Answering Questions 7-10

Before spring practice started the staff at USFNation came up with 10 important questions that were to be answered after the spring game. Here's our take on questions 7-10. Included is- who's the starting kicker and punter, will Danny Verpaele be able to come back and be the starter and can Cedric Hill be an every-down tight end. Read on for the entire story.

7 & 8: Who will be the starting punter and kicker?

The most inconsistent play this spring came from the kickers and punters. The kickers were Mike Benzer and Justin Teachey. Benzer took a majority of the first unit kicks, but Teachey may have been the better of the two. Benzer made more short kicks, while Teachey showed he could hit from long range on a consistent basis. However, Benzer's accuracy from short distance wasn't consistent enough, and Teachey has missed too many from short to give either of them the starting job.

The punters this spring were William Criswell and Cully Lord. Lord didn't start dressing until mid-way through spring drills. It's still not known if he'll be kept on the roster when fall practice starts. Regardless, neither punter looked ready to take the field this season.

Answer: If Teachey can improve his percentage from inside 30 yards then he deserves the starting job. He has a much more "live" leg. There is also the possibility of using Benzer from short and Teachey form deep.

As for the punting situation, I would be surprised to see Criswell the starter for the first game. That leaves walk-on Illia Petrov and newcomer Delbert Alvarado (punter/kicker) to step up and take the starting job. If someone doesn't, the Bulls could be in for a long season of poor punting, which is a big change from last year.

9) Will Danny Verpaele be able to come back from injury and replace the loss of safety Jonnie Jones?

Verpaele looked very healthy this spring. He probably could have even played in the final game or two of the season, but that would have ruined any chance of a redshirt. He ended up getting the extra year of eligibility and will still be a sophomore this coming season.

On the field Danny took a few practices to get that old feeling back. In the beginning he wasn't always in the right spot, sometimes taking bad angles to the ball. After a couple days of getting re-acclimated, he was putting himself in better positions to make plays, even picking a few balls off.

Answer: Danny Verpaele will be the starter going into the season. He may not be the most athletic or the biggest hitter, but he plays smart. The next year however could be interesting, with Jerrel Young and possibly Nate Allen competing for the same spot. Both are more athletic, but the question is-can they learn the position in just one season.

10) Will Cedric Hill be used in just passing situations, or will he become an every-down type tight end?

In theory, Cedric Hill could get his weight up (currently 219) to 240 and become an incredible match-up problem for apposing teams. However, he seems content at his current weight and playing the slash position. After talking to a few of his teammates, I get the feeling he is comfortable with his current role and so are the coaches. Everyone agrees that he could be a dominating tight end, but he is still athletic enough to be an impact receiver.

Answer: Next season Hill will be in the slash position. He says he's still working on adding weight, but it will be at least another year till he's ready to play exclusively at tight end. For now Ben Busbee will be used for blocking situations, Hill will be used at tight end in passing downs and double tight end sets.

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