By Leo Haggerty

Another day of both sights and sounds from USF fall practice.  The team had to dodge a few raindrops but got in a full workout.

It’s getting close to the start of the season.  How do I know?  You can tell because the intensity level at practice has gone up a level to say the least.

For today’s interview we have Linebacker Josh Black.  The 6’2″ native of Tampa, FL is one of those hybrid defenders that South Florida has in bunches.  As you will see below, it doesn’t bother the 252-pound graduate of Sickles High School whether he has his hand in the dirt rushing the passer or dropping into coverage.

Another great group of pictures by Photo Journalist Trace Crisp especially of #55.  Enjoy.

LH : With your offense going at a ridiculous rate of speed, does that help both conditioning as well as recognition?

JB : Yes it does because we know that our offense is going to go very fast.  That simulates game speed.  It was a little difficult getting used to in the beginning but, after seeing it for a little while, you start to not even notice it.

LH : When you’re coming off the edge, what’s your first read?

JB : My first read really depends on the play call.  Sometimes I drop instead of rushing the passer.  My first read is the offensive tackle.  If he blocks down, then I have to squeeze down and check on the quarterback.  If it’s a pass, my job is to get to the quarterback and react on the way.

LH : Are you a one-gap or a two-gap defense?

JB : It really depends on the player and the position.  We all have force and fill responsibilities.  We really have to make sure that we just do our job.

LH : When do you get tired of hitting the guys in the same color jersey?

JB : Right after the first practice. (Laughter).  We hit them all of spring and now we’re just trying to get to the first game.  We just want to get better one day a time.

LH : So the key is to get better and stay healthy, right?

JB : That’s it.  A hundred per cent.  Come out to practice and do it.

LH : USF has never won a football conference championship.  Where is that on the goal list?

JB : It’s number one.  It’s our first priority.  That’s why a lot of us came here.  It’s something you don’t deserve.  It only comes with hard work.  Not making it last year hurt.  We want to win it so bad.