The South Florida Bulls have plenty of questions to answer this spring if they hope to bounce back and compete in the Big East in 2013. The biggest among them, however, is who will step in and replace the outgoing leadership of quarterback B.J. Daniels?
While Daniels was never able to bring a conference title to USF, his contributions to the program over his collegiate career are hard to overstate. He started 42 games for the Bulls over four seasons and leaves campus as one of the most prolific quarterbacks in school history. He had his senior season cut short with a broken bone in his ankle, but he still threw for 2,075 yards while rushing for 434 yards and scoring 19 total touchdowns.
It will be difficult to fill his shoes next season. Matt Floyd acted as the primary backup last season and started the final three games in place of the injured Daniels, but struggled as the Bulls’ went 0-3 with him under center. The sophomore finished 2012 with 466 yards passing and no touchdowns with five interceptions. That performance did nothing to make him the heir apparent for the job in 2013.
New head coach Willie Taggart will open up the quarterback competition this spring and give Bobby Eveld the opportunity to challenge for the starting job. The senior quarterback has seen sporadic backup duty during his career at USF, but only threw eight passes in 2012. He hasn’t been able to show much to impress his coaches so far, but he has one final shot to grab hold of the starting job in spring practice.
If neither Floyd or Eveld win the job this spring, Taggart will likely give incoming freshman Mike White a shot when fall camp opens in August. The three-star quarterback has a good, clean delivery that helps him get nice accuracy and he has shown a good ability to work through his reads. If he can pick up the offense quickly this summer, he could challenge for the starting job right away.
It won’t be easy replacing Daniels or turning around a struggling South Florida program and with no clear frontrunner for the quarterback position, Willie Taggert has a big choice to make for next fall.