TBO.com: Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather.
Friday, Nov 28, 2014
Prep Football Preview

Jesuit: Bulleit knows how to handle spotlight

By
Published:

— Before Clark Bulleit was elected Jesuit’s class president, he made a highly entertaining promotional video to gain votes.

In this video, Bulleit packs in a great deal, including:

Testimonials on his character from former Bucs coach Jon Gruden (who asks Bulleit for a job), Rays manager Joe Maddon and college football coaching legend Lou Holtz.

A walk through a gym where no less than a dozen attractive women say hello to him as he walks past.

A scene of him water skiing while he reads a school book because he’s “always studying.”

A scene of him studying in the back seat of a car while his dog drives the car.

A scene of him tossing a basketball from a balcony at least 20 feet high that swishes the net next to a pool.

A scene of him tossing loads of money (fake, no doubt) to fellow students as he whizzes by on a golf cart.

“I think the video gives you an idea of what kind of a great kid Clark is,” Jesuit coach Matt Thompson said. “He’s smart, fun, funny and makes a great effort to do his best. I know the other players love him.”

Videography, however, is not his passion. Bulleit, whose mother is local television news anchor Kelly Ring, says he prefers math and science and hopes one day to be a bio-medical engineer. This past summer, in fact, he shadowed a surgeon at Moffitt Cancer Center.

But at the moment his focus is on helping Jesuit win every game possible, which Bulleit, a 6-foot-3, 275-pound lineman, hopes will translate to a state title.

“I truly believe this team is capable (of winning a state title),” Bulleit said. “I know I’m going to do whatever I can to make it happen.”

♦ Snapshots

Offense

The Tigers look solid at running back with senior Kevin Newman, who led the way with 793 rushing yards last season. Sophomore back Malik Davis also returns, looking stronger, bigger and quicker after gaining 495 yards last season.

While the Tigers are expected to run more than they pass, returning senior quarterback Trent Wessel should provide plenty of throwing firepower to keep defenses honest. Wessel proved his mettle last season when he stepped in to defeat rival Tampa Catholic and Auburndale in the playoffs after starter Vincent Testaverde was sidelined after undergoing appendectomy surgery.

Along the offensive line, Jesuit once again appears solid with four returners, including senior captain and class president Clark Bulleit.

Defense

Jesuit’s starting linebackers — James Vrionis, Nick Mosco and Parker Looney — are among the best at their position in the county. All run sub 4.8-second 40s and are furious hitters. Mosco, a 225-pound sophomore, led the team in tackles last season with 107, but he didn’t get full playing time until the fourth game. That said, Mosco has the potential to become Jesuit’s all-time tackling leader before he graduates.

Partly because of the strong linebacking corps and the fact he has some big defensive tackles — namely Marc Jimenez (6-3, 302) and Peter Osimen (6-0, 290) — head coach Matt Thompson, who also serves as the defensive coordinator, is going with a 4-3 defensive front. The only question mark might be at defensive back, where experience is limited, except for returning cornerback Devan Freeland.

Outlook

Thompson is hitting the ground running in his second year as the Tigers’ head coach, after 18 years as an Armwood assistant. But Thompson acknowledges that Year 2 won’t be easy.

“We have a tough schedule,” Thompson said. “But we like that type of schedule. We’re just going to try and win each game, one at a time, and if we do that then we should be just fine.”

♦ About The Tigers

Stadium: Corral Memorial Stadium, 4701 N. Himes Ave., Tampa

Class-District: 5A-9 (with Middleton and Spoto)

Coach: Matt Thompson (8-4, second season)

Last season: 8-4

♦ Schedule

Aug. 29: Hardee

Sept. 5: at Bradenton Lakewood Ranch

Sept. 12: Clearwater Central Catholic

Sept. 19: at Largo

Sept. 26: Newsome

Oct. 3: Spoto

Oct. 10: at Ocala Trinity Catholic

Oct. 17: Orlando Bishop Moore

Oct. 31: at Middleton

Nov. 7: at Tampa Catholic

Subscribe to The Tampa Tribune

Comments