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July 20, 2013
USF Big Man camp has almost 200 entries
While the 'glamor' of the Sling and Shoot 7v7 tournament is the 'marque' event of the weekend, over 180 offensive and defensive linemen are also working on their skills and hopping to walk away from Tampa with an offer from the USF Bulls.
Summerville (SC) TE Sean Smith is making his first trip to Tampa - and commented on the humidity.
"It's hot and humid in South Carolina, but not like this," said Smith. "It's more humid down here than it is in South Carolina."
Smith said as the day went on, he felt he got better.
"The morning session, I was a little slow on the drop step," Smith said. "I really learned a lot from coach (Walt) Wells about how to keep my hips straight and worked on that back-step."
Smith didn't catch passes, which is his strength as a 6-foot-6, 220 pound tight end. He did, however say he's anxious for an offer from USF.
"It would mean a lot," Smith said. "Being able to play in the American Athletic Conference. It's another step in my playing career."
Nature Coast class of 2015 OL Christian Pellage was decked out in his USF gear he got from Saturday night live - and was excited to work with some of the best defensive linemen.
"The coaching is great," Pellage said. "I love the campus and the coaches here."
Pellage gets to work against one of the better defensive ends in the state - lining up against Rohan Blackwood each week.
"He is one of the better defensive ends in the state," said Pellage. "I'm thankful to get to work against him."
Pellage, who holds offers from USF and Virginia hopes to learn better pass-blocking techniques at the Big Man Camp.
Panama City Bay TE/DE Keith McNeil made the trip - traveling over 400 miles to Tampa - and felt it was well worth it.
"I learned a lot of defensive stunts and techniques," said McNeal. "We are building something special at Bay."
"We are going for the playoffs," McNeil said.
For Hollywood Hills OL Josh Deuyour, it was a chance to get some one-on-one time with instruction.
"I liked how they taught us," said Deuyour. "Going against these guys will make me a better athlete and get ready for college."
Deuyour - a 6-foot-10, 325 pound offensive tackle is rather hard to miss. He towers over everyone at the camp.
Riviera Beach Suncoast OT Matt Weiner participated in the Rivals Camp Series Miami stop. He came to Tampa to work hard.
"I hope to get better experience against a style of players we don't see on the east coast," Weiner said. "This was a great chance to work hard and get better."
The Big Man camp concludes Sunday.