CB Trae Williams

2006 Statistics

Coach: Jim Leavitt
70-43, 10 years
2006 Record: 9-4
FIU WON 21-20
at UCF WON 24-17
at Kansas LOST 7-13
at North Carolina WON 37-20
at Cincinnati LOST 6-23
at Louisville LOST 8-31
at West Virginia WON 24-19
East Carolina WON 24-7

2006 Final Rankings
AP-29, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2007 Outlook

Everything seems to be on schedule – in seven short years, the school’s only-ever head football coach (Jim Leavitt) has modestly procured a quality team that competed admirably for the Big East title and subsequently won its very first bowl game last season. Surprised? Don’t be, especially when you consider that USF has only had one losing season in its short existence, and how Leavitt competitively recruits from the talent-rich coffers there in the sunshine state (only eight players on the current roster are from outside our nation’s most massive peninsula). It all equals a program on the short track to success that is currently in position to get to the next level. With a solid foundation laid, the emergence of sophomore QB Matt Grothe is the one element that has USF on the verge of greatness. With a big victory at Morgantown and then the inaugural bowl win to end 2006, keeping the Big East Freshman of the Year healthy will be all the Bulls need to do to assure their star continues to rise. Well, just as important to winning is the entire return of both starting lines. Factoring in an experienced secondary means that the defense will again be tough enough to keep USF in those closer games. A winning season isn’t in question. The issue is whether Leavitt & Co. can beat the Big East’s best – West Virginia, Louisville and Rutgers. The Bulls were one missed field goal from going 2-1 against these three. It’s all in place for USF to become a permanent fixture amongst the league’s elite, and that means we will be seeing them more in the top 25. Get used to it – there is another football power in Florida, one that finished better than both FSU and Miami last year and is here to stay.

Projected 2007 record: 8-4
WR Taurus Johnson
QB - 4 DL - 4.5
RB - 3 LB - 3
WR - 3.5 DB - 4
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Matt Grothe, 202-317-14, 2576 yds., 15 TD

Rushing: Matt Grothe, 178 att., 622 yds., 9 TD

Receiving: Taurus Johnson, 37 rec., 494 yds., 2 TD

Scoring: Matt Grothe, 9 TD, 54 pts.

Punting: Justin Teachey, 45 punts, 38.2 avg.

Kicking: Delbert Alvarado, 5-9 FG, 13-14 PAT, 28 pts.

Tackles: Ben Moffitt, 112 tot., 75 solo

Sacks: George Selvie, Allen Cray - 5.5 each

Interceptions: Trae Williams, 7 for 8 yds.

Kickoff Returns: Taurus Johnson, 14 ret., 22.6 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Amarri Jackson, 6 ret., 7.3 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Pat Julmiste-QB, Ean Randolph-WR/PR/KR, S.J. Green-WR, Will Bleakley-TE, Thed Watson-OT
DEFENSE: Stephen Nicholas-SLB, Pat St. Louis-WLB, Jerremy Burnett-SS, Josh Julmiste-DE

This team will live and die with the guy who has taken them to their latest heights, sophomore QB sensation Matt Grothe. The Lakeland native proves equally impressive not only running (team’s top rusher) and passing, but also as a genuine leader who can get his troops the tough yards in tough situations. What this guy does is produce big wins, and after doing it so well as a freshman, expectations are rightfully high. Many of the plays coach Leavitt runs allow Grothe to check off and/or make decisions on the run – literally. But look for more old school dropback plays with all of the line’s starters back. The line, big enough to stop top opponents, moves well with Grothe’s improvisations. The main area of concern has to be the running game (besides Grothe), which had trouble finding a “go to” TB for their one back sets. Look for big, fast five-star recruit Mike Ford to see reps in search of the right backfield fit. Juniors Benjamin Williams and Ricky Ponton aren’t bad by any stretch, but neither is the back to take USF to any “next levels”. Big senior Amarri Jackson joins juniors Taurus Johnson and Marcus Edwards to give the Bulls a broken-in set of snarlers. As a matter of fact, five of the team’s top seven receivers return. That includes last year’s leading TE Cedric Hill, who now gets the start. Knowing how valuable Grothe is to the team’s success, we do not expect to see him as the Bull’s leading rusher in new coordinator Greg Gregory’s schemes. In fact, if one back staying home cannot provide the blocking needed on pass plays, look for either a FB to be inserted or an extra TE to see more action. This is an underrated offense that, until it is recognized for its proven worth, will burn foes and win games for USF.


