long on talent, but short on experience. Don't fear, Bulls' fans - talent is going to win out. A group of redshirt freshmen and sophomores are chomping at the bit to help solidify a corps that helped stuff opposing running games and layout receivers daring enough to cross over the middle. Bolstered by the play of this superior line, these young linebackers are going to have plenty of room and foresight for making big plays.

Defensive Back
If spring practice was any indication, the secondary's best friend is going to be the team's strong pass rush. Hit hard by graduation, the back four are going to be vastly different from last season's lock-down group (that held opponents to a paltry 180 yards per game to rank 13th in pass defense and 8th in pass-efficiency defense!). With three new starters and little depth at the cornerback spot, opposing coordinators are sure to initiate their attacks through the air. In fact, any injuries could undermine the Bulls' defensive efforts entirely. Assuming that they manage to stay relatively healthy, the pass coverage should be decent, but nowhere near the air-tight safe that Bulls fans have been used to.

South Florida's defense is going to be made up of two separate storylines. Can the outstanding play of the defensive line make up for the inadequacies of an inexperienced and thin secondary? In either case, The D will still be good, residually confident as they come off a season in which it ranked 38th against the run, 25th in scoring allowed, and 17th overall. The question is: How good will it be? In the end, it will be the offense's inability to control the time of possession battle against quality teams that will wear down this line and help opponents pick on this suspect secondary. Once again, the inconsistent offense will marginally push the Bull's valiant defense past its breaking point in the team's biggest games. If regularly given the time to rest, this unit can develop into another worthy squad.


DT Lee Roy Selmon


Returning Starters in bold
DE Craig Kobel-Sr (6-2, 265) Tavarious Robinson-So (6-4, 245)
Tim Jones-Sr (6-3, 265)
NT Cedric Battles-Sr (6-4, 285) Allen Cray-Fr (6-1, 265)
DT Lee Roy Selmon-Sr (5-11, 280) Antonio Searcy-Jr (6-3, 290)
DE Terrence Royal-Jr (6-3, 255) Jon Simmons-Jr (6-5, 245)
SLB Stephen Nicholas-So (6-3, 225) Ben Moffitt-Fr (6-2, 230)
MLB Devon Davis-Jr (6-3, 225) Ronnie McCullough-Fr (6-1, 220)
WLB Patrick St. Louis-So (6-1, 200) Jash Balloon-Fr (6-0, 215)
CB Mike Jenkins-Fr (6-0, 185) Sam Miller-Fr (5-11, 190)
CB D'Juan Brown-Jr (5-11, 175) A.J. Brant-Fr (5-10, 175)
SS Kenny Robinson-Sr (5-10, 190) Drametrice Smith-So (6-1, 210)
FS Javan Camon-Sr (6-0, 175) Antonio Warren-Sr (6-1, 180)
P Brandon Baker-Jr (6-4, 230) Santiago Gramatica-Sr (5-10, 165)




Unfortunately no real competition to incumbent Santiago Gramatica emerged in spring practice. His inconsistent ways will eventually cost the Bulls a game or two along the way.

Brandon Baker has the job all but locked down after a superb campaign as a sophomore. His strong leg and superior hang time help negate the opposition's return game and pin teams deep in their own territory. Both are a big plus for a team with a struggling offense.

Return Game
The Bulls will once again enjoy an advantage over their opponents in the field position battle. Their superior coverage units (7.3 return yards on punts, 15.2 on kickoffs) will force opponents to work just a little bit harder on every possession. It is often little gains like this that become the foundation for overall team improvement.