USF Spring Practice Awards: Top 5, Defense

The staff at USFNation compiled a top 5 list of the major contributors on Defense during this year's spring practice. Find out who made our list of outstanding performers. Only on USFNation.com! Get it First, Get it Fast


Top 5: Defense

 

George Selvie: Had a break out year in '06, being named Freshmen All-American second team. If there was any question on how he would do this year, don't worry. Selvie came in stronger, faster, had a dominant spring. He seems to have grown into his role as a defensive end and as a leader on the D-line. He has long arms and amazingly strong upper body strength, with speed to boot. All spring Selvie was flying around and making plays, and it was highlighted in the spring game when Selvie finished with seven tackles, three for losses and a highlight reel interception off a deflected pass. The team needs Selvie to build off of last season and be even better in '07. If this spring is any indication, then he has proven he is up to the task.

 

Richard Clebert was one of the more underrated players on the team, and a lot of that has to due with fighting through injuries last season. But Clebert came into the spring with a new attitude, and it showed. He was making plays all over the field, sacking the QB, 4 field goal blocks in one scrimmage. Every practice he was causing havoc inside.  He's incredibly strong and quick and has the ability to penetrate. He broke all the USF defensive line records, In the 40, he ran a 4.89, that's the fastest time ever for any interior lineman at USF, and broke his own bench press record with 40 reps at 225 lbs. Clebert can be a force on the line and that was evident in the double teams he faced in the spring game. But when he forces a double team, it frees up another lineman or a linebacker to make a play.  This is his senior year and he knows the team is expecting him to be a leader and step up and show everybody that he's one of the top defensive tackles in the nation. Look for an even better Clebert come summer. 
 

Tyrone McKenzie: After losing senior linebackers Stephen Nicholas and Pat St. Louis, the linebacker unit was a big question mark coming into the spring. The answer might be Iowa State transfer Tyrone McKenzie, who was 8th in the country with 126 tackles last season. McKenzie just completed his first spring practice as a Bull and didn't take long to make an impression. From the first practice, he was all over the field making plays and continued through out the spring. Intercepting passes, sacking the QB, making open field tackles, tackles in the backfield, all with limited knowledge of the plays. In the spring game McKenzie didn't take long to make an impression, sacking Grant Gregory on his first play. Besides Moffitt, no other linebacker on the team has as many starts, playing time, and experience as McKenzie, and he knows the rigors of playing a season.  He lined up mostly with the second team during the spring, but that is just a formality as he learns the system. With his instincts, technique, and skills it will be too hard to keep him off the field.
 

Mike Jenkins: Came into this spring bigger, stronger, and is having his best spring ever as a Bull. Mike has been working on being more physical, and has added a chuck move to be more aggressive with the receivers off of the line. Strength wise he set a record with Jamaal Jenkins for DB's on the bench press with 375 lbs. Another aspect of his game he has been working hard on is catching the ball, and that has shown all spring with numerous interceptions, scoring TD's, and blocking punts. Jenkins has amazing ability to be a shut down corner which he has shown in the past, and has improved this spring. The coaches expect him to have a great senior season, and I don't think Jenkins will let them down. When paired with Trae Williams, they form one of the better cornerback tandems in the league. 


Ben Moffitt- After losing the leadership that Nicholas and St. Louis provided, the Bulls needed someone to step up and fill that role. Middle linebacker Moffitt has accepted that role, and has constantly been one of the most impressive players on the field. He is one of the hardest working players on the team and shows a great awareness for the ball. Last year he led the Bulls' defense with 112 tackles, and was third on the team with 11 tackles for a loss while registering four sacks on the season. The Bulls need Father Ben healthy, and this spring they rested Moffitt quite a bit, but when he played he was the heart and soul of the defense, snagging interceptions and making plays.

 

Honorable Mention

Nate Allen:  Played in 9 games last season only making 2 tackles. However this spring the sophomore has worked hard to beat out incumbents Danny Verpaele and Louis Gachette to win the starting job at safety.  Allen has taken his experience from last year and his work in the off-season to improve his game. It has shown this spring. He has been making interceptions, breaking up plays and has worked on stripping the ball as well. During the spring game Allen made 7 tackles, and showed speed and agility to make plays. He has made great strides but knows he still has work to do before the season starts to become the great safety that the coaches expect him to be.


 Chris Robinson: A freshmen All-American Honorable mention last year made a switch to linebacker this spring and continued to make plays on the field. All spring Robinson was knocking down passes, making sacks, causing fumbles, and scoring touchdowns. In the spring game Robinson had an impressive performance with seven tackles, two pass deflections and two sacks. It's not sure where Robinson will end up, linebacker, defensive end, pass rushing specialist, or a combination of each. One thing is sure where ever it is he'll make his presence felt.

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