QB Matt Grothe


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Matt Grothe-So (6-0, 200) Grant Gregory-Jr (6-1, 205)
RB Benjamin Williams-Jr (5-7, 190) Aston Samuels-Fr (5-10, 190)
Ricky Ponton-Jr (5-10, 205)
WR Marcus Edwards-Jr (5-11, 175) Amp Hill-Jr (6-3, 205)
WR Taurus Johnson-Jr (6-1, 190) Jessie Hester-Jr (6-0, 170)
WR Amarri Jackson-Sr (6-5, 195) Carlton Mitchell-Fr (6-4, 200)
TE Cedric Hill-Jr (6-3, 240) Andrew Ketchel-Fr (6-4, 225)
OT Marc Dile-Jr (6-4, 310) Jared Carnes-Sr (6-7, 315)
OG Matt Huners-Jr (6-3, 290) Jeremiah Warren-Fr (6-4, 320)
C Nick Capogna-Sr (6-3, 275) Jake Griffin-Jr (6-4, 305)
OG Ryan Schmidt-Jr (6-4, 305) Zach Hermann-Fr (6-3, 310)
OT Walter Walker-Sr (6-5, 315) Jacob Sims-Fr (6-4, 280)
K Delbert Alvarado-So (6-0, 175) Mike Benzer-So (5-8, 185)



If it all starts up front, then the four returning starters the Bulls bring back there will assure this defense only gets better. Really, the entire two-deep of bigmen are back. End George Selvie proved last year as a freshman that he is a beast, finishing third in team tackles and tied for first in TFLs (15) and forced fumbles (four, as did his backup sophomore Chris Robinson). Inside, senior Allen Cray demands double-teams, or else. Three of the DLmen are sophs and four are tutoring seniors, meaning this line likely stays fresh and viable through 2009! (Sorry, we’ll go one year at a time.) When you again see USF allowing just over three ypc and only nine (or less) ground scores while earning 37 (or more) sacks, you will know they are vying for the Big East lead. Leading team tackler senior MLB Ben Moffitt is in search of any candidates that will help cover the outside and/or underneath. Losing Nicholas is going to hurt some of those numbers we just listed. But with two easy games to start before traveling to Auburn, new LBs evolving from the Bull’s rich Florida coffers look highly likely. Heck, in a pinch, given the range of Selvie, he could be a hybrid “up” lineman and sometimes drop back so as to confuse opponents. Coordinator Wally Burnham, who has been a coach here since the beginning in 2000, is a huge reason USF has the defense to sneak up on foes, so expect results in the LB corps by the end of summer. Seniors Trae Williams (seven INTs) and Mike Jenkins (10 PBUs) will be one of the best pairs of corners in all the land. The safeties are both big juniors who are huge in run support – the depth and experience in the secondary will also go a long way toward helping buffer the new choices at LB. Burnham’s boys allowed only one team to score more than 23 points last year in finishing 18th for defensive scoring. Any major holes on this side of the ball would be disastrous in the Bull’s ability to compete for the conference crown.


LB Ben Moffitt


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Jarriett Buie-Sr (6-4, 255) Brandon Peguese-Fr (6-1, 240)
NT Richard Clebert-Sr (6-1, 310) Allen Cray-Sr (6-0, 295)
Woody George-Sr (6-3, 265)
DT Aaron Harris-So (6-4, 255) Tavarious Robinson-Sr (6-4, 290)
DE George Selvie-So (6-4, 245) Joshua Smiley-Fr (6-3, 230)
SLB Chris Robinson-So (6-3, 240) Tyrone McKenzie-Jr (6-2, 230)
MLB Ben Moffitt-Sr (6-2, 240) Marvin Peoples-So (6-2, 230)
WLB Brouce Mompremier-Jr (6-1, 225) Sam Miller-Sr (5-11, 210)
CB Trae Williams-Sr (5-10, 185) Tyller Roberts-Jr (6-1, 190)
CB Mike Jenkins-Sr (6-0, 200) Jerome Murphy-So (6-1, 190)
SS Carlton Williams-Jr (6-4, 205) Louis Gachette-Jr (6-3, 205)
FS Danny Verpaele-Jr (5-11, 200) Nate Allen-So (6-2, 190)
P Justin Teachey-Jr (5-11, 170) William Criswell-Jr (5-9, 160)




Junior punter Justin Teachey has to learn to control his efforts so USF can finish better than 113th for net punting. Big-footed Delbert Alvarado helped both Teachey and embattled kicker Mike Benzer, winning the PK job after USF lost to Rutgers on a missed 40-yarder by Benzer. Taurus Johnson, solid on kick returns, will be one of many looking to replace Ean Randolph, last year’s fourth-leading PR guy.