By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA, JUNE 5, 2014 – Phil Steele sees a lot of potential in the Bulls heading into a highly anticipated season for USF Football.
Steele’s 2014 College Football Preview hits newsstands June 24 and his Preseason All-American Athletic Conference Team features 11 Bulls, including tight end Sean Price and punter Mattias Ciabatti on the first team.
Wide receiver Andre Davis, right tackle Quinterrius Eatmon and kicker Marvin Kloss are second-team selections, while left tackle Darrell Williams has landed a spot on the third team. USF’s fourth-team selections consist of offensive linemen Austin Reiter and Thor Jozwiak, defensive linemen Elkino Watson and Todd Chandler, and Chris Dunkley in two special teams spots as a returner.
Learn more about each Bull on Steele’s list below:
Sean Price, tight end: The junior from Citra, Fla., has posted 42 catches for 394 yards the past two years and finished last season as the Bulls’ third leading receiver. Price has picked up valuable experience in 12 starts with the Green and Gold and the 6-foot-3 playmaker has used the offseason conditioning program to become a leaner pass-catcher for the upcoming season. Prior to USF, Price ranked as the fourth-best tight end recruit in the nation out of North Marion High School and he capped off his senior season with an appearance in the Under Armour All-American game.
Mattias Ciabatti, punter: The redshirt junior from Tampa was a big producer for the Bulls in his first season as the team’s starting punter in 2013. The former Hillsborough High School standout’s 73 punts and 2,937 yards rank third all-time on USF’s single-season charts. Ciabatti averaged 40.2 yards per punt last season and was rewarded for being a stellar student-athlete when he was named to the American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team. Ciabatti’s 68-yard punt in a win over Cincinnati last season ranks as the third-best in program history.
Andre Davis, wide receiver: The senior from Tampa racked up a USF single-season record 735 receiving yards and hauled in a team-best 49 catches last season. The former Jefferson High School star also owns program records for consecutive games with a reception (30) and consecutive 100-yard games (3). Davis ranks third on USF’s career list in receiving yards (1,542) and receptions (117), and he’s fourth on the career touchdown catch list with 10 heading into his final season with the Bulls.
Quinterrius Eatmon, right tackle: The senior from Prichard, Ala., logged in 681 snaps in 2013 and brings a lot of veteran experience to the line with 34 starts at right tackle in his 35 games as a Bull since 2011. Eatmon used his 6-foot-6, 319-pound frame to help pave the way for Marcus Shaw to rush for 94 yards or more in the Bulls’ first four games, including three 100-yard outings last season. Eatmon was named a second-team Freshman All-American by Yahoo! Sports in 2011 after becoming the 75th-ranked offensive lineman recruit by Rivals.com out of C.F. Vigor High School.
Marvin Kloss, kicker: The redshirt senior from Naples, Fla., became USF’s first-ever major college football award finalist when he was one of three up for the Lou Groza College Kicker Award at the Home Depot College Football Awards show that was aired nationally on ESPN. Kloss earned an invitation to the red carpet event by leading the nation with 11 field goals of 40 yards or more and four from 50-plus yards in his first season as USF’s primary placekicker. Kloss set a USF record with 13 consecutive made field goals, including from 52, 50, 50, 50, 49, 49 and 47 yards, and he made at least one field goal in nine games on the way to becoming an Athlon Sports Second-Team All-American.
Darrell Williams, left tackle: The 6-foot-5 senior from Orlando started all 12 games for the Bulls in 2013 after logging in five starts the previous season. The former All-Orange County selection out of Evans High School ranked third among USF offensive players with 734 snaps last season. Williams is another Bull that’s taken full advantage of USF’s offseason conditioning program by adding 13 points to get up to 310 this spring.
Austin Reiter, center: The senior from Bradenton, Fla., grabbed a spot on the Rimington Trophy 2014 Spring Watch List after starting 12 games for the second consecutive season in 2013. Reiter tied for the team lead with 735 snaps last season and he’s back to lead an offensive line that returns five players that started the bulk of the games in 2013. The 6-foot-3, 286-pounder made significant strength gains in the spring while adding 13 pounds.
Thor Jozwiak, offensive lineman: The redshirt junior from Eagle Lake, Fla., missed all of last season with a heart condition that required medical treatment, but he’s back in top form and showed it while helping the White Team defeat the Green Team, 35-3, in the Bulls’ spring game. The 6-foot-4, 332-pounder gained experience in 2012 when he started five of the nine games he saw action in. The former first-team all-county selection out of Lake Region High School is following in his father’s footsteps on the field. Brian Jozwiak was an All-American lineman at West Virginia and was a first-round selection by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1986.
Elkino Watson, defensive lineman: The senior from Miami has played in 35 games as a Bull at tackle since appearing in 12 as a true freshman in 2011 and the 6-foot-2, 289-pounder got a good amount of reps at the end position this spring. The former Booker T. Washington High School standout has posted 83 career tackles, 4.5 sacks and 25 tackles for loss as a Bull and he tied a career high with nine tackles for loss last year.
Todd Chandler, defensive tackle: The senior from Miami is looking to secure a starting role after serving as a key reserve on the line for the Bulls the past two seasons while totaling 43 tackles, two sacks, and 10.5 tackles for loss. The 6-foot, 320-pounder hasn’t missed a game the past two seasons and set career highs last year in tackles (24), tackles for loss (5.5) and he posted his first-career fumble recovery at Michigan State.
Chris Dunkley, kick returner: The redshirt senior from Pahokee, Fla., earned spots on Steele’s preseason squad at kick returner and punt returner after emerging as a dazzling playmaker for the Bulls in 2013. The former five-star prospect out of Pahokee High School led the Bulls with 18 kickoff returns for 406 yards (22.6 yards per return) and also had four punt returns for a team-best 97 yards. Dunkley returned a punt 50 yards for a score against SMU, which was the longest return for USF and first for a touchdown since 2008.
USF returns 16 starters (10 offense, 4 defense, 2 specialists) for head coach Willie Taggart’s second season at the helm, which kicks off on Aug. 30 vs. Western Carolina at Raymond James Stadium. The Bulls 2014 non-conference schedule features home clashes vs. Big Ten foe Maryland (Sept. 6) and ACC opponent N.C. State (Sept. 13) as well as a road game at perennial Big Ten power Wisconsin (Sept. 27). USF will welcome UConn (Fri., Sept. 19), East Carolina (Sat., Oct. 11), Houston (Sat., Nov. 1) and UCF (Fri., Nov. 28) to Raymond James in American Athletic Conference action.
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