For the last week, USF Bulls Insider Patti McDonald has been previewing and analyzing each position on the USF football team. Today, she analyzes the tight-end position.
While the Bulls wrap up fall camp in Vero Beach, that means less time for position battles to work themselves out.
However, there is still time.
In the case of the tight ends, the starter and backup are up in the air. On the first depth chart released for the fall season, senior Andreas Shields was listed as the starting tight-end.
Shields tallied 11 receptions last season for 144 yards and scored a touchdown.
For the last three years though, Bulls fans have been used to seeing No. 9 Evan Landi starting at the tight-end position, but that could change this season.
Landi had a career season last year in receptions with 29. Those catches were worth 297 yards and he scored a touchdown. He played in all of the Bulls’ 12 games, starting nine of them.
Not too much should be made out of early fall depth charts, however, keep an eye on this position battle between Landi and Shields. Either one of them could easily land the starting gig, but do not be surprised if they share the duties at tight end.
If anyone had to guess, it would be Landi who wraps up the starting tight end position, but Shields isn’t too far behind.
The dark horse at tight end though is freshman Sean Price. Price, a highly touted four-star recruit prior to landing a position at USF, is listed on the first fall depth chart in front of redshirt sophomore Mike McFarland. Although the depth chart lists Price following an “or” then McFarland (noting that the team might have the players share the duties) Price could land in front of McFarland on the chart.
Price, who prior to joining the Bulls. was the nations 12th ranked tight end. Fans have to expect to see Price get involved in some sort of action this season. Price did not come to USF to barely contribute his freshman year. He came to make a statement.
That he did in his senior year in high school. Price led his team with 25 catches and 530 receiving yards. He also averaged more than 44 yards per game as a senior.
Another weapon Price brings to the table is speed. He ran a 4.89 in the 40 yard dash in an off-season Nike event.
The versatility Price brings to USF is important and Bulls coach Skip Holtz believes Price can make an impact this season, even though there are veteran players in front of him.
“I think he’s bringing a real asset to this team and I think he has an opportunity to make an impact and that’s going to be hard to do because of the upperclassmen we have at that position,” Holtz said. “But I say that as a real testament to Price and the type of football player he is.”